For Fans of Bernina Sewing Machines

bernina sewing machinesAre you a fan of Bernina sewing machines?  I know I certainly am.  Along with a very small number of other storied brands, Bernina seems to represent the pinnacle in sewing machine quality.  I know many sewists who can talk about their beloved Bernina sewing machines that have been handed down from generation to generation and still seem to work as well today as the day they were new.

Bernina Factory Tour

I learned only recently that I was going to have the opportunity to travel to Switzerland in the coming weeks.  So, as any fan of Bernina sewing machines would do, I immediately researched the opportunity to organize a visit to the famous Bernina factory at Steckborn on the shores of Lake Constance about an hour north of Zurich.  I was, of course devastated to learn that the factory was closed for the summer holidays.

I mentioned to the wonderful people at Bernina that was read by over 700,000 unique viewers per month according to our latest numbers.  And that among these many readers there are certainly a large number who, like me, are devoted fans of Bernina sewing machines.  I said that our readers would certainly love to learn more about the brand, its history and possibly future plans.

We were delighted to learn that Bernina would open the factory and organize a special tour for our little group!

A History of Quality Manufacturing and World Firsts

For over 120 years, Bernina has been manufacturing quality sewing machines in Switzerland as a family-owned and run company.

Bernina Sewing Machines

  • In 1893, the company's founder, Karl Friedrich, invented the hemstitch sewing machine that was capable of sewing 100 stitches per minute.
  • In 1932, during the depths of the Great Depression, Bernina manufactures its first household sewing machine at the factory in Steckborn.
  • In 1938, Bernina manufactures the first zigzag sewing machine.
  • In 1945, Bernina develops the first portable zigzag machine with a free arm.
  • In 1954, Bernina launches the first semi-automatic buttonhole sewing machine.
  • In 1986, Bernina produces the first computerized sewing machine with fully automatic one-step buttonholes.
  • In 2002, Bernina introduces the first sewing machine with a Microsoft Windows operating system.

For our many readers in Australia, here's an interesting history of Bernina from a uniquely Australian perspective:

Questions about Bernina sewing machines?

I've certainly got a good list of topics to research about Bernina sewing machines already, but I'd really like to get your help.  If you have questions you'd like me to ask or any ideas to explore with Bernina, please let me know as soon as possible in the comments below.  We'll do a follow up post with answers to the questions and photos from the factory tour after the visit.  Thanks in advance for your help.

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71 Responses to For Fans of Bernina Sewing Machines

  1. Bernadette Ray says:

    I always love Bernina sewing machines as they are always affordable and provide quality stitches.

  2. Ingrid Lundberg says:

    I love my Bernina, are happy owners of an embroidery machine and overlock.

  3. Paula Padar says:

    Love Bernina! I think they are the best sewing machines out there! I have a Artista 180 and it still works like the day I bought it. Sews through heavy bag seams like a commercial machine. i’ll never part with it. They are made to last a lifetime. I’m hoping for a B880 someday. I saw a demo at my local shop and could not believe the innovations this new machine has.

  4. Rhonda Schwaiger says:

    I have always gotten my cheap machines serviced at a Bernina store. I LOVE their machines, they have shown me so many styles, but my situation makes it so I cannot afford one anytime soon. I would love for the chance to have one! Bernies look awesome from what the sales ladies showed me at the store too.

  5. Jane says:

    I used a Bernina sewing machine in home economics in high school; it was the only machine that the students could not break. The first item I bought after graduating from university was not a car; it was the best Bernina sewing machine I could buy. In 1977, it was a Bernina 830 record; that machine has never failed me. Several years ago I became interested in quilting again. This time quilting techniques had changed a lot. So I started looking in earnest and knew what I wanted; I wanted to be able to quilt by machine and wanted a stitch regulator. I was advised to buy a new machine before retirement to be sure I would get one. 2 years ago, I bought a 770 QE and
    was able to make monthly payments over several months. This past summer I purchased a 350 patchwork edition to take to classes. I would love to teach my granddaughter to sew and to quilt so would love to win the Bernette to teach her to sew on. As much as I love her, I do not want to give up my old 830 which I still use for heavy duty sewing jobs.

  6. Pat Fasone says:

    I think Bernina is an awesome sewing machine.

  7. Zee says:

    My mother in law had Elna 1970 and I have Elna carina name 1984

  8. Annamarie Thomas says:

    Annamarie Thomas I work 18 years now with Bernina in South Africa and I just love the Berninas I also a pride owner of 2 Bernina sewing machines and 2 Bernina overlockers. I forwarded one of my old machines to somebody. I would like to win the Bennett’s sewing machine to offer it to one of our clients that don’t have one and realy deserve it.

  9. Deborah Arvin says:

    The lady who teaches out local quilt guild has a Bernina and raves about it and I would love to have a Berina that i could quilt on. I piece on a cheap Singer black Friday sale $49.00 from Walmart that is about 18 years old. I wasn’t quilting then & just wanted something for mending hubby’s pants light sewing. He is retired now & income is just to limited for a better machine. Winning this machine would be a dream come true!

  10. Gail Sanders says:

    i have no idea how a Bernina machine is. My mother owns one and raves about it.
    I am hoping to win one so that I may know about what everyone is talking about

  11. Linda Sims says:

    I had a bernina sewing machine for 43 years before it quit working. My bernina serger worked for 23 years before it stopped working. I really miss them. They were the best thing I purchased and it saddened me when they finally stopped working. Oh how much i would like to have new ones. Maybe some day.

  12. Denny O'Connor says:

    I have just made a book cover on my 1972 bernina …BEAUTIFUL

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