How to Use Large Thread Spools on a Standard Sewing Machine

Written by sylvia cini
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How to Use Large Thread Spools on a Standard Sewing Machine
Large spools of thread are often available at discounted rates. (thread image by peter Hires Images from

All sewing machines have a part called a holder, which rests above the motor and holds spools of thread during machine operation. The thread holder is a two-part system featuring a straight rod and a cap. The spool is placed on the rod, while the cap is slid on top to prevent the spool from flying off while sewing. Many machines, such as antique Singers, have a vertical thread holder that does not limit the size of the spool. Compact models with a horizontal thread holder, however, can only support spools of a certain height. Free-standing thread holders may be purchased to work around this limitation.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Table
  • Cone thread holder
  • Oversized thread spool

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  1. 1

    Place the sewing machine on the table.

  2. 2

    Stand the conical base of the thread holder on the table to the right of the sewing machine.

  3. 3

    Insert the thread guide and thread spindle into the base.

  4. 4

    Lower a large spool of thread onto the spindle.

  5. 5

    Run the thread over the elevated thread guide and into the sewing machine as normal.

Tips and warnings

  • For a sturdier set-up, nail the thread holder base directly into the table or wall.
  • A wall-mounted or free-standing spindle rack may also be used to hold large spools of thread while in use. Quilters use this type of set-up frequently.

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