How To Thread A Bernina Sewing Machine

Sewing enthusiasts know that having the proper thread setup is crucial for achieving optimal stitching results on a Bernina sewing machine. Imprecise threading can lead to skipped stitches, puckering seams, thread jams, and needle breakage – all headaches that can be easily avoided with the right techniques.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Carefully follow the numbered threading guide on your machine, ensuring the thread passes through all guide holes from spool pin to needle. Refer to your manual for any model-specific instructions.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through every step of properly threading both the upper and lower portions of common Bernina sewing machine models, from thread spool to needle eye. We’ll also provide troubleshooting tips for correcting any threading errors.

Understanding Your Machine’s Threading Guide

Threading a Bernina sewing machine may seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re new to sewing or have never used this particular brand before. However, with the help of your machine’s threading guide, you’ll be able to thread your machine easily and efficiently.

The threading guide is a valuable tool that provides step-by-step instructions on how to thread your machine correctly. By understanding and following the threading guide, you can ensure that your machine operates smoothly and produces beautiful stitches.

Locate the Threading Diagram

The first step in understanding your machine’s threading guide is to locate the threading diagram. This diagram is typically found either on the machine itself or in the instruction manual. The threading diagram is a visual representation of the threading path and shows you exactly how to thread your machine.

It may include arrows indicating the direction in which the thread should be threaded, as well as numbers or letters to indicate specific threading points. Take some time to familiarize yourself with this diagram, as it will be your guide throughout the threading process.

Study the Threading Path

Once you have located the threading diagram, study the threading path carefully. The threading path refers to the specific route that the thread needs to follow as it passes through various components of the machine.

This typically includes threading the needle, guiding the thread through tension discs, and winding it around bobbin cases. By understanding the threading path, you can ensure that the thread is correctly positioned and properly tensioned, preventing any issues such as skipped stitches or thread breakage.

Take note of any specific instructions or techniques mentioned in the threading guide, as they may vary depending on the model of your Bernina sewing machine.

Note Any Model-Specific Instructions

Finally, it’s important to note any model-specific instructions that are mentioned in the threading guide. Different models of Bernina sewing machines may have specific threading requirements or additional steps that need to be followed.

For example, some models may require you to engage the bobbin winder or adjust the presser foot before threading. These instructions are crucial for ensuring that your machine functions properly and that you achieve the best possible results.

If you’re unsure about any of the model-specific instructions, refer to the instruction manual or contact Bernina customer support for assistance.

Understanding your Bernina sewing machine’s threading guide is essential for successfully threading your machine. By locating the threading diagram, studying the threading path, and noting any model-specific instructions, you’ll be well-equipped to thread your machine effortlessly.

Remember to always refer to the threading guide whenever you need to rethread your machine or if you encounter any issues while sewing. With practice and familiarity, you’ll become a pro at threading your Bernina sewing machine in no time!

Threading the Upper Portion

Threading a Bernina sewing machine may seem daunting at first, but with a little practice and guidance, it can become second nature. The upper portion of the machine is where the thread is initially threaded before it makes its way through the rest of the machine.

Place Spool on Pin

The first step in threading the upper portion of the Bernina sewing machine is to place the spool of thread on the designated pin. This pin can typically be found at the top of the machine, near the take-up lever.

Ensure that the spool is secure and positioned correctly to prevent any tangling or thread jams.

Wrap Thread Around Pre-Tension Disk

Next, wrap the thread around the pre-tension disk. This disk is located near the top of the machine, and it helps regulate the tension of the thread as it feeds through the machine. Take the thread and guide it around the disk, making sure it fits snugly into the groove provided.

This step is crucial in ensuring even and balanced stitches.

Guide Through Upper Thread Tension

After wrapping the thread around the pre-tension disk, guide it through the upper thread tension mechanism. This mechanism can usually be found near the front of the machine, just above the needle. It allows you to adjust the tension of the thread to achieve the desired stitch quality.

Follow the threading path indicated by the machine or consult the user manual for precise instructions on how to navigate the upper thread tension mechanism.

Pass Through Take-Up Lever

The final step in threading the upper portion of the Bernina sewing machine is to pass the thread through the take-up lever. The take-up lever moves up and down as you sew and helps regulate the thread tension.

Locate the take-up lever, usually positioned near the front of the machine, and guide the thread through the small opening or hook provided. Ensure that the thread is securely in place and can move freely through the lever.

Threading a Bernina sewing machine’s upper portion may take a bit of practice, but once you become familiar with the process, it will become second nature. Remember to consult your machine’s user manual for specific instructions and threading paths.

With a properly threaded machine, you’ll be ready to tackle any sewing project with confidence and ease.

Threading the Lower Portion

Thread Through Hole Above Needle Clamp

One of the first steps in threading a Bernina sewing machine is to thread the lower portion of the machine. To do this, you will need to locate the hole above the needle clamp. This hole is where the thread will be fed through to begin the threading process.

Make sure to follow the specific instructions provided in your Bernina sewing machine manual to ensure proper threading. It is important to note that the exact location of this hole may vary slightly depending on the model of your machine.

Pass Through Needle Guide or Hook

After threading the thread through the hole above the needle clamp, the next step is to pass the thread through the needle guide or hook. This guide or hook is usually located just above the needle and helps to guide the thread into the needle.

Take your time to carefully pass the thread through this guide, ensuring that it is securely in place. This step is crucial for proper thread tension and smooth sewing.

Thread the Needle Itself

Once you have passed the thread through the needle guide or hook, the final step in threading the lower portion of the Bernina sewing machine is to thread the needle itself. Take the end of the thread and carefully insert it through the eye of the needle.

This can be a bit tricky, especially if you have limited visibility or shaky hands. You may find it helpful to wet the end of the thread slightly or use a needle threader to make this step easier. Once the thread is securely threaded through the needle, you are ready to move on to threading the upper portion of the machine.

For more detailed instructions and visuals, you can visit the official Bernina website at

Troubleshooting Threading Problems

Skipped Stitches

If you notice that your Bernina sewing machine is skipping stitches, there could be several reasons for this issue. First, make sure that the needle is inserted correctly and is the appropriate size for the fabric you are using.

A dull or bent needle can also cause skipped stitches, so be sure to replace it if necessary. Additionally, check the tension settings on your machine. If the tension is too loose, it can result in skipped stitches. Adjust the tension to the recommended setting for the fabric you are working with.

If you have followed these steps and are still experiencing skipped stitches, it may be helpful to consult the Bernina website’s troubleshooting guide at They provide detailed information and solutions for common stitching issues.

Loose Stitches

Loose stitches can be frustrating, but they can usually be easily resolved. One common cause of loose stitches is incorrect tension settings. If the tension is too loose, the stitches will not be properly formed. Check your machine’s tension settings and adjust them as needed.

It’s also important to ensure that the bobbin is inserted correctly and that the thread is properly threaded through the tension discs.

If you have tried these troubleshooting steps and are still experiencing loose stitches, it may be helpful to refer to the Bernina website’s support page at They offer comprehensive resources and tutorials to help you resolve common stitching issues.

Thread Bunching

Thread bunching, also known as bird’s nesting, can be a frustrating problem when threading a sewing machine. This occurs when the thread becomes tangled and forms a nest-like mess on the underside of the fabric. One common cause of thread bunching is incorrect threading of the machine.

Make sure that the thread is properly threaded through the tension discs, take-up lever, and the needle. Additionally, check the bobbin for any tangles or loose threads.

If you are still experiencing thread bunching, it may be helpful to watch a tutorial video on the Bernina website at They have a collection of instructional videos that can guide you through the process of threading your Bernina sewing machine correctly.

Needle Breakage

Needle breakage can be a frustrating issue when using a sewing machine. To avoid this problem, make sure that you are using the correct needle for the fabric you are working with. Using the wrong needle or a dull needle can cause it to break.

Additionally, check that the needle is inserted correctly and is securely tightened.

If you have followed these steps and are still experiencing needle breakage, it may be helpful to contact Bernina customer support at They have a team of experts who can provide further assistance and guidance.


With the right techniques, patience, and your Bernina manual close by, you can master threading your machine for flawless stitching every time. Precisely following the numbered diagram, understanding your model’s unique features, and troubleshooting any issues as they arise will help ensure your sewing projects get off to a great start.

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