How To Put Bobbin In Old Kenmore Sewing Machine

What is a Bobbin?

A bobbin is a spool-shaped object that the sewing machine uses to store thread. The thread on the bobbin provides tension against the thread from the needle, allowing two pieces of fabric to be stitched together. Bobbins come in different sizes, shapes, and materials depending on the type of sewing machine they are used in.

What is a Kenmore Sewing Machine?

Kenmore sewing machines are popular models of mechanical sewing machines first produced in the early 1900s. These machines are typically built to last, and are found in many households throughout the country. Kenmore sewing machines are available with either a hand crank or electrical motor, and come in various sizes, styles, and colors.

How To Put Bobbin In Old Kenmore Sewing Machine

Properly installing a bobbin in an old Kenmore sewing machine is a relatively simple task. First, locate the bobbin winder on the right side of the sewing machine head. This is where the bobbin will be wound with thread. If the cover is not already open, open it by pressing down on the latch.
The bobbin should be aligned so that the thread comes off the winder in a clockwise direction. To insert the bobbin, hold it with the side that will be on the bottom of the machine facing up, and place it between the two small prongs on the bobbin winder. Then, press the small lever or switch that is located just below the bobbin winder. This will lock the bobbin in place.
Next, thread the bobbin by pulling the thread from the spool and around the upper tension discs before inserting it into the hole in the middle of the bobbin. Wind the thread onto the bobbin in a clockwise direction. Once the bobbin is full, press down the lever or switch again to unlock it.
Finally, drop the bobbin into the bobbin case and secure it by pressing down the tension lever on the side of the case. Ensure that the thread is properly secured in the tension lever and that the bobbin is spinning freely. The bobbin can then be inserted back into the sewing machine and ready to use.

Tips For Properly Installing Bobbins

Installing bobbins into Kenmore sewing machines can be done more smoothly and effectively with the following tips:

  • Read the instruction manual for the sewing machine before attempting to install a bobbin. Although the steps for installation are universal for most small Kenmore machines, reading the manual prior to starting can be helpful.
  • Always rewind the thread onto the bobbin spool with a clockwise direction. Rewinding the bobbin in a counterclockwise direction may lead to thread breakage and poor stitching.
  • Keep extra bobbins on hand before starting a big project. If the project requires a substantial amount of thread and bobbins are unwound and inserted into the machine, it is a good idea to have a few extra bobbins on hand.
  • Always check the tension lever before starting a project. This is important to ensuring that the bobbin is spinning freely and that the machine is set to the correct tension for the type of thread and fabric being used.
  • Remember to always rewind the bobbin before inserting it into the bobbin case. This will prevent the machine from using too much thread and ensure that the thread is coming off the bobbin evenly.

Possible Problems

When installing bobbins into old Kenmore sewing machines, there are several common problems that may arise. These include:

  • The thread may become tangled or looped inside the machine. This is caused by improper winding of the bobbin or when the tension lever is not correctly set.
  • The bobbin may not be evenly balanced. This can lead to uneven stitching or breaks in the thread.
  • The bobbin may be wound too tightly, which may cause the extra thread to become tangled or cause the needle to become jammed.
  • The bobbin case may not be secured correctly. This can lead to an uneven tension or poor stitching quality.

If any of these problems occur, it is important to stop using the machine and refer to the instruction manual or a professional for advice.

Preventing Issues When Working With Bobbins

To ensure that the bobbin is installed correctly and does not cause any issues, it is important to take steps to prevent problems beforehand. These include:

  • Always use the right type of bobbin for the machine. If a different type of bobbin is used, it may cause the machine to malfunction or cause thread tangles.
  • Choose a high quality thread and bobbin. Using a low quality thread or bobbin can lead to problems such as uneven stitching or thread breaks.
  • If possible, use new bobbins. Used bobbins can cause issues if the thread has become worn or tangled up.
  • Regularly clean the bobbin area and make sure to check for any burrs or rough edges. This will help to prevent the thread from becoming tangled or snagged.
  • Make sure the thread is wound tightly onto the bobbin and is not too loose. This will help to ensure that the thread tension is even and the stitching is consistent.

Troubleshooting Bobbin Issues

In the event that problems occur with bobbins, it is important to take steps to troubleshoot any issues. These may include:

  • Check the bobbin area for any knots or tangles in the thread. If any are found, gently pull the knots or tangles out or snip them off.
  • Make sure the tension lever is set properly. Too tight or too loose a tension can cause problems.
  • Refer to the instruction manual for the machine or a professional for advice.
  • Clean the bobbin area regularly. This can help to prevent problems such as thread snags or burrs.
  • Check the bobbin case for any rough edges or burrs that may cause the thread to become tangled.

Using Bobbin Accessories

In addition to the tips and troubleshooting steps mentioned above, there are some accessories available that can help to make the process of installing a bobbin easier. These include bobbin holders, which help to keep the thread in place when winding the bobbin, and special clips that can secure the bobbin case in place. These accessories can be purchased from sewing stores or online stores.


Overall, the process of installing a bobbin into an old Kenmore sewing machine is relatively simple. By following the steps outlined above and using the proper accessories, it is possible to ensure that the bobbin is properly installed and does not cause any issues during sewing. Proper maintenance and regular cleaning of the machine and bobbin area can also help to prevent problems. With the tips and troubleshooting steps mentioned in this article, it is possible to keep a Kenmore sewing machine running smoothly for years to come.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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