I'd like to add patches to my line of products some day.
How much does it cost to get into that?
How much does a good embroidery machine cost?
Anybody got links to good sites that sell embroidery machines?
Are patches profitable and popular or not?
Many people start their embroidery business with a home embroidery machine. They vary in costs depending upon the size of hoop they can handle and the features they offer. Home machines can cost between $150 to around $7,000.
Brother offers a 6 needle machine that is mid way between home and commercial. Happy makes a machine that is a good starter commercial machine, but so do many companies.
The cost of stabilizers, hoops, thread, needles and software is often not included in the price. Software is needed to do any designs.
If you are looking for a commercial machine, check Beacon Funding. They offer used machines and handle funding for them.
As for patches, if you plan to do your own morrowing you may want to look into a specialty machine for that. (Morrowing is the satin edging on patches)
Or you can purchase pre-made blanks with the edging finished.
Sorry, I do not have inforamtion on how popular patches are.
You might navigate to www.EMBmag.com and/or www.stitches.com follow their links to equip. manufacturers. Also its not a bad idea to "snoop" around an embroidery business and ask questions about the equip. such as "What brand of embroidery machine do you prefer" "What do those things cost" "how user friendly is it" They would probably demo their operation for you if you acted interested.
I've found a unique way to edge them right on my embroidery machine. They are not as profitable as direct embroidery, but they are a good order to run when things are slow and your looking for work to put on your machines.
We have tried to market patches in our retail store over the years. We do n ot produce them in house. Primary reason is money. They take a long time to design and produce compared to direct embroidery, but the market preception is that patches should be available for "a few dollars" Mass produced patches are.
We outsource patches for groups. Just did 100 patches for the county search and rescue group. It is not practical to outsource orders less than 25 to 50 pieces.
Fun business, but difficult to make money with patches.
Give Lee at EMC Emblems a call. He doesnt have a website, but I read a good article about him on the internet. Nice guy. He doesnt quote over the phone, but from what I have heard his prices are reasonable. You just gotta send him your art and he'll get back to you. Heres his number...1.800.443.9553
I agree with Fluid SWF make excellent embroidery machines. We have 8 single head machines 6 and 12 neddle. We use them to personalise small Teddy Bear garments jumpers and hoodies and we can get remarkable results.
Patches are basically a piece of twill fabric with a merrowed edge. This is done on a Merrowing machine, which is a unique and expensive piece of equipment. Blank patches are available from several companies for less than a buck each. Generally white or black twill with several colors for the edge. You can order custom blanks, but the price goes up from the standard in-stock blanks. Quantity discounts apply, so prices come down based on how many you order.
You cannot make a Merrowed edge with an embroidery machine, the best you can do is to make a satin edge and then manualy trim very close to the edge of the satin stitch. Using a bobbin that is the same color as the top thread is the clue here. Colored bobbins are available in small quantities or you can always pickup some 60 weight colored thread and wind them yourself. This makes a faux merrowed edge, but its not as durable as an actual merrowed edge.
As you trim very close to the satin stitch you will end up with some twill fibers sticking out from the edge of the satin stitch. I suggest you apply some CLEAR permanent fabric glue to the bobbin thread on the back and let it soak in and dry before cutting out the patch. This way if one of the top threads pulls loose, the whole edge does not disintegrate.
Sew the patch to the garment with a tight sig-sag or satin stitch of the same color as the edge. Then the fibers of the twill sticking out will be buried in the stitch that sews the patch down to the garment and will not be seen.
If the patch is going to be hand sewn or heat pressed on the garment, you really need the merrowed edge. You can touch up the little fibers of the twill with a sharpie or other permanent marker that is the same color as the satin thread edge. This kind of edge will not hold up a well on a sewn or or pressed on patch, and will eventually deteriorate.
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