Where Are Bernina and Bernette Sewing Machines Made?

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Bernina has been run by the same family for several generations and is now the biggest global privately held sewing machine corporation. It was named after Piz Bernina, a Swiss mountain, and was founded in Steckborn, Switzerland in 1893 by inventor Fritz Gegauf. 

Today, the firm manufactures a wide range of textile and sewing devices, with a primary concentration on home sewing products such as embroidery machines, quilting machines, and, of course, sewing machines. Many of these products are manufactured under the Bernina brand and are sold in over 60 countries around the world.

The main areas of focus for Bernina are North America and Europe, although the company does have intense penetration in other geographical zones. Today, Bernina is a trustworthy, quality-oriented company that stands out in the sewing machine industry for its innovations and high-quality production standards. The company is based in a Switzerland town on the Swiss plateau with a population of around 5,000 people. Its current headquarters opened in 1913 but was built to replace an older structure that had been demolished after a fire destroyed it during World War I. The existing facility features a spacious interior that includes offices and staff facilities for both the Bernina and Bernette brands with plenty of storage space available for equipment.

Bernina is the only company in the world to have all product lines manufactured under one roof i.e. in its swiss unit. It is also the leading player in sewing machines. The Bernina brand caters to those who are looking for high-quality sewing machines that come with a wide variety of features and accessories within a reasonable price range. The various Bernina models cater to different users with different preferences so customers can find something to their liking.

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In terms of its sewing machine offerings, Bernina has recently introduced some exciting new models into its lineup. But first, let’s learn how it all started.

History of Bernina’s Sewing Machines

BERNINA is a premium sewing machine company with a history of developing cutting-edge sewing, embroidery, and quilting machines, sergers, and embroidery machines. Their tagline is “Stepping into the future with the excellence of the past,” and the firm has been held by the family since its establishment 100 years ago.

The founder’s name was Piz Bernina, which is a 13.280 ft high mountain in the Swiss Alps situated between Italy and Switzerland.

Karl Friedrich Gegau founded Bernina in Switzerland in 1893 when he invented a hemstitch the sewing machine. This machine can sew at a rate of 100 stitches per minute. It was the world’s first machine of its kind, and it generated quite a stir throughout the world. The mechanical manufacture of hemstitching became known as “gegaufing” after that.

Around 1900, the workshop employed 70 to 80 workers and evolved into a small industry. The technical director was Karl Friedrich Gegauf. Georg, his brother, was in charge of the family firm. The hemstitch sewing machine had gained popularity and was being sold internationally.

In 1932, the sewing machines had been properly established and were being produced in modest quantities under the brand name Bernina. Bernina had around 70 employees by 1900 and had expanded its workshop into a small factory. 

Karl Friedrich Gegauf was the technical director, while his brother Georg was in charge of the business operations. Karl Friedrich Gegauf’s two sons took over the firm when their father died and drove it forward. They introduced their first zigzag sewing machine in 1938, and the first portable zigzag sewing machine in 1945. Bernette, a revolutionary sewing machine introduced in 1989, is still in use today and is a huge success. The artista 180 is the company’s debut computerized sewing machine, released in mid-1990.

Today Bernina is one of the largest private sewing machine companies and an established sewing machine brand, known for its durability and stability. Bernina goods are sold all over the world, and there are over 400 independent dealers in the United States that are educated and trained on Bernina machines and are ready to help you make your purchasing decision. These dealers are committed to providing their customers with quality products and education, and they regularly host sewing machine classes, sewing events, and local demonstrations.

However, Bernina is still based in Steckborn, Switzerland, a tiny town of around 5000 inhabitants, many of whom work for Bernina. All of the sewing machines are designed in Switzerland and then sent to be assembled at its factory in Switzerland. They also have a service center there in case of problems or repairs that may come up.

All Bernina sewing machines are created, designed, and tested at the Steckborn manufacturing factory; Although, although the majority of their goods are manufactured there; some are manufactured in Thailand.

In all, the firm employs about 1200 people worldwide, with around 300 of them working in R&D, product development, and corporate operations in Steckborn.

Where are Bernina Sewing Machines manufactured nowadays?

Bernina’s swiss headquarters are in Steckborn. The factory has produced Bernina sewing machines since the 1893s, including the first mass-produced pedal-driven models for which it is recognized as “the mother of all sewing machines”.

Bernina used to solely manufacture its machines in Switzerland, but then in 1990 it launched a manufacturing unit in Thailand as well and is now producing its subordinate machines there. Bernina has different subsidiaries to run their business on an international scale. For example, they have relationships with textile companies and related organizations in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and Turkey. They sell their products only through a network of independent dealers in the United States. Other countries are serviced by resellers and distributors who are exclusive to each other and receive training from Bernina’s professional salespeople.

Bernina’s products are produced only in Switzerland and Thailand by their sewing machine production units. This keeps quality top-notch and fair prices for consumers. Similarly, Bernina is committed to making its own products a success through innovative design and steadfast attention to detail.

Are Bernina Sewing Machines made in Switzerland?

Bernina sewing machines were first established by Fritz Gegauf in Steckborn (Switzerland), the world’s first hemstitching machine manufacturer.

Today, most sought-after sewing machines are manufactured at their Swiss facility. These are the Bernina sewing machines from series 7 and 8, and they also include long-arm quilting machines. This unit also manufactures spare parts for series products. The Bernina sewing machines that are mass-produced in Thailand are the entry-level sewing machines of the Bernina brand. These are small and medium-sized, with few extras and limited accessories.

The 1230 model a revolutionary sewing machine developed by Bernina in 1989, was one of the world’s first computerized sewing machines which had memory and could do automatic buttonholes. It was considered the most advanced sewing machine in Bernina’s stable. So, from this model and Bernette’s formation to till now, they are manufacturing their sewing machines in Switzerland.

Are Bernina Sewing Machines are manufactured in Thailand?

All of Bernina’s lower-priced sewing machines, from entry-level machines up to the 7 Series, are manufactured in Thailand, as are the Q Series models. Thailand’s manufacturing factory was established in 1990 and has since been enlarged three times. The most recent was the opening of a new facility, in order to create bigger quantities of more modern sewing machines for the company’s Bernina brand.

Bernina sewing machines are made of high-quality material, and their prices range from $200 to over $5000+ depending on the model. Bernina sells its products to independent dealers, many of whom provide an installment purchase plan and offer factory training, as well as being available for personal assistance and support.

The Bernina 8 Series, Bernina 7 Series, and Bernina Q Series are the higher-end sewing machines in their line. And, these sewing machines are also being manufactured in Switzerland and Thailand.

Are Bernette sewing machines made by BERNINA?

Yes, Bernette is a brand of the BERNINA Group.

Bringing your creativity to life should come from the only machine rooted in Swiss design, built with incredible quality, and offering a full array of innovative features at a very attractive price. All your ideas deserve Bernette sewing, embroidery, and overlocker machines. Bernette offers you the best value in sewing and embroidery machines.

Bernette is not just the best—it’s the only one. In all the things you can do with a Bernette Sewing Machine, you’ve never seen anything like it. The world’s first all-in-one sewing machine, Bernette has everything you need to turn your ideas into reality: a variety of innovative features including overlock, embroidery, and quilting, an LCD screen for easy reference and operation of each feature, an Auto Thread Cutter for accurate threading and automatic threader for catching wasted stitches.

In the 1980s, BERNINA introduced a new line of sewing machines with the goal of offering value at affordable prices. In 1989, a year after Hanspeter Ueltschi took the leadership of the company from his mother, Odette Ueltschi-Gegauf, he combined the word BERNINA with the name of his mother to forge the new brand name: Bernette.

What’s the difference between BERNINA and Bernette?

BERNINA is the brand name of a line of high-quality sewing products sold worldwide by the BERNINA Group. It’s associated with precision engineering and innovative designs, while Bernette represents a value-oriented brand that offers the user an abundance of innovations on sewing machines, embroidery and overlock machines.

Are Bernette sewing machines good quality?

Innovative thinking, quality, and affordability. And, most important of all, the support of a BERNINA dealer! While Bernette machines can compete with big box store machines in terms of price points, they stand head and shoulders above that competition, thanks to the support each machine comes with. If you know a beginning sewist who needs a basic, reliable, and dealer-supported machine, Bernette is the obvious choice.

Bernina is well known for its special feature of needle placement, thread cutter, and automatic needle threader. It also has an innovative feature called “Step Buttonhole” that not only creates professional buttonholes but also allows the user to customize them according to his/her preferences by simply pressing the Step Buttonhole button!

From the beginning of its inception, Bernina has been an innovator in the world of sewing.

FAQ about Where Are Bernina & Bernette Sewing Machines Made?

Are Bernina Sewing Machines still manufactured in Switzerland?

Yes, Bernina sewing machines are still produced in Switzerland. This is one of those sewing machine brands which are still manufacturing in the country from where they started.

Where are Bernina Sewing Machines made?

It’s a combination of Switzerland and Thailand. Officially, Bernina has announced that Bernina sewing machines are made in Switzerland only but I found a trace of their factory in Thailand also as per my online research.

Where are the Bernette Sewing Machines made?

Bernette sewing machines are also made in the factories of Bernina in Switzerland and Thailand as it is the sister company of Bernina. As Bernette is a subsidiary company of Bernina, so, they manufacture their sewing machines in their parent company’s factory in Switzerland.

Are Bernina sewing machines made in China?

No, Bernina sewing machines are not made in China. Bernina is the only sewing machine manufacturer that still produces machines in what is considered the “west.” – in Switzerland. They also own Brewer and OESD embroidery. All the rest of their regular line Bernina machines are produced in a Bernina plant in Lamphun, Thailand, built-in 1991.

Are Bernina sewing machines made in the USA?

No, Although Bernina is the largest sewing machine supplier in the USA, but their sewing machines are not made in the USA. Bernina consumers in the USA are getting sewing machines that are made in Switzerland and Thailand.

Are Bernina sewing machines made in the UK?

No, Although Bernina is one of the trustworthy sewing machine suppliers to UK, but their sewing machines are not made in the UK. Bernina consumers in the UK are getting sewing machines that are made in Switzerland and Thailand.

How do Bernina Sewing Machines sell?

Bernina manufactures many specially designed sewing machines with prices ranging from $200 to over $5000+ depending on the individual model. Bernina offers its products to independent dealerships and through an online dealer network.

Do Bernina Sewing Machines have a warranty?

Yes, Bernina offers a warranty on their sewing machines. In the case of electrical parts, Bernina offers two years warranty. In the case of printed circuit boards, Bernina offers two years warranty. Also, Bernina offers twenty years warranty in the case of mechanical parts from the date of purchase of the product.

Can I get Bernina’s Refurbished Sewing Machines?

Yes, you can get Bernina refurbished sewing machines. Refurbished products are pre-owned by the manufacturer or another individual. They have been directly sold to customers by the manufacturer or distributor in like-new condition. These products may have been used in photo shoots, demonstrations, or other events but they’re still 100% fully functional and ready to use.

Final Thoughts

Bernina sewing machines are known well for their innovative features and high quality. So, if you are an expert sewer and/or a beginner sewer. Bernina sewing machines are reliable and durable.

Bernina Sewing Machines are not only used in domestic sewing but also used in the sewing industry as well as in other industries. They’re reliable, durable, and affordable. The automatic buttonhole function, built-in Needle Threader, Permanent memory function, and Bright LED Sewing Light could be some of the simple but smooth features of Bernina Sewing Machines.

If you want to check out more information about Bernina sewing machines, go to their official website: https://www.bernina.com/products/sewing-machines/ or find here the best Bernina sewing machines.

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I have been working as a seamstress since I was 12 years old, and I would be happy to teach you what I know. I, along with the rest of my team, investigate numerous sewing, quilting, embroidery, and fabric related how-to guides, and present our findings to you.

1 thought on “Where Are Bernina and Bernette Sewing Machines Made?”

  1. Bernette machines are not manufactured by Bernina. They are manufactured FOR Bernina via subcontract. Some models are made by Janome, for example.


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