Types of sewing machine bobbins – 2023 updated

Types of sewing machine bobbins

A bobbin is the main component of any sewing machine responsible for making lower stitches on fabrics, just like the heart is the core of a human being.  

My fascination with bobbins led me to research what they do and why you need them. You may already know about bobbins and types of sewing machine bobbins if you are an experienced sewer. However, if you are getting into the sewing world, you may ask, What purpose does a bobbin serve on a sewing machine?  

You must read on to the end of this article to find out the bobbin’s purpose and so much more.

What purpose does a bobbin serve on a sewing machine?

A bobbin is a round piece of metal, plastic, or aluminum that holds the thread in place and helps the upper thread make stitches on the wrong or underside of the fabrics. 


  • Bobbin makes lower stitches on the fabrics. 
  • It maintains thread tension so that machines can make proper stitches. 
  • You should wind the bobbin uniformly without making knots so that no skipped stitches are formed when sewing is done. 
  • Bobbin helps the upper thread to make uniform stitches on the lower side. 
  • Front-load bobbins need a bobbin case; however, top-loading bobbins can be fine without a case. 

What is Bobbin?

What is a bobbin

The bobbin is a small, round metal, plastic, or aluminum used to thread the sewing machine. The bobbin is so important that without it, your sewing machine is useless, and you cannot do sewing. 

Types of sewing machine bobbins

There are different sewing scissors, presser feet, and needles; the same is with bobbins. 

So here are those… 

#1. Metal Bobbins

  • Metal bobbins are made of pure, high-quality steel, making them the most sturdy and extremely common. 
  • They are in vintage and treadle sewing machines; however, many industrial sewing machines from Juki, Brother, Singer, etc., also use this type of bobbin. 
  • They are preferred over plastic and aluminum bobbins because of their longevity.
Metal Bobbins

#2. Plastic Bobbins

  • Plastic bobbins are less popular than metal ones. 
  • They are incredibly lightweight, portable, and cost-effective. 
  • Plastic bobbins are getting popular nowadays as most different sewing machine brands use them. 
  • They spin faster than metal ones, thus making more stitches. 
  • One of the drawbacks of plastic bobbins is that they may sometimes compress when exposed to heat.
Plastic Bobbins

#3. Aluminum Bobbins

Additionally, aluminum bobbins are extremely popular due to their lighter weight, making them able to rotate faster, but they can bend easily compared to aluminum and metal bobbins.

Aluminum Bobbins

Bobbins’ types based on the mode of installation

1) Front-Load Bobbin

Unlike a Drop-in bobbin, this type of bobbin is inserted into the front/side of the machine. It is also common but not as user-friendly as the Drop-In bobbin. 

2) Drop-In Bobbins

This type of sewing machine bobbin is installed under the presser foot while removing the plate under the needle to drop in these sewing machines. 


  • Drop-In Bobbins are the most common because they are made primarily keeping this in mind for beginners. 
  • Most of the modern Sewing machines from Janome, Singer, Juki, etc., have this bobbin loading mechanism. 

MY OPINION: Both bobbins are suitable, but I prefer drop-in bobbins installed below the presser foot. Meanwhile, it depends thoroughly upon the user’s requirements.

Final verdicts

I hope now you have clearly understood the topic: What does a bobbin serve on a sewing machine? This is the topic that the majority of sewers always search for. Therefore, I explained this in detail. 

I hope that you now understand the importance of bobbins. It would help if you took some time to read each point to learn new information.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1. Can I use every bobbin in all sewing machines?

Simply put, because of the bobbin holder mechanism, you cannot use all types of bobbins in every sewing machine. Different sewing machines have extremely separate bobbin compartments and sizes that are incompatible with every sewing machine. 

Q2. Why is a bobbin important in a sewing machine?

The bobbin is among the essential parts of a sewing machine because without it, you can never sew anything. With the help of bobbins, your sewing machine will make lower stitches on the underside of fabrics and also its lower thread supports the upper thread in making stitches. 

Q3. What is the thing that places a bobbin in a particular position? 

It is a BOBBIN CASE that may be fixed or detachable depending upon the type of sewing machine; where you have to insert a bobbin, and it will hold it in place. 

Q4. What bobbins are better?

The most common types of bobbins are metallic, plastic, and aluminium, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. The metal bobbins are the most sturdy; however, the plastic bobbins are the lightest, and the aluminium bobbins are easy to bend. The plastic bobbins, however, are prone to compressing easily and, if heated, can distort, which means you must replace them. As a result, it ultimately depends on the individual.

Q5. What is the recommended number of bobbins?

Bobbins are included with the purchase of your machine. You will need to purchase additional bobbins to ensure uninterrupted stitching. To avoid running out of bobbin thread in the middle of a project, experienced sewers advise using 3 to 5 bobbins before beginning the project.

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