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My Bernette 800 won’t stay threaded!

itchyink | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi, I”m new here — joined hoping to find help with my problem. I purchased a Bernette 800D serger about two years ago. Lately it will not stay threaded for more than a few minutes. It is the lower looper that always comes undone. I have taken it into the shop where I bought it three times now and every time they futz with it, threading and rethreading. It works long enough to run a few seams in the shop and they send me home, where it promptly begins malfunctioning. They even used a Sharpie to mark where the tensions of all my threads should be.

Could it be that it just needs to be serviced? Is this brand a lemon? I am still very much a novice with a serger but have come to depend on it and miss it! It was a floor model i bought at a discount and i’m worried i have no recourse if it can’t be made to function. Thanks in advance for your help!


  1. Kiley | | #1

    Hi, you said you are rather new to serging so I thought I would pass on some suggestions..you may already know this but with the problems you are having..I just wanted to remind you..if a thread breaks and you need to rethread..remove your needle threads and thread them "last" after you thread the loopers..otherwise you could break a thread.  Also when threading the loopers be sure to put the lower looper thread over the arm of the upper looper that is close to the needle. You might want to check and be sure that your thread tower is extended all the way up. Did you try changing the lower looper thread? Sometimes it is poor thread.

  2. kjp | | #2

    Elaine, When you bring it in, are you rethreading it there, or are they?  Since Bernette dealers are generally good with troubleshooting, I would ask them to watch you thread it (and bring the thread you are using).  They may be able to spot the problem right away.  Usually, when I have a problem, I start threading from scratch, following the threading chart to the letter. 

    One thought to mention, last week I kept breaking my lower looper when I was trying to make a rolled hem.  I checked my threading carefully and ???  When I took everything off and started over, I realized that somehow my lower looper thread had been wrapped twice around the tension disc.  Good luck!

    1. itchyink | | #3

      I am doing the rethreading, lots and lots of it! But I am just rethreading the lower looper. Do I need to pull out the needle threads and redo them too? I think someone else had mentioned this, but I don't understand why it's necessary. Also, when I start threading from scratch (like when I brought it home from the store to put in my own thread), it still doesn't go long without coming unthreaded.

      1. kjp | | #4

        Yes, you do have to pull the needle threads and redo them.  You don't necessarily have to rethread all of them, but you must separate them and direct them in the right direction - FOLLOWING THE THREADING ORDER YOU SHOULD HAVE WITH YOUR MACHINE.  I couldn't tell you why this is important, but it is! 

        Are your serged seams looking perfect and smooth before the lower looper thread comes out? 

        Also, you are describing your problem as it is coming unthreaded.  Is the thread actually breaking?  My loopers have to be threaded through the arm/hook hole.  Breaking is the only way they can come out, but you may have a different system.  My machine is about 9 years old and I know that threading has been changed a lot!  

        What kind of thread are you using?  That really may be the issue. 

        Good luck and persevere - you will get this figured out.  karin

        Edited 4/25/2005 4:31 pm ET by kjp

        1. itchyink | | #5

          Thank you Karin! Those self-threading Babylocks are sounding really good right now.My thread is not breaking, just coming out of the little arm of the lower looper. I'm using thread my sewing store sells: Guterman.I just looked at the threading diagram in my machine and realized there is a specific order: upper, lower, right, left. I realized i usually thread the lower loooper first, just making sure the threads overlap properly before hitting the fabric, but I'll do it the recommended way next time. So you don't think this is related to any sort of machine problem? It seems to work great otherwise.

          1. kjp | | #6

            I just consulted my mom, who recently bought the same machine.  And, she has had the same problem at times.  Her dealer walked her through the threading process several times.  She said the thread still can come out at times, but usually does not.  When it does, she has to rethread in order (once you get the hang of this, this can be fudged).  Could be a problem with the machine design & maybe the timing, but more likely, it is the threading order. 

            Guterman thread is good thread - so you can rule that out! 

            I think your best course of action is to bring your thread and some pieces of the fabrics you would like to work on back to your dealer (make sure you have the most experienced person help you).  Then have them walk you through the process - but you do the threading, not them!  There may be some small simple thing that they will be able to identify.  A Bernina dealer should be willing to give you all the time you need.  Hopefully the problem will appear while you are there so they can troubleshoot!

            Most importantly -- DO NOT feel stupid or inadequate!  I own a different machine and use it all the time.  I could not tell you how many days (yes, days!) I have spent trying to figure out small problems.  Even after years of using my machine.  Self-threading does sound good! 

          2. itchyink | | #7

            Your rethreading advice is working! Can't believe it was that simple. Thanks :)

          3. Kiley | | #8

            Just a reminder when threading..always remove both needle threads and clear them from the stitch finger or thread the needles last. If your needle threads are not removed from the stitch finger and you rethread the loopers..your stitches will not be form correctly and threads can break. If your serger has a needle tension release button it helps the situtation. Also, be sure that your lower looper thread goes over the upper looper arm then put both looper threads and needle threads to the back of the needles before serging. :)

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