Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: January 25, 2021
Wise Pick is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Sewing was once a vital part of domestic life, but with the rise of inexpensive clothes, it fell to the wayside. Now, thanks to the growing movement of natural, homemade alternatives, sewing has seen a resurgence as a hobby. Of all the items you can sew yourself, hats are often overlooked. But, with the best embroidery machine for hats, you can make a unique fashion statement, and be a trendsetter all at the same time.
Embroidery machines for hats fall into the large category of sewing machines, but their specifics differentiate them from the common sewing machine. To create a decoration on a hat, you will need a hat hoop, which is included with special embroidery machines. You will also want as many options as possible when selecting a new machine. Having built-in designs will allow you to customize your hat and having a USB connection will allow you to download templates and patterns straight from the internet.
To help you find the best embroidery machine for hats, we have selected four of the best machines on the market. We combed through manufacturer information, online reviews, and relied on our specific observations. Together, this has allowed us to compile a handy guide for you. Included is an overview table that lists the best embroidery machines for hats. Then, there are more in-depth product reviews. Finally, there is a buying guide where the features of embroidery machines are looked at, as well as a section for answering common questions. Together your journey into the world of embroidery machines for hats should be an exciting one.
For those wanting absolutely everything you will need to embroider hats, the Brother SE1900 + Grand Slam Package is for you. Not only do you get an amazing machine, but you also get a large package of accessories as well.
As for the machine itself, the Brother SE1900 + Grand Slam Package has 138 built-in designs to choose from. There are also 11 lettering fonts that you can use. In addition, there are 10 buttonhole styles, if you want to take on more sewing projects. If you just can’t find the right design that has been pre-programmed into the sewing machine, no worries as there is also a USB port. You can download embroidery designs off the internet, or even use software to create your own designs. Then, simply save them to a USB drive and plug into your new machine.
The Brother SE1900 + Grand Slam Package has just about every sewing accessory you could need. There are 8 sewing feet including a zigzag foot and a monogramming foot. There is also a package of bobbins and a package of needles.
The Brother SE1900 + Grand Slam Package is on the pricier end of the embroidery machine spectrum, but it is well worth it. Users have given this machine rave reviews, and it is Amazon’s Choice for Brother embroidery machines. If you’re still not convinced, the 25-year warranty should surely convince you.
What we liked:
Includes a large number of accessories
The 25-year warranty is very impressive
USB connection allows for even more embroidery designs
Singer is one of the most popular sewing machine brands and the Singer Futura XL-580 is as impressive as ever. For those serious about finding the best embroidery machine for hats and shirts. It has an impressive 250 built-in embroidery designs to choose from and 215 built-in sewing stitches. There are a further 5 font designs to choose from.
The Singer Futura XL-580 uses all the latest technology for a really futuristic feel. The large sewing surface is lit with light so that you can see exactly what you’re looking at. The LED display is clear, organized, and easy to use. There is also a USB port so that if you need more design options, or want to create your own, you can transfer these templates from the computer straight to your sewing machine. It really opens up the possibilities that the Singer Futura XL-580 has to offer.
The basic features of the Singer Futura XL-580 make it easy to use. There is an automatic bobbin winder, and the needle threader is simple and effective.
The software that the Singer Futura XL-580 comes with can be a bit finicky, so you may have to play around with it a little bit. But thankfully there are many online forums and videos to walk you through any issues you may have. There is also no hat hoop included, but it can be fitted, so just needs an extra purchase.
What we liked:
LED screen is easy to use
Bobbin winder and needle threader are both efficient
USB connection allows for thousands of new settings
The second Brother sewing machine on our list is definitely a bit different. While the Brother SE1900 + Grand Slam Package has everything you could possibly need in an embroidery machine for hats, the Brother SE400 is a bit more subdued, which is why it’s our Budget Pick. Still, if you want an impressive machine that can give you a lot of design choices, this product will be a great fit.
The Brother SE400 has a nice LCD display that is easy to use. With it, you can select from the 67 different stitches on offer, as well as the 70 built-in embroidery designs. There are also 5 lettering fonts to choose from.
Technology-wise, the Brother SE400 has a USB port so you can have access to thousands more embroidery designs. This really opens up the realm of possibilities, both for creating hats and for other sewing projects.
The machine itself has all the features you would expect from a top-quality sewing machine. The automatic thread cutter helps prevent snagged lines, and there is an easy to use bobbin threader.
What makes the Brother SE400 really worth its purchase is that it is easy to use. Even beginner sewers reported that they could easily follow the manual’s instructions. Plus, it is a popular sewing machine so there are many online videos you can watch if you do get stuck using it.
What we liked:
Very easy to use, even for beginners
LCD display is organized
What could be better:
Doesn’t come with as many accessories as other models
You don’t want a budget embroidery machine, but you also don’t need a turbo machine with all the bells and whistles. If this is the case, then be sure to check out the EverSewn Hero – 400-Stitch. This is a perfect middle of the road sewing machine that is great for home use.
There are over 400 stitches to choose from, including decorative, utility and alphabet patterns. There are also 40 built-in embroidery designs. This is more than enough to get anyone started in the hat embroidery hobby. And, if those options aren’t enough, there is a USB connection so that you can download or even create your own embroidery designs.
For sewing features, the EverSewn Hero – 400-Stitch has an automatic needle threader. It also is able to monitor the upper needle and bobbin thread levels. For those that have ever been surprised mid-sewing to have their bobbin run out of thread, this is a welcome feature.
Accessory-wise, the EverSewn Hero – 400-Stitch includes 8 different presser feet including zigzag and buttonholes.
The control panel for the EverSewn Hero – 400-Stitch has a simple LED display, and there are also button controls, making it easy to use.
While the EverSewn Hero – 400-Stitch is a great embroidery machine for hats, it does only come with a 1-year warranty. If you’re unsure of needing technical support in the future, be sure to shop around for an additional warranty.
What we liked:
LED display and controls are easy to use
Premium machine but also more affordable than similar machines
400 stitches to choose from
What could be better:
Only comes with a 1-year warranty
Things to Сonsider
Whether you want to add to your personal sewing creations or you want to open a small business, it’s important to have the right tool for the job. Here is some important information to consider when you’re shopping for an embroidery machine for hats.
Advantages of having a top-quality embroidery machine for hats
Hats and caps are one of those objects where you can’t really hide faulty craftsmanship. While the hem of a pant leg or the seam of a shirt don’t always have to be perfect, an ill-formed embroidery design on a hat will look lumpy and unappealing. If you are able to produce a quality hat, then you are more likely to wear it. After all, there’s no point in spending a lot of time and energy on something that will never get used.
Features to consider when choosing an embroidery machine for hats
Finding the best embroidery machine for hats can be a little overwhelming. There is a lot of specific information that you will need to know. Here are the main features to look for in an embroidery machine and what they actually mean.
Type of machine
There are a few different types of embroidery machines. Mechanical machines are the most basic and have very few settings to choose from. Electronic embroidery machines, like the ones on our list, are becoming increasingly common. They have programs installed on them with settings and stitches. You can do a lot more with electronic machines. These also come in two types – you can get an embroidery-only machine (which can sometimes keep costs lower) or a combined sewing and embroidery machine. The latter is more versatile, but may be an unnecessary investment if you’re not looking to do any sewing. Nevertheless, it’s always good to have options!
Number of designs built-in
Each embroidery machine will have a select number of designs that have been built into it. The Singer Futura XL-580 has an impressive 250 designs while the EverSewn Hero – 400-Stitch has a more modest 40 designs. However, if an embroidery machine has a USB port, like all of the machines on our list, then you can actually use sewing software to download extra designs. You can also try your hand at making your own artwork.
A hat hoop connects to your embroidery machine and keeps your hat in place. Since hats need to be kept rounded while they are being embroidered, a special accessory is needed. Most machines won’t come with a hat hoop, but will have the attachment available. In the case that your machine doesn’t come with a hat hoop, you’ll most likely be able to purchase one separately.
Embroidery field area
When you embroider, you need a certain amount of space. This is called the embroidery field area. It is usually anywhere between 4 and 6 inches wide. You can certainly move around more if you are doing free-style embroidery, but it can be hard to keep track of your fabric, and keep it smooth, without a set field area.
Gone are the days of a needle and treadle for a sewing machine. Today’s machines are high tech. This includes a USB connection, and if you want to make premium hats, it’s almost a necessity. There are many styles and designs available for hats – a USB connection allows you to send this information directly to a machine. There are even programs that allow you to create your own designs. These designs are then formatted so that your embroidery machine will know exactly where to place the needle as you sew.
Most embroidery machines are similar in size. They will usually be about 22 inches in width, 12 inches in depth, and 12 inches in height. There may be certain arm extensions that you can add on that will alter the width.
Make sure you check the dimensions of your embroidery machine, so you know how much space you’ll need to make in order to use it.
Also consider how portable it is – if it’s too large, you won’t be able to move it around too much, and if you’re considering taking classes, for example, a large machine will be a hassle.
What else will you be using it for?
An embroidery machine that specializes in hats can also be used for a wide variety of embroidery projects. Basically, it will be able to embroider just about anything you want. You can also perform basic sewing tasks if your machine also has this functionality. Sewing machines can be a bit cumbersome, so you’ll want to limit just how many you have. Finding a machine that works for all manner of sewing and embroidery projects means that you can cut down on clutter at home.
Embroidery machines are an investment. They are highly technical, and it’s important to have a warranty to protect you. The embroidery machines for hats on our list have a wide range of warranty options. The EverSewn Hero – 400-Stitch, for example, has a pretty basic one-year warranty. The Brother SE1900 + Grand Slam Package and the Brother SE400, on the other hand, both have 25-year warranties. That’s a big difference. If you find an embroidery machine that has a small, basic warranty, be sure to ask if there are options for longer ones. You’ll want to keep your investment protected.
Embroidery machines can vary widely with regards to price. If you want a basic machine, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars. If you want a machine with hundreds of settings and designs, then you can look at over one thousand dollars. While this can seem intimidating, it’s actually a good thing. With embroidery machines, you only pay for what you need. So, if you are looking for an embroidery machine for a beginner, you don’t have to pay too much to get a machine that will suit your needs. And, if you find you have a real knack for sewing, then you can always add on accessories.
If you want to get into the world of hat embroidery, we suggest you just dive on in. Purchase a basic machine and start experimenting. There are many online resources to help you out including forums, tutorials, and videos. And, if you want a bit more of a human touch, check out your local sewing or fabric shop. These often offer classes, and there will be many friendly faces itching to inspire a fellow sewer.
Leather is a very thick material. As such, you would need a commercial embroidery machine for hats to really work well. Standard embroidery machines are made for fabrics such as cotton and fleece. Even thick fabric such as denim needs a special, stronger foot and needle to be able to work through it. You can try using an embroidery machine for thinner pieces of leather, if you’re just trying out a few items, though.
When embroidering, it’s important to keep the fabric as smooth and taut as possible. To this end, many sewers use stabilizers. This is an (often transparent) patch that makes the fabric firm. If you don’t see the other side of the fabric from the embroidery, then you can use cut-away ones that are permanent. Others, such as wash-away, can be removed. It really depends on the type of project you are creating.
There are two main types of sewing thread: cotton and polyester. When embroidering, cotton is preferred. With cotton, you can get a better finish that more closely resembles the look of hand embroidery. When you purchase cotton embroidery thread, you’ll notice that it’s actually made up of many tiny strands of thread, all wound together. It’s quite pretty to look at and helps to make the embroidery pattern really stand out.
Finding the right embroidery machine for hats and clothes can be a challenge. It’s a big investment, and you want to make the right choice. For a complete sewing machine and accessories package, you can’t beat the Brother SE1900 + Grand Slam Package. With 138 embroidery designs to choose from and 240 stitches, you can make the best hats out there. Plus, if you want to try your hand at a custom design, then you can use computer software as there is a USB port on the machine. For those looking for a large range of designs, the Singer Futura XL-580 is a great investment, with a whopping 250 designs and 20 fonts. Finally, for those wanting quality but less bells and whistles, the Brother SE400 is a great option. Its price makes it our Budget Pick, but its numerous design and stitch options makes it perfect for all your upcoming sewing projects.
That sums up our top picks of the best embroidery machine for hats – happy embroidering!