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BERNINA Bernette Deco 600 Review

BERNINA Bernette Deco 600 Review
BERNINA Bernette Deco 600 Review
Author
Users
  • Stitch quality
  • Speed
  • Ease of use
  • Maintenance
Beginner
Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
Intermediate
Expert

Introduction

To look at it, you might be fooled into thinking that the BERNINA Bernette Deco 600 looks like just about every other sewing machine… that is until you take another look and notice the extra large work space and the bar where the embroidery hoop is attached.

The power switch and electrical connections are conveniently located on the right side of the machine.

Bernina Bernette Deco 600 sewing machine

Bernina Bernette Deco 600

Working on the Bernette Deco 600

From threading the machine to choosing a design through execution, the Bernette Deco 600 takes you through the entire machine embroidery process with ease, yielding high quality results every single time that even the most savvy, experienced machine embroiderer would be extremely proud of.

Even if you do not have immediate access to the owner’s manual, the user-friendly LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) touch screen will walk you through every step.

LCD screen on Bernette Deco 600

LCD screen walks you through every step

The illumination on the LCD screen can be adjusted to the room light. The instruction panel changes with each function, providing detailed instructions and how-to tips for the novice machine embroidery artist.

The panel of six selection keys located on the upper right front of the Bernette Deco 600 provides prompts for instructions and guides that are visible on the LCD panel. Each key brings up a different set of instructions and options.

The selection keys and their functions are:

  • The ‘characters and designs’ key brings up the options or embroidery characters and patterns.
  • The ‘basic operation’ key helps users learn how to use the Bernette Deco 600.
  • The key marked ‘modify and advise’ helps the user trouble shoot any problems that may arise during operation of the Bernette Deco 600.
  • The ‘card’ key is engaged to access designs stored on the memory card installed in the slot at the lower right side of the machine.

If English is not your language of choice, the Bernette Deco 600 can be programmed to provide on-board instructions and guidance in ten different languages, including Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German, French and Portuguese.

Once a different language is selected, all instructions, error message, and guides will appear in that language until the language choice is change once again. Switching back to English is as easy as the touch of a finger.

Decals on the top and face of the Bernette Deco 600 make threading as simple as child’s play, and your eyes can rest because the needle is threaded automatically. All you have to do is make sure the needle is in the uppermost position.

Winding the bobbin is just as easy with the handy on-board bobbin winding guide mounted on top of the machine. After the bobbin is threaded simply go by the easy to follow guides to place it into its see through case beneath the throat plate.

Winding the bobbin on the Deco 600

Winding the bobbin on the Deco 600

Don’t worry about pulling the bobbin thread up through the throat plate because the lower thread comes up automatically right after you snap the bobbin cover shut. The Bernette Deco 600 even cuts off the excess thread for you.

Once it’s threaded, operating the Bernette Deco 600 is as easy as selecting one of the pre-loaded designs or choosing a design from one of the many design memory cards that can be purchased separately.

If you purchased your BERNINA Bernette Deco 600 sewing machine used and some of the accessories are missing, finding them is not difficult. New embroidery hoops and design memory cards, compatible with the Bernette Deco 600 are readily available at sewing centers and on-line vendor sites such as ebay.

However, it may not even be necessary to purchase additional design memory cards anytime soon. The Bernette Deco 600’s 32 pre-loaded designs span a broad range of choices, including monogram fonts, children’s designs, wildlife, floral patterns and many design more options.

The Bernette Deco 600 gives you the freedom to adjust your finished embroidery design height and width from the size of a dime to up to 4” by 4”.

Loading the embroidery hoop with fabric and stabilizer is a cinch. The adjustable screw mounted on the side of the embroidery hoop allows fabric and stabilizer to be set snugly without any fuss. The hoop then very easily snaps into place on the guide bar located on the base of the machine.

When embroidering onto a very small piece of fabric, a corner or the edge of a piece of fabric or on ribbon, it is important to use two-sided tape a basting stitch to secure your fabric to another piece of fabric before inserting it and the stabilizer in the embroidery hoop. This will avoid bunching or binding of your threads while the design is being created.

Embroidering on the Bernette Deco 600

Embroidering on the Bernette Deco 600

This machine is so smart, it even stops when it detects that either the upper or lower thread has broken. Fixing the problem is easy with the Bernette Deco 600 ‘back-up’ feature.

If your thread should break while working on a project, simply rethread the machine and select the ‘back’ option on the LCD screen. The Deco 600 will automatically go back to the point where the thread broke and pick up where you left off.

When you press the start-stop button, you will be able to finish your machine embroidery design just as if the break never took place.

If the machine cannot detect the exact point where the thread broke, you can use the ‘reverse search’ option which will go back to where you started with that particular color and then select ‘forward’ to take you to the place where the thread was broken. Then all you have to do is press the start-stop button and go on to finish your design.

To begin stitching your machine embroidery design, depress the start-stop switch. The needle will move slowly at first and speed up once the button is released. Then just sit back and watch your embroidery design come to life.

It’s not even necessary for you to touch the foot pedal. The machine will stop on its own when it is time for you to change thread colors.

When it does, the needle will stop in the up position. So all you have to do is change the thread color and lower the presser foot then just relax while the Bernette Deco 600 does all the work.

Storing finished machine embroidery projects in the Bernette Deco 600 memory is achieved in just a few steps. And retrieving saved designs is even simpler.

Deco 600 enables you to store designs

Deco 600 enables you to store designs

The memory function is not only easy for the novice machine embroiderer to use, it’s easy to follow step-by-step instructions are displayed on the LCD screen.

The only thing to remember is to insert a memory card with enough space to store your design and re-insert it when you are ready to retrieve and re-create your brand new design.

Be sure to turn the power off before inserting or removing a memory card. Failing to do so may cause potentially irreparable damage to the memory card.

If that happens, the designs on that particular card could be severely damaged or lost altogether.

Care must be taken when inserting design memory cards, however. It is essential that cards be inserted with the arrow pointing in the proper direction.

If inserted improperly, the card connector could be permanently damaged, rendering the card unable to be used. To prolong use, design memory cards for the Bernette Deco 600 must always be stored in their original cases when not in use.

The only feature of this machine that is not automatic is the tension adjustment. Adjusting the tension on the Bernette Deco 600 is easy that it can be accomplished in one or two simple steps.

As with other machines, thread and fabric density must be taken into consideration before setting tension. In addition, it is always advisable to take a few minutes to test the tension adjustment using the threads and fabric you selected for your project prior to beginning any new machine embroidery project on the Bernette Deco 600.

This way, you will be certain that your final machine embroidery design will come out the way you want it to look.

Users are cautioned to plug the Bernette Deco 600 directly into the wall socket for optimum operating results and to unplug the machine if a power outage occurs.

Not only will this avoid the possibility of damage to the machine caused by a possible power surge, it protects your unfinished machine embroidery project as well.

The drawback, however, is obvious. If the power goes out while you’re in the middle of a project – especially an intricate one – you may think that you have literally wasted time, fabric and energy creating a design that is essentially worthless because it is unfinished.

In lieu of a surge protector with back-up battery power – which is ill advised for this particular machine – unplug the machine and wait until it is safe to turn it back on.

Then follow the directions for finishing the project after the thread breaks using the ‘forward search,’ ‘reverse search,’ and ‘forward,’ and ‘back’ options on the LCD screen.

The same holds true for users who find that they must stop working on their machine embroidery projects on the Bernette Deco 600 before completing them.

Fabrics

  • Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
  • Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
  • Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
  • Knits
  • Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
  • Upholstery
  • Leather/suede
  • Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers

Features

The BERNINA Bernette Deco 600 features hands off operation, meaning that once you begin producing your design, it is not necessary for you to touch the machine at all.

It is so easy to operate, it not only tells you how long it will take to complete your embroidery project, it also tells you how much time is left once you get started.

Bernette Deco 600 features hands off operation

Bernette Deco 600 features hands off operation

Before you even start sewing your machine embroidery project, the Bernette Deco 600 will let you know how many thread colors each design requires, and its hands-free operation stops to tell you when to change thread colors.

It will also alert you as to when the bobbin thread is low in order to avoid that annoying problem of running out of bobbin thread in the middle of an intricate project.

Other standard features on the Bernette Deco 600 sewing and embroidery machine include a start/stop button, LCD touch screen and a series of function keys to help you navigate through the process of selecting and executing a machine embroidery design.

The list of standard accessories that are included with the Bernette Deco 600 include:

  • Lint brush
  • Extra needles
  • Screwdriver
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Bobbins (4)
  • Spool caps (1 large/1small)
  • Embroidery frame
  • Embroidery sheet
  • Extra spool pin
  • Spool net
  • Protective cover

Maintenance





After each useMonthly*Once Each Year**As Needed
Clean race hook and feed dogs
Wipe head with soft dry cloth
Wipe head with soft damp cloth

* more often if the machine is used for extended periods of time or if used frequently/Typically after 100 hours of use

**more often if the machine is used heavily or if it is not operating properly

NOTE: Changing the light bulb on the Bernette Deco 600 requires using a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the cover, located on the left side of the machine. Be sure the power switch is turned off and the machine is unplugged before making the change.

Cleaning the Bernette Deco 600 is not as easy as cleaning some other machines of this type. You will need a screwdriver to remove the presser foot, needle, throat plate and the inner rotary hook (bobbin housing) along with the other removable parts beneath the throat plate.

Use a lint brush to clean the entire mechanism and remove all thread snips, lint and dust. After replacing everything to its original position, reconnect the machine to the power source and give it a test run by sewing a sample embroidery design.

Conclusion

The BERNINA Bernette Deco 600 is an excellent choice for beginning machine embroiderers, but the home sewer with lots of machine embroidery experience may not be satisfied with its simplicity.

The Bernette Deco 600 is lightweight and easy to move from one place to another, but unlike a traditional carrying case, the soft plastic cover is not conducive to moving it around.

Retracing your steps after a power outage or stopping before finishing a project is challenging. It may be easier to simply discard the unfinished project and start over.

If you get this machine used and the manual did not come with it, you will find that it is not available online. If you go to the Bernina/Bernette website and search for out of date manuals, you will discover that the only out of print manual for embroidery machines is for the Bernette Deco 500, which is available in six separate PDF documents. Go ahead and download it.

The graphics and instructions are identical to those in the original instruction manual for the Bernette Deco 600. The home sewer with limited work space will not find the Bernette Deco 600 to be a practical selection.

When home embroidery machines first hit the market, they were more viable. However, with the increased availability of machines that sew as well as embroider, a machine that embroiders only may not be the best choice.

When you consider the price tag – between $300 and $600 – purchasing a machine with such limited functionality seems even less appealing.

If you want an embroidery machine and are lucky enough to find a BERNINA Bernette Deco 600 for $100 to $200 or to receive one as a gift, then go for it.

Just make sure you have the space to accommodate it.

Pros

  • Sews on its own
  • Low bobbin warning
  • Lets you know how many thread colors are needed when you select your design
  • Able to communicate in 10 languages

Cons

  • A screwdriver is needed to perform simple tasks like changing light bulb and removing parts to clean the machine
  • Soft cover does not encourage moving the machine around.
  • The Bernette Deco 600 embroiders only and is, therefore, not a practical choice for small sewing areas where space is a consideration.

At A Glance

7 Comments

  1. Very nice job. Very helpful information. Info provided is great as it is hard to find manuals. Thanks for great article.

  2. Great review! It was largely because of your insightful article that I ended up getting this machine. I can’t wait to get started with my projects:)

  3. But how do you actually start the winding process as it what do I do after I have everything in place.

  4. could you suggest a price for the Deco 600.
    A deco wizard version2
    The memory cards that goes with the Deco
    If possible in RSA Rands
    Thank you

  5. I got this machine at the pawn shop for $119.00 .It was working good. Then it started bunching up the thread on the bottom of design. The tech told me it only uses 50 weight thread. Do not know what else to do!

    • If the tension is set correctly and it is still bunching up then you may need to replace the bobbin case (It may be worn out).

  6. Hi. I can get n deco wizard box but i want to know how it works. The guy said its just a plug and play and needs no software? Ive got a bernina re writable card! I just need to know if i can use this wizard box to put designes from my pc to my card?

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