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What is an Embroidery Machine? An Easy Beginners Guide

Published on 3rd July, 2019

embroidery machine

What is a commercial embroidery machine and what do I need to know as a new business in the industry?

By understanding your considerations as a beginner within the embroidery business you’re offering yourself the greatest chance of building a successful startup.

This blog is your beginner’s guide. We want to address and make clear in this article the following areas of focus for you:

  • What is an industrial embroidery machine?
  • What to consider when choosing your machine
  • How are they used?
  • What types of products can be created with an embroidery machine?
  • The benefits of owning your own machine

The key to knowing your exact machine requirements is to first focus on your business as a whole. What are you looking to achieve? Research and seeking expertise from trusted sources will help you in your search and beyond as your startup progresses and grows.

Use this comprehensive easy guide to learn about commercial embroidery and to help your business get started.

What is an Embroidery Machine?

what is an embroidery machine

If you’re looking to customise your output, then commercial machine embroidery can be a profitable business. It can be used to sew and create patterns on a range of textiles: in branding, corporate advertising, and uniform customisation. 

Not only that but embellishment (decorative detailing or added features) within the clothing and fashion industry is a favourable option as well.

Whilst this can start as a hobby from home, it can progress into a commercial business with premises too. As with anything new it can take time to digest and contemplate what choices are right for and you.

Learning key terms and phrasing is useful when undertaking your research and when making your machine choice. All modern commercial machines are digitised and offer a range of single head and multi-head options.

A single head machine is the ideal startup machine if you’ve just begun in the business and are looking to enter into the industry. They’re often compact, portable and flexible and range from 7-15 needles/colour. Costs start from £4,995 through to £13,995 plus VAT.

multi head embroidery machine
The HCR3-1506E, Happy’s 6-head Multi-head production power let’s you put big jobs into production.

A multi-head machine is where you’ll upgrade as your business expands. As greater production is required to power those larger jobs, you’ll want to ensure your machine can cater to your customer demands. They start with 2 heads and move up to 12. 

This is where specialised advice is best sought to enable you to pick the right model to match your business needs.

We know that budgeting for a capital expense is a huge factor when it comes to your startup. 

The machine you purchase needs to offer you the best value and quality of output to match your business needs. Taking the time to analyse your startup goals and objectives alongside your purchase options for hardware items such as a sewing and embroidery machine is key.

After analysis of your business needs and budget, your next consideration will be the machine you’re going to decide to purchase. This will be the biggest purchase your startup is going to make. 

Take time to make the right choice for your startup and consider what you’ll need your machine to do.

What to Consider When Choosing Your Machine

choosing your embroidery machine

To help you choose the right machine, remember to factor in the following:

  • What am I going to need the machine for?
  • What’s my budget?
  • Will my startup capital allow for a new purchase or am I looking at a used machine?
  • What do I need: will a single head or multi-head embroidery machine be needed? 
  • What features and characteristics does the machine offer?
  • How does this machine benefit me and my business?
  • Does the machine have a hooping and framing system to hold items in place for your embroidery? 
  • What sized frames and hoops are needed for the product or products you’re looking to make?
  • Are you going to create your own digitised designs or pre-programmed ones?
  • Do I need accessories outside of my machine: what will those be?
  • What support, training and maintenance does the distributor offer?

Before you buy a machine always think with your business requirements in mind. Once you know a little more about what you need and why, you can start to build your business around the use of your machine.

How are Embroidery Machines Used?

Your embroidery machine can cater to a wide range of uses. Knowing what your use for the machine will be is crucial. Your machine can be used to sew as well as design customisable items, and you can work within a broad range of industries too. 

For example; the monogram business, printing business and the commercial embroidery niche.

Designing a business plan first can aid the process of choosing a machine as it identifies what you need to function and sustain your startup. It will also most certainly address the machine itself.

Once you know the budget you’re working with, you can start to research the market of embroidery machines and distributors of those machines. 

A reputable and well-known distributor is as valuable as the machine itself as they can offer you support, ensure quality and provide maintenance.

By knowing your product, industry and the volumes you’ll need to produce will mean you’ll be well placed in narrowing down the type of machine you’ll need. 

What Types of Products Can You Make with an Embroidery Machine?

There is a great range of choice in products you can create with your embroidery machine. Deciding what you want to make should form a part of your business plan and choice when choosing a machine.

Understanding what you need to produce means you can focus on the benefits and features you want to look for in a machine.

So, think about what you want your embroidery machine to produce for your customers:

  • Are you wanting to start a monogram business by embroidering t-shirts, towels, caps and jackets?
  • Are you embellishing items?
  • Or perhaps you’re looking to create and print original designs for garments? 
  • Maybe you’re wanting to personalise and customise such as with branding uniform for schools, businesses and hospitals etc?

Whatever your customer demands, you can match your machine to suit your needs. Having clarity about what you want to produce will ensure you’re working to your own specific search criteria.

What are the benefits of Owning Your Own Embroidery Machine?

Knowing what you’re going to get for the money you pay for your machine is a big part of your decision. You want to take a close look into the features, characteristics and benefits along with the support, warranty and maintenance from your chosen distributor.

Owning a brand new machine offers you the benefit and ease of replacement parts and repairs. Maintenance and sourcing replacement parts on an older machine can be quite difficult.

Certified machines, along with reputable distributors will offer you a package of benefits along with advice on the machine that will be right for your startup. It’s worth asking your distributor what they’ll be able to offer as a part of your package. 

Additionally, your distributor can be a great source of ongoing advice as your business get larger and outgrows your current requirements. 

Modern-day machines will work with all the latest technology and offer a great range in choice. 

Including features and characteristics such as: 

  • Colour LCD touch screen control panels
  • Speeds of around 1,000 r.p.m (rotations per minute) 
  • Flat and tubular embroidery area
  • Low and wide cap frame options 
  • Free P.C connection software 
  • A USB memory stick port 
  • Built-in designs
  • And an automatic thread break detection.

Software packages for your machines are also an important aspect to your new machine as it will directly impact your output capabilities. 

It’s worth speaking to your supplier to understand your options and potential add-ons.

The benefits of owning your own embroidery machine are all in the details, the features, the characteristics and your overall package from your reputable distributor.

When Choosing: Ask the Experts

midwest logo

We know that your machine is at the heart of your business and when you have little to no knowledge about embroidery machines, it can be a daunting task when choosing one for your startup.

You can ease your burden by seeking the expertise of a reputable distributor when purchasing a machine. Giving you the power to choose and your business the chance to thrive not just survive.