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can I get a decent second hand embroidery machine for �500?

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can I get a decent second hand embroidery machine for £500?


My experience is in cutting vinyl - have cut vinyl for t-shirts and signs for over 2/3 years.

I have always thought expanding into embroidery could pay off, however the machines have always looked pricey.

I am looking for a small machine to do prints no bigger than 15 cm x 15 cm.

I want one that I can do designs on the computer and then send to the machine to be stitched/printed.

I would be really great full for your experienced responses, I will be just starting out and looking to chuck up to £500 for a second hand machine and want to know if this is plausible and the potential night mares I may walk into. I went into vinyl cutting blind, and taught myself. I hope that the embroidery machines can be made to print your designs. I understand they need to be changed to the right format using a digitizer software... but apart from that... is there anything else I need to know?

Many thanks in advance for responses.

P.s what has sparked this is an order for 20 hoodies and 10 t-shirts to be done with embroidery.
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Re: can I get a decent second hand embroidery machine for £500?

If you need just one color machine then you can buy any "home" embroidery machine for that price range.

But I you need more needles then the cheapest one will be 4 color Janome, but it costs about 5 000 Euros new.

Apart from that you can order single head machine from china for about 3000 - 4000 $ plus shipping, duty and VAT, but I recommend that only for the experience users because it will require a lot of maintenance.
Re: can I get a decent second hand embroidery machine for £500?

Ok.... I don't know if its good to answer your own questions but I have done a lot of research and think it would be good to help out those that were asking the same thing I was.

The answer to the question as many people may already know is .... NO.

I looked on ebay and you can pick up the small brother machines or other makes for around £500 - £1000.

The cons are from my research...

1. Its difficulty to put a t-shirt in the hoop to be stiched. People can do it but end up folding the t-shirt inside out to get it to fit into the machine and not stich the front of a t-shirt to the back of the t-shirt.

2. The embroidery machines will need you to manually change the thread for each colour it stitches... thus a 5 colour design will take a bit of time messing around changing the colour thread.

3. The machine is not as advance as the close to commercial machines like the Brother PR series... thus the most important aspect is cutting thread! If you have the words DUMB.. the machine can not stitch the letter D and then cut the thread and start on the letter U. So you have a line of thread going from D to U. Thus not look professional and DE-VALUING the service you provide.

4. For the price, your going to find it good to for the first two orders and then when you have a order of 50 t-shirts with 4 colours in... its possible going to take you forever and end up not making any profit for the amount of time you have to spend to make the embroidery print on each garment. So useless in the long run.

Please add to this list if you feel like it or make a comment... I'm not a expert but just listing the cons I found from research.
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