How Do You Change The Color Of The Thread On A Sewing Machine: A Comprehensive Guide for Sewing Machine Users

Fact Checked By:Aithley Balder

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Whether you’re working on a multicolored sewing project or simply want to switch up the appearance of your stitches, changing the thread color on your sewing machine is an essential skill to master. This seemingly simple task can be a bit tricky, especially for beginners, but with the right guidance and practice, it becomes an effortless part of the sewing process. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of changing the thread color on your sewing machine, ensuring that you can confidently tackle any sewing project with a colorful flair. Additionally, we will provide valuable tips to enhance your sewing experience and help you achieve the best results possible. Get ready to embrace the world of colorful sewing and create stunning, vibrant projects with ease.

How Do You Change The Color Of The Thread On A Sewing Machine

Changing the color of the thread on a sewing machine is a simple process that involves removing the old thread and replacing it with a new spool of the desired color. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you change the thread color on your sewing machine:

  • Turn off the sewing machine: To avoid any accidents, ensure the sewing machine is turned off or unplugged.
  • Raise the presser foot: Lifting the presser foot releases tension on the thread, making it easier to remove and replace.
  • Remove the old thread:
  • Cut the thread near the spool, leaving a tail that you can hold onto.
  • Gently pull the thread tail through the machine, removing it from the various thread guides and tension discs.
  • Remove the bobbin: Take out the old bobbin from the bobbin case or compartment, and replace it with a new bobbin that has the desired thread color wound onto it. Make sure the thread is wound evenly and consistently on the bobbin.
  • Place the new spool of thread: Put the new spool of thread, with the desired color, onto the spool pin. Make sure it unwinds in the correct direction, as specified in your sewing machine’s manual.
  • Thread the upper thread path: Guide the new thread through the various thread guides and tension discs, following the threading instructions for your specific sewing machine model. Don’t forget to thread the take-up lever and any remaining thread guides above the needle.
  • Thread the needle: Thread the needle with the new thread color. You can use a needle threader if your sewing machine has one or use a separate needle-threading tool.
  • Draw up the bobbin thread: Hold the end of the upper thread in your left hand and turn the handwheel toward you, lowering and then raising the needle. Gently pull the upper thread, and the bobbin thread should come up through the needle plate. Use a small tool or your fingers to pull the bobbin thread out and place it under the presser foot along with the upper thread.
  • Test your stitches: Before starting your actual sewing project, test your stitches on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure proper tension, stitch length, and stitch quality.

By following these steps, you can easily change the color of the thread on your sewing machine and continue sewing with the new thread color for your project.


Here are some tips for changing the thread color and general sewing with a sewing machine:

  • Keep thread organized: Store your thread spools and bobbins in a clean and organized manner to make it easier to find the colors you need.
  • Use quality thread: Invest in good quality thread to prevent tension issues, breakage, and poor stitch quality. High-quality thread will help you achieve better sewing results.
  • Match bobbin and upper thread colors: For most projects, it’s best to use the same color for both the upper thread and the bobbin thread to ensure consistent and professional-looking results.
  • Maintain proper thread tension: Check the thread tension when changing thread colors, as different thread brands or types may require slight tension adjustments.
  • Test stitches before sewing: Always test your stitches on a scrap piece of fabric after changing the thread color to ensure proper tension, stitch length, and stitch quality.
  • Trim thread tails: When changing thread colors, trim the thread tails near the needle and presser foot to keep your sewing area tidy and prevent the tails from getting tangled in your work.
  • Re-thread if needed: If you notice any issues with the stitches after changing the thread color, such as skipped stitches or loops, try re-threading the machine to ensure the thread is correctly placed in all guides and tension discs.
  • Clean your sewing machine: Regularly clean your sewing machine, removing lint, dust, and debris from the thread path, bobbin area, and feed dogs. This will help prevent thread jams and ensure smooth sewing.
  • Change needles regularly: Replace the sewing machine needle when starting a new project or when you notice skipped stitches, especially when changing thread types. Dull or damaged needles can cause fabric damage and uneven stitches.
  • Be patient: Changing thread colors may take some practice, especially if you’re new to sewing. Take your time, and don’t be afraid to consult your sewing machine’s manual or seek help from experienced sewers.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to change thread colors with ease and maintain a smooth sewing experience, ultimately improving the quality and efficiency of your sewing projects.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Q: Can I change the thread color in the middle of a sewing project?

A: Yes, you can change the thread color in the middle of a sewing project. To do this, follow these steps:
·       Stop at a stopping point: Pause your sewing machine when you reach a convenient stopping point, such as the end of a seam or a corner.
·       Raise the needle and presser foot: Raise the needle to its highest position by turning the handwheel toward you. Lift the presser foot lever to release the pressure on the fabric.
·       Cut the thread: Snip the thread near the spool and gently pull the fabric away from the machine.
·       Unthread the needle: Use the handwheel to raise the needle to its highest position, then unthread the needle by pulling the thread tail through the needle eye.
·       Thread the new color: Follow the standard threading process outlined in your sewing machine’s manual to thread the new color of thread through the machine, including passing it through the needle eye.
·       Secure the new thread: Hold the end of the new thread and use the handwheel to manually lower the needle into the fabric. Turn the handwheel to take a few manual stitches to secure the new thread.
·       Resume sewing: Lower the presser foot and continue sewing with the new thread color.

Q: How do I prevent the new thread from getting tangled when changing colors?

A: To prevent the new thread from getting tangled when changing colors, follow these tips:
·       Trim the old thread: Before adding the new thread, trim the old thread close to the spool to minimize excess thread hanging around the machine.
·       Hold onto the thread ends: When threading the new color, hold onto both the old and new thread ends. This prevents the new thread from accidentally slipping back through the machine.
·       Manually lower the needle: Use the handwheel to manually lower the needle into the fabric when starting with the new thread. This ensures the machine picks up the new thread properly and reduces the chance of tangling.
·       Use a scrap fabric: To test the new thread and prevent any tangling issues, start sewing on a scrap piece of fabric before continuing with your project.

Q: Can I reuse the old thread after changing colors?

A: Yes, you can reuse the old thread if it’s still in good condition and has enough length for future sewing projects. To reuse the thread, unwind it from the bobbin and spool, inspect it for any damages or weak areas, and then wind it back onto the original spool or store it neatly for future use. However, keep in mind that thread quality can degrade over time, so it’s best to use fresh thread for important or delicate projects.

Q: Can I use different types of thread for different colors on the same sewing project?

A: Yes, you can use different types of thread for different colors on the same sewing project. However, it’s essential to consider the compatibility of the threads with your fabric and project type. For example, if you’re working on a quilt or garment, using different thread types might affect the overall look and feel of the finished product. It’s generally recommended to use the same type of thread throughout a project to ensure consistency in tension, texture, and appearance.

Q: What should I do if the thread keeps breaking after changing colors?

A: If the thread keeps breaking after changing colors, there are a few things you can check and adjust:
·       Tension setting: Incorrect tension can lead to thread breakage. Re-thread the machine, ensuring the thread passes through all the necessary tension disks and guides properly. Test different tension settings by adjusting the tension dial gradually until the thread stops breaking.
·       Needle size: Using the wrong needle size for your fabric or thread can cause issues. Make sure you are using the appropriate needle size and type for your sewing project.
·       Bobbin winding: Unevenly wound bobbins or bobbins wound too tightly can cause thread breakage. Wind a new bobbin following the correct procedure and ensure it’s loaded correctly in the bobbin case.
·       Thread quality: Poor-quality or old thread may be more prone to breaking. Invest in good-quality thread from reputable brands for better sewing results.
·       Clean the machine: A buildup of lint or debris in the machine’s bobbin area or tension discs can affect the thread’s flow. Clean the machine thoroughly, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
·       Slow down stitching: Sewing at high speeds can sometimes lead to thread breakage. Try sewing at a slower pace, especially when starting with a new thread color.
·       Check for burrs or rough edges: Inspect the needle and other thread guides for any rough edges or burrs that could be causing the thread to break. Smooth out or replace any damaged parts.

Q: How do I keep track of the thread colors used in my project?

A: Keeping track of the thread colors used in your project is essential, especially if you plan to recreate or modify the design in the future. Here are some tips:
·       Label the spools: Use small adhesive labels or washi tape to mark the color and type of thread on each spool.
·       Create a thread chart: Take a piece of cardboard or paper and wind a small length of each thread used in your project around it. Write the corresponding color names or numbers next to each sample.
·       Store threads together: After completing your project, gather all the spools used and store them together in a container or ziplock bag labeled with the project name.
·       Take notes: If you prefer digital organization, keep a note on your computer or smartphone with the project details, including the thread colors used.


In conclusion, learning how to change the thread color on your sewing machine is a vital skill that enables you to add variety and creativity to your sewing projects using fabric markers. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide and applying the helpful tips provided, you’ll be well-prepared to change thread colors with ease and confidence. This skill not only broadens your sewing capabilities but also allows you to fully express your creative vision through your work.

As you become more comfortable with changing thread colors and working with different types of threads, you’ll find that your sewing projects take on new levels of depth and visual appeal. Remember, patience and practice are key to mastering this essential sewing technique. So, embrace the vibrant world of colorful sewing and let your imagination run wild as you create beautiful, unique projects that showcase your personal style and artistic flair. Happy sewing!

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Aithley Balder

Hello there, my name is Aithley Balder from Texas. I am a cookware, sewing, toilet, technology enthusiast and I have been sharing my passion with my friends and likeminded folks for close to 4 years now. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the contact page.

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