Can You Use a Sewing Machine Without a Bobbin?

A sewing machine can look like a simple machine but it’s more than that. Different tiny parts are working together synchronously and with perfect precision to make our stitching process as smooth as possible.

For a long time, sewing machines used bobbins to ensure proper stitching to our textiles and clothes. The bobbin is a very important part of the sewing machine, no matter which type or model.

To stitch, we need to create loop locks in the thread, so that it can join two pieces of clothing together without breaking apart. Bobbin secures the threading and locks the stitch by using two thread sources.

“With great power comes great responsibility” is quite a correct term for even our beloved bobbin, as we need to replace bobbin often and it requires proper maintenance too.

Can’t we use a sewing machine without a bobbin? How easy it would become for us to use a sewing machine even without that tiny bobbin which can get misplaced easily or require replacement often.

Let’s find out in the below article!

Can Sewing Machines Work Without a Bobbin?

As we all are aware, a bobbin is required to create a stitch lock so that two parts are stitched together. So without a bobbin, we can’t use the lockstitch method to join two cloth pieces together.

So we can say that without a bobbin, we can’t stitch two clothes together in a regular sewing machine. It will be a waste of time to stitch two clothes together without a bobbin as no stitching will take place.

Although your machine won’t get damaged if you use it without a bobbin but you won’t get any stitching out of it. 

Why is a Bobbin Necessary for a Sewing Machine?

A bobbin is a very essential and core part of the sewing machine. To stitch something, you need to join them together through threads. To do that, a sewing machine uses two different threads to stitch clothes together. 

We cannot work on a sewing machine without a bobbin. Just imagine stitching without that little piece of metal that does the hard job-creating loop locks in the thread and locks the stitch by using two thread sources.

The one thing you must know about this bobbin is that it is the only part of the sewing machine which has been with us from its inception. 

The first sewing machine was invented in 1814 and did not have a bobbin or feed dog. It had a shuttle instead! And it was used to create loop locks using two thread sources.

Bobbin became an essential part of a sewing machine gradually, around 1825 when the first models of sewing machines were designed with straight spools or bobbins for securing threads into loops before stitching them together.

In the 1830s, models of sewing machines were made with curved bobbins which were more effective at securing threads into loops before stitching them together, making loops tighter and more secure.

What if We use Sewing Machines without a Bobbin?

If you use a sewing machine without a bobbin then you won’t get any stitch for sure. Regular sewing machine uses a method known as the lockstitch method to obtain stitching. 

When needle thread pierces through cloth, it needs to create a stitch to join two clothes together. That’s when the bobbin thread comes into play. Both needle thread and bobbin thread create a stitch and it is known as the lockstitch method.

If there is no bobbin thread available, then your sewing machine will simply pierce through clothes without any stitching at all. It will defeat the very purpose of stitching.

However, if you need to create equal distance holes into your clothes, then you should use a sewing machine without a bobbin. It will create tiny holes in your clothes.

Do all Sewing Machines Use Bobbins?

All regular sewing machines use bobbins for stitching work. Without bobbins, you can’t get stitches and it will be a waste of time for you.

However, there are few machines, unlike our regular sewing machine which can work without a bobbin too. These machines don’t use lockstitch methods to stitch clothes together.

Overlock, serger, and chain stitch machines can do the job without the need for a bobbin. Chain Stitch machines don’t need two threads to achieve the stitch on cloth. 

The chain stitch machine uses its needle thread to do the job. These types of machines utilize the top thread to loop with itself and create a stitch (called a chain stitch) that will hold the fabric together.

However, these types of stitches are not that strong. They can be easily broken, unlike the lockstitch method. That’s why they are not deemed right for regular sewing machines.

Hence, most sewing machines use bobbins to achieve lockstitch rather than chain stitch which is weaker compared to the lockstitch method.

Do We Need a Bobbin for Embroidery?

It might be a tricky situation for you if you have a sewing machine but the bobbin is missing. But do we need a bobbin to embroider?

The answer can be both Yes and No. It depends on the machine model and your skills. In the case of embroidery, a needle and a piece of thread are all that’s required. 

One end of the thread is attached to the fabric while the other end goes through the eye of the needle, then loops around and comes out from below the material. The needle is inserted through this loop and pulled gently to create a second loop on top of it, which locks them together.

A lot of people think that we need a bobbin for embroidery because they can’t do without one while stitching clothes with sewing machine models like Brother CS6000i or Singer Heavy Duty 4411 Sewing Machine.

However, there are some downsides too. If we don’t use bobbins during embroidery then your shapes can be affected and the thread will form birdnesting (that’s when thread bunches up and ruins your embroidery)

Using bobbins during your embroidery will make sure that stitches will be kept firmly in their place and keep the cloth from crumpling.

So we should advise you to use a bobbin during your embroidery process, to make it more easy and smooth.


Sewing machines work with a bobbin. Without the bobbin, you won’t achieve any result as you won’t get a stitch lock. Your needle will simply penetrate your clothes and create holes.

There are some machines that can work without a bobbin but the result will be bad as those stitching will be weak and can break apart easily.

The bobbin is essential for creating stitches on a sewing machine. If we don’t use a bobbin, we won’t get any stitches.

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