As anyone who has known me professionally knows; Bobbins are one of my pet peeves. All of the major players in the Bobbin business have foisted off their standard products and let the hapless Embroiderers choose the one that worked best for them…
Several people have attempted to create a suitable product but probably didn’t have the resources required, ending up with a less than adequate product. They always manage to fill some of the requirements. For the most part, we have been using sewing machine bobbins for all these years.
So, what are the requirements of a good bobbin?
- It should have a “zillion” yards so it never runs out
- It should “pay out” smoothly for the entire length of the bobbin
- It should NEVER “catch” or hiccup
- It should not backlash
- It should produce a good stitch
- It should not leave any residue in the bobbin case, like under the tension finger
In an effort to solve the first problem, many companies have produced high yield bobbins, both coreless and sideless. Unfortunately, I have yet to find any of these that aren’t plagued with problems 2, 3, 4 and 6. The “Industry Standard” bobbin has a reasonable length but it, too, suffers from the same problems.
Well, finally, Fil-Tec, Inc. has invested time and money to overcome these problems and has made a good advance at making a higher yield than the “Industry Standard” V-15 Bobbin. They made an effort to understand the differences between a sewing machine and an embroidery machine and developed the P-11 bobbin to meet our requirements.
Utilizing advanced thread filament technology they have created a standard Style L bobbin that has 42% more yardage than the “Industry Standard” and doesn’t leave any perceptible residue. By winding it on their patented magnetic core, they have produced a bobbin that pays out smoothly, end to end, doesn’t hiccup, doesn’t back lash and makes a good stitch.
I tested it on a Bobbin Tension Gage, end-to-end, and was rewarded with the results Fil-Tec claimed. I tested it on a machine (53,000st @ 1,200spm and 53,000st @ 500spm) and the sewing quality was excellent. We ran it for three days at a show and did not have a single bobbin related incident.
For the time being, I’d have to say the Fil-Tec P-11 might be the world’s most perfect bobbin for embroidery… This Fil-Tec bobbin is the new “benchmark” and I welcome anyone to develop a better one. We are tired of being the “Redheaded Stepchild” of the Sewing Industry.
As a side note for multi-head machine Embroiderers, higher yield bobbins require more attention to tensions being balanced, head to head, in order to reap the full benefit of the longer yardage. If you change bobbins all at once when the first bobbin runs out, like you should, you stand the chance of discarding significant amounts of bobbin thread. That’s the bad news…
The good news is: With a consistent running bobbin, it is much easier to keep the machine “balanced” and you will gain additional efficiency and productivity. In a perfect, theoretical, world all the bobbins will run out at the same time. The P-11 is a tool that allows us to push further into the theoretical envelope.
David Theissen is an Industry veteran of nearly 25 years. As a producing embroiderer for 10 years, he encountered almost every problem our Industry has come up against. In the 15 years he has been in embroidery machine sales, he has consulted with many embroidery companies on operational, maintenance, quality control and production issues. He is often quoted in Industry trade publications and writes technical articles that have been published by nearly every Industry trade publication.