How to Thread a Sewing Machine

To get attractive, secure stitches, it is essential that you have your sewing machine properly threaded. Even though sewing machines come in different styles and sizes, the mechanism for making a stitch on a home sewing machine is pretty much the same –
it make stitches by taking the needle thread and interlocking it with a second thread that comes from the bobbin. The instruction manual for each particular sewing machine will give you instructions for threading your machine that are specific to it, however if you don’t have a manual, there are general steps you can follow.

Steps to Threading Your Sewing Machine

  1. presser foot sewing machine

    Put the presser foot in the upward position

    Put the presser foot in the upward position. Put a spool of thread onto the spool holder. Going from the spool holder and across the top of the machine, look for at least one thread guide. Put the thread into the thread guide.

  2. Now find a tension mechanism. Guide the thread downward to this mechanism, slip the thread between the tension mechanism’s metal disks and take the thread back upwards.
  3. Find a take up mechanism. This should be the front of the machine that will go up and down as you turn the hand wheel. Put the thread through the take up lever. Sometimes, sewing machines are set up so the thread will just slide into here, while others need you to put the thread through a hole yourself.
  4. The thread will now go downward along the left side of the take up lever.
  5. Find and thread any thread guides, leading the thread down to the sewing machine needle and put it through the eye of the needle. In some cases, there are built-in needle threaders which make fast work of threading the needle. When threading a machine needle by hand, look at your sewing machine manual or go along the groove in the needle shaft to figure out from what direction, (front to back or left to right) to thread the needle. You should not feel much resistance with the presser foot up while pulling the thread through the machine. Put the presser foot down and pull the thread gently. You will be able to feel the tension discs engaging.
  6. Put a bobbin into the machine, being careful that it has the correct rotational direction and that the tension spring of the bobbin is engaged. Lift up the presser foot and hold the needle thread while you lower and raise the needle one time so the top thread loops around the thread of the bobbin. Pull the end of the needle thread gently so that the bobbin thread comes up through the needle hole in the stitch plate. Pull both bobbin and top thread ends underneath the presser foot, going towards the back of the sewing machine.

A majority of sewing machines follow a similar path for the thread – across, down, around, up, down and through. With just a bit of practice, you will be threading your machine like a professional in no time at all.