Ways to Thread a Needle On a Sewing Machine

How to Thread a Needle On a Sewing Machine – Easy Steps In 2023

Before getting started on using your sewing machine, what is the first thing that comes to mind? If you are thinking of inserting the thread, then you are absolutely right! Threading a sewing machine needle would most likely take a lot of time. But when it comes to needle threading, the process is harder. And when I feel lazy, threading is the Everest to cross. Still, with time, I found some of the easiest ways to thread needles.

What are the ways to thread a needle on a sewing machine? The best way to thread a needle for a sewing machine would be the same way you thread your hand needles. Most people will follow the conventional method of threading. For the needles of the sewing machine, you have to follow the conventional path until it is time to thread the needle. For the needle, you can use different devices and methods. And in this article, we’ll be including different ways to thread a needle on a sewing machine.

Key Takeaways

  • Before you start threading your sewing machine, it is important to get the machine and thread prepared for the threading.
  • There are a number of ways to thread a sewing machine, from conventional methods to using tools.
  • While threading the machine, there are some tips you need to know to help your threading process be easier.

Essential Steps Before Threading Sewing Machine Needle

Before starting on threading the needle, you will to make some preparation for both the machine and the thread you will be using.

So let’s look at how to go about doing this:

Before threading the needle
Before threading the needle

1.Putting the Needle in the Up Position

Having the most space available is key to threading. Therefore, having the needle in the up position is key to this. If you don’t know what the up position is, it is when the needle is at its highest position. To do this, simply turn the handwheel or the knob of the sewing machine towards you until the needle is in the top position. For a computerized sewing machine, find the needle-up button and press it.

2.Turning off the Machine

After setting the position of the needle, you will have to turn the machine off. This is for safety reasons, especially for beginners. An expert can thread the needle while the machine is on but it is still safer to have it off. If you have a computerized or an electrical sewing machine, then you would have to turn it off so there are no parts in the sewing machine that is moving. For a manual sewing machine, make sure that none of the sewing machine parts are moving.

3.Removing the Presser Foot

Having more space is good for threading a sewing machine. Removing the presser foot can give you that extra space that you need. It might be an optional step to take but it is still good to do so.

4.Unloading the Bobbin Case

This is for the machines that have a bobbin case underneath for those understitches. Simply remove the bobbin case and take out the thread inside of it. That way, you can start the thread on both the top side and the underside of the machine.

5.Preparing the Thread

To prepare the thread, cut off any frayed ends with sharp scissors at a slight angle. Always remember, the thread being as pointed as possible makes for easy threading.

Ways to Thread the Needle On a Sewing Machine

There are many ways to thread your needle on a sewing machine. From conventional ways, using a tool to help, and even unique ways of threading, let’s look at how you can thread your machine.

Hand Threading

Here we’ll include a step-by-step guide to getting the thread on the needle. These ways are pretty simple and tend to work for almost everyone. For beginners who are just starting with the sewing machine,

try to get the thread to the needle in these easy steps:

Step 1: Wind a bobbin

The first step would be to wind the bobbin, which is located on the lower spool of the machine. The spool has to be placed on the threaded pin, and then the thread has to be pulled to the left side of the machine. The thread then has to be wound counterclockwise through the pretension disk. The thread then has to be put through the holes of the empty bobbin and then placed onto the bobbin winder pin. Now, with the foot pedal, the bobbin would start to wind.

Wind a bobbin
Wind a bobbin

Step 2: Load the bobbin

The next step would be to place the bobbin underneath the needle and in the bobbin case. The needle and the presser foot have to be placed in a top position to place the bobbin in the post. Handwheels or buttons on the machine are used for this reason.

Load the bobbin
Load the bobbin

Step 3: Setting up the upper thread

To set the upper thread on the machine, first, you have to place the spool on the threaded pin of the machine. This is known as the spool holder.

Setting up the upper thread
Setting up the upper thread

Step 4: Threading guides

The next part would be to pass the threads through several guides. The first thread guide is on the left side of the machine, and then the thread is pulled through the U-shaped thread guide. The thread must be passed through the two deep grooves of each guide and then back up.

Threading guides
Threading guides

Step 5: Thread take-up lever

The next part would be to pass the thread through the thread take-up lever, which must be wrapped around the thread take-up lever.

Thread take-up lever
Thread take-up lever

Step 6: Threading the Needle

The last step for the sewing machine would be when you thread the needle. The thread eye of the needle is the main part, and the thread has to pass from the front to the back. Pull the thread for a few inches after putting the thread on.

Threading the needle
Threading the needle

Step 7: Catch the needle

The last part of threading the needle would be when you lower the needle and pull it back up. This will 

allow the needle to catch the bobbin thread. The needle will allow the bobbin to thread onto the loop.

Catch the needle
Catch the needle

Few other Hand Threading

Using Tweezers 

Another way of threading the needle would be by using tweezers. First, take the end of the thread on a tweezer and then put a white piece of paper behind the needle. Make sure that there is enough light around the machine. And then put the tweezers through the needle’s eye. Use another pair of tweezers to hold the thread on the other side. The tweezer method should work for all kinds of needles and yarn.

Using tweezers
Using tweezers

Loop and Pinch Method

This might be a way of threading regular hand needles, but they can certainly work for sewing machines. First, wrap the end part of the thread on the needle. You can use any of the available machine needles for the measurement. Then take the needle from the loop. Pinch the loop part tightly, and then place the needle from the needle’s eye to the opposite side. This method will work for almost every kind of machine, as the loop is compact. When you try to insert the end of the yarn, it can fray. This will not allow the needle to pass gently. And thus, the loop and pinch method work for sewing machines.

Loop and pinch method
Loop and pinch method

Dampen Method

Another way of threading the needle would be by dampening the thread end. Here, you can use water, and some people would prefer beeswax. Because beeswax does not leave any water stains, it is very easy to thread with. Here, just take a drop of water or beeswax and dampen the end. Make sure that the part doesn’t have any frays poking through. Then pass the thread through, and your work is done.

Dampen method
Dampen method

Using a Needle Threading Tool

When we think about the easiest way of threading a needle, the most common thing to pop up would be the threading tools. Most needle threaders come in three ways. Stainless steel needle threader, plastic needle threader, and needle inserter and threader.

Using a needle threading tool
Using a needle threading tool

These sorts of tools come in different ways, and here we are including some of them:

  • Dritz needle inserter: Here, the thread is passed through a V-shaped channel at first, and then the thread will be placed on the eye part. The blue part will depress a little bit, and the thread will pass on.
  • Silver-wire loop tool: this is the most inexpensive tool, but it is too flimsy to use in a regular setting. The thread will be placed on the left side of the presser foot.

Self-Threading Sewing Machine Needle

The work of the self-threading needle for sewing machines is similar to that of hand-held needles. In this sewing machine needles, there’s a gap in the needle eye. So, you can just put the thread on the eye instead of pulling it through. Most of these self-threading needles have bad reviews, as the needle tends to drop after a while. So, you better choose one with a very good performance. 

Self-threading sewing machine needle
Self-threading sewing machine needle

Tips for Proper Needle Threading

Now that we’ve included some of the ways to thread a needle, here are some tips that will help you in the process.

These are also some precautionary measures:

  • Do not tilt the machine at an angle to thread the needle.
  • Adequate light and white canvas or a white wall would be perfect for threading.
  • Turn off the machine completely before threading the needle.
  • Make sure that the thread passes from the front to the back.
  • Raise the needles and lower the presser foot, so the needle eye is visible clearly.


What is the best way to thread a sewing machine?

The best way to thread sewing machine thread would be by using some sewing threading tool, and this will help the threading process even when you have a weak vision.

How do you thread needles without a threader?

To thread a needle without a threader, you have to work with the conventional way of threading. Putting the thread from the front to the back with the needle eye would work best. 

Final Thoughts

Whether you go for the conventional way of threading the needle, jump on to the way of threading the needle with a tool, or even use the automatic needle threader, the process of needle threading has to be very gentle. The needles are very fragile, and again, when you thread a sewing machine, go for a good-quality thread. All of these will matter, as with a low-resistance needle, they will break easily. And when the thread is very low quality, the chances of having hairy fibers around it are high, and they will end up making the stitches look very poor quality. When you have a clear vision, the chances of getting the needle threading to work are the best of all. And this will help us with almost everything. And again, there are some precautions and tips that would also help thread the needle on a sewing machine.


Hey I’m Sherry Howes an expert in sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. With a passion for fiber arts and a talent for crafting, I Have spent years improving my skills and sharing knowledge with others. Whether teaching a class or creating a new project, I’m always excited to share my love of crafting with the world. I like researching new techniques and trends in the crafting arts community.

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