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Buying your first embroidery machine

Buying your first embroidery machine

Daniel Horgan |

I am starting out in embroidery, what is the best machine to buy?

Helpdesk Response

I will try to answer your question as an embroiderer rather than someone who is trying to sell you the embroidery machine. I suggest that you ask yourself the following questions first before departing with your hard-earned cash.

1. Do you really need an embroidery machine or can you contract your work to someone that has already gained the experience and has the investment in plant and machinery. There is no shortage of embroiderers in your area.

2. Have you budgeted a price you want to pay e.g. do you want a Ford or a Mercedes. This will help towards deciding which machine you want to buy and the possible payback period you can expect on your investment.

3. Project the future direction of your business e.g. Polo's, Sweatshirts, garments or Caps and bags etc. Remember that Cap embroidery is different from garment embroidery and that this will require different skills.

4. Once you have decided the direction you want to go in then you will be able to decide if you need a drop table machine, which will add to the cost and then for caps you will need to buy frames which are expensive.

5. When you buy your first machine, look at the longer term implications, such as;

Will the company you buy the machine from still be in business and able to service your machine under warranty, or will the manufacturer take up this liability?

It is advisable to buy your second machine from the same manufacturer so as to reduce servicing and spare parts costs?

Will you get a better discount for any future machine you may buy from them?

What terms and conditions will your vendor offer you, should your machine require repairs? Often the mechanics will charge you a travelling charge from their base on top of any repairs required.

How quickly can they respond to your request in case of a breakdown? In this industry downtime in machines will cost you money.

6. How many colours do you require on each head? I have just been to a factory that have purchased an all singing and dancing embroidery machine which is far too highly specified for any work that they expect to do in the future.

7. How many embroidery heads do you want on your machine, this will depend on your projected sales.

8. Which machine supplier will provide you with full and comprehensive in house training, before and after you purchase the machine? Do they have a free telephone help line?

9. Why is one machine cheaper or more expensive than the other?

How much difference is there in working noise between each machine?

10. Will your premises require any modifications to install the machine?

11. Who takes the responsibility to install the machine?

12. Which machine do you find aesthetically pleasing and easy to use? E.g. changing thread and needles etc.

13. What editing facility does the embroidery machine computer provide?