In a recent post I talked about the best type of bobbin arrangement for machine embroidery. Today, I’d like to talk about the bobbins themselves.
Getting Wound Up
The thing about bobbins is that they must be correctly wound. A bobbin that is not correctly wound will cause you no end of problems.
So how can you tell whether it’s wound correctly?
First of all you will have read your sewing machine instruction manual to make sure that you’ve threaded it right for bobbin winding. You must wind enough thread onto the bobbin; too little and the wind will be too loose causing slippage on the reel and a poor stitch construction, too much and the bobbin will not run freely in the case causing tension problems.
So how do you know its wound properly? The depth of the thread should be even from the top to the bottom of the bobbin and not bunched up at either extremity. There should be no ends or loops of threads poking out and it should look completely smooth. If that’s the way yours looks, you’re doing it right.
But if it looks like the one below, there is something wrong.
If your bobbin doesn’t look quite right, don’t just tell yourself ‘It’ll be OK’, because it won’t. You’ll suffer thread breakages, you’ll risk a bird’s nest of threads under your needle plate and it will all be a pain and may put you off before you’ve even got started. It really is worth getting this bit right.
The other really important thing is, and this causes a myriad of problems, is bobbin threading. Now in most drop-in bobbin machines, the threading is similar, it’s easy to do and there are even a few little arrows to help you. Some even cut the thread off for you and automatically bring it to the top of the needle bed when you start sewing. But you must make sure that the bobbin is in the right way round or there will be no tension on the bobbin thread. This may cause poor stitch construction and thread or even needle breakage. Take time to check.
The same is true of vertically mounted bobbins, they must be properly threaded. There are no arrows to help you here but it will all be in your instruction manual. Please take time to check.
On a final note, if you have one of the bobbin cases that has a separate little lug specifically for free-machine embroidery, please use it, despite its small and insignificant appearance, it will make a huge difference to your bobbin tension.
This post is an excerpt from my craft eBook ‘How to Get Started in Free Machine Embroidery’ If your interested in getting a copy, here’s the link: