Thread Spool Tip

Do you know which type of thread spool pin on your sewing machine to use with different spools of thread?

Thread spool tip

Most spools of thread are wound one of two ways, cross-wound or stacked. The thread will come off of each type of spool differently. These tips can help if your sewing machine has both vertical and horizontal spool pins.

The red and blue spools on the left in the picture above are cross-wound spools. The thread has been wound on the spool in a criss-cross way, resulting in a pattern of “X’s” on the spool. The green and gold spools on the right in the picture above are stacked. The thread has been wound on the spool to stack one row above the other, resulting in a pattern of straight lines on the spool.

Cross-wound spools work best on a horizontal spool pin to allow the thread to evenly feed off of the spool. The thread should come off the top of the spool. Use the spool along with a foam pad and spool cap to help keep the thread from wrapping around the pin.

Stacked spools work best on a vertical spool pin to allow the thread to evenly feed off of the spool. Use the spool along with a foam pad to help keep the thread from wrapping around the pin.

Watch this quick video to see how!

21 thoughts on “Thread Spool Tip

    1. Hello clscanlon, the 8 Series machines (including the B 820, B 830 and B 880) have an entirely different setup for thread spools. You will use the three spool pins on your machine and check in your manual to find out which spool pin is best to use when. You might want to check in with your BERNINA Dealer if there is one particular thread that you want to use and are not getting the best results with.

        1. There is a horizontal pin available for the 8 series machines, for a few dollars. There is also the metal guide from the extra kit which has a small hole to thread the thread through for stack wound spools. The thread tree on the machine prevents most issues. I consider this a design feature and love it. I believe this kit comes standard for new 8 series machines.

        2. The 830 uses the vertical pins for both types of feed. Top-feed is obvious, but side-feed is there also. There is a fantastic little eyelet that allows you to side-feed the stacked type spools from the vertical pins. Put the stacked type spool on the rear pin, then feed the thread thru the little eyelet, then up to the top guides as usual. Works great. It is on p.21 of my manual (830LE), under the heading “Thread Guide.” I think mine has a misprint, because some of the info is jumbled in with some other info about the thread guide/lubricator accessory, but the picture shows you where the eyelet is. You will figure it out quick sitting in front of your machine!

        3. Hello suegrap, the 8 Series machines do have a different thread stand system than other models like the one we show in our tip. The 8 Series thread stand optimally releases thread from the spool at the high speeds of 1200 stitches per minute this model is capable of stitching. The thread stand accommodates both stacked and cross-wound spools. It’s not uncommon to make machine adjustments to thread tension or sewing speed with the wide variety of threads on the market today, especially if top and bobbin threads are different weights. Invisible threads can be more delicate and may benefit from slowing down your sewing speed and decreasing thread tension. Metallic threads incorporate pieces of metal and can be delicate and have a tight twist memory (may not want to unwind flat from the spool), and these types of threads may benefit by setting the spool to the side of the machine to let the thread have a longer runway to unwind and relax from the spool. When using this technique, set the thread spool next to the thread stand to ensure it can unwind from the spool easily, and use the guide on the thread stand used for bobbin winding to continue with the normal thread path. We hope these tips help you to use different types of thread with your 8 Series machine, and please get in touch with your local BERNINA store for additional assistance.

    2. Great question cscanlon2012! Here’s some information about thread spools and the 8 Series machines. The 8 Series machines do have a different thread stand system than other models like the one we show in our tip. The 8 Series thread stand optimally releases thread from the spool at the high speeds of 1200 stitches per minute this model is capable of stitching. The thread stand accommodates both stacked and cross-wound spools. It’s not uncommon to make machine adjustments to thread tension or sewing speed with the wide variety of threads on the market today, especially if top and bobbin threads are different weights. Invisible threads can be more delicate and may benefit from slowing down your sewing speed and decreasing thread tension. Metallic threads incorporate pieces of metal and can be delicate and have a tight twist memory (may not want to unwind flat from the spool), and these types of threads may benefit by setting the spool to the side of the machine to let the thread have a longer runway to unwind and relax from the spool. When using this technique, set the thread spool next to the thread stand to ensure it can unwind from the spool easily, and use the guide on the thread stand used for bobbin winding to continue with the normal thread path. We hope these tips help you to use different types of thread with your 8 Series machine, and please get in touch with your local BERNINA store for additional assistance.

    1. Hello lshea09, the 8 Series machines (including the B 820, B 830 and B 880) do have a different setup for thread spools. You will use the three spool pins on your machine and check in your manual to find out which spool pin is best to use when. You might want to check in with your BERNINA Dealer if there is one particular thread that you want to use and are not getting the best results with.

    2. You have the same machine as I do….look at p. 21 of manual, bottom photo. The manual calls it radial thread unwinding. Just use the little eyelet on the plastic divider in the thread stand. It will provide perfect horizontal unwinding from a stacked (radial wound) spool. It’s great!

    3. Hello Ishea09, here are some tips and information about the thread spool holders for your B 830 LE. The 8 Series machines do have a different thread stand system than other models like the one we show in our tip. The 8 Series thread stand optimally releases thread from the spool at the high speeds of 1200 stitches per minute this model is capable of stitching. The thread stand accommodates both stacked and cross-wound spools. It’s not uncommon to make machine adjustments to thread tension or sewing speed with the wide variety of threads on the market today, especially if top and bobbin threads are different weights. Invisible threads can be more delicate and may benefit from slowing down your sewing speed and decreasing thread tension. Metallic threads incorporate pieces of metal and can be delicate and have a tight twist memory (may not want to unwind flat from the spool), and these types of threads may benefit by setting the spool to the side of the machine to let the thread have a longer runway to unwind and relax from the spool. When using this technique, set the thread spool next to the thread stand to ensure it can unwind from the spool easily, and use the guide on the thread stand used for bobbin winding to continue with the normal thread path. We hope these tips help you to use different types of thread with your 8 Series machine, and please get in touch with your local BERNINA store for additional assistance.

  1. Hmmm, I was at a demo for a thread company and they said the opposite. Crosswound = vertical, stacked = horizontal. Strange….but doesn’t really matter either way because the big cones can really only be used vertically lol.

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