The long awaited BERNINA air threading overlocker has finally arrived! This is a milestone in the company’s history—as this is 100% designed and engineered in Switzerland and made in the BERNINA factory in Thailand. There are so many things that make this machine unique, but true to our tradition, the user experience and precision performance are the pillars of its design.
Machine Featured: BERNINA L 850
The L 850 is a 2-, 3-, 4-thread Overlock machine that comes loaded with comfort features. The air threader is operated using the BERNINA Foot Control. This is the same foot control and power supply used on BERNINA sewing machines—which means that they are interchangeable between machines. I move machines from place to place a lot in my sewing space, so it is convenient to keep the power supply stationary and just move machines. Let’s take a look at how the machine threads and the features that make is so simple.
To begin threading, raise the retractable thread stand to the highest position. Raise the presser foot—this will open the tension disks in the machine making it easy to thread and re-thread. The machine follows a color-coded thread path and every stitch on this machine has one-path threading. This means you will not need to move spools of thread or change order to achieve different stitches. One-path threading has been featured on previous BERNINA Overlockers as well.
Use the spool stabilizers for large cones of serger thread. If using standard smaller spools of thread, place a cap on top to help keep the spool in place. Like a sewing machine, overlockers are all about smooth thread delivery but with more thread and higher speeds.
One-Step BERNINA Air Threading
Threading the loopers on this machine is a dream come true. By operating the air threader with the BERNINA Foot Control, your hands remain free to do other things. You can even thread both loopers at one time, if you are so inclined. Turn the air threader connector knob to the left to set the machine for threading. Then press the foot control. The machine has a feature called Pulse Drive. What this means is that the machine will slowly sew into the correct position for threading when pressing on the foot control. You do not need to move the handwheel to set the machine for threading. Once the air threader pipes are closed, you will hear the air threading motor—it is a nice quiet sound. Hover the end of the looper threads over the air threading nozzles and the powerful air threader will actually pull the thread into the nozzle and through the looper eye. You will need a length of thread approximately 20-25” in length to clear the looper eye. The key advantage here is how smooth and unfussy this whole process becomes–the entire looper threading process is achieved with just One-Step!
Built-In Needle Threader
In addition to the ease of threading the loopers, the L 850 also has a built-in needle threader. This needle threader easily toggles back and forth for threading either the right or left needle. Having 5-3/8” of space to the right of the needles gives you ample room to move around the machine. The bright LED lighting provides optimal visibility for threading and sewing. And there’s more! The machine has a presser foot that swings out for convenient access to the needles and for placing the threads under the presser foot. The machine is specified to sew using ELx705 needles in sizes from 70/10- 90/14.
Total Stitch Control
Once you have finished threading the machine, you will still have the flexibility to alter all the settings for each stitch. BERNINA sewing machines offer total stitch control and so does this overlocker. The tension dials across the front of the machine are large and easy to adjust. The stitch length and differential feed are located on the outside of the machine. The large ergonomic dials are adjustable even while sewing.
The cutting knife is driven from below the stitch plate and the cutting width adjustments can be made using one hand on the easy to turn dial located on the front of the machine. With the ability to create stitch widths from 3-9mm, the widest in the industry, you will have a lot of variety in the stitch you make. A feature unique to BERNINA is called Micro Thread Control or mtc. This allows for the fine tune ajdustment of the stitch finger left and right. In conjunction with the cutting width, you can use the mtc to achieve the perfect stitch width while controlling exactly where the threads meet the edge of the fabric.
This machine comes standard with a large slide-on extension table that when removed, will reveal a freearm. Using the machine for the first time and intimidated by the sewing speed? No problem. You can regulate the top speed by flipping a switch to lower the speed from 1500 spm to 650 spm.
The Free Hand System (FHS) is a knee lifter that will lower and raise the presser foot while you are working to place the fabric in just the right position. Ever since learning to use this feature on my sewing machine, I have wanted it on an overlocker. Of course it comes with the L 850.
Other BERNINA favorites include the built-in storage for accessories found in the threader cover and cut-offs bin for collecting thread and fabric trimmings that attaches to the front looper cover.
Many things make using the L 850 a true BERNINA experience. All of these things are what add up to make it the ultimate overlocker. I hope that you have a chance to check out our newest addtion at your local dealer today!