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You Can Use Any Thread In a bobbin

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.


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

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.

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.

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 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.

Amount of thread needed to make a quilt (chart)

The quilting fabric chart below represents the average amount of thread needed to make a good quality quilt.

Quilt Size Light Quilting Heavy Quilting
Twin Size 400 yds. 1,200 yds.
Queen Size 600 yds. 1,600 yds.
King Size 750 yds. 2,000 yds.

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.

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.

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.

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