Sewing Machines: How a Bobbin Works

Craft & Design

Ani Lockstitch2

Candace at Crafty Daisies posted up this animated graphic that shows how a bobbin catches thread in sewing machines. It is very mesmerizing to watch! Also, don’t miss our special sewing machine feature in CRAFT: 03, “Anatomy of a Sewing Machine”. Link.

20 thoughts on “Sewing Machines: How a Bobbin Works

  1. tina says:

    wow! i always wondered how that worked! thanks for that!

  2. jeremy says:

    This is a cool graphic, but i don’t understand quite how it works. the center bobbin that holds the blue thread seems to be floating in space if the green thread is flowing around it. meanwhile, the red part is floating in space as well. if someone could please explain how it works in practice i would really appreciate it.

  3. kelly says:

    THANKS for posting this, seriously. The timing was all screwed up on my machine this summer and I searched EVERYWHERE for something just like this. I ended up having to leave it with a repair place, which took 3 weeks and $90, bleh.

  4. Cattt says:

    that is totally crazy. when i sew i was wondering how that bobbin works. now i see.

  5. Dru says:

    This is an awesome animation. I’ve sewn for years and wondered how the the threads connected together. My husband, an engineer, thought the animation was equally cool!

  6. Sophia says:

    jeremey- the centre circle is the bobbin; the red part is a shuttle race. The bobbin sits inside the shuttle race and the two work together. The green thread comes from the spool at the top.
    i think

  7. soandsewcrafty says:

    Great animation!

  8. Unibrook says:

    Jeremy is right. You can picture the loop of top thread getting around the bobbin cuz it does float freely with no axle. BUT the does no explain (or show in the vdo) how the loop can encircle the red race freely. The red race MUST be attached to the machine somewhere (unlike the bobbin spool). So, how does it work?

  9. Chris says:

    I believe the red shuttle does not actually turn a complete circle. The video is slightly simplified. The tail end of the shuttle is attached to the machine, and this is where the red piece’s movement comes from. The red catches the thread, and turns far enough in a circle to release the thread on the other side of the bobbin. The thread continues back up the opposite side (slipping behind the bobbin, which is not attached), while the red “shuttle” turns back the reverse direction to its original position. Hope that helps.

  10. Hermawan says:

    it’s not really right. the red figure doesn’t spin like that, but turn 180° right and than 180° left.

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