This post contains affiliate links for which I receive compensation

Bobbin thread

by Patti

I have thread that is directed to be used only in the bobbin. Could you tell me why?

Is it thinner than regular thread?


When I purchased my sewing machine that did machine embroidery is when I was first introduced to 'bobbin thread'. The reasoning for the specialty thread is that it is thinner. Being thinner meant you could put more on the bobbin and you wouldn't run out as often while stitching out a large embroidery design.

The same idea has transferred over to machine quilting. Running out of bobbin thread in the middle of a long line of feathers is a pain. You have to pull out some of the stitches so that you can go back in, knot and then bury the thread tails.

Bottom Line bobbin thread, Color #617
Bottom Line #617
Superior Threads makes a nice 60wt polyester thread called 'Bottom Line', originally intended as a bobbin thread. I like it because it doesn't create a lot of lint in my machine (a very nice quality to have in a 'bobbin' thread). I love it because it takes up almost no room in my seam allowance. And I frequently quilt with it on my reproduction quilts with my favorite 'go to' color ... looks more like a shadow in my lines of quilting stitches.

But yes, it's bobbin thread because it's finer.

I should mention that you don't need to use a thread specifically made for the bobbin for quilting. Many times you'll use the same type of thread that's in the needle for the bobbin, perhaps in a different color to blend in with the backing. Or if you're using a monofilament thread, my favorite thread for the bobbin is a 50 wt 100% quality cotton like Aurifil or Masterpiece or Prescensia.

Thank you for your question.

Readers, as always, we'd love to hear from you! What do you use in the bobbin for machine quilting? There's a link below to share your comments and thoughts. Thank you!


Julie Baird

Comments for Bobbin thread

Click here to add your own comments

Bobbin Thread
by: Jo Goranson "The Thread Lady"

Libby Lehmann invented Bottom Line for Superior Threads because she was tired of having only black or white thread for the bobbin. If you have never heard of her, she is the "diva" of metallic thread. Her book "Threadplay" is the book to read if you want to know about metallic thread.

I was taking a class from her in 2000 when she was inventing Bottom Line and we heard all about what she wanted it to be like. It is polyester (which you must use in the bobbin with metallic thread), 60 weight and is stronger than some of the other threads I have used. I do use it in the bobbin all the time unless I have cotton thread on top. However, I also use it on top when I am bobbin drawing with thick thread like Razzle Dazzle or any other thick thread on the bobbin. I have found that I can pull up any thread through batik fabric with heavy craft fusible on it with Bottom Line and it never breaks. I use it on top because it doesn't show like the fatter threads and I can match colors very easily because it comes in 55 colors. I do turn the upper tension up to about 7 on my Janome 6500 because it gives the bottom thread some definition. If you have never done bobbin drawing---that means you put the right side of the fabric down and the bobbin thread shows on the quilt top.

Bottom Line comes with over 1400 yards of thread on the small spool and you get about 3 times more thread on your bobbin!

A lot of Long Arm Quilters are using it on their bobbins because they don't have to continually put in new bobbins. (Their bobbins are only a little larger than those in domestic machines.)

I have also used Bottom Line when I am couching something on top of my quilt and I don't want the thread to show.

If you have read my page on this wonderful site you know I live for thread and have about 16 boxes filled with every thread imaginable. I am an art quilter, but I do traditional quilts for friends and family and used to teach quilting, both traditional and contemporary, at quilt shops for years. I no longer do this because my husband pointed out that all I was doing was teaching and making samples and wasn't doing any of my own work. He suggested I quit teaching, so I did! Smart man!

Now I have time to make my own creations, but I still teach beginning quilters at my home for no fee. (We need all the new quilters we can get so this is my way of making sure quilting continues to grow and that young people learn about it.)

thank you
by: Patti

Thank you so much for your answer and expertize.

Like you, I bought a new sewing machine that does embroidery and regular sewing. It was then that I first came in contact with the bobbin thread. I enjoy my new Baby Lock very much and it sews so nicely whether I'm working on a thick quilt or thin fabric.



Click here to add your own comments

Return to GQP's Quilting Forum.

This article was printed from

Print Article

Follow Us