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Discuss the various aspects of embroidery decoration: stitchcount, DST files, digitizing, machinery, garment selection, etc.

Embroidery machine help -- first time buyer

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Old 4 Weeks Ago Jun 17, 2019 6:57:00 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Embroidery machine help -- first time buyer

Happy Monday! I am hoping for some assistance with an embroidery machine. I have been poking around the forums but I wanted to pose my own questions as I am looking for something particular.

I have NO experience with embroidery or with sewing in general, but my company sells customized/personalized home accessories. We have primarily been using a laser engraver on glass objects. We are hoping to launch some cloth items this year and I would love to be able to embroider them.

My primary concerns/specifics that are relevant are below:
--budget of [B]$15k[/B]

--we would like the capability to upload and [U][B]use our own font[/B][/U]

--we don't use design software now, as it is too complex and ends up taking more time for us to fulfill, instead we use Microsoft word (as most of our designs are simple text). Would love to learn how machines compare with respect to design software and if any are [B]compatible with Microsoft word. [/B]

--USB vs. direct print. It seems like the machines I'm looking at all require a step to put the design on a usb drive and then upload it into the machine. We're accustomed to [B]directly printing[/B] to our laser engraver--any way to avoid this extra step?

--needles? I'm sorry if my terminology is wrong here. We have a specific aesthetic and will only be embroidering white on white and black on black. Not sure how this plays into the determination if at all

--Speed: I am trying to understand actual speed. How long would it take to embroider three lines of text on a 5in by 5 inch square?

--Font Size: we try not to limit our customer's creativity. How small can machines print actual text (in font that is not cursive) and is there an embroidery machine that does this better than others?

Thank you in advance for all of your help I really appreciate it!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago Jun 17, 2019 5:44:23 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Embroidery machine help -- first time buyer

Find a local shop that does contract work. Embroidery is not as easy as it looks. Unless you are doing serious volume it will eat you up.

If you really want to do embroidery you will need to learn the machine, that is the easy part. If you want to digitize, that is the hard part. Find a good digitizer for what you want to do.

From your description, you probably want someone that does it on a home machine for one-off's. Otherwise it will cost a lot to get them done.

Good Luck.
Old 4 Weeks Ago Jun 17, 2019 5:50:00 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Embroidery machine help -- first time buyer

Thank you, I really appreciate the very helpful reply. We do plan on selling a large volume of the items, as we are currently selling a large amount of our other home goods, so I don't think outsourcing would be an option for us. We also manufacture and fulfill all of our products so controlling our supply chain is important to us. We have an in-house graphic designer. Is this a specific skillset or do you think it would be easy for her to pick up?
Old 3 Weeks Ago Jun 19, 2019 11:19:38 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Embroidery machine help -- first time buyer

Hi Annie,
Embroidery has a large learning curve. It has it's own computer programs and machines.
To answer a few of your questions:

Word.. um no. You will need vector art or a good jpeg.

Using own font.. Most programs come with already digitized fonts, but you can do your own font, but will have to be digitized for each size you want. I am sure there are more experienced digitizers out there that might be able to make a resizable font for you.

We use USB's and Floppy disks(yikes i know!) but the machines can be added to your network to send the designs.

We use a 12 needle single head and a 12 needle 6 head. If you are doing big quantities you will want a multi head machine for sure, especially if they are all the same design.

Speed will depend on how many stitches are in the design and size of the design. For the 5"x5" size you can be anywhere from 5 minutes on up. Speed also depends on how fast you run your machine.

Font size for embroidery has a lot of factors. Fabric type, lettering detail, backing used, underlay, etc.
There are some fonts that are specially digitized for small size. The smallest we have is 4mm.

Hope this helps a little.

Good luck!
Old 3 Weeks Ago Jun 21, 2019 12:37:33 AM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Embroidery machine help -- first time buyer

Hi Annie,

What is "a large volume" for you? A couple 100 or couple 1000?

I would recommend outsourcing this to your local embroidery shop in every case; they will offer you discounts for larger volumes. Digitizing has a really steep learning curve. Any great digitizer will tell you they spent at least 3-4 years to become "good". A lot of "try-and-see-what-this-does" involved during learning. Learning machine embroidery and individual machine quirks is also not easy when done from scratch.

As for the size of the letters, I personally wouldn't recommend fonts smaller than 5mm.

We also used USB sticks and Floppy discs for uploading to the machines for years. We recently developed our own software that works on a chipset, connected through USB port to the machine and emulates a USB stick to upload each stitch file via barcode and barcode scanners. Works great.

This is a discussion about Embroidery machine help -- first time buyer that was posted in the Embroidery section of the forums.

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