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I was curious what are the opinions on embroidery equipment for someone just starting out. I do screen printing out of my house for a side job. I would love to offer embroidery but the typical machines are way way way out of my budget at the moment!!

Is there anything out there that someone in my position could start out with that would work. I realize the cheaper I go the less quality it will be and could break under a lot of use.

Just trying to figure out if I should buy something cheap to learn on while my budget is low, or sub out any potential orders to other companies till I can afford one of the main machines?

Thanks for your input
Jeron

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I was in the same boat last year. I contacted Mark Mason at hoop tech as he is a dealer for brother. I bought a pr650e from him with his hat gage and hoops which make hat production great on this machine. We have been running the machine 1 year now with no issues. Starting to think about updating that one also.


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I bought a swf 4 years ago. at the time I was thinking the same thing - it's HOW much? and will it pay for itself? My decision was based on service - I didn't have a clue what I was doing and figured I will break it. Can you get service on your machine? is a major factor for me. Price wise the machines were about the same, but getting it fixed by a local tech can save some expensive down time. You can save big on used industrial machines. They don't change much over the years, as long as they've been kept up it will last a long time.
 

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Call beacon funding and ask about repo units. You don't want to go cheap with emb. The machine will pay for itself in a few months.
 

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If you don't want to have a high risk go for a cheaper 4 head machine.... Ive heard good things about swf machines recently.... if you run that well you will pay it off within a short time by which time you will have had experience in the industry and also know about the other brands....the volume of work that you can still get and then based on that you can then invest in a better brand machine for your 2nd investment.

we have a total of 12 machines... from my experience its better to purchase every few years. this way intricate designs can be put onto new machines....simple designs can get away with older machines.
 

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The problem with cost is not just the machine. While you may be adept at screen printing, embroidery is a completely different animal. The machines only understand stitches, not images. Digitizing images into something the machine will understand can take years to learn and the software ranges from a couple of hundred dollars to over $15K for the top of the line stuff. Your best bet to start is use pre-digitized designs or farm-out the digitizing. I learned whatever I know about digitizing from taking a lot of tutorials and dissecting existing designs to try to understand why they did what they did.

We started with a Brother 6 needle, then added a second one as our needs grew, then added a single head 15 needle. We just traded in the first machine on a Babylock 10 needle machine because we have a lot of work that the camera and precision placement will really work for.

If you have a lot of work that requires multiples of the same item, a multi-head is the way to go. If you have a lot of work that every piece is different, the multi-head won't save you any money. It all depends on what your business model is and what your clients want.
 
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