Sewing Tip: Bobbin Thread Color

Usually when you thread your machine you use the same color for the top spool as you do for the bobbin.  This is fine when the fabrics you are sewing together are the same or when the underside of your project will never be visible.  However, if you are sewing something like a place mat and the top side is one color and the underside is a different color, it will look more professional if you match the thread on each side.

This is easy to do: what you need to know is that when you’re top-stitching the thread you see on the right side of the fabric (the side facing up to you) is coming from the top spool of thread and the stitching underneath (the side facing down while
you’re sewing) is coming from the bobbin.


Match the bobbin thread as closely as you can to the fabric on the underside of your project.  If there is great contrast between the top and bottom fabrics (as seen in my example) some of the darker thread will still be visible on the underside but it will be a lot more subtle.

9 thoughts on “Sewing Tip: Bobbin Thread Color

  1. ToilingAnt

    Might want to check your tension… if the bottom thread is too tight, you’ll get those little spots of the top thread showing through on the underside.

  2. stitchy1

    The tension is pretty good but could use a little tweaking. Perhaps the best way to do it is to thread with contrasting colors! I might do that. Thanks!

  3. shirley

    This is exactly the information I needed. I am new to sewing. I had very bad experiences with the sewing machine my mother had and have kept away from sewing with a machine for most of my life. Now I am trying my hand at quilting. The first quilt I made was all hand sewn. I have bought a machine and am learning from scratch and by myself. I wondered about the color of bobbin thread showing through. Thank you for sharing this information.

  4. angelina Post author

    Shirley -I’m so sorry your comment was stuck in moderation for such a long time!!! I’m so happy that I was able to give you some useful information.

  5. Lisa

    Thanks so much for sharing this information – I’m new to seeing and wasn’t sure if I need to change the top spool or the bobbin – now I do! :-)

  6. Alwin

    I have a pe700 embroidery machine.
    I want to use different colors in my design. But my machine is only using bobbing thread to stitch the designs. I want it to use top thread . Can you help?

  7. angelina Post author

    I’ve never used an embroidery machine so have no advice on using one. I suggest going to a dealer that carries your machine and asking for some demos on thread use – I find that people in sewing machine shops are generally really good at helping you maximize the use of the machine you have. Best of luck to you!

  8. Lyn

    This article was very helpful. I’m new to the sewing scene, I’m starting from scratch. I have learned a lot from my mistakes. Keeping the thread tension just right was a stumbling block. I have a better idea now how it all works.

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