Using an embroidery machine to customize your designs, create unique quilts, towels, and pillowcases without any hard work can provide hours of enjoyment and projects that look so professional anyone receiving this gift from you will be delighted. Modern machines are computerized with a USB port to connect to your laptop for a truly custom design. Choose the right embroidery machine to add flair and color to any of your sewing projects.
Top Selling Embroidery Machines 2022
|Product||Model||Hoop Area||Built in Stitches/|
|Brother SE600||4" x 4"||103 stitches |
|Brother PE535||4" x 4"||- / USB||Read on|
|Brother PE800||5" x 7"||- / USB||Read on|
|Brother PE770||5" x 7"||-/ USB||Read on|
Are you new to the world of embroidery?
Don’t know what embroidery machine to buy?
Let’s get you started with the need to know information to help you buy your embroidery machine.
You can expect to pay more for an embroidery machine so it’s best to know what to look for and to know what you want to be sewing.
Be careful about buying a machine that you will grow out of, as this could cost you money in the long run.
Consider the following when researching your embroidery machine
- Buying the best machine you can afford
- Knowing the size of the embroidery field and hoop size?
- Buying a machine offering a number of hoop sizes
- Having a design library
- Connectivity – to a computer or a USB port
- Quality of the display panel
- Embroidery only machine vs combo machine
- Extra features supplied
- Does the manufacturer have a solid and long term reputation like Brother or Janome
- 20 or 25-year warranty on mechanical parts
- Warranty on electric parts you would look for at least 5-years
- Quality machines will have support information documented
- What demonstrations are available on YouTube to show you how to use the machine.
Types of embroidery machines
An embroidery only machine won’t do regular sewing machining.
Other machines combine embroidery and regular sewing features.
At the high end of the market, you will find sewing machines that will do it all.
One needle embroidery machines look like regular machines. They are the most basic embroidery machine. These are simple to use and teach basic pattern creation. You will learn the basics on this type of machine before you move to more advanced machines.
Multi-needle embroidery machines have about 4 – 10 needles. Each needle can hold its own thread color so this type of machine is often for those more serious about their embroidery.
Computerized embroidery machines are the most expensive. You’ll be able to create designs and store them for later use. Machines with USB and computer compatibility offer access to many designs. These can be free and purchased. Take note of the built-in memory. With a larger memory, you can download and save more designs. You can also work with higher quality designs which use more memory. You can also edit them.
Features to look for
Machine capability will make an embroidery machine easier to use.
Some functions are essential like automatic thread cutting, bobbin winding from the needle, pressure sensor or needle threader
Automatic thread tension – removes the worry of wrong thread tension ruining your work
Automatic thread trimming – trimming threads by hand can be slow. A machine that can do this automatically will save you time
Onscreen editing – There is a range of options in machines on the market. Some have no editing options at all, some a few. Many offer editing to no more than 20%. Better machines allow size editing, and creation of designs by combining borders and corners with designs
Knee lifter – by using your knee to lift the presser foot, your hands remain free
Free Arm embroidery adapter – with this addition you can embroider tubular and closed projects such as sleeves
Controls for speed variation – allows for a slow start and a gradual increase in speed
Embroidery machines vary greatly in the style of the display screen. Touchscreens allow personalizing. The basic machine may not provide a clear and good-sized window to display and choose designs. A full-color display will have its advantages over black and white displays. While a larger screen makes designs easy to view and prevent eye tiredness.
Colored screens have more options including moving designs around and selecting different functions. Some models can combine designs. You can buy software to do this for your computer.
Built-in embroidery designs
Embroidery machines come with a variety of designs, providing different ranges. The number included also varies.
Of course, you can download and buy extra designs so the library you buy will not restrict your choice. So built-in designs are not deal breaker.
A large range of embroidery fonts is important to give you choices in embroidery.
And what about alphabets?
Here are two questions to ask….
- How many alphabets does the machine have?
- Can you add more alphabets?
Most embroidery machines will have a couple of alphabets built in. If you want more it’s best to buy them and install them. Some are free online ready to be downloaded.
Design editing is available with more expensive machines. You can change and alter designs using the machine’s software.
Capability for adding embellishments – being able to add beads and sequins may be a feature you will use. Attachments may be available for this.
Archable fonts – being able to curve your lettering gives increased design options. This is useful when monogramming and combining with other designs.
What to buy?
An embroidery only machine or a combination sewing embroidery machine?
There are some advantages to each. It will be your preferences that will make the right choice for your circumstances.
Some ideas to consider are:
1. You may already have a regular sewing machine that you love
2. Are you doubling up on features you already have in your other machine
4. Combination machines tend to be larger with more features and space
5. How to store and use 2 sewing machines
6. Switching from one machine to another for different functions
7. What are you planning to embroider?
8. Are planning to do embroidery as a business
What are the essential terms of embroidery?
What is the embroidery area?
The area is a field below the needle is embroidery area. This defines the largest size a machine can embroider at once. On a smaller the field you can sew the projects such as baby clothes. With large fields, you can embroider towels, blankets and so on. Areas start form 4″ x 4″ to 6.7″ x 7.9″ and larger. You will find larger areas on specialized embroidery machines while combo machines will have smaller areas.
Choose the largest embroidery area you can afford.
What are hoops?
Your embroidery projects will be limited by the hoop size your embroidery machine can use. Most designs you buy will suit either a 4” x 4” or 5” x 7”.
Ask the question, ‘What size hoop does this machine take?’
The 5” x 7” hoop has the most embroidery designs and giving the most preferable.
A machine that takes the 4” x 4” hoop is going to be the cheaper option and may be best if you are trying out embroidery sewing. The designs will be smaller.
What is hooping?
Hooping is placing material into the sewing machine hoop. When doing machine embroidery, the material needs to stay in the same position so ‘stabilizing’ and tightness are important. The stitching will not work correctly if the fabric moves. A machine with more options for hooping is better.
The distance between the body of the machine and the needle is the embroidery width. The longer the machine the wider the design.
What is a stabilizer?
The stabilizer holds the fabric tight or taut as the machine sews. The embroidery machine doesn’t use a feed dog and the needle doesn’t touch the fabric.
There are different stabilizers that do different things. Some are for the top of the material while others are used below. Water soluble stabilizer dissolves when placed in water. Another type turns to ash when heated with an iron.
What is the throat width? This refers to the distance between the body of the machine and the needle. The larger the throat width the easier it is for the machine to embroider.
What is free motion embroidery?
This is where creativity takes over! An embroidery machine is not needed. You design the image and use the machine in a ‘free hand’ style to draw and fill the image. The darning foot is used and the feed dog is dropped. A stitch regulator, offered by some brands, makes this job easier.
What is digitizing?
This is when an image or drawing is transferred to stitches using the machine’s software. This is not a simple thing to master! The most you might expect do is resizing, combining designs, adding letters and changing positions.
Do I need a computer to run the embroidery machine?
Some machines must be connected but there are less of these in the market today. If you have a desk top computer in another room, a USB drive will make more sense to transfer designs.
A USB stick can transfer files from online or from CDs. WiFi is a function of newer embroidery machines. other machines will transfer designs using a cable.
Free motion embroidery gives you control of the machine’s direction, stitching and needle sizes.
What is the difference between monogramming and embroidery?
Essentially these are the same. However, monogramming is restricted to embroidery using numbers and letters. Traditionally these would have been initials on clothing, towels and linen and so on.
A range of monogramming machines are available today to suit the home hobbyist through to commercial machines.
You now have a knowledge to help you to buy an embroidery machine to make all of your projects stand out with some really nice embroidery stitching.