There are two main types of bobbins, including the top-loading kind and the front-loading kind. The top-loading kind is the most popular type, but they are both much easier to load than you might think. In fact, you can easily learn to load a bobbin in no time because it is such a simple skill.
The bobbin is a small round device that has to be threaded and is placed in the bottom of the sewing machine afterward to help you sew correctly, but first it has to be loaded separately so it can be filled with the thread you need. Fortunately, most sewing machines make it super easy even if you’re a beginner.
How Do You Load a Bobbin?
Bobbins are tiny wheels usually made out of metal or plastic, and they sit underneath the needle plate of a sewing machine. The thread runs off of the bobbin, and it gets picked up by the thread from the needle, then the bottom part of a seam is formed. Bobbins are usually inexpensive to buy, which is good because you’ll need a lot of them – one for each color thread, in fact. You can even load them ahead of time and keep them on hand for when you need them.
Thanks to the bobbin, your sewing machine can form a seam using two threads, which naturally makes that seam not only stronger but also smoother and neater-looking. In fact, because of the bobbin, even the most experienced and professional hand-sewer cannot make a seam like a sewing machine can, demonstrating why they are so important.
If you have a top-loading bobbin, the main thing you have to remember when learning to load a bobbin is to make sure the thread is wound in the right direction, which is not difficult to do. If you put the bobbin in upside down, the thread will wind right off of the wheel. Front-loading bobbins are sometimes less complicated to load, but both types are easy once you do it a few times. In fact, it doesn’t take long at all to learn how to prepare the bobbin for its main duty: getting your sewing machine ready to sew!
If you’re curious about the steps involved in loading a bobbin and getting it ready to sew, just follow the steps mentioned below. Keep in mind that with some machines, some of these instructions can vary a bit, but these are the general instructions that you can follow with most sewing machines and most bobbins.
1. First Thing’s First
To start winding the bobbin, use the hand crank on the side of the sewing machine to raise the needle until it is as high as it can go. Turn the hand crank toward you to do this, and once the needle gets as high as it can go, you can stop turning the crank.
If you are familiar with sewing machines, you know that if you keep turning the crank, the needle will start to go down again eventually, so make sure you stop turning the crank as soon as the needle gets to the highest position without letting the needle go back down again.
2. Get the Bobbin Ready to Go
The next step in the process is to push the release button to the right of the bobbin cover plate so that the plate can be easily removed. You’ll be surprised how easy this step is because once you push the button, the bobbin cover will automatically pop up and leave you with enough room to remove the cover quickly and easily. The cover has to be removed so that you can place the bobbin in there and make sure it is in there correctly.
3. Insert the Bobbin
Insert the bobbin into the bobbin case, and despite what was mentioned earlier about the bobbin being placed in there incorrectly, it is really very simple to determine which way the bobbin needs to go. The main thing you need to remember is that when you pull the thread, the bobbin has to rotate counterclockwise.
The reason this is so important to remember is that if the bobbin is rotating clockwise, it can become unthreaded and cause a host of sewing problems. Fortunately, it usually “feels” wrong when you’ve put the bobbin in there incorrectly, so putting it in there the right way is not that difficult.
4. Pull the Thread Through the Bobbin
On the top of the bobbin, you’ll notice something that looks like a slit. It’s easy to notice, and when you see it, pull the thread through that slit so that it comes out of the bobbin. At that point, you’ll want to pull it until you have a few inches of it loose, then give it a slight tug to the left.
When you start to pull the thread through the slit, it feels like it’s a little hesitant at first, but you’ll know when you’ve done it correctly because there will be no hesitation and the thread will just slide out easily.
5. The Next Step
This step starts with holding your finger gently on top of the bobbin, then you have to pull the thread to the left about an inch away, at which point it will stop. (Each machine is a little different, but you’ll better understand this step once you see your own bobbin holder on your own sewing machine.)
After you get the thread to this position, go ahead and pull out about 6 inches (15 cm) of thread, then lead it toward the back of the machine under the presser foot. This is yet another very important step because if it is not done correctly, the thread in the bobbin will slip out of position.
6. Close the Bobbin Cover
At this point, the bobbin is ready to be threaded, which you’ll do by pressing on the foot pedal until the bobbin is completely loaded. Learning to load a bobbin really doesn’t take much time because once the bobbin is in position correctly, your foot pedal will do the rest.