Tips & Techniques – Bobbins

Bobbins, and Bobbin fill, is quite possibly the most important thing to get right in your machine embroidery. Use the wrong bobbin, or the wrong bobbin fill, and your embroidery is going to clump up on the bottom, or show through on the top. I always suggest checking with the manufacturer of your machine for their suggestion on which bobbin fill will work best for your machine, and from there, you can begin experimenting.

I have had great success with pre-wound bobbins in most of my machines, however I use a different brand for the top loading machine, to the bobbin I use in the 10 needle bottom loading machine. Pre-wound bobbins come in different sizes, as well as different types of sides (plastic, paper, or side less). I recommend purchasing a small number of bobbins to begin with, to ensure they work in your machine, and once you have the best bobbin for you – you can look at purchasing in bulk.

The other option is to fill your own bobbins, and here are some suggestions for filling bobbins.

  1. Once you find a bobbin fill that works, attempt to purchase a large spool (most manufacturers will have a 10,000m spool option)
  2. Fill multiple bobbins at once.  I keep a round bobbin doughnut around to store my bobbins, and if I am going to fill, I fill 10 or 20 at a time, there is nothing worse than stopping in the middle of an embroidery to wind a bobbin.
  3. Invest in a bobbin winder – you can get anything from the small sidewinder, to the larger models that long arm quilters use (I have a winder that came with my Brother PR1000).  Back in the earlier days of machines, I managed to blow out a motor in my first embroidery machine by winding bobbins (the technicians report).

I hope this assists you with your bobbin choices, and please feel free to ask me any questions.


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