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A Guide to Bobbins

sewing machines accessories

Every sewing machine has bobbins. Whether electronic or mechanical, advanced or beginner, compact or industrial, your sewing machine needs a bobbin to function correctly. If you're a beginner and you're unsure as to what a bobbin is and how to check it in your machine, then you're in the right place!

The workings of your machine don't have to remain a mystery! Here is a guide to bobbins, including everything you could need to know at the beginning of your sewing journey.


What Is A Bobbin?

A sewing machine bobbin is a spindle or cylinder that thread is wrapped around. It keeps your machine organised, and holds the thread that will be fed through the bottom of your fabric while you work. The bobbin could easily be called the heart of your sewing machine because it is impossible to sew without it. Different sewing machines require different bobbins, and your manual will cover which is suitable for your model.


Where Is The Bobbin?

Your bobbin will fit in a little compartment called the bobbin case, located at the bottom of your machine. This case can be closed to keep your bobbin protected and uninterrupted, while the thread is fed through a slight opening out the compartment. Naturally, the bobbin has to be relatively close to your machine's needle to minimise the amount of space where your thread could become tangled and difficult to use. 


Where Do I Buy Bobbins?

Bobbins are available at just about any sewing supply store! You can also look to purchase your bobbins online since there is a massive variety of sizes and shapes available right at your fingertips. As previously mentioned, only one type of bobbin will work for your sewing machine - whether you work with thick thread on mechanical machines or delicate cotton with embroidery machines. You must make sure that you're buying the right bobbin for your machine, and the right type will be written in your manual.


How Many Bobbins Do I Need?

The short answer is that you can never have too many. Most sewists have around twenty or thirty bobbins per machine, and they'll use a new bobbin with every type of thread they introduce. Keeping multiple bobbins allows you to have various colours and materials of thread on the go at any one time and minimise the amount of time you have to spend swapping material out. A pack of bobbins tends to come with three to five included, and we recommend that you start yourself off with at least fifteen.


Plastic or Metal Bobbins?

Your machine will specify whether it is built for plastic bobbins or metal bobbins, and you must not challenge your manual. Though you can find plastic and metal bobbins that are of the same size, your machine's tension will not be correct if it is built for a light, plastic bobbin while you're trying to use a heavier metal alternative. The thread and cotton you decide to use will be wasted and ineffective if you don't buy the correct bobbin type!


Any Further Bobbin Advice?

Always start with an empty bobbin to work your thread around. You want a clean wrap so that your thread is in the best condition possible, and entirely even so that your machine can work without interruption. Once you've worked through an entire bobbin, clean the case before you replace your thread! A clean machine is a happy and healthy machine, and you'll save yourself from costly repairs down the line. For larger projects, wind two bobbins full of your thread so you're prepared to replace your empty bobbin straight away, and without interrupting the flow of your work.


If you want further guidance when choosing suitable bobbins for your machine, contact us at Singer Outlet.


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