Common Bobbin Blunders and How to Fix Them!

For something that is virtually unseen, bobbin thread plays an important part in the way your machine embroidery turns out. These tips will help you troubleshoot and fix two of the most common issues.

Fixing Bobbin Thread Looping/Nesting

Thread problems on the top side of your fabric may indicate an issue in the bottom section of your machine, the bobbin area. A couple of things can be in play.

If you have more than one kind of machine, make sure you are using the right bobbin. Two of the most popular bobbin types, L and Class 15, look almost identical. They're the same diameter but when you look at them from the side, you can see that one (the Class 15) is actually taller than the other (the L). Using the wrong size is going to cause problems with your thread and you're going to get a big mess.

Make sure you are using the right weight of bobbin thread, too. Sewing machines use a 50 wt. while embroidery machines typically use 60 wt. Read more about bobbin thread weights and types here.

Fixing Bobbin Tension Problems

Wonky bobbins can cause tension issues in sewing and embroidery. Too tight and bobbin thread will show on top. Too loose, and thread will loop on top.

Thankfully, pre-wound bobbins are easy to find and are actually more economical than winding your own. They are perfectly wound and there is far more thread on a pre-wound bobbin than one that you wind yourself. Read more about pre-wound bobbins here.

One thing that I found with pre-wound bobbins is that they are so full of thread that I sometimes don’t get it threaded properly in the bobbin case. See a tip for easier bobbin threading here.

If you go a long time without cleaning your bobbin area, lint can wedge your tension tighter and tighter. See how to clean your bobbin tension spring here.

As a last resort, you can adjust your bobbin tension yourself. It’s best to do this only when you have two bobbin cases. That way you have an original and a spare to experiment. Read more about adjusting your bobbin case tension here and watch Bonnie’s video here.

Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie

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  • Debbie Henry - June 16, 2024

    Happy it was helpful, Sharon. Not sure what Bonnie has up her sleeve, but thanks for the suggestion!

  • Sharon Brennan - June 11, 2024

    Your tips are always great and I hope you find many more to share with all of us. I was wondering if there is a chance to be able to find a large truck, such as the cars, animals that you create, etc.?

  • Debbie Henry - June 11, 2024

    Thanks for reading, Elizabeth!

  • Elizabeth Boyle - June 10, 2024

    Very helpful
    Thank You

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