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What are Bobbins?

10/8/2012 12:56:43 PM | by Anonymous


Bobbins used in several different applications have a similar structure and serve similar functions, be it in sewing machines or in electronics. A regular bobbin would be a spindle or cylinder, on which wire, thread or film can be wound depending on its application. Some typical applications in which bobbins are used can be in sewing machines, cameras or in electronic equipment. The purpose of the bobbins varies depending on what application it is used for. For example, bobbins may be simply used for neat storage of threads or other materials to be wounded without tangles. In electronic applications, a coil of wire around a bobbin can be used to create a magnetic field when a current is run through the coil. This article would focus on bobbins used in sewing machines. Bobbins can be made of plastic, metal, wood or even bone in earlier applications of the device.


In sewing machines, a bobbin is usually small in size and made of plastic or metal, fitted underneath the needle plate of a sewing machine. As sewing machines are able to provide a seam of two threads, one on the bottom of the cloth and the other on top, the bottom seam comes from the bobbin that is placed below the needle plate in the sewing machine. As thread is wounded around the bobbin, when the sewing machine is in operation the bobbin spins allowing thread to be run off it and get picked up by the thread of the need. Bobbins are very essential parts in a sewing machine as without it, the machine would not be able to form a seam of two threads, thus resulting in a weaker seam. With the two thread seam, it gives a smoother, neater and stronger bond to the cloth. Bobbins have been part of sewing machines for years, even in the earliest models of sewing machines.


In earlier models of sewing machines, the bobbin was wound through manual methods by hand. However with advancements in technology and the development of electric motor sewing machines, the bobbin can now be wounded on the machine itself instead of being wounded manually. However, with variations in the different types of sewing machine designs, the location where the bobbin is wounded on the sewing machine also varies. Depending on the sewing machine, the bobbin can either be wounded on top of the machine or below the needle plate. Wounding the bobbin on top of the machine is easier as compared to wounding it below the needle plate. However, the user should take caution as to not wind the thread in the wrong direction or upside down as it could affect the sewing process. Placing the bobbin wrongly would cause the thread to wind off the wheel instead of operating properly. Also, variation in machine designs can affect how the bobbin operates. For example in some machines, it may require the user to place the bobbin below the needle plate, hold the needle thread and then turn the handwheel until the need thread ‘catches’ the bobbin thread. For machines making use of similar method of inter-joining the thread but using an electric motor instead of the handwheel, the user can either turn the side roller until the two threads are inter-twinned or step of the pedal to operate the machine until the needle thread ‘catches’ the bobbin thread. Aside from these, some machines may feature simple ‘drop-in’ bobbins where the user simply needs to be certain that the bobbin is oriented correctly before dropping it into its compartment. The machine is then able to pick up the thread on its own and then operate normally.


A user should always ensure that he or she uses the right type of bobbin when operating a sewing machine. Using a wrong-sized bobbin could affect the sewing process. Bobbins can easily be found available on the internet or at tailor shops.

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