BERNINA Quick Tips: Winding a Bobbin

BERNINA machines come with many fun accessories. During the excitement of unpacking your new machine, you just want to get sewing! If you’re like me, the last thing you want to do is consult the manual, so I’m here to tell you some quick tips for getting your machine going.

We’ll be doing a series of three blog posts on how to properly wind a bobbin, thread your BERNINA, and load a bobbin. Today we’ll go over how to wind a bobbin in your new BERNINA. Look for how to thread your machine next week.

Let’s get started!

Your machine has two spool pins–a horizontal and a vertical, which can be hidden away and flips up if you need it. If you’re using cross wound thread such as Mettler, Guterman, or Aurifil, it’s best to use your horizontal spool pin. If you’re using stacked thread such as Coats and Clark, it’s best to use your vertical spool pin.


BERNINAs come with three different spool caps; small, medium, and large.


Choose your spool cap based on the on the size of your spool of thread, and it can change as your thread gets used.


It’s also important to use the foam pad as it reduces vibration and prevents the spool from moving around. Place the foam pad on your horizontal spool pin first with the foam facing the thread.  If you’re using Aurifil thread you’ll have to remove the large orange disc on the bottom of your spool–it pulls off easily. The orange end of your Aurifil spool will fit inside the hole on your foam pad when you slide it onto your spool pin.


Your thread tail should be coming up and over the top of your thread like a waterfall. If you need a more memorable description, think of this as the way you want your toilet paper roll hanging. Lastly, place the spool cap on the spool pin with the flat, smooth side of your spool cap facing your spool of thread.


To wind your bobbin, hook your thread tail under the silver hook in the upper back of your machine.


The little round silver disc you see on top of your machine is ONLY for when you’re winding a bobbin–it is a tension disc that ensures your bobbin is wound nice and even. Next, wrap your thread tail around the bobbin tension disc one time, clockwise (in the direction of the arrow). You want to make sure your thread gets flossed into the tension discs or your machine won’t be able to do its job properly.


On the top left of your machine is a little gray post: that’s where you’ll place the bobbin. It’s important to use the same bobbins that came with your machine. Not all bobbins are created equal.  The wrong bobbin can create an uneven or poor quality stitch. You can purchase more of the correct bobbins for your machine here at Modern Domestic or at your local BERNINA dealer. You’ll need to come prepared and be able to tell us specifically which machine model you have. Bring your thread tail over to your bobbin and wrap the thread clockwise (in the direction of the arrow) around your bobbin 3-5 times.


Before you engage your bobbin winder, a helpful trick is to snip your thread tail off in the little thread snipper that lives in your bobbin winder lever, at the exact same time you engage your bobbin winder.


To engage your bobbin winder you’ll push the little gray lever toward the bobbin. Your machine will wind a full bobbin and stop on its own. As the bobbin fills with thread, it slowly pushes the lever away from the bobbin toward the right. You can stop your machine from winding a full bobbin by simply pushing the lever away from the bobbin and over to the right.


Next, pull your bobbin off the gray post and snip the thread with the thread snip that lives in your bobbin winder lever. Set your bobbin aside until you’re ready to load your bobbin.

Don’t forget to look for next week’s blog post on how to properly thread your new BERNINA!

7 Responses to “BERNINA Quick Tips: Winding a Bobbin”

  1. esther

    Thanks for the quick tutorial!! I was just attempting and failing at winding my bobbin, thanks to you I have it wound! Because I really have no idea where I put my manual…..

  2. jan irwin

    My bobbin winder does not stop automatically when the bobbin is full. Can this be adjusted as it has previously worked perfectly

  3. Rebekah

    Thanks for your question, Jan! I would have it looked at by a BERNINA technician. The bobbin should stop when it is full.

  4. Theresa Finn

    How full should it be? Should it wind evenly without help?

  5. Grace P

    After winding the bobbin the machine won’t sew. When I press the control foot the needle does not go down and up. What do I do?

  6. Rebekah

    Hi Grace, Thanks so much for contacting us! What model of machine do you have? You’ll need to disengage the bobbin winder to allow the machine to sew. Please feel free to call our store and we can talk it out with you!

    Thank you!

  7. Linda Kay Smith

    I just got my “new” used Bernina Aurora 440 and had no idea how to wind the bobbin. I watched a couple of how-to videos but your instructions were the clearest. Thank you! I will be looking at your instructions on threading the machine.

Leave a Reply