Does the Bobbin Thread Go Through the Needle

Most basic sewing machines use two threads to form stitches. One thread is from the spool, which is on top of the sewing machine. The other thread is from the bobbin, located at the bottom of the machine.

For most beginners distinguishing and threading the two threads can be daunting. It is mostly the case if the sewing machine they are using is pre-owned and does not have a manual. It also happens if they do not understand the instructions in the manual.

Besides, one of the common questions asked is if the bobbin thread also goes through the needle. This article will address this question.

Does the Bobbin Thread Go Through the Needle?

No, the bobbin thread does not go through the needle. Most sewing machines use two threads to form stitches. One thread is the top thread coming from the spool.

Moreover, the other is the bobbin thread. The top thread is the one that goes through the needle and not the bobbin thread. The bobbin thread comes from the bottom of the sewing machine and comes up through the needle plate instead.

What Does the Bobbin Thread Do?

Sewing machines have a small metal, wood, or plastic that holds the thread. That is what we call a bobbin. It has a cylinder-like shape, and the thread goes around it. We can then attach the bobbin to thin wheels on either end.

The thread wound around the bobbin is what is called bobbin thread. Others might refer to bobbin thread as lower thread. Outside the sewing machine, the bobbin pretty much plays the role of any spool.

The bobbin is a very important piece of the sewing machine. The thread wound around it is one of two threads a sewing machine needs to operate. The bobbin thread is an integral part of the lockstitch style. It works together with the upper thread to form stitches. Without the bobbin thread, proper stitches may not form, and some machines will not sew.

But, a few sewing machines on the market do not use bobbin and bobbin thread. Also, their stitches are not as secure as the dual lockstitch made using bobbin thread.

Bobbin thread can be wound on the bobbin either by using a bobbin winder, sewing machine, or hand. You can use whichever way you find convenient.

How to Thread a Bobbin?

Different sewing machines will require different threading procedures. For instance, a full-sized sewing machine will require a different procedure from a mini sewing machine.

But here are the general basic steps in threading a bobbin.

Step 1: Have an Empty Bobbin and Spool of Thread

Start the threading with an empty bobbin and a spool of thread. You should not wind thread on a full bobbin. Place the spool on the sewing machine pin and hold it in place using the spool cap.

It is important always to check if the bobbin you wish to thread conforms to the machine’s dimensions. If the bobbin size is wrong or if it is using the wrong tension, problems will arise.

Step 2: Pass the Thread Into the Bobbin Winder

The second step involves placing the spool of thread on the machine’s thread pin found at the top. Then, pull the thread to the left of the sewing machine. Start to wind it counter-clockwise around the pre-tension disk.

Step 3: Secure the Thread

The third step is to secure the thread before you start winding the bobbin. To do this, pass the thread through a small hole on the bobbin. When passing the thread, start from inside, moving outside the hole.

You can further secure the thread by winding it several times around the bobbin center pillar. You can do this manually.

Step 4: Fix the Bobbin Onto the Bobbin Shaft

Placing the bobbin onto the bobbin shaft is the next step. The bobbin shaft is also known as the bobbin winder pin or bobbin winder spindle.

Push the bobbin winder to the right to stop the sewing machine needle from moving. You will hear a click on modern sewing machines after you place the bobbin and turn it clockwise.

Step 5: Secure the Bobbin

Upon placing the bobbin on the bobbin shaft, make sure you secure or lock it. Then pull the excess thread through the slit at the base of the bobbin.

The next thing to do here is trim the end of the thread. Make sure you leave a short thread tail to run through the eye of the needle.

Step 6: Wind the Bobbin

The next step is to start the winding process. Turn on the sewing machine and start pressing the foot pedal to begin the process. Press the foot pedal till the bobbin is full or until the desired amount of thread goes around.

To remove the bobbin, push it to the left and remove it from the bobbin winder.

Some machines have a fast winding function. If that is the situation, then you do not need a foot controller. All you have to do is start the machine and let it work.

Always make sure you keep a medium, even, and constant speed when winding the bobbin. You can even guide the thread using your finger or pen. It will ensure that the thread is not too tight, too loose, or inconsistent.

It is okay to stop and check the sewing machine tension if you find the bobbin winding badly. And you can discard the wound thread if you have to.

Step 7: Confirming That the Winding Process Is Correctly Done

An uneven, very tight, or loosely wound bobbin can cause problems as you sew. For instance, uneven bobbin thread may cause the bobbin not to fit in the bobbin case. That’s why it is vital to confirm if the winding process was correct. Not only does it prevent problems, but it helps not to delay your project progress.

Too much thread on the bobbin can also prevent it from fitting in its case. But, fixing this problem is easy. All you need to do is unspool the excess thread and trim it.

Step 8: Load the Wound Bobbin Into the Bobbin Case

After winding the bobbin and confirming you did it in the right way, load it in its case. The case is in the lower part of the sewing machine.

To load the bobbin in its case, first lift the needle and presser footer to their highest positions. Some machines use the handwheel to achieve this, while others have a button for this.

After this, remove the bobbin cover and place the bobbin in the round slot. A good number of machines have an arrow showing the direction the bobbin should face. Use the arrows as a guide when placing the bobbin on its slot.

Step 9: Draw Up the Bobbin Thread

After you load the case, pull the end of the bobbin thread through the sewing machine’s tension spring. Then, place the bobbin cover.

To pull the bobbin thread up, keep the presser foot and needle up. Then raise the top thread tail using your hand and hold it to the left side of the presser foot.

The next thing to do is turn the handwheel on the sewing machine towards you. Besides, make sure you make one full turn so that it lowers and raises the need.

Then pull the thread you are holding in your hand up. It will pull the lower thread up through the hole in the needle plate.

Hold the bobbin thread and pull it toward the back of the sewing machine. Make sure you have 4 or 5 inches of both threads.

Step 10: Consult Your Sewing Machine Manual if Unsure

Whenever you are unsure, consult the sewing machine manual. The manual will contain diagrams that show the proper way of threading your machine’s bobbin. The manual will also show how to draw up the bobbin thread on your sewing machine.

In addition, it will also show the model of the bobbin to use in case you want a replacement.

What Is the Meaning of a Bobbin Case on a Sewing Machine?

A bobbin case is a piece found inside the sewing machine. Fixed in the bottom arm of the sewing machine, this is where you place your wound bobbin.

Bobbin cases are either front-loading or top-loading.

To load the bobbin into its case, follow the arrows drawn, if any. You should complete the process correctly. Or else you will experience problems. When in doubt, consult the manual.

Can You Use Your Sewing Machine Without a Bobbin?

No, you cannot use a sewing machine without a bobbin. Sewing machines require a bobbin and will not work without one. The bobbin and the bobbin thread are an integral part of the sewing process.

There can be some modern sewing machines available in the market that do not need a bobbin. But, the lockstitch of these machines is not as secure as the machines that use bobbins.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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