Bernina Sewing Machines: The Company

Bernina is a highly esteemed company from Switzerland with a long history of making quality sewing machines. Bernina prides itself on being top on the list of best sewing machine manufacturers because of the innovative and carefully designed machines guaranteed to provide durability, comfort, and effectiveness.

Bernina is so confident in its machines that it usually prices them much higher than the average market price. Still, the brand’s loyal customers continue to support the company, knowing that they will get premium products.

Bernina Sewing Machine History

The company’s origin starts with an invention. In 1893, Swiss inventor, Karl Friedrich Gegauf, created the world's first hemstitch sewing machine. Being able to sew 100 stitches per minute, it quickly got international attention.

By 1900, Gegauf and his brother, Georg, had employed dozens of people to keep producing more machines as the demand continued to be on the rise. Because of this invention, the mechanical production of hemstitching was given the nickname “gegaufing.” At that point, the hemstitch sewing machine had begun to be sold abroad.

After the death of Karl Friedrich Gegauf in 1928, his son, Fritz Gegauf, took over, leading the company for many decades and defining the brand in ways that continue to have an effect to this day. Under Fritz Gegauf’s leadership, the company released the first sewing machine for domestic use with the Bernina brand name in 1932. The brand is named after Piz Bernina, the highest mountain in the eastern Alps.

The brand focused on creating new sewing machines that serve many needs in the next few years. The brand’s first zigzag sewing machine was released in 1938, and the first portable sewing machine was introduced in 1945. By 1963, Bernina had reached the production of one million zigzag sewing machines. However, that was only the beginning.

In 1954, Bernina introduced the first patented clip-on presser foot and a semi-automatic buttonhole function. In 1963, Bernina introduced the first patented, knee-activated presser foot lifter, an essential feature of almost every sewing machine of this brand.

In 1959, the company's leadership passed to Gegauf’s daughter, Odette Ueltschi-Gegauf, and by 1979, she had become the company’s new president. The sewing machine line Bernette is also named after her, a combination of her first name and the brand name. Under a new leader, the brand continues to thrive, releasing a sewing machine with electric foot control, the Bernina 830. While it was released in 1971, this model remained the brand’s best seller for the next 11 years.

In 1982, the first model with a stretch stitch function and an especially powerful engine, the Bernina 930, was released. In 1986, Bernina produced the 1130 model, the first computerized sewing machine that had a fully automatic stitch pattern memory and one-step buttonholing.

In 1988, the company changed its leader and remained within the family as Odette’s son Hanspeter Ueltschi took over. Hanspeter Ueltschi remains the leader of Bernina to this day. During his time as Bernina’s leader, the brand became successful in the United States. In 1989, the 1230 model was released with a memory expansion and fully automated buttonholing.

In 2012, the company rebranded to a more modern look, inspired by the introduction of the new 5 Series. The logo also changed, appearing embroidered and supplemented with the slogan “made to create.”

In 2018, the company celebrated 125 years since its founding by Karl Friedrich Gegauf. For this occasion, the company created some limited-edition models with a gold faceplate, as well as two actual gold-plated presser feet and a golden anniversary box.

Now, let's take a look at Bernina’s sewing machine models through the 1990s and 2000s:

  • In 1993, the 1630 model was released with over 400 stitch patterns, monograms, and five alphabets, as well as it enables sewing in 16 directions.
  • In 1998, the brand’s first sewing computer was introduced with the Artista 180.
  • In 2001, the Activa 145 model was equipped with CPS software for customized settings and the Bernina software.
  • In 2002, the world's first sewing computer with a Microsoft Windows operating system entered the market.
  • In 2004, the company introduced its awarded Stitch Regulator (BSR), which can be found in the now renowned aurora 440 QE model.
  • In 2006, the new Artista 640 and 730 machines included even more amazing automation, becoming immediately fan favorites.
  • In 2009, the most advanced model of the brand at that point was released, the Bernina 830.
  • In 2012, the new seven series was finally released, which also included a new invention, the Bernina 9 Hook.
  • In 2013, the Bernina 880 was introduced with new stunning functions like the Stitch Designer and the Color Wheel.
  • In 2014, the Bernina E 16, the brand’s first multi-needle embroidery machine, was released.
  • In 2015, Bernina released its first longarm quilting machine, the Q 24 and Q 20.
  • In 2016, Bernina’s first embroidery-only machine was released, the Bernina 700.
  • In 2019, the Tula Pink Special Edition models, the B 770 QE and B 570 QE were launched.
  • In 2020, the Overlocker L 850 and the Overlock/Coverstitch Combo machine L 890 were also launched.
  • In 2021, Bernina introduced its newest model, the B 770 QE PLUS.

Location & Contact Information

Staying true to its roots, the Bernina sewing machine headquarters have remained in Steckborn, Switzerland, ever since the company’s founding. Bernina also owns two factories, one being in Steckborn and the other in Thailand.

With locations all over the world, Bernina offers support to all of its customers worldwide. While there is no specific Bernina sewing machine contact number available, customers can find assistance through the company’s website here.

Best Bernina Sewing Machine

Bernina is an excellent sewing machine brand dedicated to offering great features to its loyal customers worldwide. Let’s take a look at the best Bernina sewing machine in each category.

1. Best Bernina Sewing Machine For Beginners – Bernina 325 Sewing Machine

Bernina 325 Sewing Machine

The Bernina machines are noteworthy for their quality and multifunctionality. However, for someone who has just started experimenting with sewing, perhaps a simpler model might be better. The Bernina 325 has a lot of the popular features professionals look for in a sewing machine, but it is more user-friendly than some of the other machines of the brand.

The threading with this machine is quite a simple process, and it also features excellent stitch control. Its compact and convenient size is also perfect for those who do not have much space available in their home.

Some of the features and accessories included are:

  • Hook system: CB
  • Maximum sewing speed (stitches per minute): 900
  • LCD-Display
  • LED sewing lights: 8 LED
  • Maximum stitch width: 5.5
  • Maximum stitch length: 5
  • Needle positions: 9
  • Number of spool holders: 2
  • Semi-automatic needle threader
  • Manual thread cutter: 3
  • Memory for short-term/long-term/altered stitches)
  • Start/stop button (stitching without foot control)
  • Changing stitch settings while sewing
  • Slide speed control
  • BERNINA foot control with back-kick function: Opt.
  • Needle stop up/down
  • Bobbin winding while sewing/embroidering
  • BERNINA free arm slide-on table


2. Best Heavy Duty Bernina Sewing Machine – Bernina 750 QE Embroidery, Sewing, and Quilting Machine

Bernina 750 QE Embroidery, Sewing, and Quilting Machine

If you are a sewist that tends to experiment with all types of sewing projects and use a lot of different fabrics, then you will need a heavy-duty machine that will successfully get you through each one of your projects.

The Bernina 750 QE is a combination machine perfect for sewing, quilting, and embroidery. The machine has a dual-feed feature that helps you manage all sorts of fabrics. It also comes with a blindstitch foot, designed for sewing blind hems on fabrics with various degrees of thicknesses.

Some of the features and accessories included are:

  • The Bernina stitch regulator (BSR)
  • Bernina dual feed
  • Total stitch control
  • Beautiful embroidery possibilities
  • Greater sewing and embroidery pleasure
  • Tips and tricks
  • Reverse pattern foot # 1d
  • Buttonhole foot with slide # 3a
  • Zipper foot # 4d
  • Blindstitch foot # 5
  • Open embroidery foot # 20c
  • Patchwork foot # 37d
  • Small embroidery hoop
  • Medium hoop – for medium-sized designs
  • Large oval hoop
  • Slide-on free-arm table for ultimate sewing comfort
  • Free-arm slide-on table for more sewing space
  • Free-hand System (FHS) / presser foot lifter


3. Best Computerized Bernina Sewing Machine – Bernina 880 Plus

Bernina 880 Plus

If you are a sewist that truly appreciates smart and convenient features that help you be more effective in your sewing work, then the Bernina 800 Plus is the best sewing machine model for you.

Being one of the brand’s most advanced machines, the Bernina 800 Plus has everything a sewist will ever need and much more.

The pinpoint placement allows you to place your design on the fabric exactly where you want it without using a template. You can access and edit your designs through the touch screen, adding everything you need.

Some of the features and accessories included are:

  • Hook system
  • Maximum sewing speed (stitches per minute) – 1200
  • Color touchscreen
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure
  • Start/stop button (stitching without foot control)
  • LED sewing lights
  • Multi-function knobs
  • 11 needle positions
  • Sewing in each needle position
  • Three spool holders
  • Automatic thread cutter
  • BERNINA Dual Feed (BDF)
  • Create and save stitch combinations
  • BSR enabled, straight stitch and zigzag (separate BSR foot required)
  • BERNINA foot control with back-kick function
  • Drag & Drop
  • Bobbin winding while sewing/embroidering
  • BERNINA free arm slide-on table


4. Best Bernina Sewing Machine For Quilting – Bernina Q 20 Longarm Quilting Machine with Table

Bernina Q 20 Longarm Quilting Machine with Table

The Bernina Q 20 is the perfect quilting machine for those that seek to create an array of different quilts. This model is large enough, so it will be easy for a quilter to work on big projects. It has a 20″ free arm depth that gives you a vast space to work in.

The stitch regulator allows you to set the stitch length as preferred, and the presser foot tension release system makes it very easy for you to use a variety of thread types.

Some of the features and accessories included are:

  • Throat space 508 mm (20″)
  • Screen 109 mm (4.3″)
  • Operating system Touch
  • Throat space illuminated with LEDs
  • Hook system M Class Rotary Hook
  • Thread tension Electronic
  • Threader Semi-automatic
  • Electric Presser foot lift
  • Thread indicator Upper Thread
  • Update-able
  • Basic USB host connection and additional purpose HDMI
  • 2,200 spm maximum sewing speed
  • Stitch length maximum 25.4 mm (1 Stitch per inch)
  • Stitch length minimum 1.05 mm (24 Stitches per inch)
  • Personal Program
  • On-board bobbin winder
  • Compatible with BERNINA free-motion feet and domestic machine needles


5. Best Basic Bernina Sewing Machine – Bernina L 450 Serger

Bernina L 450 Serger

Many people do not traditionally think of using an overlocker when they want to do some basic sewing, but in reality, it can be very helpful. While an overlocker is usually used to finish seams, it is also quite convenient for regular sewing projects.

Its multifunctionality is a great advantage as you can do many things at once with such a machine. Working with an overlocker means saving time and very fast stitching. The L450 serger is very easy to use, giving excellent quality to your creations.

Some of the features and accessories included are:

  • Lower looper threader
  • Handwheel position indicator
  • Color-coded threading path
  • Stitch length fine-tuning for a rolled hem
  • Micro Thread Control (MTC)
  • Thread tension release when presser foot raised
  • Adjustable differential feed while sewing
  • Adjustable stitch length while sewing
  • 3– 9 mm overlock seam width
  • 2-step front presser foot lift
  • Upper knife drive from below
  • 5-step presser foot pressure
  • Rolled hem lever built into stitch plate
  • Sewing speed, stitches per minute: 1200
  • Motor AC
  • 2 LED sewing lights


6. Best Portable Bernina Sewing Machine – Bernina 335 Sewing Machine

Bernina 335 Sewing Machine

While the Bernina 335 has enough space for you to work on various projects and experiment with your creations, it is also perfectly sized, allowing you to store it and transport it whenever you like comfortably. Moreover, the slide-on extension table gives you even more workspace.

The Free Hand System (FHS) allows you to raise and lower the presser foot by simply using the knee lifter without using your hands, allowing you to perform free-motion sewing.

Some of the features and accessories included are:

  • CB Hook system
  • LED sewing lights
  • LCD-Display
  • Nine needle positions
  • Semi-automatic needle threader
  • 2 number of spool holders
  • Manual thread cutter
  • Slide speed control
  • Start/stop button (stitching without foot control)
  • Changing stitch settings during sewing
  • Needle stop up/down
  • Bobbin winding while embroidering or sewing
  • BERNINA free arm slide-on table
  • Optional BERNINA foot control with back-kick function


Bernina Sewing Machine Accessories

A productive and effective sewing experience can only be achieved with suitable accessories. Let’s take a look at the best Bernina sewing machine accessories that will help you make unique creations.

1. Best Thread For Bernina Sewing Machine – Bernina Threading Kit

Bernina Threading Kit

This threading kit includes five spools of 1000m thread. It is an excellent choice for beginners who are interested in learning how to use an overlocker.

The colors of the threads reflect the colors used for the threading paths on the BERNINA sergers, making it easier to understand which thread tension values need to be changed.

2. Best Oil For Bernina Sewing Machine – Fine Point Oiler with 30 wt. Light Sewing Machine Oil

Fine Point Oiler with 30 wt. Light Sewing Machine Oil

Generally, most modern sewing machines come pre-lubricated. However, you need to constantly check your machine’s manual to determine if that applies to yours or not. If your machine requires oiling, you need to pay attention to it because if you don’t oil it but keep using your machine, it can lead to severe damage.

Ensure that you get a good-quality sewing oil to use in your machine. This fine-point oiler will make sure to properly oil your sewing machine thanks to its conveniently shaped nozzle explicitly made for this type of use. This will help you avoid over-lubrication or spillage in your working area.

3. Best Presser Feet For Bernina Sewing Machine – Bernina C13 Coverstitch/Chainstitch Presser Foot

Bernina C13 CoverstitchChainstitch Presser Foot

This Cover-/Chainstitch foot is ideal for decorative stitching. It allows for precise stitching, and it improves fabric feeding for flat even seams and hems in knitting and woven material.

This presser foot is compatible with the Bernina L 890 model.

4. Best Power Cords – Bernina Lead Cord

Bernina Lead Cord

A great choice for your foot control, this lead power cord is compatible with the following Bernina sewing machine models: 801, 801S, 802S, 803S, 807, 808, 809, 810, 811, 811-819, 817, 819, 830, 830-832 and 840-850.

5. Best Feet Controls – Bernina Foot Control

Bernina Foot Control

A perfect accessory that will help you control the sewing process to produce fabulous creations precisely as you have imagined them.

This foot pedal is compatible with the following Bernina sewing machine models: 801, 801S, 802S, 803S, 807, 808, 809, 810, 811, 811-819, 817, 819, 830 (TYPE 232, 3-pin connector), 830-832 and 840-850.

6. Best Bobbins – 20 pk Bernina Rotary Bobbin

20 pk Bernina Rotary Bobbin

This 20-pack of Bernina rotary bobbins will be exactly what you need to work on your sewing machine effectively.

These bobbins are compatible with the following Bernina models: 1630, 180, 185, 450, 640, 580, 200, 730, and 560.


Bernina is a great Swiss brand that has proved its superior quality during its long 125-year history. Customers worldwide know that Bernina is a brand they can rely on as its products are well-designed and durable.

While prices for a Bernina machine can be higher than the average price in the market, this hasn’t prevented people from still having it as their number one choice for sewing machines. Moreover, its diverse collection offers something for everyone, having sewing machines for beginners, heavy-duty work, computerized or basic, and much more.