From time to time we post information from the manufacturers and distributors.   This article is taken from Barnyarns own website.  As you might be aware, they are a regular supporter of our website, and usually seen on the exhibition circuit where you can chat with Callum and the team.     Even better, there’s a discount available for our website members too when you order direct from them.


Today Barnyarns are talking about Bobbin Thread.

There are two main types of thread for the bobbin, cotton and Polyester, both are great but each has slightly different characteristics.

Cotton Bobbin Thread

This is suited to the Quilter and keeps the fibre content consistent with the fabric, batting, and top thread. Not such a favourite of the embroiderers, it is OK, but on dense fill designs, cotton bobbin thread will result in a stiff design.

It is very important that you choose a good quality cotton for the bobbin. The lower quality cotton will produce more lint which in turn requires more frequent machine cleaning. A good quality cotton will produce little lint and less machine downtime.

An example of a top quality cotton bobbin thread is Superior Masterpiece

Superior Masterpiece is an Extra Long Staple, Egyptian grown top quality cotton (the best of the best) This thread is fine, strong and will give you very little lint. It is more expensive than a normal 100% cotton thread but both you and your machine will notice the difference when using this thread in the bobbin.


There are two types of polyester underthread, Spun Polyester and Filament polyester. Both work fine, here’s some information about them both.

Spun Polyester

Spun polyester is very widely used, more so than cotton because of it’s strength, it is stronger than cotton. Many machines like this thread due to its strength. Like cotton, it does not have a slick surface and it may very infrequently grab the top thread too tightly creating uneven stitches and top thread breakage.

The pro’s of spun polyester bobbin thread outweigh the cons and this is a good, inexpensive very popular underthread that will balance out any top thread being sewn.

Filament Polyester.

A filament polyester underthread has a shiny appearance and is virtually lint free. It can be thin and lightweight, yet strong.

This is often preferred by the Embroiderer because it creates a soft backing, even on dense designs with many machine quilters liking it due to its smooth surface.

A filament bobbin thread works exceptionally well with all threads, balancing them perfectly, it is also the underthread of choice if you are using metallic threads or heavy cotton threads. The smoothness of the filament poly thread does not snag or grab the top thread. If you’ve had trouble using metallics or heavy cotton threads, a smooth bobbin thread may solve some problems.

Examples of filament polyester bobbin threads are Superior Bottomline and Superior Sofine


Pre Wound Bobbins

Frequently Asked Questions about Prewound Bobbins.

1. Why use prewounds when I can wind my own?

Barnyarn’s prewound bobbins are wound by high tech machines which provide a smooth, uniform wind. The result is much more thread on the bobbin than a self-wound bobbin. Having to stop in the middle of a project to change the bobbin is always an inconvenience.

2. Should I tear off the cardboard sides?

If the bobbin fit is too snug to accommodate free rotation, take off the cardboard sides. This will not affect the function of the bobbin. If your machine has an automatic bobbin sensor, leaving on the cardboard sides will make the sensor think the bobbin is always full and will therefore not provide a low bobbin warning. The solution is to tear off the cardboard sides and use the sensor, or leave the sides on and sew until the bobbin thread runs out.

3. Plastic or Cardboard sided bobbins?

Either type is fine. Plastic bobbins are reusable; cardboard bobbins are disposable. Because the plastic-sided bobbins are so smooth, they may continue to spin even after your machine stops and cause a backlash. Some machines seem to work better with the cardboard-sided bobbins because the cardboard sides provide more friction and backlash is usually not a problem. If it is, the bobbin tension may need to be tightened.

Today, almost all major machine companies sell prewound bobbins. See Barnyarns selection of pre wound bobbins include bobbins from Madeira and Superior Thread at their Website.