Correctly threading your Brother sewing machine is crucial for a seamless sewing experience. Otherwise, you may encounter a broken needle, tangled thread, or an uneven sewn pattern. Below are the basic steps for threading that apply to most Brother sewing machines.

Steps for Threading a Brother Sewing Machine

Here are some easy to follow steps on how to thread a Brother sewing machine the right way.

1. Wind the Bobbin

First, ensure that the bobbin that is compatible with your model of Brother sewing machine. If it is a new machine, the chances are it came with a compatible bobbin. Otherwise, check the manufacturer’s bobbin specifications.

sewing machine bobbin filled with thread

Start by placing the thread you would like to use for your project on the spool pin. For most Brother sewing machines, the spool pin is retractable, and you will need to pull it all the way out to securely position the spool. If the machine has a horizontal spindle, ensure to cap the spool to prevent the thread from spinning off the spool.

Once the spool is secured on the spindle, pool the thread’s tail and wind it around the pre-tension disk, then wind it in an anticlockwise direction around the tension disk. Ensure that the thread slips snugly under both disks.

Take a bobbin and pass the tail of the thread through one of the hole guides. Place the bobbin on the wider shaft while still holding the thread. Lock the bobbin shaft to the right until it clicks in place. Press the foot controller and let the bobbin wind with thread until it is full or the thread is enough for your project.

If you have a machine with a fast bobbin-winding system, hold the thread’s tail and wrap it several times on the bobbin in a clockwise direction. Then, pass the thread through the slot at the bottom of the bobbin seat. Now, you can press on the foot controller to start winding the bobbin with thread.

For both types of bobbin winding systems, once enough thread has wound on the bobbin, cut off the excess thread and retract the spindle to the left. Remove the bobbin from the spindle and inspect it to ensure that the thread wound up tightly.

2. Install the Bobbin in Your Brother Sewing Machine

The newer models of Brother sewing machines feature a top-drop bobbin compartment for quick and easy installation. Before beginning the bobbin-installation process, ensure that the machine is powered off.

Then, raise the needle to the highest position by either pressing the needle up button on the computerized machine or turning the handwheel anticlockwise in the mechanical machines.

Raise the presser foot. There is a button near the bobbin cover at the bottom-right of the machine. Press it down, and then remove the cover.

Drop the bobbin in place such that the tail of the thread is at the top. Most Brother sewing machines have a diagrammatic representation of how to insert the bobbin.

person checking his sewing machine

You will know that the bobbin is correctly installed if you pull the thread and spins in the counterclockwise direction. Also, the thread should have adequate tension from the bobbin case.

Once you have ascertained that the bobbin is correctly installed, pass the thread through the bottom slot and pull. Replace the bobbin cover such that the left tab is under the base and the right side clicks in place.

3. Thread the Upper Thread

Since the lower bobbin thread is set, the next step is to set the upper thread. Keep the machine powered off, the presser foot raised, the needle in the up position, and the thread spool on the spool pin.

Pass the thread tail through the first guide (it is an upside-down, L-shaped metal) on the top-left side of the machine. Take the thread forward and then pull and pass it through the guides.

Proceed to pass the thread through the tension discs on the U-shaped front part of the machines from right to left. The Brother sewing machines are normally labeled to show you the direction to follow when winding.

Once you reach the guide’s top-left section, there is a silver take-up lever, around which you should wind the thread. Pass the thread through the opening at the back, then to the right, and then downwards through the eye of the needle in a front to back direction.

How to Use the Automatic Needle Threader in a Brother Sewing Machine

If your Brother sewing machine has an automatic threader, lower the presser foot halfway after bringing down the thread from the take-up lever. Hook the thread on the upside-down V-shaped hook. The thread will go around the V-guide to the right as if you were threading in an anticlockwise direction.

Now, lower the threader all the way. A hook will pass through the eye of the needle. Inside the bigger hook, there is a smaller hook. Pass the thread backward towards the bigger hook and the frontwards through the smaller hook.

Keep holding the tail-end of the thread and release the threader lever. The threader will rotate, pulling the thread through the eye of the needle. Pull out a few inches of the thread and place it below and behind the presser foot.

seamstress at work

Draw the Bobbin Pin

Unlike most Singer sewing machines, with the Brother sewing machines, the machine is ready-to-sew once you have successfully threading the upper thread. You do not need to draw up the bobbin winder thread as the machine does it automatically.


The instructions provided above work for most Brother sewing machines as well as quilting and sewing combination machines. However, there might be slight differences between a heavy-duty sewing machine and an embroidery machine.

When threading, ensure you use the right needle and thread combinations as provided for your Brother sewing machine manual. Also, compare the above instructions against the ones provided in your Brother sewing machine instruction manual or quick start guide.

In case there is a difference, the instructions provided in your particular model take precedence.