How to Load a Bobbin in a Sewing Machine

Perhaps you always end up with a tangled fabric every time you sew on a machine. A displaced bobbin might be to blame. When not loaded accurately, sewing would not be any fun. The bobbin is a little spool that feeds the thread to form perfect stitches. So, its definition alone gives you a hint on how vital its placement is in your sewing machine.

Bobbin comes in unique types and patterns. It is considered the soul of any sewing machine, and thus, one should hold extra care. You have to fill yourself with the right knowledge on how to work with it. So, in this article, I am going to explain how to load a bobbin the proper way.

How to Load a Bobbin in a Sewing Machine?

Before anything else, you need a wound bobbin to put into. Loading setups differ depending on the type of bobbin cases. So, there is a front/side loading and top/drop-in loading. And I will cover each below detail by detail. Remember that bobbin is not multipurpose. You can’t simply put one from another. Be sure it is made exclusively for your machine. Besides, you can refer to the instructional manual provided by your manufacturer for detailed information.

Types of Sewing Machine Bobbin

Before delving into, get yourself to become familiar with the basics of the bobbin. As have indicated above, the primary function of bobbins is to supply thread while sewing. It typically comes in an elliptical or circular-shaped object.

1. Bobbin Types

There are more than sixty different styles available. But out of them, A Style, L Style, and M Style are the most popular among home sewing machines.

Both the A Style (15 Class) and L Style have a size similar to an American nickel. However, the former comes in metal and plastic while the latter is available in plastic and aluminum. The A-Style boasts a simple and straightforward design. Its bottom and top are entirely even. The same goes for the L Style, though it is a nearly universal alternative.

Lastly, the M Style bobbin is gigantic. This style is commonly used in some sewing machines, like Babylock. Generally applicable for industrial sewing machines. Its size allows more thread to hold and supply compared to corresponding items. There’s also a 66 Class bobbin. Those who own a Singer machine are undoubtedly familiar with this type. Hence, making it a go-to option for top-loaded models.

2. Bobbin Sizes

The sizes of a bobbin significantly differ. Well, there can be several factors that determine it. Though generally, it should match the style and type of a sewing machine. That’s why you need to know the exact class of your device before buying a bobbin.

To tell the size of a bobbin, check its thickness. Some are easier to detect due to their thinner appearance. L class bobbins, for instance, have a length of around 3/4 inches. Color grading is another method on how to spot bobbin size. You can use nail polish and place a tiny dot. Moreover, you can use different colors as you prefer.

How to Insert a Front Load Bobbin

Also called sideloading, front load bobbin cases sit upright in the machine. You can find it at the rear of the accessory compartment. However, some models allow you to get access to it through a small door at the machine’s front. It was first introduced after the drop-in bobbins, yet still deemed a must-have machine component for many sewing enthusiasts.

Step 1: Switch off the power. After that, lift the needle in its top position. You can do this by moving the handwheel toward you.

Step 2: Open the cover underneath the needle plate. Now that you have the bobbin case inside raise the lever and take off from the machine.

Step 3: Leave around three to four inches of the thread tail. Put the bobbin back in its case.

Step 4: Slip it on the hook pin while holding the bobbin case’s lever. Release the lever and press steadily in position. Here, you should depend on the user’s manual to determine what side of the case needs to face upward.

Step 5: Close the bobbin case and get to sewing! You will usually hear a ‘click’ sound. It is important to always close the case every after loading the bobbin. It ensures no external damages won’t endanger your sewing project.

If you see the bobbin swirls clockwise whenever you pull the thread on, then congratulations you’ve outdone yourself. One good thing about front-loading bobbin is the ability to modify the thread tension easily.

Touch the tiny screw if you need to change the tension. You can find it on the outside of the bobbin case. Just an important note, though. Never touch the screw if you have no idea how to adjust the tension. What you are only doing is attracting further issues. It might give you a hard time before finding the right amount of tension to get those quality stitches.

How to Insert a Top Load(Drop-in) Bobbin

A top or drop-in bobbin is a newcomer than front load and is known as more beginner-friendly. It provides several benefits compared to front-load bobbins. It is much more painless to thread and offers a cleaner, better stitch quality. Furthermore, you no longer have to estimate how much thread is left in the bobbin. Thanks to the exact cover enclosed in the sewing machine.

The drop-in bobbin is mostly suitable for beginner sewers due to the less complexity. The case is elevated out of the top of the machine’s sewing surface. You can either drop back in or remove it to lie straight beneath the needle area. Browse through modern sewing machines, and you’ll discover most of them include a drop-in bobbin.

Step 1: Turn the main switch off. Lift the presser foot.

Step 2: Use the handwheel to raise the needle at its peak position. Take off the bobbin cover plate.

Step 3: Put it in the bobbin case along with the thread. You will need to check your manual to see where the thread should be going. For instance, it could be in a counterclockwise direction.

Step 4: Pull the thread through while leaving a tail that is about four to five inches.

Step 5: Now for the last step, interchange your bobbin cover plate.

Again, be sure to close the cover once done. And remember that these methods on how to load a bobbin in a sewing machine may not be specific. Mainly because of the wide availability of sewing machines. Although, they can help you crack down the information you need to insert the bobbin correctly. As I always recommend, consult with your user’s manual for a complete guide.

How Much Thread Does a Bobbin Hold?

There is no one specific, exact answer to this since certain things affect the amount of yard. These include the speed, tension settings, and size of the thread. Pre-wound bobbins promote accuracy, which is why it often contains more thread compared to ordinary ones. While for home alternatives, you can have up to sixty yards or even more as a standard thread.

Are Bobbins Included in the Sewing Machines?

Yes and no. Most manufacturers offer many different accessories for their products. And these accessories may or may not include bobbins. However, some provide bobbins as part of the whole package. So, you’re deemed lucky if the machine you intend to purchase already has a couple of bobbins inside. But in most cases, you can only have it as a promotional package. So, in case your machine has no bobbins included, you need to buy them separately.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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