how to thread sewing machine

How To Thread Sewing Machines

Why is it frustrating when your sewing machine suddenly starts skipping stitches or knotting up? Often, improperly threaded threading is the culprit. Properly threading your sewing machine is crucial for smoothness, even stitching, and avoiding headaches! In this guide, we’ll walk through the critical steps for threading a sewing machine from start to finish.

Threading a sewing machine involves correctly routing the upper thread from the spool through tension discs, a take-up lever, and a needle. It also requires properly winding the bobbin and inserting it into the bobbin case. While the specific details vary across sewing machine models, the general process is similar. We’ll cover the basics that apply to most standard sewing machines.

Ready to learn how to thread your sewing machine like a pro? Let’s get started!

Prepare Your Materials

Before beginning the threading process, you’ll need to gather these essential items:

  • Needle thread – This spool will go through the needle and form the top thread. You can use all-purpose cotton or polyester thread. Match the thread weight to your fabric type.
  • Bobbin thread – The thread in the bobbin is responsible for holding the bottom thread. To ensure the best results for your project, select an appropriate weight. While it is not required, matching the color of the thread in the bobbin with the spool can help create a more consistent finish on the underside.
  • Take-up lever – This small arm lifts the thread up and down with each stitch to form even tension. Make sure it’s in the highest position before threading.
  • Presser foot – Disengage and raise your foot to allow access to the needle area.

Thread the Needle

Thread the Needle
Photo credit: pexels

Now comes the tricky part – threading the eye of the needle! Follow these steps:

  • With the take-up lever raised, pass the thread from the spool through the guide holes running vertically down the machine. This keeps the thread taut.
  •  Pull the thread down through the tension discs. These little metal plates control the tightness of the stitches.
  •  Next, draw the thread behind the thin wire clamp guide above the needle.
  •  Thread the needle eye from front to back. The eye is the small opening at the needle’s tip.

In case your sewing machine comes with an automatic needle threader:

  • Lower the lever while turning the hand wheel toward you to raise the needle.
  •  Hook the thread through the thin wire opening.
  •  Pull the lever down all the way, and it will draw the thread through the needle’s eye.
  •  Release the lever, and the thread will be threaded!

Wind the Bobbin

Your sewing machine uses an upper and lower thread locked together to form stitches. So you need to wind thread onto the bobbin before inserting it:

  • On top of the machine, put an empty bobbin onto the bobbin winder spindle.
  • With the presser foot up, hold the thread tail and wrap the thread clockwise around the tension disc.
  • Insert the thread tail through the hole in the bobbin from the inside to the outside.
  • To engage the winding mechanism, move the bobbin winder spindle to the right.
  • Keep holding the thread tail to maintain tension as the bobbin fills. Stop when it is complete.
  • Cut the thread and remove the wound bobbin.

Insert the Bobbin

Nestled below the needle plate is the bobbin case that holds the bobbin. Here’s how to insert it:

  • Open the hinged bobbin compartment cover.
  • Drop the bobbin in the case with the thread running counterclockwise.
  • Pull the thread tail through the slit on the side of the case.
  • Tug gently to test that the thread engages.
  • Close the bobbin compartment cover.

Complete Threading

You’re almost there! Finish up by:

  • Pulling the thread take-up lever down to create tension.
  •  Drawing the thread down through the tension discs again.
  •  Wrapping the thread behind the last thread guide right above the needle.
  •  Then, threading the eye of the needle from front to back.
  •  Leave a 4-6-inch thread tail hanging to the rear.

Test and Start Sewing!

Before sewing, do a quick test:

  • Turn the handwheel toward you slowly to lower and raise the needle.
  •  Watch for the thread to catch on the rotary hook inside. This engages the top and bobbin thread.
  •  Pull both thread tails under the presser foot toward the back.
  •  Adjust the thread tension if needed until you achieve balanced stitches.
  •  Once threaded correctly, you’re ready to sew!

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of needle should I use?

Match the needle type to your fabric weight. Use sharp needles for woven cotton fabrics and ballpoint needles for knits like t-shirts. Refer to your manual for recommendations.

How do I know if the tension is correct?

Balanced tension results in stitches locking between the top and bobbin threads.If the upper thread is too taut, the thread wound on the bobbin will be noticeable on the upper surface. Too loose top tension causes looping on the underside.

Why does my thread keep breaking?

This is often caused by improper threading. Ensure you correctly route the thread through the tension discs and thread guides. Not winding the bobbin tightly enough can also cause breaking.

Should I thread with the presser foot up or down?

Always raise the presser foot before threading your machine to ensure proper tension.

How do I insert a twin needle?

Remove the single needle and place the twin needle in from front to back with the flat side to the rear. Follow machine threading for both top threads through the two needle eyes.

Threading your sewing machine properly is a crucial first step to ensure beautiful, even stitches in your projects. Following the steps to route both top and bobbin threads, you’ll sew smoothly in no time.

Do you have any helpful tips for mastering sewing machine threading? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Main image: freepik

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 169

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