Do all sewing machines have bobbins?

A sewing machine has tens of tiny parts that are combined to work and make machines perform their intended function. No doubt it is a headache that you have to deal with all these parts to sew clothes while protecting your clothes from getting pinched by the sewing machines moving parts.

The good thing is that most of these parts are hidden under the cover just like your sewing machine’s bobbin.

Do all sewing machines have bobbins

A bobbin is an essential part of sewing machines as it handles the thread and its processing under the covers. It provides threads from the bottom just like needles do from the upper side.

To make things easy, just know that a sewing machine without a bobbin is like having one chopstick, you cannot sew clothes without a bobbin just like you cannot eat with one chopstick.

People usually ask questions like: Do all sewing machines have bobbins? Do sewing machines come with bobbins? Can you use a sewing machine without a bobbin? Well, this article will bring you all the related information about the bobbins and their necessity for sewing machines.

Do sewing machines come with a bobbin?

Sewing machines do come with bobbins and the box will contain about 3-5 bobbins at the time of buying.

Most companies include bobbins because sewing machines need them to work and this is a great thing to assist you as a beginner. However, these are not enough to go in the long run as you will have to buy a few more wherever you visit your nearby sewing machine store.

Can I sew without a bobbin?

No, you cannot sew anything with a bobbin unless you are using a chain stitch machine. Whether you need a single stitch or want to secure a zipper in one place, you will only be able to do that if your sewing machine has a bobbin which is passing thread to the clothes from the bottom.

Always look into the sewing machine manual for the right type, materials, and suitable brand of the bobbin for your specific sewing machine.

Are sewing machines’ bobbins size standard?

Bobbins come in different types (empty or pre-wound), different materials such as metal or plastic, and in different sizes. As long as bobbin size is concerned, there is no standard bobbin size for all machines but one machine only uses a specific size bobbin, and the wrong bobbin size cannot be equipped.

It is always recommended to have a word with any experienced user or look at your machine manual to decide which size, type, material, and brand of the bobbin is best suitable for your sewing machine.

How do I find bobbins on my sewing machine?

Bobbins are situated right under the needle in the hole. You can find it simply by the process which is as follows:

  1. Open the part under the needle which could be covered by a lid, cover, or an arm.
  2. You will see a metal casing with a small arm.
  3. Pull that small arm towards you.
  4. The bobbin along with its casing will come out of the machine.

If you are only looking at the bobbins on a sewing machine to know their type and size, you can check this from the sewing machine manual as well. This will be mentioned in proper detail in the bobbin section.

Why do we need a bobbin to sew on a machine?

A bobbin, using the two threads coming from two sources, locks and secures the stitch done by the thread coming from the needle. It is an essential part of a sewing machine on which the lower threads are wound.

A stitch is done by interlocking the two threads, the upper one coming from the needle while the bottom one comes from the bobbin.

How do I know which bobbin to buy for my sewing machine?

The easy way is to go for a bobbin size and material that came with the sewing machine at the time of buying. It means that if your sewing machines come with metal bobbins, it is better to always buy metal ones as they will give the best performance.

For size, you have to go with the same size as the bobbin that came with a sewing machine which will be mentioned in the sewing machine manual.

What are the different types of sewing machine bobbins?

Although there are many bobbin styles and types of sewing machines available in the market, three types are considered major and are commonly used while covering almost all kinds of sewing machines. The major types include Class 15, L-style, and M-style.

L-styleA-Style/Class 15M-style
0.8” height0.8” height0.98” height
0.35” wide0.46” wide0.42” wide
0.835” diameter0.835” diameter0.955” diameter
L-Style is most commonly used as a bobbin as more than 40%sewing machines use L-Style bobbin.A-Style or Class A has the same shape as of L-Style but as it is wide, it can hold a lot more thread as compared to the L-Style bobbin.M-Style is the least commonly used type of bobbin for sewing machines as it is large and can only be used for large sewing machines.
L-Style bobbins can be used in place of A-Style or Class-15 sewing machines as well.Some users add adaptors or extra cardboard on either side of the A-Style bobbin to use it in place of the L-Style.It can hold thread almost twice as compared to an L-Style bobbin.
L-Style is widely used in some longarm and commercial embroidery machines as well.An A-Style bobbin is usually used for small commercial, home sewing, and embroidery machinesThe M-Style bobbin is specially manufactured to be used for longarm and industrial sewing machines of large sizes.

All machines are designed in a way that they can only use a single type of bobbin. However, some sewing machines have unique bobbin hooks which require other types of bobbin commonly known as “Unique Bobbin Styles”.

Can I use a plastic bobbin instead of a metal one?

There are no major issues and you can use a plastic bobbin instead of a metal one but it is better to put a bobbin that is specifically designed for your type of sewing machine.

Sewing machines come with a set tension and speed which means that if you replace metal (heavy in weight) with a plastic bobbin (light in weight), the tension will be changed and you may face some minor errors.

In a nutshell, you can use bobbins of varying materials but sticking to the original material will bring the best results and performance of the sewing machine.

Top drop-in loading and front-loading bobbin, which one is better?

Top drop-in loading bobbins should be your only choice (especially if you are a beginner) because working with this kind of bobbins is more than easy. You don’t have to open the machine and different casings in order to take the bobbin out, wound the thread, and load it again on the sewing machine.

Apart from this, the casing of the drop-in loading bobbin is transparent which means that you don’t have to check every so often. You can see how much thread is left on the bobbin. So, if you want to keep up pace with the advancing world, you should go for a top drop-in bobbin.

Can I use a rusty bobbin for winding a thread?

You may use a rusty bobbin for winding a thread but it is not a good option because you can face errors while sewing clothes. Rusty bobbin can pinch clothes during stitching which makes a mess and wastes a lot of your time. Rusty bobbin can also damage the machine if it starts breaking down while the machine is running.


Are spools and bobbins the same?

No, they are not the same. A spool is a part from where threads come from the upper side towards the needle while the bobbin is the part of the sewing machine that passes the thread from the bottom to lock the stitch under the needle.

How many bobbins do I need?

When you buy a sewing machine, it will have somewhere between 3 to 5 bobbins in the accessory box, however, these are not enough for the whole lifetime. You would have to buy some every so often because they can wear out or most probably you may lose them while you are not working.

Can I wind a bobbin too tight?

You can wind a bobbin tight but not too tight. There should be tension that can keep the thread in place and evenly distributed but if you wound the thread too tight, it may stretch your thread which can lead to errors in stitching.

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