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!

Difficulty level: Beginner
Time to Complete: Evening
Used Material: thread
Seasons: all seasons, fall, spring, summer, winter
Techniques: sewing

16 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!

    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!

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