9 Products That Can Be Made with a Single Head Embroidery Machine

A single head embroidery machine is a great start for any home-based or small startup business. When starting out you don’t need a multi-head machine that’s built to run all day, as you’re unlikely to have the volume of orders and demand that justifies one. 

Not only is a single head embroidery machine a good starting point, they’re also designed to be able to cope with business growth. Therefore, if your business takes off quickly, you won’t need to splash out on an upgrade right away. They’re powerful, versatile and a great choice for your business. 

The list of products that you can embroider with one of these machines is huge. From t-shirts to bags, you can produce great embroidery results on a wide range of items with a single head embroidery machine. This post will cover the nine most common products that businesses tend to create. 


It’s common to associate t-shirt personalisation with different printing methods. However, t-shirt embroidery is everywhere. Whether it’s the global fashion industry or on a building site, you’re likely to find plenty of embroidered t-shirts. 

Think about brands like Ralph Lauren and Fred Perry, you’ll see their famous emblems on the chest of their t-shirts. Both brands embroider these on and whilst it’s unlikely huge worldwide brands like this will use a single head embroidery machine, you can achieve the same results when using one. 

Which Machine Is Best for You: HappyJapan HCU Series

For these types of projects we recommend our premiere single head machine, the HCU Series. This is HappyJapan’s newest and most technologically advanced single head model. It’s perfect for startup embroiderers that are looking to take on industrial level projects. It’s also a great machine to upgrade to if you own an older single head machine from a competitor that doesn’t hold up well anymore.

Polo Shirts

Like embroidered t-shirts, you can find embroidered polo shirts across various industries too. One of the most common orders that embroidery companies will receive is from other businesses wanting personalised uniforms and polo shirts are often a staple in these orders. 

Whether it’s sandwich shops or retail assistants, polo shirts can make staff look professional, well-presented and most importantly, part of a close-knit team. Embroidered uniforms are hugely important for businesses. Not only do they look good but a quality embroidered uniform can act as a free form of advertising for businesses. 

We feel that embroidery always looks better on polo shirts than printing does. Embroidery gives a more professional and regal feel to a garment, which is exactly what you want from your work uniform. There’s a reason why prestigious companies use embroidery methods for their workwear polo shirts, for example, Royal Mail. 

Which Machine Is Best for You: HappyJapan HCD3E-1501

This is another great example of an industrial embroidery machine. It’s Happy Japan’s best heavy-duty single head model with the largest sewing area. The HCD2E-1501 is perfect for embroiderers who need some extra embroidery space but still want to use single head machines.

Its 10.4 inch colour LCD touch-screen control panel is an amazing touch to increase usability for your operators and its maximum speed of 1,200 SPM has become an industry standard in recent times.

Sweatshirts and Jumpers

Sweatshirts and jumpers are commonly embroidered on single-head embroidery machines. Again, these are mainly used for fashion or workwear predominantly. Businesses would choose between the two depending on their line of work. 

After all, you wouldn’t expect a professional chartered accountant to go to work in a sweatshirt, would you? Likewise, you wouldn’t expect your plumber to show up to fix your leaking pipe with a v-neck lambswool pullover on. 

It’s not just fashion and workwear that these two are used for though. The majority of schools will either have a sweatshirt or jumper in their school uniform. These will usually have a crest, badge or school logo embroidered onto the chest and are capable of being prepared on a single head embroidery machine. 

Which Machine Is Best for You: HappyJapan HCS2-1201

This model is great for projects that include garments that require a compact machine that works well in the same production line as many others. The tubular embroidery space of 285 x 290mm means the HCS2-1201 is designed for embroidering en-masse in a space that is limited – an amazing machine for start ups with much less to operate within.


Even the most well-known jeans brand in the world, Levi’s, uses embroidery on their denim jeans. And you can too, with a single head embroidery machine. A lot of people are sceptical about the thickness of the material and whether the needle will be able to penetrate through easily enough to create the results that you want. 

But you needn’t worry. Whether it’s a leather branding tag that you want to embroider onto the belt loop or different colour patches to make them as unique as possible, embroidering jeans on a single head can create amazing results. 


Sportswear, whether it be playing kits or tracksuits, are very common orders that embroidery businesses receive. Right up to professional level, you’ll see that sports teams are all represented by embroidered sports kits. And there’s a reason for that. 

Their kits all contain their club crest, which represents the privilege and prestige of the club’s history. Sports teams choose to have these embroidered as it promotes a quality finish. Plus, as well embroidered and designed kit shows that you’re a well-established club and ought to be taken seriously. 

A poorly embroidered kit looks sloppy. And if a club looks sloppy, then the chances are that they won’t be taken seriously. From schools, local clubs and professional teams, the embroidery always has to be on point and that’s capable with a single head embroidery machine.

Caps and Hats

How often do you see people wearing caps and hats on with big branding logos on? Quite often, we bet. Well, the likelihood is that the majority of these will be embroidered on as it’s a durable and long-lasting method of cap personalisation. And the design possibilities that you can create on caps and hats are limitless. 

We often see people with hats that show off their favourite sports team badges and crests, but they can be used for just about anything. Whether it’s memorable quotes, branding or even for staff uniforms, caps and hats are extremely common products that are ordered with embroidery businesses. 

Which Machine Is Best for You: HappyJapan HCH-701P

The HCH-701p is another great single head machine that is designed for businesses starting on their industrial embroidery journey. It’s also an amazing choice for jobs that incorporate small designs like badges and crests; something we a lot of on caps and hats.

This might be a smaller model, but it’s still a perfect first step, and comes along with all the hallmarks of HappyJapan machines, like a touch-screen control panel and Windows software. It’s also completely wireless, so it’s really easy to move, making it really versatile if part of a larger production line.


Embroidered tote bags are usually a common item to be found on band merchandising stalls or even at trade shows and conferences. Think about it, when you go to one of these events, you more or less always come away with a tote bag full of freebies. But there’s a reason why they’re made and that’s because they’re an effective embroidery product.

The chances are that with a lot of people focusing on reducing their single-use plastic that they’ll use these bags to do the shopping with. So, brands will be being promoted without actually knowing. Plus, tote bags never go out of fashion, so they’ll still be being used for years to come. Environmentally friendly and durable? Sounds like the perfect embroidered product.


Gloves, scarves, ties, wallets and many more. All of these accessories can be embroidered on a single head embroidery machine. And even better, there’s a clear demand for all of these products. When living in the UK, if you don’t own a pair of gloves or a scarf, you’re going to be in for a bit of a chill. 


Not the most obvious choice, but single head embroidery machines are capable of embroidering on footwear. Whether it’s plimsolls or even work boots, people can personalise their footwear as they like. Whatever the material, you can rely on a single head to produce results that you can be proud to put on your feet. 

Embroidered patterns, logos or even words are a great way for people to express themselves with their fashion sense. So, by putting a unique twist on their shoes, they’re ensuring that they stand out from the crowd and creating their own products that no one will have – global brand, Gucci, embroider a lot of their footwear. 

Choose the Right Machine with the Help of Midwest

So, you’ve now seen what products your business can start producing from a single head embroidery machine. But to be as productive and successful as you can be, you need to know which machine is right for your company. 

Luckily for you, we’ve created a free guide that compares single-head and multi-head machines. It lists the benefits of each and will help point you in the right direction of what machine is right for you. It’ll present more ways you can use your single head machine and will advise of when the time is right to upgrade to a larger machine. Grab your copy today.

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