Sew…you have your project.
You’ve picked your “top” thread.
Now you are wondering, “What do I put in the bobbin?”
Choosing a proper bobbin thread is critical to the success of your project. Yet there is no one-size-fits-all answer to bobbin thread selection. As with selection of the “top” thread, the choice of the bobbin thread is dependent upon the needs of the project (fabric type & weight), the function of the item being sewn, etc.
Heavier fabrics generally require heavier threads. Choosing the same thread for the bobbin is absolutely fine if you want to wind your own. Yet, SuperBOBs have the strength needed to match most all top threads in most all sewing situation (with the exception of very thick and heavy denims, upholstery, etc.).
Thread Tension: It’s a balancing act. You want a balanced stitch and that means even thread on the top and the bobbin without either poking through to the other side. The following picture is the best image I have ever seen demonstrating balanced tension and solutions (scroll down for a text link to a printable version):
The above image provided for your education with permission provided by Superior Threads. Copyright for the above image belongs solely to Superior Threads, all rights reserved. For uses beyond personal education (of the above image), please contact Superior Threads directly–contact information is provided on the image.
YES, you can adjust your tension (both on the top and on the bobbin) if necessary. You own your sewing machine. You have permission.
Problem: Eyelashes and Loopies with thread breakage on top.
If you are experiencing problems when using a smooth and fine bobbin thread, like The Bottom Line or SuperBOBs, it is likely that your bobbin case’s factory settings are not applying the breaks correctly when you come to a stop. The bobbin thread
causes a backlash (continuing to unwind, forming a loop) then when you start sewing again the force of motion will whip forward causing the thread to break.
Solution? Tighten your bobbin case tension just a smidge (less than 1/8th of a turn). Remember the clockwise “turning” rule: lefty loosey, righty tighty.
Hint: Perform the tightening or loosening adjustments to the bobbin case inside a large ziplock bag. This way you can see what you are doing but in the event you accidentally turn it the wrong way or turn it too far and the little screw pops out you won’t have to search forever to find it.
Problem: The bobbin thread keeps jamming and snapping.
Solution? Using thick, heavy and/or decorative threads in the bobbin requires LOOSENING the bobbin case tension.
Problem: Have you ever experienced frustration from knowing you have the correct bobbin tension setting but the top thread still breaks? You loosen the top thread but then you get loops?
Solution? Try just very slightly loosening BOTH the top tension and the bobbin tension.
Timesaver IDEA: If you sew with all different weights of thread in the bobbin on a regular basis, keep 2 or 3 different bobbin cases, each set for the weights of thread you use most. Be certain to mark them so that you choose the correct one each time.
OKAY…sew, what do I use in my bobbin?
For piecing and most general quilting I personally tend to use the same thread in the top as in the bobbin.