Confused About Bobbin Threads?

various threads


  • FEATURE ARTICLE: Confused About Bobbin Threads? 
  • ROXANE RECOMMENDS: The Saturday Art Quilting Salon

Some Tips About Which Bobbin Threads to Use:  

Dr. Bob of Superior Threads has some words of wisdom about bobbin threads.  Here’s what he has to say:

” Some teach that we should always use the same thread in the top and in the bobbin.  I think the reason they recommend this is to keep things simple and also thinking there will be fewer tension problems.  However, it is perfectly fine to use a different thread in the bobbin and, in most cases, it is actually preferred.

Here’s why: 

 -A fine bobbin thread reduces the bulk in the seam.  

-You can wind more fine wt. thread on the bobbin than a medium wt. thread.

-Tension can be easily adjusted to accommodate different threads.  

-A finer thread blends well.

-A finer thread is usually less expensive. 

The most common bobbin threads are 50 wt. and 60 wt. threads. 

Recommended bobbin threads:

 MasterPiece  #50 extra-long staple Egyptian-grown cotton.  Very little lint.  Iron safe.  75 colors. 

So Fine #50  #50 smooth, lint-free polyester. Polyester is stronger and less expensive than cotton.  Recommended to set iron to low or medium heat. 134 colors. 

Bottom Line  60 wt. smooth, lint-free polyester.  Recommended to set iron to low or medium heat.  55 colors. 

MonoPoly   Invisible polyester monofilament thread available in Clear and Smoke colors.  Commonly used as a bobbin thread for quilting and thread painting when using many different colors on top.  Recommended to set iron to low or medium heat.  If you like monofilament thread, make sure you use polyester monofilament and not nylon because nylon tends to go brittle, discolor, and has a lower heat tolerance.  Some brands of monofilament invisible threads are labeled “polyamide” which is the chemical name for nylon. MonoPolyinvisible thread is 100% polyester and the preferred type. “

(And My Personal Favorite)

Yes, it’s totally ok to use MonoPoly in your bobbin.  Just wind it more slowly, don’t overfill your bobbin, and you may have to tighten your bobbin tension a little.  Remember righty-tighty on the little bobbin screw.

I will add these advantages to using MonoPoly in your bobbin:

1.  Winds more thread on your bobbin.
2.  No lint.
3.  No need to change colors with your top thread.  Works well with all top threads.
4.  Less pop up showing if your tension isn’t perfect. 

 VIDEO! Take Two

Last week I had technical problems challenges with the new video, as some of you know when you tried to watch it.  D’OH!  Oh well, perfect I am not.  Here it is again, should be good to go. I hope you find it helpful!



 ROXANE RECOMMENDS: The Saturday Art Quilting Salon

My Studio
My Studio


 The next one will be Sept. 7, 10-1 at my studio in Raleigh and we will be dyeing small pieces of fabric in cups.  If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at dyeing, this will be a good intro.  I only have space for 8 at the most, so please email me if you want to come,



And don’t forget, I make custom commissions too! Read what my client Glenda had to say about her custom commission experience:

“Normally, I would be anxious about commissioning someone to do a work of art such as this. However, I felt a connection to you when Leigh showed me your work. It resonated with me and when I met you, you seemed almost a personification of your work. I immediately felt comfortable with you and knew that what you would create would be stunning. And it is!”

About Roxane

Roxane is a full time studio textile artist and teacher with two girls and 1 fat cat. She is a 2012 Niche Award Winner and exhibits her work all over the world. Roxane enjoys traveling, knitting and most of all working with students who want to create their own fiber art, and not simply make other people’s patterns. Her work is in several private collections and loves doing custom commissions.

If you and a small group of folks want a more private instruction experience, call me. We can work out a studio workshop in my studio. Just drop me an email:

Permission to duplicate: You certainly can use this blog, just be sure to credit me and include this link, Roxane Lessa. Hey, if you like this blog, please hit the FB or Twitter icon in the top right sidebar and share with others! That’s why they are there…..:)




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