Home Beth Said Sew Learn Three Ways to Test Your Bobbin!

Learn Three Ways to Test Your Bobbin!

by Beth Cooper

Okay friends, it’s time to talk about one of the most crucial elements of sewing – the bobbin. As any sewing aficionado knows, a poorly wound bobbin can lead to all sorts of frustrating issues, from skipped stitches to tangled threads. Let’s go over what to look for in a bobbin.

The Simple Test…

First things first, let’s talk about what a correctly wound bobbin looks like. A well-wound bobbin should have a smooth and even distribution of thread. There should be no loose threads or gaps between the layers of thread. The thread should also be wound tightly enough so that it doesn’t come loose when you tug on it, but not so tight that it distorts the shape of the bobbin.

These bobbins all look correctly wound! And if you need a cool way to store your bobbins, you can buy this organizer here.

If you see any bumps or irregularities in the thread, it’s a surefire sign that something went wrong during the winding process. And if the thread looks loose or unevenly distributed, it’s time to start over and wind a new bobbin. Most of the time if a bobbin is incorrectly wound, it’s going to look terrible. It may even feel “spongey.” Use your fingertip to push down on the thread, if it is bouncy or spongey-feeling, that’s bad. Real bad. Ha! Start over. If it feels nice and firm, chances are, it is correctly wound.

The Tug Test…

But what if the bobbin looks fine at first glance? Well, that’s where the “tug test” comes in. Hold onto the loose end of the thread and give it a gentle tug. If the thread comes loose easily or starts to unravel, it’s not wound tightly enough. On the other hand, if the thread doesn’t budge at all, it’s wound too tightly and you’ll need to loosen it up a bit.

Another point to make is that a bobbin is never completely full of thread. You don’t want it wound up to the very edge and so full it is about to overflow. Three-fourths of the way full is just about right.

The Final Test…

Now, some of you may be thinking, “But Beth what if I can’t tell if the bobbin is correctly wound just by looking at it or tugging on the thread?” Fear not, my darlings, for there is one final test you can perform. Pop that baby into your sewing machine and start stitching. If the thread feeds smoothly from the bobbin without any snags or tangles, you’ve got a winner. But if you start to notice any issues, it’s time to go back to the drawing board (or in this case, the winding board).

Consider buying pre-wound bobbins for your machine. They work great and are always wound correctly! You can find these here.

So there you have it, my definitive guide to telling if a sewing machine bobbin is correctly wound. Remember, a well-wound bobbin is the foundation of any successful sewing project, so don’t skimp on this crucial step. And if all else fails, just remember the golden rule of sewing – when in doubt, re-wind that bobbin!

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6 months ago

Hey Beth. Love watching old sewing with Nancy shows. Though haven’t sewn until recently . I had an old singer green machine from a thrift store and recently upgraded to a non computer one. .like you were, I’m really challenged. Slowly working it., very slowly. . Have a great day

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