10 Things You Need to Know About Sewing Machine Bobbins

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by Sara Snuggerud in Sewing Machines, Sewing Tips

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Sewing machine bobbin questions are a regular topic around a sewing machine store. Here are the most common questions and answers we help be with on a regular basis.

1. You always need MORE sewing machine bobbins.
How many bobbins do you really need? We took a survey at a recent Sewtopia Sewing Club and the average amount our club members said they had was between 20 – 30 sewing machine bobbins for each machine they owned. Yes, many of them own different brands of machines. Many of our customers SEW on Bernina sewing machines and EMBROIDER on a Husqvarna Viking machine. Wonder why so many of our customers are multi-sew-lingual? Come in and see for yourself!

2. Buy a pack of bobbins every time you visit your favorite sewing machine store.
Most sewing machines come with 3-5 bobbins when buy them. So many people say that is enough bobbins when they are just starting out, but then we see them back within a few days saying they need more. Keep buying sewing machine bobbins at each time you visit our store. You eventually will have enough.

3. You MUST use the bobbins that are made for your machin

Just because you like the color blue does not mean you can use these bobbins. These bobbins are made specific for a Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC sewing and embroidery machine.

4. Plastic bobbins can bulge if filled with too much tension or too tightly.
Filling a sewing machine bobbin too tightly can make a plastic bobbin bulge. This is hard to see the problem, but the bobbin ends up too tall for machine and will cause an awful mess in the bobbin area.

5. Plastic bobbins and metal bobbins of the same size can NOT be swapped.
Machines are set for a very precise tension setting. If they are set for a lighter plastic bobbin, the tension will change if a heavier metal bobbin is used.

6. Bernina Users – This is NOT your bobbin!
Bernina bobbins are milled and generic bobbins are stamped. The difference is night and day. If your machine takes a generic metal bobbin you CAN use a Bernina bobbin. It will be much smoother for your machine.

Sewing Mishaps Happen…
Ensure every project is a success with simple, creative ways to prevent slip ups and fix common errors with this online Craftsy class “Sewing Mistakes: What can go wrong and how to make it right”.

7. Bobbins must be inserted to spin the correct direction.
Many machines have a picture to remind you which way a bobbin should spin.

8. Do not leave this thread tail sticking up!
This tail will interfere with the forming and the connecting of the top thread with the bobbin thread with EVERY stitch made. Be sure to cut this tail off so nothing sticks up.

9. This is one of the WORST things for a sewing machine mechanic to find in a sewing machines’ accessory box.
What is wrong with this picture?

When a sewing machine mechanic opens your machine and seeing a variety of bobbin types mixed together and none of them are the correct bobbin for the machine, this is a guarantee way to make them cringe. This is a huge NO-NO! Just because bobbins came with the machine when you received it second hand, does not mean that last person was using a correct bobbin. Do you really have the right bobbin? Double check with your local sewing machine as to which bobbins are right for your machine.

10. Buy more bobbins.
Tired of winding more than one color on a bobbin? Refer back to #1…Buy more bobbins!

BONUS Bobbin Info…

Husqvarna Viking users – want to learn a cool trick about filling your bobbins? Watch this video!

Have a sewing machine bobbin question?
Post it in the questions below and we will answer it.

Want to learn more about sewing and quilting? Join us online at BluPrint for great classes you can take at your leisure including two from Sara Snuggerud.

  1. Jean C Blaisdell says:

    I have Babylock machine one is a Quest Plus, Quilter’s Dream Series,
    I have notice that if i buy the plastic pre wound bobbins that they don’t work they are a tad smaller in size. What is the correct way of winding a bobbin from the machine. Thank you for the 10 things to know about bobbins.. you never have enough..

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Jean, Your Babylock sewing machine probably has a diagram on the top of the machine for how to wind a bobbin. If you need assistance, please come in our store or visit your local Babylock store for help.

  2. Louise says:

    Great information for us who have all sort of bobbins. If you can’t use it lose it! Give to a church quilting group who may be able to use them.

    1. AKadlec says:

      Can I use the singer class 15 pre thread bobbins that they have at Walmart on my brother CE8080PRW sewing machine.
      Thanks in advance!

      1. Sara says:

        They should be the same. Compare the ones you purchase to the ones that came with your machine to be sure.

      2. Judy Ruch says:

        My Singer Simple 3221/3232 came with 3 bobbins. They work well but I need more bobbins. The 15j is guaranteed for this machine but is bigger and jams every time. It is 20.4 mm in diameter and 11.3 in height. The ones that came with the machine are 19.6 mm in diameter and 10.6mm in height. Where can I find these smaller bobbins?

        1. Sara says:

          Hi Judy,

          We recommend the standard class 15 plastic bobbins for the Singer Simple sewing machines. Here is a link:


          Sara Snuggerud

  3. Sue Ptacek says:

    I totally agree. i must have 30 bobbins for my one Bernina. Another trick is to wind a whole slew of bobbins at the same time. I usually wind 5 every time – so there are 5 white, 5 cream, 5 navy, 5 black and 5 red wound and ready to go. Makes like so much easier to just have to pop a new one in rather than to stop what you are doing and wind another!

  4. Judy walker says:

    I had bottom lip of a bobbin break off at end of winding, messed up a lot of thread for reuse. Why would it break? Age, defect? Hopefully not my threads.

    1. Sara says:

      Bobbins sometimes get weak or a crack in them over time. Though it does not happen often, we do see it. Sometimes it can be caused by the thread getting wound on the bobbin too tight or with extra tension then normal. There is no way of knowing until it happens.

  5. Terri Riddle says:

    Should you always use a metal bobbin in a metal bobbin case and a plastic bobbin in a drop in bobbin? Example: class 15 come in both metal and plastic. I had a customer with a metal class 15 in a drop in machine. I’ve had customers with a plastic class 15 bobbin in a metal bobbin case. Please tell me if there is a hard fast rule for metal vs plastic!!

    1. Sara says:

      The main difference is if the machine’s bobbin tension was set for a heavier metal bobbin or the lighter weight plastic bobbin. Traditionally you do find metal bobbins in the front load metal bobbin cases and plastic class 15 bobbins in the drop in bobbin machines. The bobbin tension would be slightly different when they are switched. Though the bobbin is the correct size for the machine (that is always half the battle) the weight of the bobbin can make a difference on the final look of the stitch. A slight adjustment in top tension can adjust for the difference.

  6. Jennifer Quigley says:

    I would like to try Bobbinwork. Would I need a special bobbin for my Sapphire 870 machine?

    Jennifer Quigley

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Jennifer, You will want to purchase the Husqvarna Viking speciality bobbin case from your local Husqvarna Viking dealer. Here is the link to the accessory:

      Thanks for asking. ~Sara~

  7. Metteke VandenBout says:

    When sewing with stretchy fabric is a stretch needle, mean you do not need to stretch the fabric and is the stitch to be a straight or zig zag stitch.

    1. Sara says:

      Yes, a fabric that stretches prefers a Stretch needle. Select a stretch stitch like a narrow zig zag when sewing a construction seam. A serger would be a better option in the future.

  8. Barbara says:

    I just bought an old White rotary machine, what bobbin can I use? I have the model number but still unable to find bobbins! Help!

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Barbara, We would recommend having your local sewing machine store confirm what size of bobbin fits your machine. Take in your machine and they will be able to match up the right bobbins based on the bobbin size.

  9. Heather says:

    Great article! Thanks for the tips. I recently purchased a bobbin winder machine thinking it might lessen wear and tear on my super cheap Singer machine. I am now wondering if it wouldn’t be better, tension wise, to just wind them on the machine anyway. The bobbin winder apparatus also seems pretty shabbily constructed. Do you think this would pose tension challenges in the winding process? Just trying to avoid headaches as I learn to sew ;). Many thanks!

    1. Judy Clough says:

      I really liked your bobbin article. I never knew it was so important to use the bobbbin for your machine!

  10. Anne-Marie says:

    Thank you! Great article. I am machine quilting at the mo and have not been able to get my normal tight bottom stitch no matter what adjustments I make . Couldn’t work it out.. it is the bobbin. I use a vintage Kenmore and only have 3 original bobbins and am using a plastic one at the moment. I bet that is the issue!

    1. EVELYN DAGUANNO says:

      I have a Brother Sewing machine. The instruction books states that if you have trouble with the bottom stitch, the problem is with the top tension. Therefore, if you have trouble with the top thread in your stitches, the problem is from the bobbin.
      Am I correct in assuming this is always the case?

      1. heirloomc says:

        Hi Evelyn, Yes this is generally the case.

  11. Jeri Walker says:

    I have a Bernina 930 and I have been using different types of bobbins, guess over the years I have collected quite a few of them, should I only use the ones with 7 little holes around the flat side of the bobbin like you showed in your photo above?????

    1. Sara says:

      Yes, the Bernina bobbins (with 7 holes) is the correct bobbin for your machine.

  12. Andrra says:

    I have a babylock essnte machine. It is very difficult to find the correct bobbin for my machine. I have gone to my dealer but was given bobbins that were the wrong fit. Can you help please? Any other bobbin chokes my machine thread. Thank you.

    1. Sara says:

      Your Babylock store will have the correct bobbins for you. If they do not seam to fit, please have your sewing machine checked out to see if you have something else not working properly.

  13. julie thorne says:

    Wow interesting to read I think that’s why I prefer to use the machine I’m used to altering the tension every time I use different fabrics. Sometimes find it easier to alter the screw setting on bobbin case it also helps. Thank you

  14. Judy Young says:

    Thank you for this Article, I have a Singer Studio S18 and it takes plastic bobbins. Sometimes the bobbins will jump up and down while sewing. It is very noisy, but I do not know why, can you explain what it going on with my machine. My machine is about 8 months old. Thank you.

    1. Sara says:

      Some machines are just louder than others. Be sure to clean the lint out the bobbin area and keep it lint free between sewing projects. You can have your local sewing machine technician look at it to see if something else is making it sew louder than normal.

  15. Jeannette says:

    I hate the plastic bobbins. Give me a machine the the metal bobbins any day of the week

  16. From Linda Morrison says:

    I have 5 sewing machines. Each one has their own bobbin containers. From metal to plastic. If you sew alot . Get a bag to keep them separately. I use the little zipper pencil pouch cases. You can get them for $1.00 just take a magic permanent marker. WRITE ON IT THE NAME OF THE MACHINE ON CORNER AND STORE WITH MACHINE.

  17. Betty Clack says:

    i just bought a new Brother sewing/embroidery machine. my pfaff machine feet that are special accessories appear to look like they will fit on my Brother. Are they compatible?

    1. heirloomc says:

      Hi Betty, We are neither a Pfaff Dealer or a Brother Dealer but my guess would be no they will not fit.

  18. Cheryl says:

    My grandaughter wanted to help, so she put one of her bobbins in one of my bobbin boxes. I got her a little Janome and, unfortunately, the bobbins look very similar. I have tried to see the difference, but I just can’t tell. I have a Singer Quintet, so of course they don’t match. She added hers to a box that still had 15 new bobbins in it. I have a feeling that I might just as well scrap them all. Any suggestions?

    1. Sara says:

      You definitely do not want to use the wrong bobbins in a sewing machine. Your local sewing machine store might be able to help you sort them out. We area around bobbins every day and can usually spot an out of place bobbin quickly.

  19. Mary Dinkel says:

    I bought a pack of Bernina bobbins for my 560 on Amazon. Big mistake. They look IDENTICAL to the original bobbins, but will not work. My machine goes for about 100 stitches, then I get an error and the machine stops. Unfortunately, I wound up a bunch of them and mixed them in with the originals. The only way I can identify the bad ones is to use them, then toss each one that doesn’t work. Beware of the “deals” that you can get on Amazon.

  20. Sharon Lamb says:

    I mark my bobbins with a sharpie. if the bobbin gets in yhe wrong box I will see it fast.

  21. mulan luna says:

    Hai, this is a great artical i ve ever seen bout bobbins… i love collect a lot of bobbin so that i can use it with different colour. I am using Brother NV955 embroidery machine, i think it suitable with plastic bobbin but tje thread alway come out at the end of the sewing… either my bobbin had something wrong or maybe my machine tension got problem. And it is Brother machine suitable for plastic or metal bobbin????

    1. Sara says:

      Brother sewing machines use the Brother plastic bobbins.

  22. Barbarann Farney says:

    I have a brother machine..sews perfect on double layer of material but if I am sewing across a seamless that is a little thick then thread will bunch up underneath. I use brother bobbins, thread machine correctly, put bobbin in right, new needle…can’t figure out what is wrong. I am doing everything right and it is still bunching up …please HELP! I called Brothers and they said that I am doing everything right…I read the instructions more than once….HELP

    1. Sara says:

      Hi, We would suggest taking a “learn your machine” class at your local sewing machine store. They will be able to help with the problems you are having.

  23. sherrie says:

    What is the best sewing machine to invest in

    1. Sara says:

      The best machine is the one you like the feel of when you sew on it and that you can receive classes at the store you buy it from on how to use it.

  24. Patsie says:

    Great article.

  25. Angela says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. A lot of people do not know enough about their sewing machine bobbins and it can cause them many issues. Using the wrong size bobbin is a very common beginner mistake. I wish one day the sewing machine companies would just make them all universal. There are a few things I’d like to add from my experience. For example #2 states to buy a pack of bobbins everytime you go to the store. While this is one way to acquire bobbins, another would be to buy them in bulk from an online retailer. It’s a lot faster to get many at once and it is often cheaper than Joann’s fabrics. Also, #10 implies that people are winding multiple colors of thread onto one bobbin. No one should ever use the same bobbin for different colors. This could cause the machine to jam when the outermost thread segment ends and leave the under segment to potential clog the machine. Either unwind the previous color or at mentioned in #2 purchase more bobbins for your machine.

  26. Audrey says:

    Is there truly a purpose to owning a bobbin winding gadget machine? I hear people talk about them a lot. I “thought” winding a bobbin on my machine “enabled” it to be wound at the correct tension for my machines. Is this incorrect? I have lots of toys & really do not plan on buying one of these–especially since l can wind an additional bobbin without stopping my sewing. I’m simply curious. Thanks!

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Audrey, I’m with you. I can wind my own bobbins on my own sewing machine. 🙂

  27. Judi G says:

    Half (10+) or more have light/dark bobbin thread for embroidery. I hate to run out of bobbin thread when doing a design. Judi

    P. S. I wish the IPhone had a period and comma on every screen when you are typing

  28. Val boonstra says:

    I would like a simple method of keeping bobbins with the same thread color. Any suggestions?

    1. GrandmaSue10 says:

      You can buy a little bobbin tree from “Nancy’s Notions” Or store your bobbins in a clear plastic storage box. I think shopping online at the Brand names’ site is the best. You can be misled on Amazon or Craig’s list.

  29. Geri says:

    A lot of great information! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!

  30. Margaret Midea says:

    In the past, I once found a small round piece of plastic that fit inside then spool of thread hole that you could wrap your thread around that kept it from unwinding.

    Being unable to find them any where, I took a razor and made a deep slit at the top of the spool that I could then pull the thread into and that held the end secure and kept the thread from unwinding.
    I would still like to find something similar that I could insert into bobbins that would hold the thread till I needed to use it and would make them so much easier to store without them turning into a mess of loose threads.

    1. GrandmaSue10 says:

      I received a couple nets to put over spools of rayon or polyester thread. I have tried a bit of scotch tape, but it leaves a bit of adhesive on the thread, and I don’t think that’s a good idea. I have maybe 4 nets and about 75 spools of thread. I need to buy
      some more!

      1. Pat Brioady says:

        I ought some very small rubber(?) bands, in the hair-care aisle. They are about the size my sister had on her braces eons ago. Individually they are just the perfect size for a bobbin. But, alone they are hard to get off the bobbin, so I have chained two together. Now one end fits the bobbin and I have a pull piece for undoing my “holder”!

    2. Laurie J says:

      I found the easiest and cheapest way to tame those bobbin thread tails is by using clear plastic tubing you can find in the plumbing section of your local hardware store. It was super cheap, and you should be able to get about
      fifty covers from a 1 foot length. If it is marked 5/8 OD (outer) x 1/2 ID (inner) you’ve got the right one.
      All you need to do is cut the tubing into rings…
      Cut through the rings to make little C shapes…
      And slip them around your bobbins!
      Below is a link to the website where I found this idea.

  31. Kate says:

    I have I tailor 935 fa machine. I can’t find what bobbins I need to be using nor any information nothing in the manual. I have one bobbin that works in the machine. HELP

    1. heirloomc says:

      I would recommend taking the machine into your local sewing machine dealer and have them help you get the correct bobbins.

  32. Jo Gale says:


    Great info thanks! I recently went to buy a new metal bobbin for my Toyota Jeans Machine and was surprised to be asked by the shop owner which stitch I was planning on doing, zig zag or running stitch because he said it made a difference. I have been sewing all my life and have never heard of this before, a bobbin is a bobbin right? It was a specialist shop selling sewing machines and repairing them. Would love to hear your views on this please!

    1. heirloomc says:

      Hi Jo, That I have never heard of.

  33. Ahmad Farodhi says:

    Nice Information

  34. Jane Adkins says:

    I am wondering why when i get thread in bobbin an pulled up after i sew some thread comes out of place in bobbin holder so i have take out an put it in right place again. And i do need to get same size bobbins the ones i have been buying lately are not as tall. Thank you for any help..

    1. Sara says:

      Always use the bobbins that are for your exact brand of sewing machine. Bobbin sizes do matter. If you continue to have troubles with thread catching, there may be a rough spot on the hook. If the sewing machine has not a professional service within the last year or two, a good sewing machine technician will get it back to like-new condition.

  35. Sheila says:

    Do all embroidery machines have bobbins with a lip inside like the Viking machines do?

    1. heirloomc says:

      No each brand has their own bobbin.

  36. Darell Placek says:

    My Epic does not fill my bobbin all the way. There is still so much space left. Is there somewhere to adjust this?

    1. Sara says:

      Yes, move the bobbin winder lever away from the bobbin. It shows with a torx screw driver but you can move it with your fingers. Test the bobbin to make sure you don’t over fill it.

  37. Jean mains says:

    I have a Vicking model 6020. Do they even make bobbins for this machine anymore

    1. Sara says:

      Yes, you can purchase bobbins for the Husqvarna Viking 6020 at your local Husqvarna Viking sewing machine store.

  38. Isabel says:

    Can I use a handi quilter M bobbin in my Bernina Q20?

    1. heirloomc says:

      We do not currently work with the Bernina Q20 I would check with your local Bernina Dealer.

  39. Wendy Taylor says:

    Hello – I have plastic bobbins that came with my Brother CE8080. Are all plastic top loading bobbins made the same ie. may I order more from Amazon at sell them by the dozen? Thanks for your reply!

    1. Sara says:

      You will want to order bobbins that are for your exact machine. Most Brother machines use the generic plastic class 15 bobbin.

  40. Jan says:

    I bought a used White sewing machine model 2037. The plastic bobbins that came with it feel very cheap and lightweight. The manual does not specify what bobbin I should be using. I’d appreciate any help you can give me.

    1. Sara says:

      The White 2037 sewing machine takes standard Class 15 bobbins either metal or plastic. Have the machine serviced and ask them what tension they set the bobbin case for: plastic or metal bobbins.

  41. Jean says:

    Thank you for your article, cannot believe I read every comment! I’ve been sewing for a few years sporadically but now I will pay a lot more attention to my bobbins thank you and I will be checking out your site again.

  42. Heidi Smith says:

    I have a Singer Quantum XL1 that was gifted to me by a person who could not fix it for herself. I got it running BUT it only came with one bobbin….JoAnns does not carry that bobbin….went to a Viking store in town…took my one bobbin with me and they sold me 5 that the service manager said were just like mine. Problem….my machine does not like the new bobbins….how hard is it for sewing machine companies to stamp an item number on bobbins??? Mine are metal but this is ludicrous running all over town trying to find the right bobbins. More delays on a major project! I am quite unhappy to have to return the bobbins and nowhavingto take the machine with me…

    1. Sara says:

      Yes, your Singer Quantum XL1 takes metal bobbins with four “holes” on the top. If you search Google for “Singer Quantum XL1 bobbins you will find numerous places that sell your bobbins.

      I am wondering if the last person could not fix it and gave it to you, the machine might need to be serviced by a professional service person.

  43. Karen Little says:

    I have a Kenmore 16 machine. Obviously it is very old. I have it serviced every couple of years. I use both plastic and metal bobbins in it but really prefer the metal bobbins — the stitches seem to be more even and there is less chance of having major “nests” of thread on the underside. My sewing machine book does not say which type of bobbin to use and I have had the machine for so many years I have no idea what came with it! In order to prevent problems in the future, how would I find out this information. Sears no longer exists in Canada — that is where I bought it of course — so I have no idea where to get information. My local sewing machine repair store is/has closed (owners retired) and I have no idea where I will now get it serviced! I live in a city of 600,000 — you would think there would be more then one repair shop! Anyway, if you can tell me what type of bobbin I should be using I would really appreciate that information. I learned a lot from your article. Thanks.

    1. Sara says:

      The metal bobbins are correct for this machine. You can order the standard “Class 15” metal bobbins from any website.

  44. Gay A Williams says:

    Does a class 15 bobbin hold 30 yards of thread?

    1. Sara says:

      Actual yardage that a bobbin holds depends on the thickness of thread you are winding on the bobbin.

  45. Jules says:

    Hello ,
    We have a Designer Epic sewing machine and cannot get the bobbin to thread evenly on it and it will not take a 70 needle size (won’t stay in) but it will take the 75 size. Any help would be appreciated . Trying to find solutions for my better half.

    1. heirloomc says:

      I would recommend visiting your local Husqvarna Viking Service Center for both of those issues they should be able to take care of both of those for you.

  46. Betty Hammersky says:

    Very informative and good advice I am 90 years young and still learning, wish I had seen this years ago. Thank you

  47. Connie Cordell says:

    I have an older Brother xl2610 machine. The manual calls for a SA156 bobbin, but I was told to buy the #66 bobbin for it. Which is correct? I’m confused!!

    1. Sara says:

      The Brother xl2610 should be just a standard class 15 plastic bobbin. You can purchase these at JoAnn’s or your local sewing machine store.

  48. jo says:

    I have some plastic bobbins that I’m not sure are for my machine. If they look just alike and they are really different will it mess up my machine.

    1. heirloomc says:

      It shouldn’t mess up your machine it just won’t sew correctly.

  49. Jeanette Lucas says:

    I have a Janome machine which uses plastic bobbins. I noticed there are two holes on each side of the bobbin. One round and one rectangular. Is there a use for both holes?

    1. Sara says:

      There is nothing special about either of the holes on the Janome plastic bobbins.

  50. Amiz says:

    I have a Brother LX3817
    And I think I Just Broke it!? The bobbin holder moved!! Came up and went sideways down inside of the machine.
    Did i brake it or can it be fixed 🙁
    Thank you.
    Sincerely, Newbie to new.

    1. Sara says:

      You can have your sewing machine looked at at a local sewing machine store in you area. They will be able to let you know if it is fixable or not.

  51. Max says:

    Where do I get bobbin pins for winding bobbin in sweing machine

    1. Sara says:

      Contact your local sewing machine store repair center to see what part you are needing.

  52. Samantha Ort says:

    I am new to sewing and was given a Brother LX 2500. I had it serviced and was told it’s a great machine. However, what I don’t know is whether I use metal, or plastic, bobbins. I’ve searched all over and have found no real answers. Help!!!

    1. heirloomc says:

      Hi Samantha, We have not worked with that machine but would assume you could use a plastic class 15 bobbin.

  53. Valery says:

    What bobbin do I need for my vintage Singer 21W180?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Valery, We would recommend taking your vintage Singer to your local sewing machine store and have them fit a bobbin to the machine. Some of the older machines it is hard to say exactly which bobbin fits it without trying out bobbins. Thanks and happy sewing!

  54. Steve says:

    I have a Brother Innovis 750e embroidery machine and am currently making my christmas cards. Each card uses a whole bobbin, so I buy pre-wound bobbins in bulk, as they are much cheaper and better wound than you can do on the machine. The bobbins are plastic type L which is important, as type M bobbins are available, but they are for multi-needle industrial machines. Threads here in the UK are much more expensive than in the US. Ebay is a good source but make sure you buy the correct bobbins.

  55. Parisa says:

    Hi Sara
    I want to buy a sewing machine for free motion embroidery.
    Some of my friends and local dealers told me Front loading bobbins are much better than top bobbins specially for free motion because of less tention.
    Let me know your opinion about it.

    1. Sara says:

      Both top loading and front loading bobbin sewing machines will free motion quilt. I would recommend taking time to try out different machines and find the one that feels right to you. You are also looking for a store that offers education and service to you after your purchase. I personally love machine quilting on a Bernina which has a front loading bobbin. 😉 ~Sara~

  56. Erin says:

    What bobbin does the new overseen sparrow 30 use?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Erin, The Eversewn Sparrow 30 sewing machine takes a clear plastic Class 15 bobbin.

  57. Barbara Busbee says:

    I was gifted a Husgavarna series 1 embroidery machine. I am still learning how to use it. I purchased the husgavarna bobbins and bobbin thread, and am experiencing some issues with the thread not winding correctly. My question is, can I thread it the same way as you did in your video?

    1. Sara says:

      Yes. Just make sure the thread is tight (not fluffy) on the bobbin. If you continue to have issues, please have your local sewing machine service center check it out for you.

  58. Sandra says:

    Hi I have a innovis50 machine can I use the metal bobbins as well as the plastic ones please

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Sandra, The innovis machines are set for plastic bobbins only. Please avoid using metal bobbins in this machine.

  59. Mary says:

    My new bobbins have a divider through the middle. Why?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Mary, If you own a Pfaff or a Husqvarna Viking, the ridge in the middle helps tell the machine when the bobbin runs out. The bobbin sensor can see through the lower area when the thread runs out and alerts the user the bobbin is almost empty.

  60. Susan says:

    I have a Brother model LX 3817 I’m having trouble with bobbins and tension. What bobbins do I use. Should I be using plastic or metal and what number. Also I think I might be over filling the bobbins. Any help would be most helpful. Thank you so much.

    1. heirloomc says:

      Hi Susan, I believe that model takes plastic bobbins but I would consult the manual or an authorized brother sewing machine dealer.

  61. Wanda says:

    I notice you had a photo of a coats and Clark spool of thread with a question about “what’s wrong with this picture.” Nothing was ever mentioned latercabout it, just more bobbin discussion. I assume you must be implying that this is not a good thread to use. I have found I get more lint if I use that brand. Also when I had my Janome 11000 serviced, the technician suggested not using* that brand.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Wanda, The photo of the Coats and Clark spool shows that it is “Hand Quilting” thread. This is one thread to avoid using in any sewing machine. 🙂

  62. Randy says:

    I have a Husqvarna Emerald 116. I have received conflicting information about what bobbins it is supposed to use. Husqvarna? Janome? What size?

    What is the best bobbin for my machine?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Randy, The Viking Emerald 116 does use the Class 15 plastic bobbins. It is the same bobbin Janome uses in their sewing machines and it super easy to find in most sewing machine and fabric stores.

  63. Becky Burke says:

    Mr Brother Embroidery machine uses a size 15 bobbin and my Singer sewing machines uses a 15J. There are both clear bobbins, I fear I may have mixed some of the up, is there any easy way to tell the bobbins apart?

    1. Sara says:

      I found this on the Internet…”Class 15J Bobbins. … Do not use regular class 15 bobbins in these machines, they will cause tension problems and can damage the bobbin case. The 15J is slightly smaller than the regular class 15, and the edges have a slight curve towards the center.

  64. Bernie Gatt says:

    I have 50 bobbins from previous machines but only 4 for my Brother A80 so is there any way i can tell myself if any of them will fit this new machine?

    1. Sara says:

      What was you previous machine?

  65. Jeanine says:

    I have a Husqvana sewing machine that I bought in the early ’80s. It’s red. I can’t find the metal bobbins. Are they still available?

    1. Sara says:

      Yes! Contact your local Viking store and give them your model number. They will be able to help you with your bobbins.

  66. Connie Newbury says:

    I have been having trouble with my tension. It looks great on top thread but bottom is like a straight line. I have read my instructions on how to fix this but still cannot seem to get it exact. I’m frustrated! What can I do?

    1. Sara says:

      Try tighten your top tension to correct the line of thread you are seeing on the back of your fabric. If you get no results, it might be time for a professional to clean your machine and reset all the tensions.

  67. Tanyag says:

    I have a old singer, manufactured in 1955, I have always used metal bobbins but purchased some plastic ones from joanns. They seem to be the same size, but they are to narrow for the tension arm to go down into the the bobbin to fill it. Think it’s because it’s plastic or just the wrong size?

    1. Sara says:

      It could be either. We would recommend taking your machine to a local sewing machine service center and they can tell you the correct bobbins you should be using.

  68. Denise says:

    I inherited a vintage Princess Model 2400 sewing machine that works well. I have no User Manual so I don’t know what size bobbin to use and can’t find any info online. Can you please help? Thanks much.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Denise, We are not exactly sure which model this in. We would recommend taking the machine into your local sewing machine store and have a service person look at. They will be able to tell you exactly which bobbin is correct.

  69. Cindie Lee says:

    Hello Sara
    Can I purchase Colored Thread bobbins that don’t fit in to my Husqvarna Viking Diamond, then just transfer the thread onto my correct diamond bobbins?

    Thank you for your time,

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Cindie,

      Yes you can.

  70. Sally says:

    I have a
    Babylock Zest, Jubilant, and Ellageo and Pfaff 4575 do they all take the same size bobbins or different sizes?
    What is the new name for the Zest and Jubilant sewing machines as I heard they changed the names of them.

    1. Sara says:

      Babylock and Pfaff sewing machine take different bobbins. Sorry, I was not able to find a Pfaff 4575. Did you mean a different model number?

  71. Tina Moore says:

    I have a janome L-108 travelmate sewing machine that belonged to my mom, what size bobbin should I be using

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Tina,

      The Janome sewing machines use the clear class 15 bobbins. Here is a link to purchase these bobbins:

  72. Elsa T. says:

    I am new to sewing and just bought a brother csi6000i. Does the bobbin need to be taken out and re threaded each time you cut the thread after each use?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Elsa, No, you do not need to. Even through you can not see the bobbin thread, just start sewing your next seam. The bobbin thread will come up. 🙂

  73. Susan says:

    I have an Elna Envision 8007.
    I’ve been battling with my tension for quite some time now.
    I’ve started using cheap plastic bobbins,do you think that is my problem.
    I was told that plastic is ok.
    Which are the right ones for me to use

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Susan,
      We would recommend having your local sewing machine store help you with your tension issue and to make sure you are using the correct bobbins. It might also just need a good service and it will be back to new. 😉

  74. Crystal Wood says:

    I have a Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 25. I purchased a package of plastic bobbins in different colors on the advice of the sales person at Husqvarna Viking. Upon attempting to use said bobbins, I had nothing but issues. I noted that each bobbin has a number on it. It varies from 1-12. Can you tell me what the numbers mean? I did find that my machine seemed to prefer the number 10 bobbin which was discovered through much trial and error and a huge waste of thread!! The machine itself came with green plastic bobbins, but I purchased my machine used. It was traded in by someone. I have read and reread the ‘User Guide” but there is no mention of specific bobbins or what the numbers mean and theres no mention of the machine being in a particular group. This information is critical to the use of the machine so why is there no information on it given to the owner? I had my son use his calipers to measure the bobbins and did note subtle differences in the size of the bobbins but I still don’t know if that is in correlation to the numbers on the bobbin. HELP!!!

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Crystal,

      Fun fact…until your question I did not know there were numbers on the colorful/watercolor bobbins. LOL.

      But, to help you, there has been colorful bobbins that have not worked well in the Viking machines. Our recommendation is to purchase the original Husqvarna Viking green bobbins from your local Husqvarna Viking store. These will work better for you.

      If you haven’t already found our free videos on the Viking Topaz 25, you can find them all here:

  75. Iris says:

    I sat up to read your complete questions and answers and really enjoyed them. I am 84 years old and learned to sew by playing with my Grandmothers treadle sewing machine. Can’t ever remember not being able to sew. I still have my 201 Singer that my parents bought for me when I was in the 7th grade. My wast purchase of a machine was my Brother ULT 2003D with the up grade to the larger hoop, a Baby Locke Air thread serger and a Singer 5 thread serger. I spend the majority of my indoor time in my sewing room and my outdoor time in my yard with my orchids and other flowers. My advice to anyone with a machine is to keep it clean and oiled. I have an attachment for my vacuum cleaner that I use very often and then use a compressor to blow any loose threads or dust out Keep your machines clean and they will serve you well.

  76. Jewel Ahmed says:

    Thank you for sharing.

  77. Justina says:

    I have a Kenmore 3851652400 sewing machine I can not remember if it is supposed to use plastic or metal bobbins also I bought some plastic class 15 bobbins when I went back a week later I bought another pack but when I got home I noticed the bobbins are same height and diameter but one pack has a lip around the bobbin edge and the other one does not. Does that make a difference.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Justina,

      I would stick to the metal bobbins like these:

  78. Jason Firack says:

    I have a White Jeans Machine Model 1111. Bought at thrift shop and no bibbins came with it and the manual does not give any info. Any guess as to what bobbins this machine would take?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Jason,

      Yes, you can use the Class 15 metal bobbins. Here is a link to what they look like:

  79. Alvin says:

    Why are all sewing machines designed with tiny bobbins that do not hold as much thread as the top thread spool? Isn’t the same amount of thread used from both at the same time?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Alvin,

      For the two threads to connect with each other, the top thread needs to link around the bobbin to create the stitch. Some machines do have bigger bobbins like the Bernina sewing machines. This video shows a machine with big bobbins!

  80. R Richard says:

    Will the Singer Clsaa 15 plastic bobbin fit the Janome 3128?

    1. Sara says:

      Yes, you can use the Class 15 plastic bobbins in the Janome 3128 sewing machine.

  81. Marie says:

    I have a Singer 6212C and need to know what brand and the kind of bobbin to purchase

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Marie,

      You are looking for the Class 66 bobbins for the Singer 6212C sewing machine.

  82. Scott says:

    I bought a used Shark Intelli-Sew Euro-Pro 9110 without any bobbins and I cannot figure out which bobbins to buy…not in the manual or online. Is there a way to find this out?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Scott,

      The Shark Intelli-Sew Euro-Pro 9110 needs Class 15 plastic bobbins. Here is a link to buy bobbins:

  83. lucy says:

    Hi. I have a husky 330 machine and am hsving awful time winding these plastic bobbins! No matter how slow I wind the bobbin and how little tension on the thread the bobbin will not release from the takeup post. It seems the thread is squeezing the bobbin center and it gets stuck onto the takeup post. Only way to get it off is to completely unwind the bobbin! Any suggestions greatly appreciated!!!

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Lucy,

      If the thread is on a vertical thread pin, try it on a horizontal thread pin or use a thread stand. This blog should help:

  84. Karen says:

    1)Which bobbins fit the Pfaff Quilting Expression 720? I received my machine a couple of weeks ago via However, local dealers are closed due to Covid19. I can not find them in user’s guide or the accessories catalog.
    2) Are there any pre-filled bobbins that will work with the 720. i noticed on your website that you recommend the Superior brand and that they work with all Pfaffs…was that meant to include the 720?(I am in love with this machine!)
    3)I notice in various tutorials for the 720 that the threads are cut off at the fabric… my machine leaves about an inch of both threads…Is this correct or do I need to look into this?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Karen,

      You are welcome to call our store, Heirloom Creations, at 605-332-4435 for bobbins and accessories. We are happy to ship. Yes, when the thread cutter cuts the threads it pulls them to the back and leaves about 1″.


  85. Jaelyn Simmons says:

    Hi! I recently purchased a Husqvarna Jade 20 sewing machine. Love it! But I’m having a terrible time finding the correct plastic bobbins for this machine! Any ideas??

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Jaelyn,

      Your machine takes the Class 15 plastic bobbins. These are super easy to find.


  86. Francesca says:

    I have a hobby Janome Home 124 mini. Can this machine use other feet? Like for zipper foot and edge foot? Can I use Metal bobbins?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Francesca,

      Look for Janome branded feet for your Janome Home 124 mini. Search for “Class 15 Plastic bobbins” for this machine.

  87. Nora says:

    Hi Sara,
    I was wondering, why are bobbins so small? It feels like a hassle to have to change it out to constantly.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Nora,

      Not all sewing machines have small bobbins. Next time you are shopping for a sewing machine make sure you check out all the brands. Bernina currently has the LARGEST bobbin on the market.

  88. Shelly Newman says:

    I just purchased a Husqvarna Emerald 116, and have threaded the bobbin but cant seem to lift it off. Dont want to break the machine, any quidance?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Shelly,

      I am not exactly sure what you are describing. If you want to send a picture to or, we can see the problem you are having.

  89. Kelly Becker says:

    If I want to buy some pre threaded embroidery bobbin thread for my Viking Jade 35, what size should I get?
    Thank you

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Kelly,

      You can do a search for “Prewound class 15 embroidery bobbins” to find what you are looking for.

  90. M C says:

    Could you please tell me what type of bobbin I need for an Elna 2110? And if I replace a plastic bobbin With a metal one, do I need to make any adjustments?

    1. Sara says:

      The Elna 2110 takes class 15 metal bobbins. You can take your bobbin case to a local sewing machine store and they can set the tension on it for the metal bobbins. Otherwise, you can wind thread on the bobbin, place it in the bobbin case through the tension along the side of the bobbin and suspend it in the air like a yo-yo. When you hold the bobbin case by the thread it should not fall to the floor. If you give it a slight jerk, it should fall about one inch. If it falls too much tighten the screw on the side of the bobbin case. If it does not fall at all loosen the screw a little at a time until it does.

  91. Katherine says:

    If my bobbin locks fits on the bobbin winder & locks in place before winding does that mean it will work on my machine?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Katherine,

      Not necessarily…the height of the bobbin will matter once you put the bobbin into the machine. You can Google your machine brand and model number to search for the correct bobbin for your machine if you are unsure which one to use.

  92. Robin Wenz says:

    I have a Brother SE400 and a crap load of bobbins. I don’t know if they are the right bobbins. Is there a way to find out if i have the right bobbins? I have so many bobbin and a couple of machines. Also, does someone have the Brother Tech support chat number or web site in case i need it?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Robin,

      The easiest way to learn which bobbins are the correct ones is to have your local sewing machine store help you. Even if they are not a Brother store, it is a common request we get (and help with) at our store. Sewing machine service technicians want you to be using the right bobbins for your machine. They would also be able to recognize which machines the other bobbins belong to as well. 😉

      There are Brother Facebook groups you can join if you are wanting to hang out with fellow Brother owners and ask questions.


  93. Sharon Copperthite says:

    I have a Brother Innovis-990D and just squired a brand new Janome Memory Craft 9500. Will the Class 15 or SA 156 bobbins fit both these machines. All of my bobbins have already been wound on the Class 15 bobbins since I’ve had that machine the longest.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Sharon,

      Yes, the class 15 plastic bobbins will fit both your machines.

  94. Mia says:

    Hi. Great information. Is the plastic class 15 bobbin the same as class 15J?
    I just got a Singer Quantum 9985. Every time I go to the store they only have 15J.

    Thank you… GOD bless you!

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Mia,

      You can order the Class 15 bobbins here:

      We have done free tutorial videos on the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 here:


      Sara Snuggerud

  95. Jan says:

    I am searching for metal bobbins for a Brother Galaxie 2015 sewing machine. It was my mother’s and is probably classified as vintage. The machine works great, but I only have one bobbin. Can you suggest who I may contact online to purchase more? Thank you.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Jan,

      Your Brother Galaxie 2015 sewing machine takes class 15 metal bobbins. This is a very common style of bobbin to find at any sewing machine store.


  96. Lisa says:

    Hi! I have a Janome new home magnolia 7330. What’s the best bobbins?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Lisa,

      The Janome 7330 uses the class 15 plastic bobbins. Click here to buy now:

  97. Karen Ratzlaff says:

    Hi I have a Pfaff Ambition 1.0 sewing machine. How can I tell which bobbins are made for this type of machine?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Karen,

      The Pfaff ambition 1.0 sewing machine uses the class 15 plastic bobbins. You can buy them here:

  98. Laura L says:

    Hello Sara, great article – thank you.
    I have an old hand me down Kenmore 158.1450280. I bought what I thought were the correct bobbins and they were nothing but trouble. I have only one right now, which is not very convenient. Could you advise the correct bobbin type to purchase, please? Thank you so much!

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Laura,

      Look for the class 15 plastic bobbins for your Kenmore. Click here:

      1. Laura L says:

        Thanks so much for the help – truly appreciated!

  99. William Bowie says:

    Hi Sara,
    Please explain where to use plastic bobbin which is lighter weight and where to use metal bobbin which is heavier weight ?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi William,

      Bobbin case tensions are set according to the bobbin each machine is supposed to use. Machines that are to use a plastic bobbin are set for that bobbin. Machines made to use the metal bobbins are set to the heavier bobbin. This is why a person is not supposed to mix and match.

  100. Hanna says:

    I have a Singer One Plus, and an Elna Artistic Air Embroidery machine – how can I find out the bobbin size ? I have looked on both instruction manuals but they don’t mention the specific makes. My singer also came with one metal bobbin and two plastic, is the metal meant to be for heavier fabrics like denim and the plastic for lighter materials? Thank you so much for your help

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Hanna,

      Good news! Both your machines take the same type of bobbin. It is a Class 15 plastic bobbin. You can purchase these bobbins here:

  101. Margaret Trainer says:

    Can I use metal bobbins on a Singer 2105 sewing machine

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Margaret,

      No metal bobbins. You need to use Singer Class 66 plastic bobbins in the Singer 2105 sewing machine. Here is a link:

  102. Ruth says:

    I read somewhere (can’t find it, now) that synthetic (100% polyester) sewing thread can stretch slightly if it is wound onto a bobbin at high/full speed which could then affect the stitching tension. Is this possible? I suspect that it is actually true because I attempted to use polyester thread to sew panels of a synthetic drapery fabric together and the seams puckered regardless of the tension adjustments on my machine. When I changed the thread to 100% cotton, the puckering disappeared with no additional machine (tension) adjustments.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Ruth,

      This is true. There are some brands of polyester thread that stretches a lot. Cheaper priced polyester thread often is stretchy. Stick with brands like Isacord that have little to no stretch for your sewing.


  103. Becky Handshew says:

    I’m hoping you can help me by confirming the bobbin type needed for the Husqvarna E20 Huskystar. I believe it’s the class 15 bobbin but haven’t been able to confirm (can’t believe it doesn’t say it in the User’s Guide.
    Also, do you know if there is a difference between bobbins with a square thread feed hole vs a circle? A neighbor told me that this indicates the type of bobbin but after some research (and buying the wrong size bobbins) I think she may have sent me down a rabbit hole. Thanks much.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Becky,

      Your Viking E20 takes clear class 15 bobbins as shown in this video:

      We have a whole series of videos on your machine here:

      I have not heard anything about a square vs circle hole. 😉

      Sara Snuggerud

  104. Joy Heimark says:

    I have a Janome M7200 and can’t find it listed on websites where they say which machines the bobbins fit.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Joy,

      Janome M7200 sewing machines take the standard Janome class 15 clear bobbin. Here is a link to purchase:

  105. Daisy says:

    Hiya, I have a Necchi NC-102D and have not managed to find anything anywhere about what type of bobbins I should use – any ideas?
    Thank you!

    1. Sara says:


      The Necchi NC-102D takes standard class 15 plastic bobbins. Many sewing machines use this bobbin size. You will be able to find them at your local sewing machine store.

  106. Sandy McHale says:

    I have an epic 980q. When free motion quilting I have to re-thread the bobbin thread every couple of passes. I’m using a free motion spring foot. Feed dogs are down. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Sandy,

      This could be a variety of things. Here are a few things to check:

      1. Use a Topstitch 90/14 needles
      2. Use the included straight stitch throat plate
      3. Try a different brand of thread
      4. Clean out all lint from the bobbin area.
      4. Have your local sewing machine technician check it out and see if a minor adjustment needs to be made.

      I hope one of these things helps,

      Sara Snuggerud

  107. Carolyn says:

    Hi, I have an old Singer 4624 that I loaned out to someone several years ago and recently got back without a bobbin in it. I can’t remember what kind of bobbins it took except that they were plastic drop-in bobbins. The online parts store I looked at lists both Class 15 and Class 66 bobbins for this machine, which puzzles me. Can they both be okay to use?
    Thank you!

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Carolyn,

      Your Singer 4624 uses the Singer 66 bobbins that have a “dome” to their shape. Click here to order:

  108. Barbara says:

    I have a Riccar 500FA super stretch sewing machine with 3 bobbins for many years now. The store is no longer there. My booklet that came with the machine doesn’t say which bobbin to buy. It is a metal bobbin. Does anyone know what bobbin I need so I can finally get more bobbins. It has what looks like a a straight line for the thread. Afraid to buy the incorrect bobbins and use it. Now due to the virus I do not go out. Wishing, Wishing upon the a star to finally get more bobbins for my sewing machine. Thanks

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Barbara,

      Your Riccar 500FA uses a Class 15 metal bobbin. They are easy to find at any sewing machine store or fabric store.

      Happy Sewing!


  109. Martha Shenk says:

    I am finding conflicting info on what bobbin to use on the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960. My owners manual dies not say which bobbin to use? Please help if possible.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Martha,

      You will find the Singer 9960 uses Class 15 transparent bobbins:

  110. Phil Sullivan says:

    My Husqvarna Designer One bobbin is not picking up.
    My understanding is that after it is correctly loaded, it should catch without any assistance in holding the top thread as I begin to sew. Is that correct?
    Do you have any suggestions? I would be thankful.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Phil,
      If the bobbin thread is not being picked up the machine’s timing may be off. Please contact your local Viking service center for assistance.


  111. Phyllis says:

    Hi: I have a Janome 9400. The spool that holds the empty bobbin won’t move to the right, so I can’t wind bobbins. I’ve tried everything. Lifted the cutter that site on the spool, and no thread wound around anything. I’ve had the machine less than a year & otherwise am pleased with it. I do have an old Janome (43 year) & I’v been using it to wind bobbing, but that’s not very convenient! Please help.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Phyllis,

      Sounds like your sewing machine needs to see a sewing machine repair center in your area. They will be able to help fix the problem.


  112. Dianne says:

    I am totally inexperienced at sewing and have a question about bobbins. I have come into two old machines, one an OLD HOME Model 640, and the other a Montgomery Wards Model No. UTH J1276. Both came to me with ten hole and 8 hole bobbins. Each one has its own manual. Neither one says what kind of bobbin to use. But each manual does show pictures of both the 8 hole and 10 hole bobbins. All bobbins are the size of a nickel. Is it OK to use both types of bobbins on each machine? Thank you for your help.

    1. Sara says:

      Your local sewing machine store can help determine which bobbins are correct for each machine. Take both the machines and your bobbins to the store to be guided correctly.

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