Why get a superior embroidery machine?
An embroidery machine helps to embellish décor items more quickly. For example, the Janome Memory Craft 9900 maximum stitching speed is up to 314 inches per minute, which is impossibly fast for hand embroidery. The second reason why all accomplish sewers want to own an embroidery machine is stitching accuracy that encourages creating more and more perfect-looking masterpieces. Choosing the right embroidery machine is not just making a good investment in your hobby or business, it is also meeting a new helpful and supportive friend that can easily do what almost no one else could do. This friend will be next to you for a very long time, so choose wisely and enjoy the fabulous creating process. Our buying guide will help you to decide on what is best for you.
Can just any sewing machine embroider?
In general, there are two types of embroidery machines. The first type is embroidery-only devices; they are suitable for those people who already have a sewing machine and do not want a backup one. The second type is a 2-in-1 combination; such machines can perform both sewing and embroidering. Those customers who don’t have a sewing machine appreciate the extended functionality and buy the combo. Unfortunately, 2-in-1 machines often lag behind their embroidery-only competitors by many parameters. They cannot stitch fast enough, have small embroidery field and just a few built-in designs. However, there are some pleasant exceptions. The Swiss company Bernina and the Japanese company Brother produce outstanding and affordable 2-in-1 machines. By all features, these machines are equal to embroidery-only or even better. In addition, they perform professional sewing.
What are your specific needs?
Some hobbyists like monogramming and lettering. They want to own embroidery machines with a wide variety of lettering fonts and choose models like Brother PE535. Some sewers prefer embellishing large pieces of cloth like bed sets or kitchen curtains. They need to own a machine with an ample embroidery area. There are even special embroidery machines for hats. If you don’t know yet what type of décor items you’d like to embellish, it is better to choose a machine with two embroidery hoops, like some of the models on our list.
Personal needs are the second essential choice factor after quality of an embroidery machine. So, think about what do you want to decorate, what styles of embroidery do you prefer, and base your choice on it.
What to look for in an ideal embroidery machine?
An ideal embroidery machine for every sewer has five major qualities:
- It is made by a well-known company with a good reputation like Brother or Bernina.
- It is high-performing.
- It suits your personal needs and fills the bill.
- The manufacturer offers free customer service and technical.
- It comes with a 20 or 25-year warranty on mechanic parts and at least 5-year warranty on electric parts.
You can add to this list your must-have features, write down suitable models, and compare prices.
The type of a machine
Here, you should take into account your reason to own an embroidery machine. Semi-commercial machines like the Janome Memory Craft 9900 are built specifically for continuous hours of operation. The devices have full functionality, including high-quality fast stitching, more than 60 variations of embroidery designs, several font styles for monogramming and lettering, and many frame patterns. You also can easily download and edit your design. This is a good choice for start-ups, home business, sewing and embroidering classes and studios.
Home-use embroidery machines like the EverSewn Hero
are good for hobbyists who embellish home décor items occasionally.
The number of embroidery designs and fonts
Built-in designs and fonts for monogramming and lettering inspire to create your own one-of-a-kind masterpieces. The average number of available designs is 50 and up. With the editing possibilities, it gives you a wide variety of choice.
Embroidery area and hoops
An embroidery area is a field below the needle. The area defines the largest size a machine can embroider at once. With a small field, you can embellish only things like hankies or toddler’s belongings. With a larger one, you can decorate blankets, curtains, and bed sets. An embroidery field ranges from 4″ x 4″ to 6.7″ x 7.9″ and up. Sewing and embroidery machines usually have smaller areas, whereas specialized embroidery-only devices have larger. For example, The Bernette Chicago 7 has the 4.3″ x 6.7″ embroidery area. With the Brother PE770, you can embroider on the 4″ x 7″ field. The choice of an embroidery machine depends on your preferences in décor items.
If you have not detailed plans for future creations, choose the biggest embroidery area you can afford. A hoop fixes fabric in place in the machine while embroidering it. For many machines, you can buy an additional hoop (Giga Hoop, Mega Hoop) that are larger than the machine’s embroidery area. However, such things cannot change the size that the machine can embroider at one shot. They just allow you to embroider multiple areas without re-hooping.
Screen and editing possibility
Embroidery machines have LCD, LED, or FTF touchscreens. The difference between these technologies is almost irrelevant to a user experience. However, full-color and detailed screens are better than back-lit monochromes. For sure, you want to view the color of your design before stitching. Touchscreens allow personalizing designs and fonts. The editing possibilities usually include resizing, mirroring, rotation, and combining. Large and easy-to-view displays prevent your eyes from getting tired after hours of continuous work.
USB and PC compatibility
You can buy online or download for free many stunning designs to increase your creative possibilities. Some machines have USB compatibility and can read information from USB memory sticks. Some have PC compatibility – they can be connected directly to your PC with a USB cable. The second option is easier-to-use. You also should pay attention to a built-in memory capacity. A large amount of memory means that you can download many high-quality designs into your machine and edit them before stitching out.
Warranty and customer support
Choosing an embroidery machine, a budget-conscious buyer considers the purchase as an investment and prefers models with a long-term warranty. Such major companies as Brother, Bernina, or Janome provide a 20 or 25-year limited warranty and a customer service for the life of the product. They always welcome new customers and have a friendly hotline staff. The latter is of huge importance, as there are so many important features of embroidery machines and you may feel overwhelmed by all new information. On top of all, good embroidery machines come with the tutorials for beginners and technical documentation for advanced users. Feel free to ask more questions by custom hotline of your desired product.