Maybe you recently got into embroidery and wanted to advance your hobby or start selling embroidered products, and you’re thinking of getting a machine. The amount of information on the internet can be overwhelming and confusing sometimes, but don’t worry! We have narrowed down essential things to consider before you finalize your decision.
As you may have already found out, embroidery machines are expensive. You wouldn’t want to waste your money on a machine and realize that it is lacking or too advanced for your needs. So, let’s start by discussing the variations among embroidery machines and the elements you must take into account to make the best choice for yourself.
Top Rated Beginner Embroidery Machines
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No.1 Brother SE600 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine
This is a 2-in-1 machine with both sewing and embroidery features. Equipped with 3.2 inch smart color LCD touchscreen, this machine allows you to preview the design edits before you stitch the fabric. The embroidery thread colors are changeable using a built-in color palette. With around 80 embroidery designs, you can import the designs through the USB.
Its automatic needle threader works perfect when multiple thread changes are required. Also, it gives 4”x4” embroidery field and the built in alignment works wonders in aligning the designs. Moreover, it is possible to customize the designs with 103 built in decorative sewing stitches. Choose from stars, hearts, greek key, waves, decorative scrolls, scallops, and feathers etc.
If you are working on darker fabrics, its super bright LED light makes it easy. The LED light illuminates the area around the needle and you can embroider stunning designs with much ease. Other than that, you can choose from 6 built in embroidery lettering fonts including symbol characters, lower case, numeric, and capital etc. What’s more, this machine even allows you to access 1000s of embroidery designs on ibroidery.com to get unlimited design options.
No.2 Brother PE535 Embroidery Machine
The Brother SE600 machine is an improved version of the famous Brother SE400. It has a bigger touch LCD color digital display, USB stick connection for easier access to new patterns, a lot more sewing stitches, and also more embroidery designs, as well as writing fonts to expand the scope of any project.
Its instruction manual includes clear instructions and illustrative pictures. The guidebook is filled with details to keep users on the correct path. The color touch screen LCD measures 3.2″. The display automatically changes when one switches from embroidery to sewing and sewing to embroidery. Users may alter the color of the embroidery thread by using the built-in color palette. There are two maximum speeds on the Brother SE600 machine. The maximum speed for ordinary stitching is 710 stitches per minute.
There are 400 stitches every minute during embroidering. A wide variety of fabrics may be worked with on the Brother SE600 machine. There are, as stated by the manufacturer, 103 built-in stitching stitches. The Brother SE600 combination weighs 26.2 pounds. A restricted 25-year guarantee is provided with the machine. Chassis Casting takes 25 years. The components, labor, and auxiliary products that come with it are all covered by a one-year guarantee.
No.3 Brother PE550D Embroidery Machine
This simple-to-use embroidery machine has built-in aligning features that enable accurate placement on the cloth, a grid sheet that is provided, and a four-by-four embroidery file. Additionally, it has 125 ornamental designs that are already built-in, featuring 45 Disney patterns. By using the built-in palette, one can quickly alter the particular embroidery thread colors and then examine the changes before sewing.
It has nine typefaces (6 English and 3 Japanese) for customizing and monogramming, which makes things even more convenient. A 3.2″ Sew Smart simple LCD color screen is another feature of this embroidery machine that enables users to evaluate the pattern before they begin. Additionally, it offers USB ports to users so they may load their own design files for nearly endless embroidery design choices.
It also includes an automated needle threader. The Brother PE550D is a versatile embroidery machine in addition to producing embroidery of great quality. Simple design adjustments include changing the spacing between characters, aligning text upon an aspect or in arcs, and much more.
No.4 Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine
The Brother PE800 embroidery machine benefit from the spacious 5″x7″ embroidered stitch field, which eliminates the need to rehoop for larger patterns. It has dimensions of 17.5″ x 9.5″ x 11.8″, a 5″x7″ embroidery field, and a peak embroidery speed of 650 stitches a minute. It weighs 17.64 pounds.
This incredible machine has 138 patterns, including 11 embroidery fonts that let users customize the designs. Moreover, a CD with 15,000 additional designs. The Brother PE800 can allow digitizing software; therefore, one could always make and import any patterns with it if they need to convert files from .jpg or .jpeg to .pes or .dst file. It has on-screen editing tools and a clear and user-friendly color screen, which makes personalizing a design a lot simpler. The device will also automatically thread the needle. Additionally, users may rotate, mirror-image, change the design’s size, and more using the design customization options.
No.5 Brother SE1900 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine
This Brother’s SE1900 is a single system for just about everything, from sewing garments to making stylish décor items, quilts, and pillows. It was created with the professional embroiderer in view. One can see the embroidered design directly on the screen as well as in full color with the 3.2″ LCD monitor.
The installed color palette can also be used to:
Modify each thread’s color separately
Before commencing, preview the chosen designs.
Everything you’ll want for embroidery is included with the machine, such as:
138 integrated designs
7 included fonts
Additionally, you have the option of automated thread trimming after your sewing tasks are finished. There is no need to manually pull up the bobbin thread when using a quick-set bobbin. You may also experiment with over twelve stitch designs and ten frame shapes with this machine. The design editing function makes sure you can:
Scale up and scale down the design sizes
Users can use the built-in USB connector on the side of the device to import designs that they have discovered online or generated themselves. With a Brother machine, users can easily make their own distinctive designs using free-motion stitching.
What Are The Different Types of Embroidery Machines?
Making the right decision when buying an embroidery machine is crucial from both a technical and financial perspective. You can consider it an investment, and any investment needs careful research. So, to avoid being overwhelmed with information, here are some embroidery machines you should know.
1. Embroidery-Only Machine
As a beginner, you may be confused as to why there are different machines for sewing and embroidery. Let us identify the difference between the two. Sewing is when you connect two fabrics using a needle, thread, and a machine.
Embroidery is when you make intricate designs using needle and thread work. We can say Embroidery is more advanced than sewing since it involves different stitching patterns that you can’t find on basic sewing machines. That’s why there are exclusive machines used for embroidery only.
If you already have a basic sewing machine and would like to venture into embroidery, this will be a good start for you. It is fairly easy to navigate a single-purpose machine and more advanced functions will be available for you to try out.
2. Embroidery-Sewing Combo Machine
Anyone who wishes to be able to sew a variety of things, from simple repairs to more complicated creations, as well as embroider and appliqué, would benefit greatly from this kind of machine. If you’re a beginner or someone who values time and efficiency, this machine might not be the best option for you.
Although the thought of two-in-one machines can be attractive, learning the basics of sewing and embroidery through these might be difficult. But, these types of machines can be advantageous if you’re worried about space and budget.
Combination machines are relatively cheaper compared to purchasing two machines at the same time. Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully balance the pros and cons before deciding whether a combo machine is for you.
3. Needle-Specific Embroidery Machine
Single Needle Machine vs Multi-Needle Embroidery Machine, which one should you get?
Single Needle embroidery machines are more like regular sewing machines in the sense that they both only have one head and consist mainly of a needle, thread, and a bobbin. These machines are fairly user-friendly for beginners and most of them are computerized so, people that are familiar with computers will quickly learn how to use them correctly.
You may quickly develop, customize, and merge designs if you get suitable embroidery software. One disadvantage to take note of would be its inefficiency. You will have to change threads from time to time depending on what kind of design you’re making and your color preference.
Multi-Needle embroidery machines, on the other hand, have multiple needle heads which are capable of holding different thread colors. No need to constantly change a thread every time you wish to use a different one. Aside from this,
Multi-Needle embroidery machines are embroidery-only machines, they are efficient and precise. They stitch faster compared to Single-Needle machines and have better-looking stitches.
With all these good functions and more, Multi-Needle machines are expected to be expensive and high maintenance. If you are a beginner, this may not be the best option for you. But, if you’re thinking of opening a new embroidery business, a Multi-Needle machine can save quite a lot of energy and time.
4. Free-Motion Embroidery Machine
Free-Motion embroidery is also known as freehand embroidery or free machine embroidery. This can be done using a regular sewing machine and you have the freedom to be as creative as you want.
Although this requires a lot of practice for beginners, if you’re still not committed to spending money on a single-purpose embroidery machine, this will be an excellent technique to learn. Just remember to get an embroidery pressure foot and read the sewing machine manual to learn a few tips on how to use it for embroidery.
5. Computerized Embroidery Machine
If you are someone who enjoys illustration and would like to use your art as a design for your embroidery project or business, having a digital embroidery machine will be life-changing.
You can scan your artwork and download it to your device, and let it do its magic. As with other embroidery machines, digital ones also require some practice and getting used to, but if you get the hang of it, the process will be easy for you.
These machines include multiple needle positions, an automatic needle threader, hundreds of stitching functions, and built-in designs, among many other functions.
Computerized Embroidery machines are the most expensive among all embroidery machines available on the market which can be a downside. If you are a beginner and is at a crossroad if you should go for a digital embroidery machine, you have to consider the pros and cons, and whether the benefits outweigh the price point.
6. What Type of Embroidery Machine is Best For Beginners?
We have listed and identified the functions of different essential embroidery machines. Now, we are only left with the question: Which type is the best for you as a beginner?
If you already own a standard sewing machine, Embroidery-Only machines would be the best option for you. This will save you some money instead of buying Combo machines plus you get more functions since it only has a single purpose.
This will be advantageous for users who are beginners in embroidery and would like to start a small business, there’s no need to change your machine’s settings every time you have to sew or embroider, and vice versa.
Moreover, for people who are beginners in both sewing and embroidery, a Combo machine would be the best choice. It can be a little pricey, but you get both functions, among many others.
Also, for hobbyists, this will be a convenient machine to start your crafting journey with. These machines are versatile and come with essential tools for sewing and embroidery. It is an all-in-one machine.
Whichever machine you decide to purchase, make sure to think of the future, too. Do you plan to further your hobby and make it a business? If so, will the machine you choose be able to handle the demand when the time comes?
7. Can You Do Embroidery With A Sewing Machine?
The answer is, yes, you can. You can use your regular sewing machine for embroidery. They call this process Free-Motion embroidery, as we have identified previously. This process requires a lot of practice and patience, but once you get the hang of it, you will be embroidering every fabric you see fit.
Free-Motion embroidery is also good for users who don’t want to spend money on another machine or who have limited space and can’t accommodate a new one. So, take out your machine’s manual and take advantage of the embroidery function.
How To Choose An Easy-To-Use Embroidery Machine?
Well, there are many factors to look for when buying an embroidery machine. Whether it is for beginners or professionals, few of the factors are considerable in both the cases. Embroidering the shirts, pants, denims, towels, or bed linen, the machines must contain these features whatever the price may be.
1. Your Budget vs Functions
So, you found the best type of embroidery machine for your needs, went online to check the price, and immediately felt defeated after finding out the brutal truth that these machines are expensive. Yup, a lot of us have been there.
Therefore, in this section, we will talk about why embroidery machines are insanely expensive, whether the price is worth it for beginners, and if you should consider getting a second-hand machine.
Why Are Embroidery Machines So Expensive?
Advanced technology means advanced price points, as we all know. We now live in a time where there is a specific device made for almost every task we can think of, even minute ones. This is also applicable in embroidery.
Before you decide to start this hobby, you must first do a little research on how much it would cost you because it may come as a shock to most beginners, but embroidery is not a cheap hobby, at all.
You might not notice it at first until you see the pile of thread in your designated box, the fabrics you bought for different projects, and not to mention, the embroidery machine.
Embroidery machines come with hundreds of functions compared to regular sewing machines. These machines are required to do a lot more which entails a higher price tag.
Embroidery machines from brands known for durability and overall better performances are also much more expensive than others. Let’s think of it this way, the more function you want, the higher the price tag.
Is It Worth Buying An Entry Level Embroidery Machine?
As a beginner, you may think all you need is the least expensive machine with the least number of functions because you are a beginner, after all. However, you must think long-term.
Are you doing this solely as a hobby or do you have any plans of expanding your knowledge in embroidery? Buying a machine is an investment so, you must approach this like an investment too.
Entry-level embroidery machines are perfect for hobbyists and sewing enthusiasts who want to see what the embroidery hype is all about. It has the basic functions for simple embroidery designs which are good for practice.
Given the name “entry-level”, these machines have limitations on what you can do, but don’t let it scare you away. As long as you know you will be using it for a long time, entry-level machines can be a good investment.
2. Used vs. New Embroidery Machine
Purchasing brand new machines means everything is up to date. They are compatible with the newer, if not the newest, software available for embroidery. Training, warranty, and after-care services are already included in the selling price.
Replacement parts are also readily available in case your machine needs fixing up. However, buying the cheapest brand-new machine isn’t always the best choice. If you value functionality and quality, you might want to check out used embroidery machines.
There are quite a lot of second-hand embroidery machines sold over the internet (Facebook marketplace, eBay). Most of them are functional and well-maintained. If you want good quality for a cheaper price, second-hand machines from established brands are what you should look for.
Used embroidery machines mostly come with essential tools like hoops, software, needles, and other essentials. Be aware that since it might be a few years old, these tools might be a little outdated, and older machine parts may be a bit scarce.
As long as you spare some time to do your research before purchasing a machine, may it be brand-new or second-hand, tips like these will be helpful to narrow down your options.
3. Product Support and Help for Beginners
Manuals are included when buying embroidery machines. There you will find how to operate it and the different functions you need to know. For newer machines, training videos and product guides and included in the package.
It is crucial that an enthusiast carefully study these manuals to optimize the machine and discover its utmost potential. The most common reason hobbyists give up on embroidery and sell their machines is that they don’t know how to use them.
Is It Hard To Learn Embroidering With A Machine?
Just like any machine, it takes practice to master the process of machine embroidery. Is it hard? No. Does it require patience? Definitely yes. Embroidery in general is a complex hobby. You need to read countless how-tos and watch video guides from time to time just to be sure you’re doing the right thing.
A machine made to make embroidery easier and more efficient is the same, you have to spend time and get to know your machine. This may sound cheesy, but once you truly understand what it is capable of, losing patience will be a rare occasion for you.
Make it a habit to do your research and wholeheartedly learn what you read in manuals. This will save you a great amount of time and energy. Nothing comes easy, not even for hobbies, but once you’re well acquainted with the process of machine embroidery, you’ll surely enjoy the journey.
What Do I Need for Machine Embroidery?
Aside from the basic tools like fabric, thread, and needle, there are other tools specific to embroidery that can make the process easier.
- Hoops- they keep your fabric in place and taut for better embroidery results.
- Embroidery Stabilizer- makes your fabric more durable while being embroidered.
- Embroidery Needles- it is important that you’re using the correct needle for your projects to avoid uneven lines in your design.
- Specialty Scissors- for beginners, having a small scissor is essential for cutting away jump threads conveniently.
- Space- you need enough space to allow movement of your machine because it will move around while you use it.
These are some of the essential tools you need to get started on your embroidery journey.
3. Embroidery Hoop Size
Hoop sizes differ in every embroidery machine. The three(3) most common sizes are 4 x 4, 5 x 7, and 6 x 10 inches. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll have the same stitching area because it is usually a few inches short. For example, if you have a 4 x 4 inches hoop, the largest design you can stitch is 3.93 x 3.93 inches or smaller.
You must use compatible hoops with your machine to avoid messing up your designs. Hoop sizes are commonly found in your machine’s manual.
Can You Embroider Without A Hoop?
Yes, you can still embroider without a hoop. Hoopless embroidery is uncommon but if you have a different way to keep your fabric stable while being embroidered, why not skip the hoops?
As long as you can prevent stretching and puckering then you’re good to go. Hoops are used for stability and overall better finish, however, it’s up to you to find the most suitable process that works for you.
Do I Need A Multi-Needle Machine?
It is advantageous to have a multi-needle machine but for beginners, this is not necessary. Single-needle embroidery machines are the best choice for hobbyists and sewing enthusiasts who are still starting to explore embroidery.
If you have plans to start a small business, it is better to consider multi-needle machines right away instead of upgrading later on. Unless you already have a single-needle machine prior, then upgrading would be a good decision.
What Can I Make With An Embroidery Machine?
There are plenty of design possibilities you can make with an embroidery machine. You can embellish and decorate any type of fabric, and personalize garments with your designs.
Once you get used to the process of embroidery, you will be spending your weekends with your machine creating personalized items for gifts and giveaways, among many others. No doubt.
You may have started embroidery as a hobby, but don’t let it limit you. There are endless things to discover on this journey. Enjoy the process and let your creativity flourish. Who knows, maybe in the next few months you’ll be selling your designs already.
Why Is Machine Embroidery Preferable To Hand Embroidery?
There can be differences of opinion on this topic but usually, when it comes to big orders, a handcrafted product has very little possibility of being exactly what is requested. While this “uniqueness” is the charm of handcrafted goods, it does nothing for someone who wants the same design on every piece of clothing.
If your customers are after precision and perfection then there is no place for any mistakes and machine embroidery is the only solution. Each image is read by the machine using high-quality professional software. They provide error-free results by employing modern algorithms. Because all of the patterns are machine-made, the overall time needed to complete a single item is short. As a result, it is feasible to make more items in less time while maintaining the design.
Embroidery is best done on machines, and choosing the right machine will make all the difference in your designs. Using a machine also makes it easier to learn embroidery as a beginner. The machine you choose should depend on your needs and requirements.
If you seek value for money and are a complete beginner, choosing a cheaper machine like the Brother SE600 would be better, but if you are a professional or have a good amount of experience with embroidery, going for a heavier and slightly pricier machine, like Brother SE1900 might be a better choice for you.
In the end, it all depends on what you want and how much you are willing to invest.