What Should I Look For in an Embroidery Machine?

You’re interested in purchasing an embroidery machine, but not sure what to look for? Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Buy the machine you can afford with the biggest embroidery field!
    • You’ll soon long for more if you settle for a machine that will only stitch a 4×4 embroidery field.
    • Start looking at machines that will stitch at least a 5×7 field.
    • If you can afford it, go one size larger – in fact the largest you can afford, as long as you consider the other costs!
  2. Buy from a nearby dealer who:
    • Offers free classes and support
    • Can repair and/or service your machine (at least annually)
    • Offers other incentives, wherever possible
  3. Consider the other costs of machine embroidery:
    • Thread! Always buy a quality name-brand thread. Less expensive threads can make a lot of lint in your machine, which will cause you problems later on.
    • Software!
      • You may need software to convert designs from one format to whatever format your machine uses.
      • You may need software to write designs to your machine, especially if it doesn’t have a USB port or any other standard means of getting your designs to the machine. Be sure to ask your dealer about this!
      • You may want software to view and/or organize the collection of designs that you will inevitably collect.
      • You may also want software to add lettering to designs, or to digitize designs once you know what you’re doing. This can be anything from free (converting formats) to thousands of dollars (real digitizing).
    • Stabilizers! Always use stabilizers to support your embroidery. Don’t skimp on this by using coffee filters or used dryer sheets. Why would you want to spend good money on things to be embroidered, as well as thread, and then skimp on the one thing that holds it all together? It’s not worth the few cents that you’d save, especially when you consider the time you’ve invested in making something?
    • Waste! You will definitely waste things. You may make mistakes that will mean that you’ve got to throw away whatever you’ve worked on. I haven’t had this happen very often, but it does happen.
  4. Consider the learning curve. You won’t be an expert until you’ve made a lot of mistakes. Don’t be afraid of mistakes because when things happen, you learn more about how machine embroidery works.
  5. Finally consider how awesome machine embroidery is – what you’ll be able to make, how you’ll be able to embellish things to go from good to wonderful, and how much fun you’ll have watching beautiful things happen with this amazing machine!


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