How to Wind a Bobbin for Smoother Weaving

Winding a bobbin can seem like a fairly obvious task, but there are nuances about how you do it that will make your weaving go more smoothly.

Susan E. Horton Apr 25, 2022 - 2 min read

How to Wind a Bobbin for Smoother Weaving Primary Image

Rather than winding your weft so that it lines up on your bobbin, crisscross the weft so it won’t catch on itself as your shuttle goes through the shed.

When I started weaving, the last thing I worried about was winding a bobbin; it seemed sort of obvious. A weaving friend showed me her method, and that is how I wound bobbins for years. Sometimes I noticed my bobbin would catch as it passed through the shed, or I would have the oh-so-much-fun problem of weft falling off the ends and creating tangled loops, but I kept on. My friend’s method involved first building up the bobbin ends with weft, then filling in the middle, while keeping the threads as straight as possible. I didn’t even consider tension, which is silly since I’m always talking about how tension is important in all aspects of weaving. Oops!...

At the risk of seeming ungrateful, I can tell you that at least for me, the method I use now and the one I’m showing in this video is much better.

My Tips for Winding Better Bobbins

Although I stopped building up the ends somewhere along the line, I didn’t really change my approach until I took a class with Jannie Taylor a few years ago.

Jannie demonstrated how the weft flowed more smoothly off the bobbin if it wasn’t lined up and if the bobbin’s tension was tight. A well-wound bobbin, such as the one in the image below, can make your weaving life so much easier. Learning a better way of winding a bobbin was a somewhat-surprising game changer for me, and I hope it will be the same for you.

Weave (and wind) well,


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A well-wound bobbin is firm and not over-filled.