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Thread: What do you need before you purchase an embroidery machine?

  1. #1
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    What do you need before you purchase an embroidery machine?

    In the fall the local library will be hosting a program on what you need to know before you purchase an embroidery machine. I will be doing the program along with a few of my machine embroidery friends.

    Each of us did extensive research (we thought) before we purchased our machines. The dealers were great and gave each of us way too much credit for knowing a whole lot more than we did. We were so focused on research on the machines that we didn't do sufficient research on software, actually none of us realized we needed it. Stabilizers, thread, designs and many more aspects of machine embroidery surprised most of us.

    The program will focus on the purchase of the first embroidery machine and will include information on the accessories necessary to begin with a few of the really want but not absolutely necessary.

    One demonstration I would like to do is the same design stitched on from the smaller machine to the large machine. That way we can show the difference in time needed to stitch designs. These will be the regular machines not the multi-thread machines.

    Please list what you wish you had known before you purchased an embroidery machine or what you would like to know now.

    Thank you for your input and help.
    Jo
    Happy Days!!! I am retired and have fabric and a sewing machine...what could be better than that?

  2. #2
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I purchase a lot of my stabilizer from All-Stitch. They have a great FAQ page:
    http://www.allstitch.net/department/...info-10242.cfm
    I particularly like the info in the stabilizers - embroidery backings
    The best thing I learned in my training sessions was to make an informed decision on choosing an appropriate design in the first place. While you can add a ton of stabilizer to a thin cotton and do a stitch intensive design, it's better to choose a more sheer design and keep the bullet-proof ones for canvas bags.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  3. #3
    Super Member Onebyone's Avatar
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    I am thinking about buying an embroidery machine so my friends that do have one have been giving me what I need to know lessons. LOL. The machines they have are high end Brothers and Berninas. One has a very inexpensive small size Brother bought at Walmart and her work is usually better then the high end machines. I found out she uses the best quality stabilizer and thread compared to what the others use and her work never puckers or wrinkles or is stiff. Why buy with a high end machine if you are going to use the cheap supplies? I think having a comparison of the same design using the best quality supplies and the less quality supplies would make a big impact on the potential buyers.
    I love my life!

  4. #4
    Super Member IrishgalfromNJ's Avatar
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    My low-end embroidery machine has a usb port and I didn't know about needing software to import and edit purchased designs. I thought I could just buy designs, put them on a usb stick and transfer them, but it doesn't work that way. After a month I found a reasonably priced on line program that works very well for me.

    It was also amazing how much time I spent researching thread, what type, what brand, and where to buy it. The thread decision almost brought me to a standstill but I made a decision and bought enough thread to last me a while.

  5. #5
    Senior Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    I am thinking about buying an embroidery machine so my friends that do have one have been giving me what I need to know lessons. LOL. The machines they have are high end Brothers and Berninas. One has a very inexpensive small size Brother bought at Walmart and her work is usually better then the high end machines. I found out she uses the best quality stabilizer and thread compared to what the others use and her work never puckers or wrinkles or is stiff. Why buy with a high end machine if you are going to use the cheap supplies? I think having a comparison of the same design using the best quality supplies and the less quality supplies would make a big impact on the potential buyers.
    I think this is a valuable add-on to the embroidery machine info - Great idea!

  6. #6
    Gay
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    Junior Member Gay's Avatar
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    You must realize that a design ANY machine stitches out is only as good as the digitizer created it - the machine only puts the needle down wherever it's told to. If you have a demo, the dealer will probably use a design built-in to the machine, so all machines should produce the same finish using the same design.
    Be very choosy re buying designs - one can be overwhelmed by the masses on the internet, and you can end up with thousands of them, and hardly use any - also many are not well digitized.
    Yes you do need a small software program to read the designs - shows them as pictures, not a list of names or no's. I think all brands should include one free with each machine, and dealers should explain how it works , before you purchase.
    Also a brief explanation of what one needs, stabilizers, tear-away, cut-away, water soluble, types of threads and their differences. My Brother machines take all kinds of threads, so I don't believe in the 'best quality' spiel. There are some rubbish ones out there, but if it's smooth, fine and shiny, doesn't fall apart, it should be good.

    Another decision is the size of blocks you plan to embroider. Do you just want to make labels or put names on things, needing a small hoop therefore a low end machine will do - or would you like to make, say quilt blocks, large, and need a large hoop provided by high end machines. How much embroidery will you want to do.
    I am not a great fan of todays big machines, as all the new bells and whistles seem to take up more time, whereas the older ones, you mark your centre, put the hooped fabric in and away you go. Also some machines are simple to operate, whereas others are darn difficult.

    Hope I've helped.

  7. #7
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I was surprised to learn that not all sewing machines can handle all files -- even if the file type is correct. Some of the lower end machines I looked at could not do some of the more complex files.

    Also, some machines can be hooked up directly to a computer to grab files and some use USB sticks (or other types of media) to transfer files from the computer to the machine. Decide which works best for your circumstances.
    QuiltnLady1

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

  8. #8
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    How long will the machine, its hardware and software, be supported? We all know that computers become obsolete within a few years. Technology changes; who do you know that is still using a ten year old computer? And if you are, you cannot use any new software. I know that some expensive embroidery machines are no longer supported. How long will the current crop last?
    Stephanie in Mena

  9. #9
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    You have great comments and suggestions. Thank you and keep them coming.

    My first embroidery machine did designs up to a 5" x 7" which was great. The stitch count was limited to a stitch count less than 50,000 stitches per design. The maximum speed was 650 stitches per minute. Some of the machines doing 4" x 4" designs maximum size will do less stitch count. The new top of the lines will do as much as a 9.5" x 14" and will do a design with a stitch count up to 700,000. They have a maximum speed of 1050 stitches per minute.

    The choice is all about how much you will use it, purpose and then the all important part...what does it cost! The program will hit on these elements along with stabilizers, designs, thread, etc and all of the things you suggest that can be incorporated into the materials.

    When the professional sales people start showing you what the machines will do, sometimes they don't mention what you will need in addition to the machine to achieve the dreams you have in mind. One lady I know bought a machine at her dealer and thought she got everything she needed...the machine and thread. Somehow she wasn't aware of needing stabilizer or how she would load designs into her machine. Just want the information given in a way that the shopper is more savvy before going shopping. All brands have great machines. It is just a matter of fitting the right machine to the needs of the shopper.

    Again, keep the information coming and thank you.
    Jo
    Happy Days!!! I am retired and have fabric and a sewing machine...what could be better than that?

  10. #10
    Super Member Onebyone's Avatar
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    My Brother machines take all kinds of threads, so I don't believe in the 'best quality' spiel. There are some rubbish ones out there, but if it's smooth, fine and shiny, doesn't fall apart, it should be good.
    That's what some of my friends think but I could tell the difference in their work then the one that used the best quality supplies. It does make a difference if I could see it and feel it, and I'm not an embroiderer.
    I love my life!

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