Can You Use a Sewing Machine Without a Bobbin?

As a beginner or advanced sewer, it is common knowledge that the sewing machine functionality largely depends on all the little components working together as a whole. Since its construction, the bobbin has been an integral part of the sewing machine

The bobbin plays a vital role in stitching operations as it firmly holds the thread right beneath the needle during a sewing process to produce an outstanding sewing result. Due to its size, the bobbin can be easily misplaced when not properly stored which can delay a sewing project.

A situation like this is why many sewers have been curious as they wonder if the sewing machine can not be used without the bobbin. In this article, we will be providing in-depth information on the possibility of the sewing machine functioning without the bobbin, if it is possible and how it can be done.

Can You Use a Sewing Machine Without a Bobbin?

Well, the sewing machine cannot function without the bobbin. Without the bobbin, the sewing machine becomes incomplete and unable to produce stitches. You will not be able to work on any sewing project as the bobbin is required to be present to tie a knot with each stitch in order to keep the top thread in place.

However, some sewing machine doesn’t require a bobbin as they are specially designed to function without a bobbin. The needle thread is capable enough to do the stitching work as the bobbin thread will be added along with the needle thread.

What Happens If You Sew Without a Bobbin Thread?

Unlike hand sewing which only requires a single spool of thread, the sewing machine requires two to function properly. The needle thread alone cannot produce a perfect stitch and will be needing the second one which is the bobbin thread. 

Both industrial and domestic sewing machines commonly make use of the lockstitch, the lockstitch is formed through the linking of dual threads from the sewing machine which are the needle and bobbin thread. The lockstitch is needed for your regular sewing process which will be impossible without the bobbin.

If you try to go through sewing without the bobbin, the needle thread will refuse to stay in place which will make your sewing process futile as you won’t even be sewing anything at all.

Do You Need a Bobbin For Embroidery?

Just like with sewing, the bobbin is also a must-have accessory to carry out your embroidery project. The bobbin is required to ensure your stitches remain in place. The bobbin thread which is lighter than the regular thread is also needed to make sure that the embroidery backside is not as dense as the front. 

This is important to prevent your cloth from becoming crumpling and the thread from bunching up which can ruin your embroidery project. 

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have a Bobbin?

There are a few ways to get your project done without the bobbin, however, you won’t be able to make use of your sewing machine as it is absolutely impossible to sew with it without the bobbin. One of the ways to get your project done in the absence of the bobbin is to hand sew. Instead of wasting your time attempting to sew without the bobbin, you can proceed by hand sewing.

Hand sewing takes lots of time unlike the sewing machine but it can be very useful. It can also come in handy when working on buttons and materials that can easily get torn on a sewing machine such as lace, and it can be important for days like this when you cant find and replace your bobbin.

Another way of continuing your project in the absence of the bobbin is by making use of fabric glue as a short-term solution. The fabric glue works perfectly when you don’t want seams to appear on your fabric pieces. The glue dries up instantly and can be useful in the absence of a bobbin.

Do All Sewing Machines Use The Same Bobbin?

Bobbins come in different types and sizes and a bobbin cannot function with all sewing machines. It is important to make use of the perfect bobbin for your machine to achieve the standard sewing result. Making use of an improper bobbin can damage the sewing machine and affect the sewing stitch quality.

To pick a perfect bobbin for your sewing machine, you should follow the proper instruction illustrated in the sewing machine user’s manual. By following this, you will be able to acquire a perfect bobbin for your sewing machine and work on your sewing projects smoothly.

Is The Bobbin Case Important?

The bobbin case is a vital component of the sewing machine. It protects and ensures the bobbin remains firmly in place during your sewing process. The bobbin case also helps the sewing machine to unfold while sewing and provides additional tension to the bobbin thread.

This additional tension aids your craft and makes it comes out perfectly. The bobbin case is designed to easily move during a sewing process. However, it is not meant to extremely swirl around and should be perfectly set.

Can I Thread Bobbin By Hand?

A bobbin is commonly threaded with the use of a bobbin winder but in its absence, you can as well thread your bobbin by hand making use of a few accessories. With a thread, needle, electric drill, and a double-pointed knitting needle, you can thread your bobbin easily. 

When making use of a drill in place of a bobbin winder, it is important to remove all drill bits on the drill by loosening the drill front and separating its teeth for the drill bit to easily get released. When this has been perfectly done, pick the knitting needle and position it an inch into your drill. Tighten the front of the drill to ensure the knit needle is secure and remains firmly in place.

The bobbin should also be snug on the needle as moving around will prevent the bobbin from threading. Make it simple and relaxing to press the button by holding the drill with one hand, while you detach some thread from the spool wrapping it around the bobbin with the other hand.

To ensure the bobbin remains firmly in place on the knitting needle, slowly begin the drill as it also helps to confirm if the thread is getting perfectly attached to the bobbin. You have to maintain a firm grip on the thread and can go full speed on the drill when you’re sure everything is running smoothly. 

Can I Make Use of a Rusty Bobbin?

It is not advisable to make use of a rusty bobbin on your sewing machine as it can easily damage your sewing machine and project as well. A rusty bobbin should be replaced with a perfect new one and if the rustiness is not too deep or you cant acquire a new one at the moment, you can add a little oil for lubrication before using it.


Due to its size and shape, it is possible to misplace your bobbin when it is not properly stored, this can cause a frustrating scenario when you need to quickly complete a sewing project. You might begin to wonder if it is possible to sew without the bobbin.

By following this article, you will have to realize how vital the bobbin is to the sewing machine and your sewing projects, which is why it is important to properly store your bobbin and make sure it remains in perfect condition to ensure a smooth sewing process.