Uniform Embroidery: What’s the Best Machine To Use?

School uniform embroidery is different from regular embroidery. Each school is likely to have its own badge or unique pattern, and creating these bespoke designs makes things much more challenging. This isn’t the only thing that makes uniform embroidery more testing than typical jobs. 

So, to make the job as easy as possible, you’re going to need the right equipment in place. But what is the right machine for your uniform embroidery business? This blog will outline everything you need to know to make sure that you invest in the right one.

We’ll cover: 

What Makes Uniform Embroidery Different to Normal Embroidery?

An embroidered school uniform isn’t just items of clothing for pupils to wear, it’s a symbol of unity and togetherness for the school. Uniforms will be embroidered to boast who they belong to with pride – usually with the school name, school colours and their crest or badge. It’s unlikely that school uniforms are left unbranded. 

One of the main reasons that uniform embroidery is different from normal embroidery is the intricacy and detail that is included in the typical requested patterns. Crests and badges are usually far more complex than business logos and simple writing – which is what a lot of typical embroidery jobs are. 

Plus, it’s not just the design and details that make it hard work – but they usually have a lot of different colours in them too. This means that you’ll need a more advanced machine with a high number of needles to produce an array of colours. 

Think about the typical school uniform, there are so many different options that the children can choose from. So, with a lot of options, comes a lot of products from your business. This means that not only will you have to buy a lot of materials in the first place, but you’ll also need to research into which ones are compatible with your embroidery machine.

From blazers to PE kits, items of school uniform come in all different materials. Whether it’s a showerproof jacket or even a messenger bag, you need to make sure that the machine is capable of producing a consistent quality on each material. The last thing that you want is to provide poor quality, which could lead to driving customers away.

What Should a Schoolwear Shop Aim to Achieve With Their Products?

What a business looks to achieve through the sales of their products is completely dependent on its goals and objectives. For example, a small startup business will have completely different goals to a large enterprise company – therefore, what they aim to achieve with their products will reflect that too. 

But there are a few basics that the majority of businesses wants will be based on. 

Appeal to the Mass Market

Schools are everywhere – which means there are schoolchildren everywhere with parents that could be buying their uniform from your business. 

Luckily for you, a lot of school uniforms are all based around the same kind of products, so that’ll automatically appeal to the wider market – especially if you give the option to choose from an array of colours. 

Your pricing has to be fair. Parents around the country operate on differing budgets, so your products can’t be so high that they’ll push away your custom. You’re not going to get very far if you’re drawing your customers away to your competition. School uniforms aren’t your prized possession in your wardrobe, so people won’t be prepared to spend a fortune on their children’s uniform items. 

Increase Productivity

School uniforms can be particularly tricky to embroider and take longer than your standard embroidery job. Therefore, your productivity needs to be spot on to be able to turn orders round in a respectable time. Having the right staff, equipment and practices in place are just a few ways in which you can increase productivity.

After all, when running a school uniform shop you have plenty on your hands. Not being well equipped enough can cost you dearly. Being well prepared and well drilled will increase productivity, which will, in turn, increase the number of products that you can churn out. More products mean orders can be boxed off quicker, which in turn makes for more revenue and returning customers. 

Turn Orders Around As Quick As Possible Without a Drop in Quality

What’s the one thing that everybody loves when placing an order? Efficiency. 

However, you don’t want to solely focus on just being able to boast that you can turn around orders incredibly fast if the quality of the output is going to suffer. Nothing is more impressive than quick service that’s done with impeccable quality. 

One way to make sure that you’re able to turn around orders well in time is to ensure that you have the right embroidery machine in place. If you have a machine that doesn’t have the potential capacity levels, then you immediately have no chance. When buying the right one for you, think about your current output but also consider whether there’ll be any room for scale with that machine.

Hire the Right Staff to Provide the Best Service

Your staff are also another huge factor in being able to turn around orders quickly. Are they prepared to get their hands dirty and work hard for the business? Or, do they just see it as a 9-5 and not have to worry about anything? 

Plus, are they experienced in using embroidery machines or with how a school uniform shop runs. All these things need to be considered at the interview stage. 

Offer a Full Range of Design Capabilities

If you can offer a wide range of design capabilities, you’re expanding what you can offer your customers – therefore, not restricting them to just a few options. The more diverse your service offering is, the more customers that you appeal to. 

If one of your competitors can offer a larger range of services, then the likelihood is that customers would opt to work with them. After all, if a business can offer more and is more skilled then you’re going to be more confident in their abilities, aren’t you?

Which Machines Are the Best to Achieve These Results?

Start-Up Businesses

HappyJapan HCH-701P

This single head machine is the ideal choice for a uniform embroidery start-up, especially if you’re starting out from small premises. It comes with a massive pack of features that are incredibly easy to use, yet create top-class results. 

It’s small and compact, yet holds enough power to impress anybody. A solid choice for your business’ first embroidery machine. It’s key features are: 

  • Number of heads: 1.
  • Maximum speed: 1000 revs per minute (RPM).
  • Needles: 7.
  • Tubular embroidery area: 285mm x 290mm.
  • Low-profile cap frame (optional): 67mm x 180mm.
  • Colour LCD touch screen control panel.

Small to Medium-Sized Businesses

HappyJapan HCR3-1506

If power is what you need, then look no further! It’s easy to see why this multi head machine is one of our best sellers. It’s ideal for those small to medium-sized businesses that are expecting to expand at a rapid rate but don’t want to end up spending big on a location that’s far too big for them at the time of purchase. 

This machine has no problem with burning through those orders, it’s so efficient and can be run all day – which is immensely helpful in busy periods. For example, at the start of a new school year or the end of the school holidays. If it’s reliability you need, you’ve found it right here. 

Other key features include: 

  • Number of heads: 6.
  • Maximum speed: 1200 RPM.
  • Maximum Flat Embroidery size 450mm x 500mm.
  • Tubular Embroidery Area : 420mm x 440mm.
  • Free PC connection software.
  • Machine memory 40 million stitches – up to 250 design can be saved.
  • USB and LAN network port.

Large Businesses

HappyJapan HCR3-1512

Once your business reaches this size, you’re going to be producing more orders than ever before. So, durability and reliability are crucial. You need a machine that allows you to turn orders round at a rapid rate but doesn’t compromise on quality. 

Like all Happy Japan products, this product is all about quality results. It’s easy to use and will never let you down – which is why it’s such a popular choice with larger businesses. It’s key features are: 

  • Number of heads: 12.
  • Maximum speed: 1200 RPM.
  • Maximum Flat Embroidery size 450mm x 500mm (360mm).
  • Tubular Embroidery Area : 420mm x 440mm.
  • Machine memory: 40 million stitches – Up to 250 design can be saved.
  • USB and LAN network port.
  • Automatic thread trimmer.
  • Automatic colour change.

Which Machines Are the Best to Achieve These Results?

Now you’ve seen which machines we recommend for each stage of your business lifecycle, it’s time to address the elephant in the room. Can we prove our machines are better than similar models from competing brands? We asked ourselves the same question, and came up with an experimental solution. We set up a video of a selection of our industrial machines against a Brother commercial machine – both with the same project – and see how long it took for each model to complete the job.

This is the result:

For the full experiment details and results, go to the full blog here.

As you can see, if you have a uniform embroidery project, HappyJapan industrial embroidery machines are the correct machinery for the job. Commercial machines just can’t cut it when it comes to big production lines and complex design specifications.

Make Sure You Choose the Right Machine For Your Uniform Embroidery Business

Your industrial embroidery machine is likely to be your most valuable asset within your business, so you need to take your time when deciding on which to invest in. Choosing the wrong one can lead to problems for your business, whereas having the right one in place can help your business build a strong and reputable name for itself.

It can be difficult to know where to start when choosing an embroidery machine, so we’ve put together a comparison that’ll help you choose the right one. It explains everything you need to know about single-head and multi-head embroidery machines. Grab your free copy today. 

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