No doubt you have heard those claims. The ones which state that every professional embroidery machine is ridiculously expensive.
In case you are wondering, you aren’t alone, for we have heard such claims too.
In fact, one reason we wrote this article is to ascertain the veracity of those claims. After all, nobody would wish to remain a beginner in a particular field in his entire life. And nobody would become a professional without using a machine made for professionals.
So what do we find in our research, I hear you ask?
Those claims were false.
Yes, there are some ridiculously expensive professional embroidery machines out there, but the majority is reasonably priced. Consequently, if you have got some kitty in your pocket, you can afford to buy those machines.
Have doubts regarding my claim? There is only one way for you to be sure:
Before You Buy Professional Embroidery Machines
As you might know from experience, buying such a machine isn’t easy. There are so many brands, so high prices and so little time that the task is anything but easy. That said, if you keep the below mentioned factors in mind, you’d be able to purchase a best embroidery machine on your own.
Single Needle, Single Head Machine
Thanks to its flatbed bottom and a removable embroidery unit, you might mistake it as a traditional sewing machine. However, while they can sew, such machines are also adept at producing computerized embroidery.
Such machines have only one head which houses everything from thread and bobbin to other metal parts. They also have just a single hoop and their embroidery area is much smaller than, let’s say, a multi-head machine. Finally, they are capable of embroidering at 300-1000SPM (stitches per minute).
- Fairly easy to use
- Not suitable for commercial endeavors
- Can’t make ready-made garments
Multi-needle, Single Head Machine
Whether you are a crafter, a home-based entrepreneur or just a hobbyist, switching from single to multi-needles will raise the bar. However, it goes without saying that they would demand extra price than a single-needle machine.
Such machine generally consists of 4-10needles. Since all the needles can hold their own thread color, it means you can give 10different colors to the same fabric using this machine. Finally, they provide you with two points to attach the hoops, and their embroidery area is much larger than a single-needle machine.
- Faster, easier and precise designs
- Can embroider free-arm
- You need to program them
Multi-needle, Multi Head Machines
Since we are talking about professional machines here, it goes without saying that most of them will be multi-head. Thanks to their sewing speed of around 1000-1200SPM, they can produce 15-3000 designs of stitches per hour.
Also, unlike single-head machines, these machines won’t just heat up after a single shift. Rather, if you are willing to give them their due maintenance period, such machines could easily work round the clock.
- Able to work round the clock
- Operate at high speeds
- Have multi-hoops, large embroidery area
- Require huge space
- Not suitable for small businesses
Which One Should You Buy?
If you are a hobbyist who is just going to do embroidery on weekends, I’d recommend going for the single-head, single needle model. However, if you are an entrepreneur whose business is expanding, go for the second option. Conversely, if you are getting orders round the clock and can’t just find enough working hours in a day, you need the multi-head, multi-needle machine.
What to Look For?
We know that price is the most important factor no matter what product you buy. We also know that you know it. Hence, we have excluded the mention of price in the list of factors you need to look for when buying this kind of machine.
The fact that you are searching suggests you are willing to pay more than a hobbyist or a budding entrepreneur. It also means that you should go for the best, most-reputed brand available in the market.
Which brand falls into that category, I hear you wonder?
Well, there are three brands for you to choose, the first of which is Singer. The manufacturer has been churning out embroidery machines for ages, and their experience level suggests that even if anything goes wrong, the company would have more on the line than you to make it right.
Second, if you want an innovative, high-tech, state of the art software – which lets you compare designs, fetch them from the internet and share it with your colleagues, go for Brother embroidery machines. Brother is the market leader in producing technologically-rich products and choosing their machine won’t disappoint.
Lastly, if you want your machine to be a little bit less expensive than Brother’s or Singer’s, go for Janome. Since the manufacturer isn’t that famous in the market, it churns out products – which equally feature rich – at a low price.
Embroidery area is the part of machine – under the needle – where you put the fabric for embroidering. Professional embroidery machines usually have an embroidery area ranging from 8”*12” to above.
That said, the machines offering bigger embroidery areas come at a premium. So, if you think you won’t like to pay the premium, go for separate hoops. Though not able to increase the embroidery area, hoops would enable the tailor to sew multiple areas without the nuisance of re-hooping.
Want to make a name of your company in the market? Hoping your products to look different? One way to ensure both is to invest in a machine that offers built-in alphabets. Still, there is more to the picture than what meets the eye.
The best machines give you the freedom to consult the Internet and buy alphabets from wherever you want.
Second, if you neither want to pay for alphabets to be built-in on your machine nor do you want to purchase them separately, there is another option for you to consider. A free lettering software. Yes, there are embroidery manufacturers who have on their websites free lettering software available for download.
Once you purchase their product, they give you the code to download the free lettering software. However, as one might guess, the range of options in such a scenario is limited.
Automatic Thread Tension
Since you would be sewing in batches, you don’t want uneven thread tension to disturb the flow of your design. Nor do you want to manually adjust the thread tension every now and then to complement the thickness of fabric lying before you.
What you should want, therefore, is a machine with an automatic thread tension. In addition to giving your designs a consistent flow, machines containing this feature are less prone to thread breaks and puckering.
Variable Speed Option
Unless you are going to deal with the same fabric all the time, you might need the variable speed option. Even if you do, the variable speed option will allow the operator to warm up before indulging fully heartedly in the operation. In this way, early startup mistakes will be minimized.
Service and Warranty
It doesn’t matter how well you maintain your machine, it’s going to demand service after a specific time period. Similarly, even machines coming with best brands sometimes malfunction, forcing you to invoke the warranty clause.
Talking about warranty, the best brands give 25-year limited time warranty on their machines. Provided the instructor isn’t at fault, you can invoke the warranty clause and get the machine up and running once again free of cost.
Obviously, you are not going to get your machine serviced free of cost. Still, there’s a hidden benefit in indulging the company which sold you the machine in the first place to service it. Provided you have purchased the machine from a reputed brand, it would give you the option of hiring their technician to service your machine on your premises.
In this way, the cost, time and effort which you might otherwise have spent on sending the machine to even a local technician will be saved.
For the ones who are still here, looking forward to what this machine has to offer to justify its price tag, here’s what it has to offer.
The most important feature of this machine, at least in my view, is that you can control it via a remote. Now, this is NOT a feature most people will honor, but it is undoubtedly the most useful feature. Here’s why.
First, the remote saves you from the nuisance of navigating through the buttons on the LCD screen, knowing which button does which. Second, and this is more important, one remote controls many machines. That is, if you are wealthy enough to buy a couple of these machines, you won’t have to buy an extra remote.
Another useful feature of this machine is the automatic thread cutter, and once again, it is no ordinary thread cutter.
For other machines have automatic thread cutters based on the thickness of fabrics coming into play. The Janome MB-4S, however, has programmed its automatic thread cutter in such a manner that it would jump threads even between letters.
Looking at the bells and whistles which accompany this machine, and you’d get 50 built-in designs, 10 monogramming fonts, a stitch counter and a USB port to transfer designs. What’s more, if you feel like the built-in designs aren’t enough, the machine offers 3MB storage to download up to 100designs from the internet.
Moving on, the Janome MB-4S allows you to intricately edit its designs. The list of editing functions this machine can do include: horizontal and vertically flipping of the designs, combining and resizing, editing of up to 65,536 colors and rotating in 90-degree and 1-degree increments.
Hence, if you have the same design as your colleague – but want it to look different, this machine will allow you the options to do just that.
- Large number of editing options
- Big embroidery area
- Automatic Thread Cutter
- Bobbin Winding Motor
- Remote Computer screen
- Astronomically expensive
As stated at the start of this review, the price of Janome MB-4S is not for the faint hearted. However, if you can offer to cough up the money that it demands, the machine won’t disappoint.
When people want to upgrade to professional units from basic level machines, most of them have grown fed up of the 4*4 embroidery area. Thankfully, while this machine has sewing hoops for both 4*4 and 5*7 designs, its actual embroidery area is much larger than that.
Some of them might still be using memory cards on our machines, but the truth is they have gone out of fashion. More importantly for those who transfer designs from one machine to other frequently, memory cards do not offer a viable option. Luckily, then, the USB port offered by this machine offers convenient design transfer in quick succession.
Similar to other Janome units, the Memory Craft 350e has three built-in fonts. You can use them in three sizes each. The buck doesn’t stop there as this machine provides multi monogramming options which are automatically spaced meaning you don’t have to go through the hassle of positioning each font individually.
Finally, despite the fact that there is no automatic thread tension feature here, I found the tension very easy to set. Even when I was swapping out the thread types of the bobbin, the machine displayed the uncanny ability to stitch along.
- Allows resizing, flipping and rotating of designs
- Has a USB Port
- Good stitching speed for a professional embroidery machine
- LCD, Color touchscreen
- No automatic thread tension
Since this machine is the successor of 300E, I expected it to be better at nearly everything. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint. Without costing as much as some other professional embroidery machines, it has a rich feature list and is easy to use.
Although its design targets consumers new to embroidery, even professionals can use this machine for the simple fact of its astronomical sewing speed of 1200SPM.
Though not computerized, this machine isn’t manual as well. Rather, it has a mechanical way of operating, a method exemplified by the *automatic* thread tension feature that is on offer.
Assuming you are sewing and the thread tension goes rogue, you won’t have to stop – and adjust the thread. All you have to do is to adjust the thread tension wheel, and you’ll be good to go.
If you have the Bernette 35, sewing buttonholes into your project will be quick and easy. Neither do you have to lift the needle nor do the settings need to be changed for sewing button holes. For, thanks to its built-in features, the Bernette 35 will oversee all four steps of the buttonhole without your insight.
Apart from the 23 decorative and utility stiches and the one-step buttonhole function, this machine has got a lot of extras to make sewing fun. For example, there is a manual thread cutter and a manual needle threader to make your sewing faster and efficient.
Similar is the case with the accessory box which provides enough storage area for presser feet and other sewing essentials including cleaning brushes, bobbins, and threads. Finally, since this machine provides seven presser feet in the package, you have the right presser for almost every application.
- Sews thick fabric layers with two-step presser foot
- Makes sewing buttonholes one
- Incredible sewing speed for a mechanical embroidery machine
- Gives 14 utility stitches and 23patterns as extras
- Not automatic
If the fact that this machine isn’t automatic fails to bother you, I can guarantee that none of its features will fail to fill you with amazement.
Janome Memory Craft 6300
Why the top loading, drop-in bobbin offered by Memory Craft 6300 should force you to buy it? Three reasons. First, machines with drop-in bobbins carry more threads, meaning they are more useful for bigger projects.
Second, when the time comes to change the machine, you don’t have to dismantle the whole machine. Just lift the bobbin cover, and you can replace it. Lastly, a drop-in bobbin allows you to see the remaining thread, meaning you’d know beforehand when it’s time to stop and change the thread.
The Memory Craft 6300 also offers stitch editing, a feature whose true signficiance won’t be respected unless explained. For, while it allows individual stitch editing like all other computerized machines, there is a feature which allows you to do combination stitch editing, hence adding uniqueness to your designs.
Finally, the automatic thread cutter coming alongside the machine has a built-in memory capability. That is, whenever the thread cutter comes into play, it will memorize the thickness of fabric and other such important details for future reference.
- Top-loading drop-in bobbin is jam proof
- Allows stitch editing
- Provides six different presser feet
- Has an automatic thread cutter
- The size of the screen is way too small
Without costing over the odds, the Janome Memory Craft 6300 allows you to quilt, sew and embroider in one go. Hence, if you are unsure the type of tasks coming ahead, here is a machine to match all your needs.
Starting with the presser feet that this machine has to offer, and it has got two of them: the snap on presser feet and the adjustable foot pressure. Talking about the latter, it will put bindings around the edge of the fabric to make sure your binding is always professional-looking and neat, without any excessive pinning or hand tacking.
As for the former, the presser feet – by using its built-in guide, ensures that your fabric stays in-line. It means no matter how fast you sew – a fact worth your attention considering this machine sews at 1300SPM, the presser feel will always provide an accurate, consistent seam allowance.
Furthermore, while this machine doesn’t have the much touted automatic thread tension feature, it doesn’t mean that you’d have to bear up with constant thread breakages. For, thanks to its thread tension release mechanism, it would mitigate the occurrence of thread breaks and pucker.
Unlike other professional embroidery machines, you won’t have to designate a huge storage space for this machine. For, its compact doesn’t allow this machine to consume more space.
- Provides great finishing at seams and edges
- Has a thread tension release mechanism
- Wonderful speed of 1300SPM
- New in the market, hasn’t been in much use
When you look at its release date, going for this machine seems a gamble since it hasn’t been used by many. However, when you look at its features, buying it seems a safe bet. The choice, as ever, is yours.
Professional embroidery machines can make or break your business. Select a good one, and you will have a machine churning out designed fabrics in no time. Stumble on a bad one, and you’d have no choice but to include the number of its technician in your speed dial list. So, only select the machine which fulfils your needs and has earned rave reviews from its previous users.