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Engage your thread guide to keep thread in place

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.


Explore the Top Rated Sewing Machine Needles for ideas and suggestions.

How to thread your sewing machine needle

  1. Place a spool of sewing thread on your machine
  2. Pull the thread out and wind it around your bobbin
  3. Put the bobbin on your machine’s bobbin pin
  4. Engage the bobbin winder by pressing the peddle
  5. Cut and wrap the spool thread around the guide
  6. Pull the thread down around the catch
  7. Wrap the thread around the takeup lever
  8. Lastly, thread the needle and drop in your bobbin

Spotting a good quality sewing thread

Sewing machines require good quality sewing thread to work optimally. You can spot good quality thread by giving it a good pull and by lightly scratching at it with a fingernail. If the thread breaks or frays you may want to use a higher quality thread with your sewing machine to avoid frustrating thread breaks.

When to use cone thread

The term ‘cone thread’ simply means a larger spool holding more thread than your average spool of thread. It’s called cone thread because of the shape of the spool which is cone-shaped (wider on one end). The two main benefits of cone thread are a) the ease with which the thread comes off the narrow end of the cone and b) how much additional thread it contains for larger sewing projects.

Most sewing machines need upper and lower thread

Most sewing machines need upper and lower thread to form stitches. The lower thread is located in the bobbin below the presser foot and serves to lock individual stitches. Some machines, however, have been designed to work without a lower thread but these machines are considered difficult to use in comparison.

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 it’s likely you will first 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.

Bobbin thread does not need to be the same color

When your top thread tension is properly set on your sewing machine the bobbin thread will not be visible in the finished product. For that reason your bobbin thread does not need to be the same color as your top thread. To be safe avoid using high contrast color combinations, however, typically any bobbin thread color will work.

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.

The best starter sewing thread (most commonly used)

In speaking with other seamsters I find that 50 weight polyester cotton blend thread is the most commonly used thread, for most project types. It is suitable for use with a wide range of fabrics, including stretch. With experience preferences change but for starting out you can’t go wrong with a good polyester cotton blend thread.

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.

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