Question about Bernina Activa 130

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Intermittent sewing problems

I purchased a used Bernina 230. 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. Sometimes it just randomly changes the stitch length to "gigantic" when no buttons have been pushed or settings changed. Sometimes it refuses to sew in reverse. this machine was recently serviced by a Bernina authorized rep/reseller. I didn't report these issues as I had not yet experienced them (he serviced it right after I got it). He did not find them when he was working with the machine. Can you advise?

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  • Bernina Master
  • 8,899 Answers

When threading the top thread, ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot so the top thread will seat completely in the tension disk. Doing this improperly will create the birds nest. Thread nests can usually be addressed by the user unless there is a deeper problem within the machine.

Birds nest under the fabric big loops of thread top side looks good...

Sewing Machine Thread Bunching Up Here Why

Since you recently had a serviced, you should take it back to the technician. Sometimes they do not test everything or experience your problems. Make a list of problems and be sure to bring stitched samples of what is happening when you stitch.

Posted on Apr 27, 2017

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  • Contributor
  • 26 Answers

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)

Posted on Apr 27, 2017

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

SOURCE: The stitch quality is lousy.

check the tension spring in teh bobbin case
replace teh bobbin case
check for fluff or dirt between teh tension plates of teh tension unit - a piece of paper rubbed between them will help
take it to another dealer!

Posted on Apr 08, 2008

  • 21 Answers

SOURCE: Bernina 1630 problem

Your feed dogs sound like they are getting stuck,chec whether they are on the down position,and also make sure that you have cleaned any lint that builds up in the bobbin area, if all fails it will have to go into the technician,

Posted on Sep 21, 2008

  • 8 Answers

SOURCE: bobbin tension

Bobbin Tension Adjustment:

1. Do you have a genuine Bernina bobbin casing and not an Oriental copy? If yes, proceed as follows:
2. To set the bobbin tension, wind a genuine Bernina bobbin with Metrosene thread, type 1161 white thread as your "gaging thread". Load the bobbin case so that the bobbin turns CW. Attach the bobbin case to the hook body from the machine. Wind a couple of revolutions of thread around your index finger with the assembled bobbin case and hook body dangling about 6" to 12" below your finger. Gently and rapidly move your finger back and forth in a "sideways" motion about 1/4" to create a gentle vibration on the bobbin assembly. (Do not shake the bobbin assembly up and down). When the tension is right, the bobbin assembly should fall slowly and as you stop the movement, the assembly should stop.
The adjustment is found on the small screw, holding the flat tension spring against the bobbin case. If the tension is too tight, one must loosen the screw (past) the desired location and always make the adjustment by tightening to the correct position.

There are other checks for tension imbalance and associated problems on the bobbin case that I won't go into here. For further information I can help you later on.

Top Tension Adjustment:

1. The top tension rarely changes and can be depended on throughout the life of that machine providing that tension assembly is maintained occasionally. This can be done by blowing out the tension disks with the presser bar lever in the up position. One can also drag or pull a piece of sized percale or muslin through the disks with the presser bar lever in a down position. Perhaps both methods can be employed.
2. Load the top of the machine with Metrosene 1161 thread in a dissimilar color. I prefer to use a pastel color so as not to create an optical illusion of imbalanced tension.
3. Sew a satin stitch (.25 on the Nova 900) in sized cotton muslin with a thin piece of paper between two plys of fabric. The width should not exceed 4.5mm (standard width on the 900 Nova), however the newer machines have wider stitch widths so one must adjust as specified. The result will be a slight amount of top thread in symmetric lines on both the right and left sides of the satin stitch.

Typically, the top tension will not need adjusting. If the Nova 900 needs adjustment, please ask for additional help.

Posted on Nov 28, 2008

  • 103 Answers

SOURCE: I have a Bernina 950 Industrial bottom stitch loose and pulls out

tighten top thread tension.

Posted on Nov 03, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Bernina Bernette 65 sewing machine

I had the same problem. I'm a novice sewer. I just bought my machine. It did the samething, tension didn't work, the thread kept knotting up underneath, and the fabric kept curling up in the back.

I adjusted the tension knobs to no avail. Then it kept bothering me that it was curling up. I then decided to set the dials back to where the factory had them and adjusted the presser foot just a hair counterclockwise and I haven't had anymore problems.

The other day the needle almost broke because the tension was tight on the thread. You have to make sure that the needle is at it's highest point to get it to release the fabric so you have a thread tail.

This is my first purchased machine. I had a New Home years ago that was given to me, however it blew away in the tornado of 1991 in Kansas and I never replaced it. I really do love this machine. I don't believe I will ever want another.

Posted on Nov 11, 2009

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1 Answer

My reverse sewing tension is to tight on my Bernina Activa 220 Sewing machine. Forward is fine. How can I loosen it without affecting the forward tension.


tension is set by the adjustment and is not affected by material direction
it is only the walking foot that changes direction and not the sewing action
discus this problem with a service center as there may be a service issue

Aug 11, 2016 | Bernina Sewing Machines

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Bernina activa 230 sews a stitch then stops?


sounds like you bought someone else's problem, it could be mechanical or if the machine has a computer, that could be the problem, it would be a good idea to have the machine checked since it is used...

May 04, 2014 | Bernina Activa 130

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Bernina 1008 thread bunching on bottom


"Nesting or Rat's Nesting" on the bottom side of Bernina sewing machines (CB hook type) is generally the result of very loose top tension. If the problem is found in newer sewing machines such as machines made after 1986 (serial numbers beginning with 26xx xxxx), may have an older Bernina bobbin case in the machine. The problem with the older bobbin cases is that the rounded projection of the latch on the left side of the casing will catch thread, preventing easy thread escapement during the take-up lever cycling resulting in loops on the bottom side and or thread breakage, etc..
Note:....Timings and modified latch geometry's were applied to later models to allow for good thread escapement. Older Bernina cases cannot be used on newer machines but newer cases can be used on all CB hook Bernina machines.
Additionally, Chinese copies of the Bernina/Cerliani OEM bobbin are rampant and can cause sewing issues. Always ask for OEM Bernina cases.

Note the following trouble shooting logic:
1. The center tension disk that is visible through the thread slot in the top cover of most machines must be positioned exactly in the middle of the top cover slot. By loosening the fixing screws on the top tension mechanism, one can adjust the disk position to center.
2. It would be a very rare situation for the top tension to change whatsoever from the (red center marking) factory setting. The most likely cause of loose top tension under the normal center mark position, would be accumulated lint, thread, or a sticky substance between the disks. This would prevent the tension compression disks from applying an even tension on the sewing yarn (thread). Often this can be blown out with compressed air when the presser foot lever is lifted in the up position. In some cases, soft drinks and other sticky or corrosive liquids can find their way between the disks. In this case, the tension assembly must be removed, disassembled, and the disks cleaned and polished.
3. Check the facial surfaces of the bobbin case for corrosion, and sticky substances that prevents the thread from easily sliding over the bobbin case.
4. Check that the spindle of the hook body is not bent or warped, causing the bobbin case to wobble, thus creating an intermittent pressure on the hook race cover at the moment that the thread is trying to escape over the bobbin case finger. (Replace the hook body)
5. Inspect the undercut on the hook body spindle for thread wrappings and knots. This condition can cause the bobbin case to press hard against the hook race cover, hence hindered thread escapement .
6. Exceedingly tight bottom tension can cause some problems as well. ( If you don't know how to adjust Bernina bobbin cases to factory settings, please ask).
7. Hook timing, (loop lift) can be out enough to affect thread escapement. This is typical of newer machines made after 1986 since Bernina no longer made fixed timed machines like the earlier Swiss made models. The later made models have timing components that can slip under stressed machine mechanics.
SewTechnical Home ">

Feb 13, 2014 | Bernina 1008

1 Answer

Bernina minimatic 707 not sewing evenly


Sounds like it's not threaded properly and or you have tension problems. Re-thread with the presser foot UP. Sew a test seam. If you still get loops loosen the upper tension... a little at a time. Sew tests seam after each adjustment.

Sep 02, 2012 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

My bobbin case jumps out while I am sewing on my bernina 1008.


it sounds like the bobbin case needs to be replaced, have you cleaned under the needle plate & bobbin area for lint & loose threads
I also would suggest to take the machine to a different sewing machine repair shop.

Mar 05, 2012 | Bernina 1008

1 Answer

I have a bernina 210 model sewing machine. I'm


#1 Use only Mettler or Gutermann thread. Coats thread is very rough and will pucker the fabric. #2 Make sure that the tensions are balanced. #3 Use the regular zig zag foot. #4 Use a new needle, universal, size 80/12. A blunted point will pucker the fabric.

Jun 02, 2011 | Bernina Activa 140

1 Answer

I always have problems with loading the bobbin, when I think it is loaded properly and begin sewing, it balls up and doesn't stitch properly on the back side of the fabric. Top stitch is fine, underneath...


the bobbin case has a small screw on the side for adjusting the tension, use a tiny screw driver to finely adjust the tension and sew on a scrap until the stitch looks good always turn the screw clockwise to turn the tension up and counter clockwise to loosen it

Dec 13, 2009 | Bernina Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Bernina 1008 - tension problems


Make sure the presser foot bar is UP before you thread the machine, otherwise the thread doesn't connect propertly with the tension discs. Top thread should reel-off in clockwise direction.

Jan 02, 2009 | Bernina 1008

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