How to Thread a Kenmore Sewing Machine?

As we know, Kenmore stands in a good place when it comes to the stitching business. So before starting with a Kenmore sewing machine, you have to make sure that if the machine is threaded properly or not. The machine should be perfectly threaded from top to bottom.

If you are looking for an easier way to do that, it’s here. We will explain to you how to thread a Kenmore sewing machine. Everything will be explained step by step, so stick to the end of the article.

This method will work on most of the models of Kenmore sewing machines, including the old ones. It will be an overall process to complete the threading of your Kenmore sewing machine.

How to thread a Kenmore sewing machine

Without any more delay, let's dive into the steps of the threading process-

How to thread a Kenmore sewing machine

Step 01- Winding the Bobbin

To wind the bobbin, you have to loosen the clutch which should be on the right side of your sewing machine. You have to turn it towards you, anti-clockwise.

Winding the Bobbin

After releasing the clutch, you have to place the spool of your thread on the spool pin. Most of the models have the spool pin situated in various places, but on Kenmore sewing machine 385, the spool pin should be located in the middle or a bit right from the middle position.

Step 02- Threading the small tension disc

Next, you need to wind the thread to the small tension disc placed on the front top of your machine. Pull a thread from your thread spool and wrap it to the small tension disc from the upper side to the left side. Don’t do a full revolution of the tension disc.

 After the half rotation, you must move on to the bobbin with your thread. Fill the bobbin's upper hole with your thread, and place the bobbin to the bobbin wind shaft.

To make sure the bobbin is placed on its spot, you have to move it to a bit right until you hear a clicking sound. Then start the machine and hold on to the thread that’s connected to the bobbin and keep winding until the winder stops. Cut the extended thread and make sure the clutch is tightened.

Step 03- Threading the bobbin case

Next, you need to be threading the bobbin case. For that, you have to pull the extension table to the left. It protects the bobbin shuttle. It should be situated at the bottom left of your machine.

Threading the bobbin case

By rotating the wheel,you have to place the needle to the highest point. Then look closer and you should notice the latch on your bobbin case. Pulling the latch towards you releases the case from the shuttle.

Step 04- Filling the bobbin case with the threaded bobbin

Now it’s time to fill the bobbin case with the threaded bobbin. Remember to place the bobbin in a clockwise position so that the thread winds around it properly. This should work on an old Kenmore sewing machine too. Keep pushing the bobbin into the case until it’s placed properly and fills up the tension spring.

Filling the bobbin case with the threaded bobbin

Now push the bobbin case back to its place. Pull the latch like before and place the bobbin case. Make sure to lock the case perfectly. You will know it once you hear a click sound while placing the latch at the end.

Step 05- Threading the top thread

You have to raise the take-up lever a bit to thread the top thread. To do that, you have to rotate the clutch anti-clockwise a bit and notice the take-up lever reaches a higher position to place the thread.

Threading the top thread

Then place the spool of thread. The spool pins can be placed horizontal or vertical depending on the models. Place the spool thread in an anti-clockwise position so it can wind better and help the thread come off the spool smoothly.

Step 06- Drawing the thread through the rear thread guide

After placing the thread, spool comes off the rear thread guide. It’s basically placed on the left corner of the machine heading backward. Then you take the thread, wrap it around the left side of the guide, and draw it down toward the front side of the machine. Remember to hold the thread spool while doing that. It will help keep the thread together and resist it from losing.

Now it’s time to wind the thread down to the path and back up again to the top of the machine. There should be paths marked with arrow signs to make it easier to wind the thread. Draw the thread following the arrow signs and hook it into the latch at the bottom of the path. Then back the thread up again to the top as the path says.

Step 07- Threading the tension discs

There will be a knob and tension discs at the bottom of the path. The thread needs to be wrapped around the bottom of this knob. And then you have to put the thread in the middle of those tension discs. Then again, the knob and the tension discs may vary on different models. The mentioned method works fine on Kenmore 158 and Kenmore 385 models.

Threading the tension discs

Step 08- Threading the tension spring

Then you need to thread the tension spring which is located at the top of one of your arrow sign paths. You have probably noticed it before. Now draw the thread from down and pull it into the spring. Then pull the thread down the machine again following another path. While in the process, make sure that the thread hooks into the take-up lever.

Threading the tension spring

There will be two lower-thread guides. First, you have to link the thread into the first lower thread guide that’s located at the bottom of the path. And then link it into the second lower thread guide which should be located just above the needle. Now you can thread the needle from the left side to the right side.

Step 09: Pick up the bobbin thread

To pick up the bobbin thread, first, you need to rotate the wheel toward you. Then set loose of the end of your top thread using your left hand. And with your right hand, turn the hand-wheel toward your or clockwise. Make sure you complete a full rotation of the wheel during the process.

Next, you have to bring up the bobbin thread. While doing that, you might notice a loop coming from the lower point of the needle plate. Then carefully pull on your upper end of the thread to align the loop and pull the bobbin thread out of the shuttle.

Pick up the bobbin thread

Then tug both ends of the threads under the presser foot. Place the thread ends as they are beneath the presser foot and heading -towards the back of the machine. Remember to keep 4-5 inches of tails for both ends of the threads.


We know following through with the article could be a bit difficult. But once you get a hold of it, you will never have to come back to it again.

Think of each of the components we mention here in this article and the functions you have to do with them. If you can follow through like this, the whole process will be a breeze.


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