So now you’ve got some thoughts on the sort of machine you’ll need for free-machine embroidery, let’s look at some specifics.
As far as I’m concerned, the most important thing to think about is bobbins. The sort of bobbin arrangement in your sewing machine can make all the difference between success and ‘could be better’.
Vertically-Loaded Bobbin Cases
The most important thing to consider when it comes to bobbins is the bobbin case.
Machines with vertically loaded bobbins have removable bobbin cases and, in my opinion, this is best for free-machine embroidery.
If you can get a machine with a vertically- mounted removable case, it will make your life so much easier when it comes to free-machine embroidery. It’s important to have adjustable bobbin tension as well. On a removable bobbin case, this is done by a single screw on the side of the case.
It’s very easy to adjust but never adjust it by more than a quarter of a turn at a time or you will end up over-tightening or losing the screw. With fixed, drop in bobbin cases, the bobbin case has to come out and there are two screws to adjust.
Fixed Drop-in Bobbin Cases
With fixed, drop in bobbin cases, the bobbin case has to come out and there are two screws to adjust.
I’ve tried this on several of my customers’ machines and found it quite a pain. So, if you have a choice, go for the vertically loaded bobbin option.
Types of Bobbin Spool
Different types of machine take different types of bobbin spool. Usually, the drop-in type takes plastic spools. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these although they are obviously not as strong as the metal ones. Recently several base model machines have come onto the market with plastic, drop in bobbin facility and these are adequate for starting off in free-machine embroidery. Ultimately, it is up to you to try several machines for their free-machine embroidery capabilities and buy the one that suits your needs the best.
My old Bernina uses metal bobbins. I like these for their durability and ease of winding, but that’s just personal choice.
Bobbins, of course, need to be wound correctly for any sort of sewing to be successful. See my next post for details!
This post gives you a flavor of my eBook ‘How to Get Started in Free-Machine Embroidery’. If you’d like to purchase the book in full, I’ve given you the link below!