Question about Bernina Artista 180

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Bernina 180 thread breaking and tension problems

The top thread breaks after sewing an inch or so. And, now, the back looks like a birds nest. I've done all the steps in the 'troubleshooting' section of the owners manual, but no go. Any hints? Advice?

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  • seahawk72 Feb 08, 2009

    i have the same problem...and have followed the troubleshooting in the manual...still no luck...HELP!!!

  • ggc77375 Mar 26, 2009

    I finally gave up and took my 180 in for service and repair. THe thread was breaking because of a small barb on the hook. I also was told that the machine was so dry that it was making the noises I had been hearing for some time. YIKES!!! With lubrication, oiling, and smoothing out of the hook, my 180 sews like a dream. Bite the bullet girls, take it to be serviced!!!

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First make sure that you are using a new needle in the proper size. A needle with burrs on it will cause the bird's nest problem. Also, is the thread you are using old? My repair guy told me to keep my filled bobbins in the freezer to maintain their humidity, and that has made a world of difference in my stitching. Finally, how long has it been since you had the machine cleaned and serviced, and was it by an authorized Bernina repair shop? Bernina machines have special screws that only Bernina authorized repair people have - I discovered that when I took my machine in to someone who was not authorized only to have the timing go off in a matter of weeks. The authorized repair guy found clumps of thread that had been air blasted into the inner works of the machine and those clumps were getting caught up in the new stitching and causing the same problems you described. Good luck!

Posted on Feb 28, 2009

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My problem is that I want to use yellow thread in the bobbin and either black or colorless on top in a baby quilt. I am trying to do a blanket stitch and the bobbin thread keeps coming on top or the black goes through to the botton. How do I set the tension so the yellow won't come through on top? or the colored threads wont' come through on the bottom? the bottom of the quilt will be yellow and the top is a combination of blue, red, yellow and white.

Posted on Mar 17, 2009

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Related Questions:

1 Answer

The stitches on the underside are looping I’ve retreaded both the needle and bobbin and neither makes a difference


You are getting a thread mess under the fabric? Frequently, this occurs because the top thread is not fully seated in the tension disk.

Install a brand new needle.
Remove the top thread from the machine.
ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot and rethread the machine from the beginning.
If necessary, adjust the top tension so the top and bobbin threads meet in the middle of the fabric.

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Check the tension on both the upper and lower threads is similar. It sounds like the thread on the lower spool is under tensioned. On most machines the tension is increased by a small screw on the spool.

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1 Answer

Top stitch is fine bottom is loose. Have tried adjusting tension but not working. If I get tension too tight breaks thread so I gradually change tension to no avail. Please help


Check your stitch sample. The loose stitches under the fabric--are they actually top thread???? Usually,stitch problems under the fabric is a result of a top thread problem. In this case, it could be bird nesting.

Remove the top thread from the machine.
Install a brand new needle.
ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot.
Rethread from the beginning.

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Remove the top thread from your machine (NOTE: ALWAYS clip the thread next to the spool, lift the presser foot, and gently pull the top thread down from top to bottom!!! This helps reduce the chances of breaking something by pulling the thread upwards!)

ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot and rethread the top thread from beginning. Verify the thread path is correct and start out with the thread tension set at the midway point (and then tweak the top thread tension through testing).

FWIW, if the thread problem appears under the fabric, it is generally a top thread issue. If the thread problem appears on the top of the fabric, it is generally a bobbin thread issue.

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bird nesting is from needle thread tension being too loose
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May 02, 2017 | Sewing Machines

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Hi. I am using a walking foot- bernina 560-the top thread seems ok, but on the back you can see some of the top thread. Puckers a little. What should I do?


increase the top thread tension up a bit
it is known as "bird nesting" and indicates that the top thread is not pulling the bobbin thread up tight
needle thread tension is NOT a "set and forget" item as different thread thicknesses , material thickness and needle eye size all have an impact on the tension and it has to be change to suit

Nov 29, 2016 | Bernina Sewing Machines

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What am I doing wrong when the stitching on top of the material is ok and straight and the backside is knotting?


wrong bobbin tension , but amazingly its actually easier to adjust the top threads tension to compensate for it , use your tension knob to slowly adjust , try an inch , slowly adjust try an inch , and so on to get a top and bottom thread tension to match , this will need to be adjusted for each major change in fabric (aka , knits to woven )

Aug 17, 2016 | Sewing Machines

2 Answers

Intermittent sewing problems


You have two problems:
1) Sometime it sews fine, but other times it will sew like there is no tension on the thread and create a "birdsnest" in the bobbin compartment.
Cause : Threading the upper thread
- clean upper thread tensions discs
- do not forget "• raise the needle and presser foot" (see manual page 18)

2) Sometimes it just randomly changes ...
Please open new ticket. Give tu us more info. It seems like Short circuit on S-print, but your description is chaotic (not usable)

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1 Answer

Birds nests under fabric and thread breaking.


My manual says the needle thread tension is too loose , OR the needle is to fine/heavy for the thread being used.

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