What is a Bobbin in Sewing? Definition, Tips, & Examples

In this guide, we’ll be diving into Bobbin in sewing:

  • What is a Bobbin (Definition)?
  • What is a Bobbin Used For?
  • When Do You Need to Use a Bobbin in Sewing
  • How Do You Put Thread on a Bobbin?
  • How Do You Know What Size Bobbin to Buy?
  • Difference Between a Bobbin vs. Spool
  • Final Remarks

Let’s dive in.

What is a Bobbin in Sewing?

bobbin is an essentially small metal or plastic wheel and circular shape component at which the thread is spun around enabling it to work on the sewing machine.

Moreover, a small cylinder is mainly attached to the bobbin’s thin wheels and this is where the thread is wrapped around.

The bobbin is an important part of the sewing machine which is mainly a small wood or plastic, or metal wheel comprised of reel design that holds the thread.

It has a designated space on the cylinder where the thread is spun around perfectly.

Then thread from the bobbin passes through the plate and connects with the top thread forming a tough stitch while using the sewing machine.

It is paced at the lower side of the sewing machine, and the machine makes a stitch by catching the bottom thread, from the bobbin, with the top thread, from the needle.

Common examples of bobbins are spools and cylinders holding yarn, wire, or string. Even in weavers and knitters’ bobbins are used.  

It is suggested to have more than one bobbin and choose the right kind of bobbin for your sewing machine according to the model.

Just be aware not to leave the tail of your thread sticking up as it can disrupt the connection of the top thread with your bobbin.

Never try to overfill or bulge plastic bobbins i.e., wind the thread in an even manner (requires little practice).

Also, avoid loose threads on the bobbin, it should be done properly and spun in the right direction for accurate sewing.


What is a Bobbin Used For?

The primary point of using bobbin is used for sewing thread.

Hence in a sewing machine, the bobbin plays the main role, a bobbin is used alongside another piece of thread to correctly sew anything pushed through the machine.

So essentially, the thread on the bobbin is responsible to make the bottom of your sewing machine stitches.

Whereas the thread in the top spool tends to create the top of your sewing machine stitches.

Bobbin’s usage is to feed the thread through the machine, offering a series of stitches that are secured.


When Do You Need to Use a Bobbin in Sewing?

The main necessity of a bobbin in sewing is spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, or lacemaking, bobbin is needed as it offers temporary or permanent storage for yarn or thread.

The bobbin is needed to sew in the machine because the machine will require two spools to operate properly.

So, the bobbin is needed to add the bobbin thread in addition to your needle thread.

Need to Use a Bobbin

How Do You Put Thread on a Bobbin?

1. you need to simply place a spool of thread on the spool pin.

2. then just Slide the spool pin holder/cap firmly over the rim of the spool to prevent the thread from tangling.

3. then just Push the bobbin winder pin to the far left if it is not already there.

4. the need is to Pass the thread from the spool through the thread guide 

5. then Pass thread end, from inside, through the small hole in the rim of the bobbin

6. just Place bobbin onto the pin.

7. so push the bobbin winder pin to the right. As this will stop the needle from moving.

8. you can just hold the thread end, step on the speed controller to run the machine until the desired amount of thread is wound. (Winding stops automatically once bobbin is full.)

9. simply cut thread; push bobbin to the left and remove it from bobbin winder pin

10. lastly, trim thread ends from the top of the bobbin.

Follow the video for the practical procedure.

How Do You Know What Size Bobbin to Buy?

The easiest way to identify the size of a bobbin is to consider its thickness.

You must take account of the type and the class of your machine and then you can try out each bobbin.

It’s suggested to only bobbins that are specific to the same class/style as those that come with your machine.

You must avoid any new kind of bobbin substitute. 

Difference Between a Bobbin vs. Spool

Bobbin: in a sewing machine, it is a wheel-like component that mainly holds the lower thread.

Therefore, a stitch is created by looping the bobbin thread and the needle thread together.

Spool: The spool is what holds your thread spool, it can be vertical or horizontal.

A spool holder/cap is a little stopper that secures the spool in place. Without the holder, the thread spool would be shaken while sewing.

A spool usually holds a thread at some point on the top or side of a machine.

Bobbin Vs Spool

Final remarks:

The bobbin is a part of the machine that plays a role in the primary work of your machine sewing without it machines are not workable.

Hence, technically you are unable to sew without in your machine as it is the provider of stitches on your fabric.

Check out 12 Best Sewing Machines for Beginners

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