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What is an Embroidery Bobbin?

By Misty Amber Brighton
Updated May 17, 2024
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An embroidery bobbin is a device used in machine embroidery. It is used to contain the thread used in this craft. It is usually circular, with a hole in the center, but can also be in the shape of a rectangle. It is normally placed on top of a peg located on the machine itself, and then threaded through a needle. This item comes in different sizes and can be constructed of a variety of materials.

Small bobbins are typically around 5/16-inch (.79 cm) in diameter. Medium-sized ones are normally 7/16-inch (1.11 cm). Larger items can be up to one inch (2.54 cm). The size required depends on the particular model of embroidery machine a crafter is using.

Many times, an embroidery bobbin can be constructed of cardboard or heavy plastic. The cardboard types can usually be used only one time. Plastic bobbins can typically be used several times before discarding. Those who use an older model of machine may have steel or aluminum bobbins that were purchased at the same time as their equipment. These types can generally be used for a number of years without being damaged.

Most of the time, an embroidery machine has a metal peg protruding from the top or back of it. This is normally where an embroidery bobbin is placed. After it is put on the holder, the thread is normally wound through the machine before being threaded into the needle. The exact method of doing this also varies based upon the model of equipment.

Some machines have space for only one bobbin, while others allow for several of these. If this is the case, each one usually contains only one color of thread. Users may also be able to thread multiple needles at one time. This can allow a design to be completed faster, since the needles do not normally to be unthreaded in order to change colors.

Often, an embroidery bobbin can be purchased with the thread already wound on it. Other times, a crafter can wind her own bobbins on the machine she is using. Pre-wound bobbins are sometimes more expensive to use. This can be because, when only a small amount of colored thread is needed, the rest of the thread on a bobbin might be wasted. People who wind their own can choose to place only the amount of thread needed on each spool.

Crafters who enjoy using an machine for creating appliqué designs can appreciate the importance of the right embroidery bobbin. This item can be essential to the operation of their equipment. An experienced user can typically choose the one that is best suited for their model and the project they are working on.

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