How To Put Thread In Sewing Machine – Detailed Guide (2023)

sewing machine

Getting thread through the eyes of your needles is definitely a daunting task. Sometimes, it feels like the thread is in, but you are way behind it – your eyes are playing with you. It is one of the most frustrating jobs in the world and it can get even worse if the thread is not neat and well cut. However, this challenge is not meant to take up too much time. Despite feeling frustrating, it is not meant to make you lose time and ruin the experience for you.

Eye magnifiers will definitely help in the process, but you will not rush to a store to buy some. Plus, eye magnifiers will not necessarily help if the thread has a mind of its own and simply refuses to go in. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to learn how to put thread in a sewing machine. There are a few tips and tricks to help you out in the process, as well as some crystal clear instructions. Here is everything you need to know in a step by step guide.


What To Know Before You Thread A Sewing Machine

Thread A Sewing Machine

There are a few things you should be aware of before learning how to thread a sewing machine. Try to find the manual of instructions that came with your sewing machine. You might as well go online and find it on the official website – it will most likely have a thread guide to help you in the process. There will be some instructions with illustrations on how to do it by the book.

There is nothing to worry about if you cannot find the instruction manual though – there are lots of thread guides and videos out there. As for this guide, it will apply to most sewing machines, regardless of the brand.

Other than that, make sure you get the thread before this venture begins. Choose the thread in the right color and have it nearby before working on the bobbin thread. Finally, it helps if you opt for high quality threads. Not only will these threads provide better and more durable results, but they are also easier to thread. At the end of the day, a low quality thread will split and feel loose, so it will make your job even more difficult.


Importance Of Learning How To Thread A Sewing Machine

Sewing machines from different brands will most likely come with various characteristics and specs. Their operating principles will not change much though. Thread the machine and start sewing. The good news is machine threading is one of the principles that will never really change. Once you learn how to do it right, you will most likely be able to apply the same instructions on other machines too, regardless of the project.

Threading the sewing machine by the book is mandatory – even if it looks alright, you should not proceed until you ensure everything is done by the book. Not only will you get secure and durable stitches, but they will also follow the pattern and look more attractive. The mechanism to stitch on a home sewing machine is similar on all machines, regardless of the brand, model or size.

Simply put, everything is about mixing the needle thread with a different bobbin thread. As a general rule of thumb, the process should barely take five minutes. If you spend more than that to thread the sewing machine, this thread guide will put you back on track.


Top Spool

Top Spool

Locate the spool of thread – it should be on top of the sewing machine. Now, the spool might be in a few different positions. It depends on the brand and make of your machine. Sometimes, this is an upright peg – easy to spot at a first glance. Other times it could be lying down, which means it may be harder to locate.

The spool is not always visible. In fact, some machines come with plastic disks that cover the actual spool. The primary role of this plastic part is to keep it in place. Once you start sewing, it prevents the spool from flying off at high rotations.


Bring The Thread Guide

Pull your thread through a guide. The guide should be relatively close to the spool, but this is not a general rule. The thread guide is – just like the spool – at the top. Some machines come with large guides, but most of them have small units. They look like small buttons on knobs.

All in all, once you locate it, pull some thread off the spool and take it through this guide.

Tension Knob

Go Around The Tension Knob

The tension knob must be somehow related to the guide. Practically, there should be easy access from one to the other. Sometimes, the guide is on the top of the sewing machine, while the tension knob is right under it – just a few inches away.

The knob is easy to spot because it has tension disks. Once you spot it, get the thread around those disks without dropping it.


Go For The Second Thread Guide

A second thread guide will help with the tension. Thread guides are easy to locate because they are often in line. Practically, you go from the first thread down towards the tension disks, only to go up again towards the second guide. The primary goal is to come up with a U shaped design with the thread.

Another good way to identify the second thread guide is to look for a lever. It comes with a lever, as well as an eyelet. This part of the sewing machine is referred to as the take up lever. If you have not managed to create a U shape, you are probably doing it wrong.


Go Over The Needle Hook

The above steps are meant to stabilize the thread. They are also responsible for a bit of tension throughout the sewing operation. Instructions are quite clear and the project is in the right position. At this point, you must locate the needle hook.

This needle hook is somewhere down. Assuming that your thread is up by the second guide, you have to bring it down towards the needle. Bring the thread at a lower level and you will most likely find a hook. It should be close to the needle – less than an inch away.


Thread The Needle

Threading your machine is easy until you need to put the thread through the eye of the needle. This is the most daunting part. You need to ensure the thread has a clean and sharp cut. It is not like you can pull the needle out to bring it closer to your eyes, so you might need to grab an uncomfortable position.

Try to hold the thread steadily and try a few times. If you hit it too many times, the thread may split – nothing to worry about, as you can cut the end of the tread give it another clean cut. Other than that, the threading should go from the front towards the back.

Needle Hook

Throw The Bobbin Thread In

This step is quite general because there are more options out there. You must load the wound bobbin, but there are more types of bobbins out there. At this point, having a manual of instructions could be helpful. Sure, you could look at how the bobbin was used before.

Some machines feature a mechanism with a bobbin inserted from the top. Some others require inserting the bobbin from the front. If you have a sophisticated sewing machine, you may have a removable case where the bobbin goes in. Then, there are also cases where the bobbin drops down into a specific position.

All in all, once the bobbin is in, turn the flywheel. The flywheel is a large hand wheel located on one side of the sewing machine. Turn it towards you. The process will ensure the needle hooks up the top and the bottom threads. During this stage, make sure you do not forget to bring the bobbin thread to the plate where the needle goes in and out.


Bring The Bobbin And Top Thread Together

This part in the process is a bit complicated, especially if you are a beginner and this is the first time you thread a sewing machine. You need to locate a loop of bobbin thread once it gets caught. Once you spot it, make sure you pull it all the way to the top.

Pulling the loop out will be tricky. Most machines will not allow getting your fingers in, so you will need something else. You can use a pill to grab and pull it, but tweezers are just as helpful. Do not use scissors, a knife or other things that could cut the thread though.

Bobbin And Top Thread

Pull Both Threads

Once you get the loop out, grab both threads and pull them gently towards the back. There should be no issues whatsoever. If one of the threads feels like holding, you have done something wrong. Normally, they must run freely.


Test Your Result

This step is often overlooked, yet it can make the difference between fixing potential issues and ruining a garment. Get a scrap piece of fabric or material. Try the sewing machine on it. Figure out the tension and make sure your stitches are perfect.

There is a common issue at this stage – top and bottom threads might actually tangle if you do not pay attention. Therefore, hold them both at the back in a gentle manner when you start to sew. Make sure you pay attention to the foot pedal too. Lower it to steady the fabric and ensure it connects with the feeder in the right way.

If everything looks alright, you are now ready to remove the scrap fabric and get to work.


Tips To Help Threading A Sewing Machine

It will take a while to master this technique. Once you do it a few times, it will seem relatively simple. You will always face a bit of headache during the last step – putting the thread through the eye of the needle. Here are a few helpful tips to make your life easier.

If you normally wear glasses, get a pair of stronger glasses. Do not wear them on a regular basis, as they may harm your eyes. Instead, use them for threading the needle only. They will work like a magnifying glass.

It also helps if the thread end is trimmed with very sharp scissors for a clean and neat cut. A classic move involves licking the end of the thread. A bit of moist helps the thread go through, but it also sharpens it a little.

A bit of extra light will also help. But if you really struggle due to bad eyes, there are a few gadgets out there that can help during this step.

Threading A Sewing Machine

Frequently Asked Questions

Still not sure about certain aspects of threading a sewing machine?

How do you thread a beginner sewing machine?

Most sewing machines follow the same principles and mechanisms when it comes to threading. Sure, there might be small differences in the positioning of various parts, but once you learn on one machine, every other machine will be quite intuitive. Beginner sewing machines come with less and more straightforward parts. While the process is the same, it should be easier.


Do sewing machines need a special thread?

There are more types of thread for sewing machines, as well as different quality standards. If you have an important project, it pays off investing in the best thread you can afford. Other than that, quality thread will also help with the tension and stitch quality. All purpose thread is usually based on cotton covered in polyester – it is one of the cheapest options and can work with most projects out there.


How do I change the thread on my sewing machine?

The general idea is to snip off the old spool thread, tie the new spool thread in and pull everything through guides until you reach the needle. The process is similar and intuitive in most sewing machines.


As a short final conclusion, learning how to thread a sewing machine is not the most difficult job in the world. The first few tries will take anywhere between five and 10 minutes, with extra time required for putting the thread through the eye of the needle. With time, the job will become much easier.

Even if you have to change your sewing machine or you want an upgrade, the process will be pretty much the same.

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