Thread and threading bobbins

Is there a “best” thread brand? I’ve been buying Guttermann (and scored some for almost free at the creative reuse store) but I’m not impressed. I think I’ll just go back to Dual Duty All-Purpose. Any advice here?

Second issue - threading bobbins. I prepare to make a bunch in one sitting, I watch the authorized video on YouTube for my machine, but I still get wobbly bobbins. Ugh. I really need help with this.

Adding - I’ve been sewing for eons and was taught by a really talented seamstress - the mom of my bestie in 5th grade. I never have had this much aggravation so I’m guessing it is thread or tension related. And yes, I’ve cleaned & blown compressed air in the bobbin case to remove any stray threads.

Thanks for your help!

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I’ve always heard that gutermann is the best, and I’ve recently upgraded to it (it’s expensive) and I have less breakages.

Can you post some pics of how you thread your machine to fill the bobbins, because if you’re getting variable tension, that might be the reason.

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All I know is that my basic Brother machine doesn’t like cheap thread and would have crap for thread tension no matter what I did until I switched to Guttermann. Suddenly, all the same settings worked perfectly. So now I just stick with it.

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I only buy Guetermann and Mettler. They’re expensive, but they’re worth it. I’ve been sewing for the last 20 years and my mum has been sewing for about half a century, so we have a big stash and hardly ever have to buy new thread. I also look for sewing supplies in thrift shops and flea markets. I don’t throw away other brands if I’ve been given them, I always try them out and usually about 50% is in usable condition.

The only colours I buy frequently are black and white, and I get the largest size spool for those. I don’t know what Guetermann costs over there but a regular sized spool (200 m) is usually about €3,50 here, while the biggest size (1000m) is about €10. So I buy a massive spool of black and white every couple of years and save a lot of money compared to buying the smaller sizes. I only use coloured thread where it really matters (visible stitches and places where the colour might shine through).

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Hmm, I have had no issues winding any thread on any machine ever. It could just be your machine. Then again, any time winding isn’t looking perfect I’ll finger guide the thread, noone else does this?
I’ve always wanted a Side Winder (many brands available) but never got one, or tried one so I can’t vouch for it but maybe it’s an option for you?
I still have thread on wooden bobbins so obviously I do not care about thread quality one bit, ha! I do a break test before using any thread for a project but that old stuff holds up surprisingly well.

One last thought is that I haven’t had any issues sewing with a wonky bobbin anyhow. The tension doesn’t come from the wind, it’s from the bobbin thread guide. So long as there aren’t any snarls it still sews just fine.

I love this:
just_in_case_you_ever_wonder_how_a_sewing_machine_works-98670

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I mainly use 100% cotton Guetermann thread for sewing but have never really noticed a difference when sewing with other brands. What don’t you like about the thread you’re using? For the bobbins, the only thing I can think of if you’re getting wobbly bobbins is you’re not getting the thread through the tensioning disk fully or you might need a spool cap to hold the spool in place. You can also check to make sure the thread is coming off the spool in the right direction.

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Some lower quality thread frays and breaks easily, at least that’s my experience. But I also still have thread on wooden spools, like you @Magpie , so it’s very much hit and miss. Guetermann is the only brand of sewing thread that’s widely available in all colours in my country, I wouldn’t even know where to get cheaper thread. Some department stores have their own brands but usually only available in black, white, blue and grey.

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Coats & Clark is commonly available here, costs a bit less that Gütermann.

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Wow! Thanks for all your advice. I will take my time and a few deep breaths and see if I can wind some today.

Doesn’t thread have a shelf-life? I think I heard that once. I do buy spools of silk thread when I find it but use it mainly for hand sewing.

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Some thread kind of rots away after some time (we’re talking decades though). Not sure what the proper term is but it gets very fragile. Not all thread does that though.

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I have never had any problem with the Coats & Clark thread in the 40-ish years I have been sewing - it’s lasted years on garments, etc. But I do go with the Gutterman for things that I am sending away to others that might need to be a little more durable. Not because I have any hard data or anecdotal evidence for it personally, though. And I have had times/machines where I have hand-guided bobbin winding, too, @Magpie as well as considered buying a winding machine, but probably never actually will!

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I recently had a bad experience with some older thread I was using to hand sew. It was obviously weakened and broke with the slightest tug, so I pitched it. It was on a wooden spool, so I know it was older. However, I have some that are on wooden spools that appear to be just fine. I just test it before using. I use good old Coats & Clark as well. I have some very expensive threads and save them for quilting mostly.

Good luck…I know I have had to fiddle with my bobbin case a few times to get the tension correct and ended up buying a new case (yes, they do wear out!)…I do have a sidewinder…and rarely use it…

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Thanks again - I’ll update tonight or tomorrow

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btw…I read somewhere that you shouldn’t use compressed air to clean out sewing machines…the moisture can can corrosion and you can shift some parts out of alignment…

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Is your bobbin actually winding oddly, or is it not feeding correctly once it’s installed in the machine? There may be a loose screw or worn part causing the problem.
For instance, my machine has been clunking lately, and I traced the noise to a worn shuttle clip. I 3D printed a replacement from a file on Thingiverse!

I often hand guide the bobbin when winding, usually just to amuse myself. But I’m sure my fiddling helps.

I learned to sew at age 5. I’ve taken classes, taught classes, and sewn professionally.
I use cheap thread, expensive thread, old thread, and thread from thrift stores. Breakage has hardly ever been a problem, and usually due to a rough spot on the needle or a tangle in the tensioner–though someone gave me a bunch of beautiful old silk thread; it was shattered and broke if I just touched it on the spool. So sad.

When I worked for the San Francisco Opera, I was told to use thread weaker than the fabric because it’s easier to repair a seam than a tear in the fabric.

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Well that last bit is quite clever, thanks for sharing.
As for the shattered thread, that would be perfect for making scrap fabric. I’d love working with that.

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2" long pieces? I assume you’d stitch them on with better thread, and even then, they would continue to break into smaller and smaller bits. But they’re long gone, didn’t make the cut in a move in 2005.

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Like the cover of this book.


You sandwich scraps between layers of disolvable sulky, sew all over, then wash away the stabilizer to reveal a new piece of fabric! I save thread, yarn, & fabric scraps for this. I love the technique so much.

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I just had a problem with my bobbin, turns out I was winding it too fast and the bobbin was loading unevenly. Mine was too much on the bottom. Un-spooled and tried again at a lower steady speed and it sewed fine. Of course this was after taking the machine apart , cleaning oiling and swearing.

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I have a Brother and for any of the more complicated stitches it has to use Guterman or the thread breaks. However recently I have also found Coats and Clarks to be pretty good as well.

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