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.
Simple trick for testing thread quality
Hold a length of thread between your thumb and finger and press against the thread lightly with your thumbnail. Pull the thread gently and let your nail lightly “scratch” the thread. A high quality thread will remain tightly bound but a low quality thread will develop small, broken and loose fibers that point outwards.
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.
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 peddle
- Cut and wrap the spool thread around the guide
- Pull the thread down around the catch
- Wrap the thread around the takeup lever
- Lastly, thread the needle and drop in your bobbin
Extra strong thread use in sewing machines
Heavy threads are absolutely stunning to work with. Whether hand quilting stand-out stitches or machine quilting bold outlines the beautiful textural effects of thick strong thread is appealing. While it’s certainly important to consider thread strength requirements for structural purposes don’t forget the asthetic appeal of thick extra strength threads.
You can use any thread in a bobbin
Quality of thread makes a difference, however, any thread can be used to fill a bobbin. I highly recommend using only the best quality bobbin thread you have available but in a pinch you can use any thread in your sewing machine bobbin with good results.
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.
Zigzag vs straight stitch strength(s)
A straight sewing stitch is strong because it focuses all of the fabric tension along the same axis(same line) between two pieces. 100% of the thread in a straight stitch is directly holding both pieces together. A zigzag stitch makes the thread alternate in direction between each side, effectively increasing the amount of thread used but decreasing it’s strength. However, in terms of durability, the zigzag stich is more durable overall.
Top stitching with embroidery thread (possible)
Contrary to an old weaver’s myth, embroidery thread can be used for top stitching on a sewing machine. Several brands of embroidery threads are available for use on standard, simple home sewing machines. Polyester, cotton and rayon threads tend to be a bit stronger than regular embroidery thread but all can be used for top stitching with good results.
The best all-purpose sewing thread
Before the invention of polyester thread it was common for natural sewing thread to break frequently and inconveniently. Today, most sewing machine thread has a polyester core that prevents thread breakage by making it slightly stretchy. As a result the best all purpose thread has a polyester core or is entirely made of polyester.