The bobbin is an integral part in any home or commercial sewing machine. A bobbin holds the bottom thread in a sewing machine to form the underside of a stitch.
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Bobbins are made in several sizes, though there are a few basic standard bobbins. Home machines generally have one of three styles: class 15, class 66 and class L. Some machines have bobbins that are specific to the machine, and not one of the above-mentioned styles. Bobbin size and style are often dependent on whether a bobbin is top-loading or side-loading.
Bobbins come in both plastic and metal. Often, a machine that requires plastic bobbins will not take metal ones because of the rotary hook and/or sensors in the machine, but often machines that take metal bobbins can also take plastic ones. If you're switching from metal bobbins to plastic, the size of the bobbin must still match.
Although there are a few "standard" bobbin sizes, some sewing machine manufacturers recommend that they will work best with their own brand of bobbins because there may be a slightly different shape to their bobbins, such as a concave or convex top or bottom. Some manufacturers produce bobbins for their machines that will only fit in one way to eliminate incorrect bobbin installation.
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