Prewound Bobbins 101

Prewound bobbins are so convenient, but are worth it and are they for you?  The answers may surprise you. Here is what you need to know!

When I first started in machine embroidery, some 20-plus years ago, there were not many options when it came to prewound bobbins. My manufacturer did not recommend them at that time. Thankfully, products improve. I have recently started using prewounds and would never go back.

Prewound Bobbins are More Economical

Which is the better buy: To wind your bobbins from a 3000-yard cone of thread for $16.99 or purchasing a box of 144 prewound bobbins for $49.99? Believe it or not, yard for yard, prewound bobbins are half the price as winding your own in this case. Of course, you can find a variety of qualities and quantities at different prices.

Prewound Bobbins Hold More Thread

Factory-wound bobbins hold three times more thread than those that you wind yourself. That means that prewounds let you sew significantly longer before running out. Less bobbin changes mean less interruptions during embroidery and that is always a good thing!

Convenience is King

Besides cost savings, perhaps the biggest benefit to using prewound bobbins is that they are extremely convenient. You don’t have to take time to wind your own or stop part-way into a project to wind a bobbin.

Embroidery Quality is Better with Prewounds

I have found that my embroidery tension is better with prewounds than with bobbins I have wound myself. Better tension means better overall stitch quality. That is likely due to the high degree of precision that just isn’t possible when you wind your own.

A Tip for Using Prewounds

One thing that I found with prewound bobbins is that they are so full of thread that I sometimes don’t get the thread threaded properly in the bobbin case. When changing bobbins, I have had a time when the stitching tension was way off. I would rethread with no improvement.

When I removed the stitching plate and cover to the bobbin case, I could then thread the bobbin easier. This has only happened once or twice but allowed me to snap thread into the bobbin guide properly. I’ve also seen this problem on social media so if it happens to you, give this tip a try!

Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie

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  • Susie Wells - March 13, 2023

    I just started using pre-wound bobbins. I’m in Love!!

  • Bonnie Welsh - March 01, 2023

    Susie—I’ve used them for years and won’t go back. They’re so convenient and save me a lot of time, and they’re actually cheaper than winding my own.

  • Bonnie Welsh - March 01, 2023

    Jean—Yes, you need to make certain you have the correct size bobbin for your machine. =)

  • Bonnie Welsh - March 01, 2023

    Doreen—I would check with your dealer first. If you don’t have a dealer, I would do a simple Google search for the size bobbin your machine uses or ask any Viking dealer. Once you know the size bobbin you need, you can do a quick Google search for that size of pre-wounds.

  • Bonnie Welsh - March 01, 2023

    Teresa—Yes they do and I agree! =)

  • Bonnie Welsh - March 01, 2023

    Karen—The weight of the bobbin thread is normally around 90 wt. which is very fine thread so as not to add bulk to the back of the embroidery. Since it’s very thin, it’s a weak thread and not recommended to hold seams together under stress. Pre-wound bobbins are available for regular sewing with a heavier weight. Are you certain the pre-wounds you were given were meant for embroidery? If so, I wouldn’t recommend them for regular sewing.

  • Bonnie Welsh - March 01, 2023

    Jo and Vicky—You’re most welcome! =)

  • Bonnie Welsh - March 01, 2023

    Pat—If you’re having problems that you see on the back, more often than not, the problem is the top thread. The most common fix for bottom thread looping or thread throw up on the bobbin is to rethread as the top thread didn’t get properly “set” in the take up lever. Always use two hands when threading and make sure it “clicks” in that upper take up lever.

  • Bonnie Welsh - March 01, 2023

    Hertha—I reuse the empty bobbins for regular sewing or when I need a special color in the bobbin.

  • Hertha Sabol - March 01, 2023

    What do you do with all the empty bobbins then ?

  • Susie Wells - March 01, 2023

    I just started using pre wound bobbins. I love the fact that they have more thread on them. I will use them all the time now.

  • jean - March 01, 2023

    i have used pre
    wounds for a long time. i just ordered some and my machine is not liking this set so i will order some more and make sure they are for my machine

  • Doreen - March 01, 2023

    I have an Epic 2 and have trouble finding Pre wound bobbins. Do you know we’re I can get them

  • Teresa - March 01, 2023

    Love pre-wound bobbins, and now they come in colors too, which is very exciting!

  • Karen Franko - March 01, 2023

    I have some in tab, grey, black and white. I was unaware they were for embroidery when they were given to me. Can they be used for regular sewing in addition to their purpose which is embroidery?

  • Jo Williams - March 01, 2023

    Thanks for the tip.

  • Vicky Haynes - March 01, 2023

    Thank you. This was very informative.

  • Pat Rapp - March 01, 2023

    What causes the bobbin thread to loop on the back side of my project? Is it a pre wound bobbin or is it tension problem and how do I correct the problem. Thanks Pat

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