Bobbin Thread Doesn’t Always Need to Match

It is not always necessary for the bobbin thread to match the top thread when sewing.

Using a matching top and bobbin thread can often create a more cohesive and polished look to the finished project.

One common situation in which I find it acceptable to use a different color or type of bobbin thread is when using a decorative or specialty stitch on the top thread.

The bobbin thread is not always visible on the finished project, so using a different color or type of thread can be a way to save time and thread without affecting the overall look of the project.

Using a clear or monofilament thread on the bobbin can create a more invisible seam on sheer or transparent fabrics, or using a metallic thread on the bobbin can add a subtle shimmer or sparkle to the finished project.

Whether the bobbin thread needs to match the top thread will depend on the specific sewing project and the desired outcome.

In some cases, using a matching top and bobbin thread can create a more cohesive and polished look, but in other cases, using a different color or type of bobbin thread can be a useful and effective technique.

How to choose the right thread for sewing

Thread is available in many weights and sizes. Matching thread thickness with fabric thickness and weight generally gives good results.

Typically, thick thread is stronger and more visible than fine thread, so determine how much seam stress your sewing project will be subjected to and choose thread thickness accordingly.

Bobbin thread does not need to be the same color

How to thread your sewing machine needle

  • Place a spool of sewing thread on your machine
  • Pull the thread out and wind it around your bobbin
  • Put the bobbin on your machine’s bobbin pin
  • Engage the bobbin winder by pressing the paddle
  • Cut and wrap the spool thread around the guide
  • Pull the thread down around the catch
  • Wrap the thread around the take up lever
  • Lastly, thread the needle and drop in your bobbin

Best overlock thread colors to use

For ease of use try to match the tone of a fabric but not necessarily when choosing overlock thread. Example: Use a medium green thread in an overlock stitch over a dark green fabric.

The benefit of this approach is that the slight contrast makes it easy to see where your overlock stitch threads lay.

Thread to use for Overlocker machines

For great results on your overlocker machine, use good quality, branded, lint free thread.

Overlocker thread comes on spools which are larger than traditional sewing machine spools, and they are designed to stand upright on the machine.

The reason you want a branded thread with the company name marked on the spool is because you’ll know the company stands behind the quality of their product.

Cone thread, use on your sewing machine

Cone thread as it’s most often referred to is just regular sewing thread on a larger spool.

You can use cone thread on your home sewing machine, though you will need to add an attachment to make it work properly.

Cones of thread are larger than regular spools of thread and may not fit on your standard spool holder.

Thread Colors are (almost) universal

Ordering thread of a specific color from a color card that fails to match your fabric can be frustrating. Thankfully, thread manufacturers pay attention to the fabric colors of competitors more now than ever.

As a result, most thread colors are universal between brands and, most often, what you see on a color card is exactly what you get.

Serger thread doesn’t need to match

Serger sewing thread doesn’t need to match every color in your fabric. You will most often get eye pleasing results when matching only one color.

You can also use a base color from the same range of colors that matches none of them exactly.

Tip: Focus on lighter colors when no match is available because stronger colors draw the eye to them.

How to spot good bobbin thread

Good bobbin thread is as strong as any sewing machine top thread. Go ahead and compare their tensile strength by seeing how easily they break.

Pull the bobbin thread tight and scratch it lightly to see if it frays. Good bobbin thread should not be any more breakable than standard high quality thread.

Engage your thread guide to keep thread in place

The thread guide on your home sewing machine is a small metal hook-shaped ring typically located on the upper needle assembly.

By running thread through the thread guide, it is kept in place during the sewing process. Engage the thread guide to keep the thread moving smoothly between the spool and needle and to avoid frustrating tangles.