How to Use Cone Thread on a Sewing Machine

thread image by Andrius Grigaliunas from

Cone thread is intended for use on a serger or coverstitch machine. Compared to a medium-sized spool of regular thread that contains about 500 yards, cone thread contains 3,000 yards. Additionally, cone thread is significantly cheaper per yard. These reasons make cone thread an attractive option for use on a sewing machine. In fact, many seamstresses and quilters do use cone thread on a regular sewing machine. You may have to play around with the options to find the one that best agrees with your sewing machine.

Wind Cone Thread onto a Bobbin

Place an empty bobbin on the bobbin winder of your sewing machine.

Thread the machine in the proper configuration for your machine with the cone thread.

Hold the cone thread with the tips of your index and middle finger of your right hand.

Press the foot pedal and wind the bobbin.

Use the bobbin on the spool pin of your sewing machine as you would a regular spool of thread.

Use a Coffee Cup

Put the cone thread in a coffee cup or a short juice glass that will accommodate the size of the cone with room to spare around the perimeter.

Place the coffee cup behind your sewing machine so it's relative to the location of the spool pin.

Thread and use the sewing machine as usual.

Use a Thread Stand

Buy a thread stand online or from your local sewing shop.

Set the stand up behind your machine so it's situated behind the spool pin where a regular spool of thread would be placed.

Put the cone thread on the stand, and thread it through the guide on the top of the metal rod.

Thread and use the sewing machine as usual.


  • You may have to move the coffee cup or thread stand around a little behind your machine to find the location that works best. For some, this means moving the cone thread closer to the first thread guide.


  • Cone thread is not as strong as regular sewing thread, so it's best suited for applications that don't require strong seams or where the seams will be reinforced.