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Looking to purchase a Embroidery Machine... Help Me!!!

1831 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  binki
I have a screen printing business and a sign printing business as well.

Looking to add embroidery to my business. Problem is I don't know where to start looking. Anything will help.

Please post links and videos so I know what's out there.

I don't need an advance machine but I want something that's fast and can stitch multiple colors. Also something that can embroider everything from shirts hats to bags. I saw a couple of videos that can do this.

Thanks in advance.
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Machines are not the problem, you can find 1 to 15 needle and/or multiple head machines all over the place. Taking a picture or design and translating it into something the machine will understand (aka digitizing) is the hard part. How you are going to deal with that is the first thing you should address... either buy software and learn it (steep learning curve) or outsource your digitizing (gets expensive after a while) or a combination of both.

Once you have that figured out, then decide what the most important things are - multiple heads, number of needles, compact size or larger commercial machine.

Without knowing your budget or what you are expecting to do, it's very difficult for anyone to give you recommendations other than saying "we're happy with our machines so you should buy the same one" only to find out later they are in completely different markets/methods/operating mode.
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I agree with Ted with adding the following notes to his comments.

The Better brands of equipment will have multiple machine sizes to offer you and can work with you in regards to what size machine will be needed for the production you intend to be doing. Most shops start with a single head machine but often that is short lived before they need a bigger piece of equipment.

Think of this in the screen printing world as follows,
Its not practical to print a CMYK Process job at 12 pieces with a 4 head manual machine.

I always suggest people start off sending their digitizing out to a digitizer, and there are quite a few that follow this forum.
Later on as business grows then if you want you can bring digitizing in house and do it yourself however there are quite a few VERY VERY Large embroidery companies that always send it out and they find that to be more cost effective than doing it in house.

Digitizing in my world is paid for by the customer so it really has no expense to me except for the time it takes to email a digitizer and proof the file prior to production on the first run. Customer pays, so its not really that much of an expense but I do have to handle emailing it back and forth and proofing the file. Small price to pay to win a new customer in my opinion.

You get what you pay for with machines. Do your homework here and it will pay off in the long run. Cheap machines are just that and will produce poor quality work at a slower pace and often cause you problems with support and parts.

Personally I feel that its a much better investment to start off with a good machine that will holds its value, perform well and last you many years in production.

Do your homework on the dealer as well ! Some dealers are better than others when it comes to service, support and training.

Best of luck with your new venture !
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Thanks a lot for replying.

One quick question regarding digitizing, why do I have to go through another party? Should I not get the software myself? Does it not come with the machine I will be purchasing? I feel like I am missing something here.
Think of digitizing as simulated colour separation. You can buy the software and do it yourself, but probably best to focus on operating the machine first before you take everything on.

Plus outsourcing digitizing is probably more cost effective to begin with. Outsource it and you can embroider whilst they are doing the work, instead if your heads sitting idle while you spend your time at the computer.

I just started outsourcing my complicated vectorizations and it's amazing how much more time I have to actually making money. My time is more expensive than the price they charge, so why not let them do it for less!
I understand now since the customer will be paying for them anyways.
I can only talk from my own experience. I chose a Barudan 15 needle single head to start with because I needed a machine that was going to have very few problems, since I didn't know anything about embroidery or the mechanics of maintaining a machine. The price was a little higher, but I have never had the first problem and I've had the machine for 10 years without a service call. The customer training and support were excellent.

I've always sent out my digitizing and passed the cost on to the customer, but in the last few years with all the digitizers and the price wars, sometimes to get a big customer, I pay for the digitizing myself. It's a small price to pay for the big customer. But....it's the digitizer who makes you look good, so find a good one. The learning curve and the expense of the digitizing software - I would rather concentrate on the actual embroidery.

Just my 2 cents.
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I am barely 6 months into embroidery for my shop and my sales have increased quite a bit on personalized embroidery jobs. I am running a Melco AMAYA XT and I love it! I plan to add an additional unit within the next 12 months.
If you want something that can run all day, every day then get a Tajima. More money, but will outlast you.
There are a few machines that will run all day long. I have a Texmac Happy 15needle single head. My machine has very little if any issues and when it does - it is more or less design issues. If you get a commercial machine, then running all day is not an issue. My machine will run 1.2k stitches per minute, but I will not crank it up that fast. The reason why I went the way of happy is that I can add to them and print same design on multiple machines - you get a 2 plus head machine, they are all doing the same thing at one time - one stops all stops. The Amaya is scaleable also. Your machine can come with software and could even have an auto digitizng button - that might be the easiest way to lose customers. I think you need a working knowledge to tweak designs, but it is so much easier and cheaper to send them out - especially in the beginning. You can then take that finish product, put it in your software and teach yourself the methodology of the digitizer through your program.
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Thanks a lot for replying.

One quick question regarding digitizing, why do I have to go through another party? Should I not get the software myself? Does it not come with the machine I will be purchasing? I feel like I am missing something here.
Digitizing is an art. You can't do it yourself without a lot of skill and experience and $30,000 worth of software.
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