Embroidery and sewing machines have grown in popularity because of the convenience, ease of use and efficiency that they come with. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced embroidery enthusiast, you need a machine that can support your aspirations and creativity throughout the process. Buying a sewing machine is an investment and the last thing you would want is to make the mistake of investing in a machine that doesn’t measure up to the task that is before you.
Embroidery machines come with different features such as built-in embroidery designs, lettering fonts, presser foot, USB port, LCD screens and many more. It is therefore important to know how to choose the right embroidery machine so that you don’t invest in a lower level machine that will deny you some of the crucial features or buy a high level machine with features you may not need.
The Level of Experience of the User
This is the first point when considering an investment in an embroidery machine. Machines for beginners have much less complexity in terms of features compared to those made for experienced sewers. For instance, beginners may be satisfied with a machine that has a range of basic stitches while an experienced sewer requires a variety of embroidery designs and stitch patterns due to their deeper knowledge on how to creatively come up with unique designs.
Some of the features to look for when buying a beginner sewing machine include things such as stitch selectors, pedal controls, tension adjusters, bobbin winders, and speed setting control. Experienced sewers should look for machines that are computerized and programmable to give them the space to explore their creativity beyond the basic embroidery level.
The Features of the Machine
If you are contemplating on getting a new machine then you have to learn how to choose the right embroidery machine based on the features it comes with. Essentially, when you pay for a machine, you are indeed paying for the features that will add value to your embroidery experience. There are a number of features and below is a discussion of the top amongst them that you cannot forego.
Pedal Control – This feature attaches to the embroidery machine through a cord. It mostly seats on the floor and when pressed down or let up, it starts and stops the machine. The beauty with pedal control is that it leaves your hands free so that they can guide the fabric during sewing.
Thread Tension Control – Located at the front or the top of the sewing machine model, the tension adjuster is marked with numbers which indicate the different thread tension degrees. It is also built with inner disks that help loosen or tighten the tension of the thread. Every machine comes with its recommendations for the appropriate tension settings for straight stitch sewing.
Stitch Selector – In most “how to choose the right embroidery machine guides”, the stitch selector is included as part of the LCD screen functionality. While it is true that the LCD screen helps in stitch selection, depending on the machine, there are others with a stitch selection control which is a dial located at the front section of the machine unit. The dial may include diagrams of different stiches available and all you need to do as the user is to select the stitch by dialing the corresponding diagram. Apart from selecting the type of stitch, the machine should also allow you to select the length of the stitch.
Speed Control – This is a feature you need to consider particularly when looking for entry level machines. The embroidery machine you choose should allow you to adjust the speed to make it easier for you to guide the fabric as well as sew straight seams. Gauging the right foot pressure for starting and stopping during embroidery requires talent which is acquired with time. However, with the speed control, you can rest at peace knowing the machine is running at a velocity that is manageable.
The Bobbin Winder – This is an essential consideration as you explore on how to choose the right embroidery machine. Basically, a bobbin winder helps in refilling the bobbin thread whenever it runs out. Because the bobbin holds less thread compared to the top spool, you must stop and rewind it a number of times throughout the project. With a bobbin winder, you don’t have to go through the stops during embroidery, but rather continue with your project as your thread is automatically refilled in your bobbin. In the latest embroidery machines, there is the drop in bobbin winder.
The Built-In Embroidery Patterns – Some of the brands in the market come with built-in embroidery patterns which make it easier for you to select and use in your project straightaway. In addition to this, some machines allow you to download patterns from the internet and feed them into your machine through a USB port. This is crucial especially for experienced sewers who may be looking for advanced functionalities.
LCD Screen – The LCD screen provides a visual guide during the sewing process. In computerized embroidery machines, the LCD screen serves as the stitch selector and even enables you to pick the color of the thread that will be appropriate with the chosen pattern. Since the screen is backlit, you will be assured of sufficient lighting throughout your project.
Embroidery Area – Embroidery machines come with different sizes of embroidery area. The larger the area, the bigger the project and patterns it can accommodate. The embroidery area should also be sufficiently lit to give you flexibility when putting together your patterns. In this how to choose the right embroidery guide, we recommend LED lighting for the embroidery area.
Frequency of use
The degree of use will also have an impact on the machine you buy. If your machine will only be used in certain occasions, then buying one with a huge collection of accessories and a long range of stitches may not be appropriate. However, for regular use, you need a machine that is strong preferably with a metal frame inside. It should also be comfortable because of the long hours you have to spend in your embroidery projects.
Weight and Storage
Embroidery machines should be flexible to allow you to easily pack it up and store it away after every use. If you are an embroidery student, you may need to be taking it for your classes hence on your how to choose the right embroidery machine checklist, you should include weight as a determinant. It doesn’t pay and to some extent it is inconvenient to lift a heavy machine day in day out. If you need storage space for your machine accessories, look for embroidery machines that have a storage area underneath them. This comes in handy especially when operating in areas with limited space. Most of the machine models available today come either with a hard cover or soft cover to protect your machine from accumulating dust. You may also want to buy a sewing machine bag for ease and safety during transportation.
The Quality of the Machine
The materials used to make machines today contain a significant amount of plastic. This is intentionally done by the manufacturers so as to reduce on their cost of manufacturing and to make the embroidery machines more portable. However, when the level of plastic exceeds a certain threshold, the machine may become weak and breakdown easily. You should therefore spend your money on quality machines that have plastic parts that are sturdy and above board.
The accessibility of components such as levers, feeders, and buttons should also determine how to choose the right embroidery machine.
The Embroidery Machine Brand
As earlier pointed out, there are many brands and models in the market all fighting for the attention of the customer. There are some brands known for quality, resilience and performance. Avoid investing in brands which have no readily available accessories because this can be a real problem when the machine develops technical issues. Among the best brands today include Brother, Singer, Bernina, Jenome, Simplicity, Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff.
The price should act as a guide on how to choose the right embroidery machine. However, based on your budget, you may need to isolate the features that you need in a machine and use that checklist when shopping for an embroidery machine. Avoid spending lots of money on a do-it-all machine that has features you may never need in your project.
Most embroidery machine manufacturers give warranties lasting a number of years depending on the value of the machine. Basically, the warranty will protect you against unforeseen breakdowns which may otherwise cost you a lot of money to repair. The warranty may cover parts and labor or parts only and subject to a number of conditions. Ensure you read through the entire warranty document so as to check the validity of your warranty and the things not covered so that you can exercise care and know when and how to lodge your claims.
After going through these factors on how to choose the right embroidery machine, you should now read up the different embroidery machine reviews and compare the features before stepping out to get your own.