BERNINA Sewing Machines
If you're just starting out with sewing, quilting, and embroidery projects, you probably find yourself trying to beat the learning curve when it comes to mastering complex techniques. The hobby's terminology often sounds strange to novices, and tutorials sometimes leave you asking more questions, even when you find and understand the answer you sought. Fortunately, the right tools go a long way in giving you the confidence necessary to press forward and succeed, and one of those tools is a great sewing machine like the BERNINA.
BERNINA Sewing Machine History
Founded in 1893 by Swiss inventor Karl Friedrich Gegauf — the creator of the first hemstitch mechanical sewing machine — BERNINA has a long, storied history. Gegauf built the first factory in 1900, focusing on commercial sewing machines, and his sons Fritz and Gustav took over the company after his death in 1928. In 1932, BERNINA moved into the retail market with a home hemstitch sewing machine, following soon after with both commercial and home zigzag models, with later options featuring a free arm and semiautomatic functionality.
BERNINA stood at the forefront of innovation thanks to Fritz Gegauf's creativity, and in 1959, he chose his daughter Odette Ueltschi to take over operations. She took over the company itself in 1979 and spurred development even further, with cutting-edge options emerging in 1981 when the company introduced its first sewing machine with stretch stitch functionality. In 1986, she took BERNINA into the modern age with the company's first computerized sewing machine.
Hanspeter Ueltschi took over BERNINA in 1988 from his mother, and soon, the company made major headway with quilters in the United States and developed the BERNETTE in 1989. This iconic sewing machine included fully automated buttonholing capabilities and expanded memory for its computer components, raising the engineering bar for a decade before finally creating the first completely computerized sewing machine in 1998. Since then, the company has focused on providing sewers and quilters with high-tech solutions to their stitching needs.
The Benefits of BERNINA
A leader in technological innovation when it comes to sewing, quilting, and embroidery, BERNINA offers beginners and professionals easy-to-operate machines with myriad benefits. From mending clothing and creating your own outfits to fashioning quilts and adding embellishments to home decor, BERNINA sewing machines help you achieve excellent results no matter the type of fabric you're using. Exceptional quality makes BERNINA computer and mechanical sewing machines a long-term investment in your craft, thanks to legendary durability meant to last a lifetime. For added peace of mind, BERNINA sewing machines you purchase new typically have a great warranty, ensuring easy repairs should something go wrong.
Easy-to-Operate Sewing Machines
Intuitive controls and thoughtful features like an automatic needle threader make BERNINA sewing machines a dream to operate. The latest models come equipped with touchscreen panels that simplify project setup, including adding decorative stitches or utilizing the built-in embroidery module. Automatic functions, including a foot lifter and thread cutter, reduce repetitive motions for more comfortable sewing over longer periods of time, and the quiet design keeps the mood pleasant while you work away at DIY projects on your computerized or mechanical sewing machine. When sewing challenging fabrics, the dual feed further helps you out by moving material from both the top and bottom, letting you concentrate on precision stitching.
Customizable Thread Tension
Adaptive thread tension via the patented BERNINA Hook helps you achieve precision stitch length every time. Once you set the adaptive thread tension for the material you're working with via the touchscreen controls, your BERNINA sewing machine continues checking the material as you sew, creating the perfect amount of thread tension for each stitch every time you press your foot pedal. This consistency ensures high-quality finished products, whether you're sewing clothing, adding decorative stitches, embroidering embellishments, or binding quilts. This feature works in tandem with the jumbo bobbin so you spend more time sewing and less time changing out the thread.
Fuss-Free Freehand Sewing
Improve your freehand stitches by using the BERNINA stitch regulator (BSR) included on current sewing machine models. Modern sensor technology lets you sew easily with a lowered feed dog, ensuring meticulous straight and zigzag stitches every time. These sewing machines also feature a freehand system (FHS) that lowers the feed dog via a handy knee lever while simultaneously raising the presser foot so you don't have to let go of your material while stitching in contentious areas. This ability works particularly well for artisans who require freedom of movement while freestyling quilt blocks or crafting fun accessories.
Precision Placement, Secure Stitches
When you're using the built-in embroidery software included on BERNINA sewing machines, the pinpoint placement feature helps you set your pattern exactly where you want it. Use this feature to align the stitch patterns easily, and rely on the smart secure function to add tie-on/off stitches to your design, even if you don't program them. For further customization, you can also set individual stitch length for cutting jump stitches with the invisible secure feature to ensure perfectly programmed tie-on/offs. This precision needle placement and stitch security lend extra professionalism to products you create with BERNINA sewing, embroidery, and quilting machines.
Sewing Machines for Every Need
Whether you sew, quilt, or embroider, BERNINA has both computer and mechanical sewing machines tailored specifically for your every need. BERNETTE models provide an introductory way for clothing designers and hobbyists to get to know BERNINA quality, and models such as the BERNINA 325 have super-compact profiles ideal for creators on the go. The streamlined design of the BERNINA 535 E couples sewing-specific functionality with a built-in embroidery module and the expansive build of the BERNINA 790 Plus and 880 Plus lines combines sewing, quilting, and embroidery functionality in a single machine. Multi-needle embroidery machines and overlockers by BERNINA further deliver specialized functionality ideal for professional tailors, designers, and bespoke manufacturers.
More Space for Quilting
If you're just starting out with quilting and want a great entry-level machine, the BERNINA B 475 QE comes equipped with features and accessories that put you ahead of the learning curve. Keep in mind, though, that many quilters require more space for their creations due to the large sizing. While quilt block creation, patchworking, and smaller binding jobs may need as little space as clothing projects, binding bigger pieces and adding batting and backing demand lots of room to swing material around. For that reason, BERNINA makes specialized longarm quilting machines that have over double the standard amount of space on the free arm. These quilting-specific machines also work on a quilting frame, keeping the material stable when you want to add intricate embellishment to your stitch patterns.
Built-In Embroidery Modules
Built-in embroidery modules on many BERNINA sewing machines make it simple to personalize clothing, add monograms to towels and impart flair to dining room staples like napkins and placemats. This easy customization means you don't have to sew your own belongings to create customized designs for yourself, friends, or family, though that's always an option with a BERNINA sewing machine. Embroidery modules basically hold your hoop-encased fabric and move it with precision to quickly create complex embroidery designs. Keep in mind that embroidery functionality is built into BERNINA sewing machines at the factory, so if you get one without the embroidery module, you can upgrade it later if your needs change.
Stand-Alone Embroidery Machines
If you do lots of embroidering, BERNINA makes stand-alone embroidery machines designed specifically to create embellishments. Equipped with an embroidery module and featuring embroidery software like regular embroidery-enabled BERNINA machines, these task-specific 16-needle sewing machines let you load up to 16 spools of thread so you can embellish with a rainbow of colors. These sewing machines are primarily for professionals due to their rather large price tags, but similar state-of-the-art design goes into consumer-facing sewing machines as a testament to their quality and functionality.
Stand-Alone Overlock Sewing Machines
If you make your own clothes or home decor, having a stand-alone overlock sewing machine can save you lots of time and effort and ensure a more professional finish. The brand offers two overlock sewing machine options: the BERNINA L 850 and L 890. They're very similar in that they provide single-operation sewing, cutting, and finishing, but some key differences exist between these two sewing machines.
The L 850 offers secure seams on stretchy knits, decorative stitches on woven materials and knits like flatlock seams, and precisely rolled lightweight fabric hems. By contrast, the L 890 combines overlock and cover stitch functionality, creating serger-like, five-thread stitches on woven fabrics. This sewing machine also delivers excellent stretchy topstitching and adds decorative stitches such as the chain stitch.
Excellent Sewing Machine Accessory Range
No matter your primary sewing goals, BERNINA has you covered with an excellent range of accessories. From general-purpose presser feet and special solutions for buttonholes to overlock-mimicking feet for stretchy fabrics to presser feet designed for zipper installation, hems and topstitching, and decorative stitches, the available accessory selection meets a vast array of needs.
Stitch plates built specifically for certain fabric types help out when dealing with challenging material, and bobbin cases constructed for different thread tensions help you stay locked, loaded, and on-task while you sew. Slide-on extension tables let you expand your sewing space easily, and cases and bags that perfectly fit your BERNINA sewing machine help you take it along when traveling or working on group sewing projects.
As you can see, BERNINA sewing machines offer an amazing variety of benefits to those just starting out and experts alike. Construction designed to last a lifetime combined with cutting-edge technological innovation makes BERNINA the brand to beat for sewists searching for a great machine to cover their sewing, quilting, and embroidery needs.