Bobbins are a necessary part of sewing, and it doesn’t take long after you begin sewing to get quite a collection of them. They are small and when wound full of thread, they can quickly turn into quite a mess if you’re not careful. Having a plan for organizing your bobbins is an essential part of pleasurable sewing.
I urge you to tread this till the end; the bobbin thread holders are one of the few things that, while extremely cheap, make such a big difference by saving time, nerves and even money.
Benefits of a Bobbin Thread Holder/Organizer
You know what happens when it’s time to change the bobbin thread. You probably just take out the old bobbin, install the new one with a different color thread and toss the previous bobbin into a tray, basket or box without thinking about it. Everyone who sews has done it. And it doesn’t take long for one or two or more bobbins to start unwinding.
The next time you sew, you might dig into the basket, and jumble things around. Before too long, there are wads of thread hanging loose and weaving themselves into an impenetrable mesh in the bobbin basket. If you have a cat or a small child who tends to intrude into your sewing space, the mess will get that much worse.
And heaven forbid you knock the box off the table! Bobbins will go everywhere, trailing thread after them. You will then have to spend your precious sewing time gathering bobbins and tediously winding them back up. Or simply breaking the thread and throwing away the tangled part. I did it, we all did it. But there is a way to avoid this.
Bobbin clips and organizers can help you take your bobbin storage from cluttered and messy to neat and tidy. You won’t have to stop your sewing to untangle and rewind a mass of bobbins and threads when you need a particular color of thread on your bobbin. In fact, some bobbin clips attach directly to the spool of thread, so you don’t have to worry whether your bobbin thread goes with this blue spool or that other blue spool.
If you begin using a bobbin thread clip, you can still just toss the bobbins into a basket, but with the loose threads neatly contained, your basket will no longer become a bird’s nest. When you use a bobbin organizer, the bobbins will be neatly nestled in their own spots. You can even keep them all organized by color spectrum, so you can see at a glance where your bobbins in a particular hue are.
Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means I will receive a commission if you order a product through one of my links. I only recommend products I believe in and use myself.
Different Types Of Bobbin Thread Holders/Organizers
Bobbin thread savers and bobbin clips are both similar organizational products. These items clip or wrap around the bobbin to keep the loose end of the thread contained. They will keep the bobbin thread wound tightly on the bobbin.
Bobbin thread holders are similar to bobbin clips and thread savers, except they attach the bobbin to the specific spool of thread. When you buy this kind of product, you’ll never again find yourself standing next to a window, trying to decide which colors match.
Bobbin organizers keep the bobbins organized in a box or tray so that you can see exactly what you have.
By the way the image below also shows a small tool that is in my opinion indispensable too: the thread buddy (sometimes called the spool saver) which stops the thread from unraveling from the spool.
Tips For Using A Bobbin Thread Holder/Organizer Effectively
Often, sewists are free spirits, kind of like artists. We love to create and don’t mind if the process is a bit messy and disorganized. But, after a while, the lack of organization can interrupt our workflow and be just plain frustrating. So this is why you need to have an organizational plan.
If you buy bobbin organizers that hook to your spools of thread, you can then store the thread on a thread rack in your sewing room. At a glance, you will know if you have just the right shade to match the fabric that you just purchased. These racks are inexpensive and really useful; here is a selection at Amazon.
However, if you don’t have a designated sewing space for a thread rack and your sewing takes place on the dining room table, you will have to find a solution for your storage needs that can be packed up neatly when you are between projects. Bobbin storage boxes work well for this option. Often, they have lids that snap shut so everything stays put when you store them away. You can label the boxes and stash them on a shelf so you can always have the right colors at your fingertips.
You may want to have a separate box for each kind of bobbin thread, sorting them by weight, color family, or use.
When you are looking online at various systems for organizing your bobbins, you definitely want to keep an open mind. Some brands work better with certain kinds of bobbins than others. Don’t be afraid to try something else if your first choice doesn’t work well. Chances are that you will eventually find the perfect storage solution for your bobbin collection.
Reviews of Various Bobbin Organizers
There are so many options for organizing your bobbins and spools of thread. Here are a few and what I thought of each one. I have all these, some of them for quite some time, and I find all of them useful.
Note: I am using bobbins for home sewing machines, all my machines have either bobbin type A (15) or type L which have a diameter of about 0.85” (2.1cm), slightly smaller than a US quarter. For industrial machines or machines designed for upholstery/heavy duty thread the bobbins used tend to be larger and all these tools described below might not work as well. But most home sewing machines use the smaller bobbin types.
In my article How to thread a bobbin I am presenting a very interesting chart for the various bobbin sizes.
New Brothread 100pcs Thread Spool Savers
These Brothread Spool Savers consist of small twisted pieces of flexible silicon that can be wrapped around various spools of thread to keep the loose thread tails contained. They come in bright cheerful colors and fit tightly enough around the spool that they do not interfere with storage of your thread. I like them and I use them.
Some people prefer to store their spools of thread on a rack, but others like to just toss their spools in a basket. Either way, this product can corral loose threads for you. You can wrap one of these spool savers around a spool of thread and just toss it in a basket or box. The next time that you need that thread, it will be right there, perfectly, tightly wound, ready for you to use it again. There will be no loose, tangled strands in your thread basket ever again.
The colors are bright and cheerful and they spring back into shape no matter how many times you use or reuse the spool saver. They also come in a bag of 100, so even if your thread collection is rather extensive, you will have enough to corral all your loose threads.
Madam Sew Semi Clear Sewing Bobbin Clips
This product will keep you from ever having to dig through a box to find the bobbin that matches your thread, because with Madam Sew Semi Clear Sewing Bobbin Clips, you can store both of them together. This package includes 16 sets of three items designed to organize your thread and bobbins.
Each set contains a thread peel that wraps around the thread spool to contain loose tails. It also has a bobbin clip that wraps securely around the bobbin, keeping it tightly wound. Finally, there is a bobbin holder that installs on the spool of thread and keeps the two items stored together.
These items are made of high quality, frosted white silicone which will allow you to easily spot the color that you want at a glance. The silicone is smooth so it won’t catch or snag on the threads. This system is one of my favorites because it isn’t made in distracting, bright colors. However I also have a cheaper version of the same which works well too: Silicone Thread Spool Holders but unfortunately these come in bright colors.
Tailor Bobbin Holder
Some of us who have been sewing a very long time likely have more bobbins than we do thread spools. For this kind of sewist, the Tailor Bobbin Holder might be the perfect solution for our bobbin storage needs. These brightly colored, thread spool clips are designed to slide around the bobbin to keep it from unspooling in storage.
One thing to keep in mind with this product is that some users report that they had a hard time getting the bobbin holder to stay on bobbins that were mostly full. It probably also depends on the kind of bobbin that you are using, most users complaining use heavy duty / industrial machines with a – presumably – larger bobbin.
If you like to pre-wind a lot of bobbins so that you can keep working with little interruption when your bobbin thread runs out, this might be a good solution for corralling the loose thread tails on those bobbins.
Bobbin Clamps Holders
Another bobbin storage solution is available from Hulameda with their Bobbin Clamps Holders. These bobbin holders are made from soft silicone. They clamp neatly around your bobbins to keep the loose threads contained.
These clamps are made of brightly colored silicone, which some people like. However, the bright colors can camouflage the color of the thread on the bobbin, making it a bit more difficult to figure out which bobbin you are looking for. Some people store the clamped bobbins on their thread spool holders, which is a good solution to this problem, but it would be better if the company made the bobbin clamps in clear plastic instead of bright colors.
Another problem that some users reported is the same as before, when they tried these clamps with full bobbins, the clamps just wouldn’t stay on the bobbin. Again, larger bobbins for industrial machines (type M) tend to have this issue when full.
50 pcs/Pack Sewing Bobbin Small Clips
Made in five bright colors, these Small Bobbin Clips may be just the thing for keeping your bobbin containers neat and tidy. They slide easily on the bobbins, keeping them wound perfectly for your next use. Again, they are brightly colored, which can obscure the color of the thread on the bobbin, and I find myself wondering, why in the world the manufacturers didn’t make these clear rather than only in bright colors!
They do add a bit of bulk to the bobbin, so if you use a bobbin case with a lid for storage, they might not fit quite as well after you affix these bobbin clips. But if you have an open box, you might find these to be exactly what you need.
Bobbin Holders for Thread Spool
These bobbin holders are another kind that is intended to affix the bobbin to the spool of thread, and this is indeed handy! They come in an unobtrusive white plastic, so there are no bright colors to distract or clash. However, many people who have bought them find that they don’t work quite as well as advertised. Certain brands of thread and bobbins work better than others. I recommend that you read the reviews to be sure that your brand of bobbin and preferred kind of thread will work well with this gadget.
When it does work, this nifty bobbin holder seems to be perfect. The bobbin snaps into the holder and the holder is inserted into the spool of thread. Then, you can stash the thread and bobbin together on your thread rack.
Spools Bobbin Buddies Set of 30-Pack
While the Bobbin Buddies style of bobbin storage doesn’t do anything for the long thread tails, it will keep your bobbin and thread spools firmly stuck together. These plastic pins don’t look like much, but they definitely work well. You just push the pin through the bobbin and then through the hold in the spool of thread. They stay together very well.
Again, these are made in very bright colors, but thankfully the plastic does not obscure the color of the thread. One thing to mention is that many people who use these say that the pin is so long that they can’t store their spools of thread on their thread racks. Another problem that some have reported is that you have to have some hand and finger strength to make them work. If you have arthritis, you might want to choose another style.
Taylor Seville Originals Bobbin Topper-Fits All
These bobbin toppers from Taylor Seville are another style that attaches the bobbin to the top of the spool of thread. They’re made of flexible plastic, and they come in boring white and blue, which is fine with me. They don’t obscure the color of the thread on the bobbin.
Some users say that the little slot where the thread tail should be “grabbed” doesn’t work very well, so you might end up with thread tails flying when you use this product. Again, while many popular brands of thread and bobbins work just fine with this product, that doesn’t guarantee that your particular thread or bobbin will work. You may just want to try it and see how it goes. Another issue is that these bobbin toppers are rather expensive. For about $10 you only get an eight pack, and let me tell you: 8 is definitely a small number!
These soft, rubbery Bobbin Holders snap on the top of a spool of thread and connect the bobbin to the thread spool. When they work, they work very well. You can even lay your spool of thread and bobbin horizontally in a drawer and the bobbin will stay attached securely to the thread spool.
Some users find that these bobbin holders will prevent them from using a thread rack, since the bobbin/spool duo are too tall for their thread rack. According to the product description they fit type L, type A (class15), and type M bobbins. Again, bright, garish colors, but at least you can still see the color of the thread on the bobbin!
These bobbin clips snap securely on the bobbin to eliminate flying tails and unraveling. If you’ve ever dropped a bobbin or, horror of horrors, a whole box of bobbins, you probably know the frustration of having to collect and re-wind unspooled thread from the bobbins. These clips can help that never happen to you again by snugly keeping the thread intact on the bobbin.
They seem to work well, but again, they’re bright colors and the clips somewhat obscure the thread color on the bobbin. Why don’t they make them clear? However, they are quite functional, even if the color of the clips can be a small problem.
5 Colors Plastic Bobbin Thread Holders
Another gadget for connecting the bobbin to the spool of thread, the Plastic Bobbin Thread Holder is shaped like a giant plastic hairpin. Just insert the two open ends into the bobbin and then into the spool and your bobbin and spool are securely connected.
They seem to work as advertised, although you might still end up with random thread tails. Most people find that these bobbin thread holders work with almost any brand of thread or bobbin, so if you’re having a hard time with organizing your sewing supplies, this might be a brand to try.
I have of course multiple types from the regular plastic box to dedicated bobbin organizer boxes and I am acquiring more every month. I am a big fan of the dedicated storage boxes because they are by far the easiest to use. You can immediately see the bobbin, you don’t have to rummage for it and the thread is usually safe even if you forget to put the bobbin clamp.
But these boxes have a drawback: some of them do not allow enough space for the bobbin clamp, and I find this annoying because I have kicked off the table enough bobbins to learn to put a clamp on them as soon as I take them out of the machine.
I do not recommend very small plastic boxes either. For me, boxes like these are the best size. Personal preference 🙂.
Did you find this tutorial helpful? If so, save this pin (see below) on your sewing board so you can come to the article later when you need this information on bobbin thread holders and organizers , and follow me on Pinterest for more tips, tutorials, and inspiration!
- Understanding Selvage Edge of Fabric and Its Role in Your Projects
- How To Hem Curtains: Your Total Guide
- Top Bobbin Thread Holders and Organizers (2023)
- How To Hem A Dress With A Sewing Machine
- Bobbin Thread 101: Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions
- IKEA Sewing Table Reviews: Which One is Right for You?
- Fringe Foot Fun: Adding Textured Accents to Your Sewing Projects
- Hemming 101: A Guide To Different Types Of Hems
- How to Make a Rolled Hem with a Serger: Get Professional Results
Monday 22nd of May 2023
Thank you for this information. I’m looking for a hanging thread holder that will hold 3 different spool sizes. Like the large spools for a serger. Thank you for your help.
Sunday 21st of May 2023
My go to is a small section of clear flexible acrylic tube or piping that you cam get at any DIY store, cut in sections to make a bobbin clip. Works brilliantly, its perfectly, doesn't obscure the thread colour and barely costs a thing.
Saturday 20th of May 2023
Re bobbin thread holders.. I use clear plastic tube cut into appropriate lengths . Cut the tube up the middle and slip it on to the bobbin. Cheap easy and works like a charm.
Sunday 4th of June 2023
Interesting idea; what kind of tubes? I think silicon rubber tubes, because the rigid ones would not be suitable. I will try this, thank you.
Saturday 20th of May 2023
Olga thank you for bobbin storage article. I have a Bernina machine & have been storing my bobbins in case comes in ( stacks vertically in clear container with screw top ). Despite this they get tangled inside. The Bernina 5, 6, 7 & 8 series have metal on one side of the bobbin ( these hold 5X amount of traditional bobbins) The need to protect that metal edge is needed for proper machine performance. I did see a case on Amazon that is moldered with rubber or foam that Bernina bobbins can be place. But still I feel it would have strands of thread to get tangled. I will ask my local dealer of options for me. ( having only 5 bobbins is not enough for me lol ) I guess trade off of large bobbin isn’t alway convenient with thread being kept tidy.
Sunday 4th of June 2023
This is one of the reasons I don't use Bernina machines despite their excellent reputation: too many proprietary parts. I didn't even know the bobbins too are proprietary. Thank you for the addition!
Mary Ann Campbell
Saturday 20th of May 2023
You forgot the cheapest and easiest way to keep bobbins and spools of thread organized, namely 'baby hair ties'. I use the smallest wide ones. They fit around a bobbin or spool of thread. For traveling, I put my bobbins with the ties around them, in a medicine bottle and it keeps everything nice and tidy. No fuss, no muss and no loose threads to get tangled. The ties are also small enough to keep a bunch of them in your sewing bag.
Another thing that helps with the spool of thread is to take a medicine bottle and put a small hole in the top and keep your spool of thread in there. Pull the thread through the hole, so that you can pull out as much as you want. I also make a little slit in the top to hold the thread in place, so that it doesn't work itself back into the bottle. This works especially well if you are using one color of thread. This also keeps your thread clean. There nothing worse than sewing on a train and your thread jumps out of your lap and rolls down the aisle. Ask me how I know. LOL
One last thing. If you need different colors of thread, but you don't have the space to keep a bunch of spools, I make up bobbins of the colors I need. I put these in an Altoid tin. Of course, this only works if you don't need a lot of thread.
Sunday 4th of June 2023
Thank you. No, I did not forget about the ties, I just did not use them yet - but I will! Thanks again for the tips!