- a cylinder or spindle around which yarn or thread is wound
The term bobbin is used for a key component of a sewing machine – the small cylinder with two flat ends that holds your thread inside the machine. A similar part exists on a spinning wheel, and it holds the yarn as the spinner spins it. In either case, the purpose is the same: winding and holding or storing yarn or thread for later use.
Depending on the make and age of your machine, the bobbin style will vary. A perfect example is the image above. These bobbins are all from different machines that I have personally owned. You can see that they range from solid metal sides, to clear plastic. Pre-wound paperless paper bobbins are also available for different machines. These are most commonly used in embroidery. No matter what type of machine you own, it is important to only use the bobbins provided with your machine as they are not universal. Using the wrong bobbin for your machine can cause tension issues, nesting, thread bunching, skipped stitches and more.
- Size: About the size of a nickel.
- What it does: Loads into a standard sewing machine to connect with the upper thread. These two threads join and lock together to form a seam.
- Quick Tip: A miss wound bobbin is the cause of many tension problems. When in doubt, take it out and rewind!
- Where to buy: Grab extra bobbins for your machine at your local quilt shop or here on line.
Click photos to learn more about just how important the bobbin is in your everyday sewing.
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