Bernina Models History: How Old is my Bernina Sewing Machine?

9 min read

Some people find history boring. However, to other people knowing the place where their sewing machine came from will help them identify the correct parts and much more. It can be an interesting topic , particularly when it is dealing with products that are part of your passion. The story of your machine makes you an professional.

What is the age of my Bernina sew-on machine?

To find out the age of the age of your Bernina sewing machine, you need to do is check the number of model. The four-digit model numbers begin in the early 1980s and continue up. The three-digit model numbers stopped in the mid-80s , and continue all the way to 1950s, with the exception of the Activa 100 and 200 series. 

To find out the age of you’re Bernia sewing machine has been and also a brief history of the model, you can go through our post. It dives into Bernia history and supplies information that you need to be aware of.

How to Tell the Age of a Bernina Sewing Machine?


Knowing the time of the Bernina sewing machine isn’t all that difficult. It is enough to look up the model’s number, and then look that number to find out when the machine was manufactured. The model number 530 was introduced in the 1950s until the 1960s. Its primary characteristic was its ability to create a stitch of 4 millimeters width.

The 700 series came into existence in the 1960s and continued to have that 4mm stitch width feature. As time progressed and technology advancements were made The 800 series was introduced in the 70s , and continued to evolve through the 1980s.

This was also the time for the introduction of the fad and extremely good 830 model. Then you got the 930, which was superior to the 830 and could sew almost anything. Its capabilities led to it becoming a popular sew-on machine, for quite a short time. However, technology is able to make the old machines obsolete.

The 90s witnessed the introduction of the 1010, 1020 and the 1030, as well also the 1120 and 1230, and the 1530. In addition, the 1630 and 1530 models were introduced in the 90s too. In the 90s, you could get an initial Activa series, which was the result of the invention of the Virtuosa as well as that of the Artista 170 and the 180.

If you own one of the sewing machines that is one of the 2. and series of Activa series of Activa, which includes the series of Activa, the 200, 730, 630, and the 640. You currently have a model that was manufactured in the early 2000s. The search for and identifying a model prior to the 1950s will be a difficult task since Bernina might have produced sewing machines, however it is extremely unlikely that they made them mass-produced in the latter 19th century. Th until the early 20s Th century.

Bernina Sewing Machine History


Karl Friedrich Gegauf created the company in 1893 in Steckborn Switzerland after he created the first machine to hemstitch. The company was referred to at the at the time Piz Bernina. Over the next seven years Gegauf.

Gegauf opened up international markets that required more workers. In 1900, they had employed 70 employees. In 1926, the sons took control of the company following the death of their father. In addition, they helped develop the sewing machine technology that is employed across all sewing machines the past 80 years.

The economic downturn didn’t slow the sons and by 1932 they had developed the first domestic machines. (2 of the machines still operate in the present).

Although the zig-zag technology was first introduced in 1938, it wasn’t until 1945 that the free arm zig-zag began to take control of the industry. Its impact was so powerful that in the year 1963 Bernina produced around 1 million units of the machines. In the year 1963 the company was founded by in 1963, Mr. Gegauf’s sister, Odette Ueltschi, was the CEO of the company.

She created the knee-activated lifting device for the foot of the presser. In 1971, the electronic feet control came to the 830, and this feature helped make the 830 one of the most coveted sewing machines available. Computer technology was incorporated into computer technology with Bernina sewing machine, in 1986, with the 1130, which was one of the very initial Bernina sewing machine that had a one step button holing as well as stitches pattern memory.

It was a huge leap as the Bernina’s sewing machine became computerized. The 1630 also included over 400 stitch patterns inbuilt. This model, the Artista 180 model was the first sewing machine. The thing Bernina has done through the years is to monitor the users of their sewing machines and then to try to upgrade its sewing equipment to meet customer’s needs.

The company has continued to work on upgrading their machines until the where sewing is no anymore an effort. Utilizing their machines could be an exciting experience, especially with the numerous technological advancements the current models have. The way that future machines will appear and feel like is dependent on the creative and creative thinking of Bernina. Bernina company.

Bernina Models Over the Years


The first hemstitch machine invented in 1893, was developed from the time that the founder of the company realized how difficult it was to hemstitch manually. The machine was capable of making 100 stitches in a minute. In the years 1919-37,, next-generation sewing machines made by Bernina were offered as sewing machines for furniture, but they could also be used for the house too.

There were approximately 20.000 of these machines manufactured in 1937 when the year 1937 came around. The free arm model appeared in the mid 1950s and was instrumental in paving the way for technological advancement to improve the machines.

The wide stitch size of 4 millimeters feature continued to be available present on Bernina models for a long time, running from the 530 until 930. At the time of this writing the majority of Bernina’s sewing machines models were mechanical. They did not get electrical models until the model 1130 was created. Then the machines began to get upgraded fairly quickly.

In 1530, the sewer was among the very first to utilize the trackball and the LED display. Thanks to the invention of the 1630, sewers were capable of completing an 8 mm stitch instead of 5 or 4 mm options. The sewing machine and computer were a perfect match to create the Bernina company when they were capable of designing and manufacturing its Artista 180 model. Then it was just a matter of time until computers took over this sewing equipment.

The most recent Bernina models are extremely technologically modern. The new model 830 came into the market in 2009. was so sophisticated that the company needed to file 15 patent applications to safeguard their innovations. Bernina also invented sewing machines that required software to operate them. 2012 saw the release to the BERNINA DesignWorks software suite.

The year 2014 finally arrived and, with it BERNINA E 16 BERNINA E 16 was introduced to the market. The thing that differentiated this model from the rest was the fact that this was the very first machine with multi-needle embroidery. What’s in store for the future of the sewing machine is to Bernina, the Bernina sewing machine manufacturer as well as other sewing machine makers.

Some Sewing Machine Facts

These facts aren’t specifically related to Bernina however they are interesting , to not the least. All you need be doing is to sit down and relax while learning something about information about the history of sewing machines.

  • Charles Weisenthal invented and patented the sewing machine needle in 1755, and could have invented the device prior to Thomas Saint’s patent on the machine in 1790. He. Saint’s patent is the first documented one for machines for sewing.
  • It wasn’t until 50-60 years later when Isaac Singer and Elias Howe developed improvements on previous models of the sewing machine. Their work is often given the credit for inventing the sewing machine.
  • The 1850s saw the sewing machine first introduced to the market and bought by women looking to reduce their sewing time by 14 1/2 hours using a hand. These machines reduced around 13 1/2 hours from the time.
  • Bernina developed the first hemstitching machine that also helped save a lot of energy and time for females.
  • Singer Manufacturing company made 20,000 machines in 1863. Bernina was not aware of the numerous machines until 70 years afterward.
  • The first electrically operated sewing machine was created in 1889 however it had a the largest motor which connected to the exterior inside of the unit. The first electric sewing machine from Bernina was not available until the 50s or 60s.
  • In addition to creating clothes, sewing machines are also are used as book stitchers, toymakers as well as for creating fabric to make furniture.

Some Final Words

It is fascinating to study the history of a particular period. Even if the dates annoy you, there’s plenty of interesting facts you can discover by reading about Bernina’s as well as other sewing machine manufacturers the history of. The way the founders overcome the odds is inspiring. Also, watching the evolution of different designs shows how innovation and creativity when combined result in the desired results. Bernina manufactures and has created excellent sewing machines. Many of the models from the beginning remain in operation today and let you know how your forefathers utilized their sewing abilities.



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