Are you a fan of embroidery? Or, are you new to the craft and looking for the perfect embroidery machine? Look no further! In this comprehensive buying guide, we will take you through the basics of embroidery machines, the top-rated machines in the market, key features to consider when buying one, and how to maintain your machine. So whether you're an experienced embroiderer or just starting out on your journey, this guide has everything you need to know about choosing the best embroidery machine for your needs.
Embroidery Machine Basics
Embroidery machines offer a seamless way to create stunning designs. They come with many built-in designs and fonts, allowing you to explore your creativity. Connecting your machine to a computer or app opens up even more design options. When choosing a machine, consider the throat width, as a larger throat allows for working on bigger projects. User-friendly interfaces make it easy to navigate and customize your designs. With features like automatic needle threaders and large LCD screens, these machines make machine embroidery a breeze. These machines also include various sewing stitches and buttonhole options, providing versatility for your projects. The spacious workspace ensures you have ample room to work on your creations. So whether you're a beginner or an experienced hobbyist, an embroidery machine is a fantastic addition to your creative toolkit.
What is an Embroidery Machine?
An embroidery machine is a specialized sewing machine that allows you to stitch intricate designs onto fabric. It makes it easy to create professional-looking projects with its built-in designs or the ability to import your own. With touchscreen interfaces and larger embroidery areas, these machines offer convenience and versatility.
Types of Embroidery Machines
When it comes to embroidery machines, there are several types to choose from based on your skill level and needs. For beginners or hobbyists, single-needle machines are a great option. They are easy to use and offer basic functionality. On the other hand, more advanced users or those with a home embroidery business may prefer multi-needle machines. These machines allow for faster stitching and the ability to use multiple thread colors simultaneously. Combination machines offer the best of both worlds, combining sewing and embroidery capabilities in one machine. Computerized machines are perfect for those who want to digitize and edit designs easily. Lastly, industrial machines are designed for high-volume, commercial businesses.
Top 10: Best Embroidery Machine in the Market
Now that we've got through the basics, here are our Top 10 Best Embroidery Machines: With a wide range of options available, you can find the best option to suit your needs. From popular brands like Brother and Janome to high-end options like Bernina and Husqvana Viking, these machines offer a variety of features and price points. Whether you're a hobbyist or a professional, these top-rated machines provide ease of use, automatic needle threaders, large LCD screens, and ample workspace. You can find these machines on platforms like Amazon and even learn from tutorial videos on YouTube. They come with a range of included designs and offer the ability to digitize your own creations. With different sizes and sewing stitches, including buttonhole capabilities, these machines open up a world of creative possibilities. So, dive into the world of embroidery and explore the endless potential with our top-rated picks.
The Brother PE machines are probably the most recommended and popular embroidery machines for beginners. There are frequent recommendations for these machines in our Facebook Group. The best seller of the Brother PE machines is the Brother PE600 which you can get for less than $400 and will do basic designs …however, many leave unsatisfied with the small 4×4 hoop workspace. You may also need a software upgrade for certain custom designs.
Its large area allows for the creation of larger designs, providing ample workspace. With 138 built-in designs and 11 fonts, this machine offers various options to explore and experiment with. The user-friendly LCD touchscreen display makes navigation a breeze, ensuring ease of use for beginners. Additionally, the PE800 allows for easy importing of custom designs via USB, expanding creative possibilities. It's a fantastic machine for those starting their embroidery journey.
One issue that some of our group members have noted is that if you want to make custom designs, you’ll have to purchase additional digitizing software that can be expensive.
This machine does have step-by-step tutorials on how to do things, a limited 25-year warranty, and free phone support if you’re having trouble.
To me, Baby Lock is the top name in the sewing machine space and that includes embroidery. I’ve started with a mid to high-level machine – the Baby Lock Alliance. This would be appropriate for high-end use at home or a business start-up but likely not something for mass production.
The Alliance is a single-needle, free-arm machine. It stitches up to 1,000 stitches per minute and has a large field that can expand up to an 8″ by 8″ hoop. It’s automatic needle threader, and unique bobbin system make setup easy. It comes with 25 built-in fonts and the ability to import designs through your computer
It comes with a TRUVIEW LCD Color Touch screen that displays over 260,000 colors – meaning it provides a bold and vivid imiage to aid the embroiderer and get the design perfect. Its free arm, single-needle designed is built to embroider items that are difficult for typical machines – it will embroider things like pockets, stuffed animals, hats, or even shoes.
We go from around a $5000 machine to one that retails for around $2,400 at the time of this writing. Janome is known for their high-quality home sewing and embroidery machines. In our option, the Janome Memory Craft 500E is a good step up from the Brother PE800.
The 500E has an increased maximum size of 7.9″x11″ which will increase the projects you can tackle with the more standard 5″x7″ hoop. It also comes with a variety of other hoops. This larger design makes it big enough to do something on a increased number of garments – like a T-Shirt. The full-color touchscreen is also an upgrade and it comes with 160 built-in designs and a variety of on-screen editing functions.
Of course, this still doesn’t have all the features and capabilities of a high-end machine, but if you’re looking to do a limited number of home projects, this may be a good option.
The Juki Tajima Sai 8 Needle Multi Needle Machine is a versatile and powerful option for both beginners and experienced embroiderers. With its user-friendly interface and automatic thread trimming feature, it offers ease of use and convenience. This multi-needle option provides the advantages of faster stitch speed and a larger hoop size, allowing for increased productivity and the ability to tackle larger projects. Users have praised the Juki Tajima Sai for its exceptional performance and high-quality stitching results. If you're looking for a reliable and efficient option, the Juki Tajima Sai 8 Needle Multi Needle is definitely worth considering.
The Bernette 70 Deco machine is a versatile option that also offers quilting and sewing capabilities. Its key features make it an excellent choice for hobbyists and professionals alike. Investing in a multi-functional one like the Bernette 70 Deco allows you to explore various creative possibilities without the need for multiple machines. When choosing the right machine , consider factors such as price points, ease of use, and the specific needs of your projects. Proper maintenance and usage tips are crucial to ensure the longevity and optimal performance. Current users of the Bernette 70 Deco rave about its automatic needle threader, large LCD screen, and impressive workspace. Unlock your creativity with the included designs and explore the inches of possibilities offered by the Bernette 70 Deco machine.
We spotlighted one Brother machine above but Brother has a variety of other options. The Innov-is NQ3600D is a unique intermediate level machine with a Disney theme. It comes pre-programmed with 35 designs featuring Disney colors and a thread kit with 24 spools of colors perfect for your favorite Disney characters. There’s another 5,000 designs available for purchase.
The machine also has a variety of high level features – an automatic thread trimming system, large workspace, an automatic high adjuster. It also works as a sewing machine and comes with 291 built in stitches, 10 buttonholes, automatic feed thread, and automatic height adjuster. f you find this type of machine interesting, you might also take a look at the Brother LB5000S sewing and embroidery machine. This is a lower level machine with a 4″x4″ hoop but it does come with interchangable faceplates of star wars characters and various ways to get Star Wars designs.
If you’re looking for a little higher end Janome option then you might take a look at the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 14,000. This is a significant step up and is about a $7,000 machine for sewing, quilting, and embroidery. Speaking of embroidery, it has 350 built-in designs, 11 fonts for monogramming, and a maximum hoop size of 9.1″ x 11.8″. It embroiders a nice 1,000 stitches per minute.
The nice thing about this option is that you can use it as your do it all, high-quality machine. Quilters or sewists will find 400 built-in stitches and 13 one-step buttonholes. It also has an impressive array or quilting features and a large 7.7″ x 4.7″ touchscreen.
We’ve touched on a few of these combo sewing machines. Some group members liked the combo ones but I will note that many said if you’re going to be doing much embroidery it makes a lot of sense to have multiple machines so you don’t have to keep switching settings and accessories back and forth. That becomes really taxing. Still, if you’re limited on space a combo machine might be your best option.
We already featured one of the lower-level Baby Lock – the Baby Lock Alliance. Now we’re going to show you something higher level – the Baby Lock Valiant. The Baby Lock Valiant is a 10-needle machine and a top option for home or professional use.
It goes 1,000 stitches per minute and has the industrial-type power for an at-home machine. The 10 needles allow you to make fancy, multi-colored designs time-efficiently. The Valiant can perfectly place a design with its digital camera, NeedleCam, and zoomed-in view. It also has an advanced LCD screen, and multiple hoops up to 7 7/8″ x 14″.
The Husqvana Viking Designer Epic 2 is a high-performance option that offers advanced features for creating stunning designs. With its large area, you can stitch larger designs with ease. The user-friendly touchscreen interface makes navigation a breeze, allowing you to access the machine's built-in designs and font styles effortlessly. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced user, the Husqvana Viking Designer Epic 2 is perfect for all skill levels. It offers versatility and functionality that will take your projects to the next level.
For embroidery it has a unique feature that allows one to embroider three-dimensional ribbon designs as shown in the picture below.
The Designer Epic 2 also has a growing library of designs, laser sewing guidance, and design placement through an app on your phone. One of its handiest features is called the JOYOS Advisor. This shows up on the large touch screen and automatically and instantly sets the best stitch, stitch width, stitch length, thread tension/portioning, and presser foot for the project you’ve chosen.
For our final option, I will point out the SWF MAS-15, which may be appropriate if you own a business and/or do production embroidery. This industrial option is a 15-needle machine that comes with a table and stand. It stitches up to 1200 stitches per minute, has a 10.4″ touchscreen LCD panel and loads of advanced professional features. I realize this isn’t for everyone but if you have a business where you produce large amounts of embroidered garments you should take a look.
Key Features to Consider When Buying
Built-in Designs and Fonts
When choosing the right machine, it's important to consider the built-in designs and fonts it offers. Look for one with diverse designs and font styles. This will allow you to easily personalize your projects and explore the possibilities of customizing your own designs. Some machines even offer licensed Disney designs for added creativity. Additionally, ensure it has built-in editing features that allow you to customize the designs to suit your style. With various built-in designs and fonts, you'll have endless options to create beautiful and unique projects.
When choosing the best embroidery machine, it's important to consider connectivity options. Look for a machine with USB connectivity, allowing you to import designs from your computer or other devices easily. Some machines even offer wireless connectivity, making design transfer even more convenient. It's also worth considering machines compatible with popular embroidery software, giving you access to a wider range of design options. Additionally, many embroidery machines can be connected to apps or online communities, providing inspiration and tutorials. Choose one with the necessary connectivity options to suit your specific needs.
When choosing an embroidery machine, throat width is an important factor to consider. It determines the maximum width of fabric it can accommodate. If you have larger embroidery projects, choosing one with a wider throat width is essential for greater versatility. However, remember that a larger throat width may result in a larger overall equipment size. Make sure the throat width aligns with your intended use and project requirements. This will ensure you have the workspace to create beautiful embroidery projects.
When choosing the best embroidery machine, it's crucial to consider the user interface. Look for equipment with a user-friendly interface for easy navigation and customization. Touchscreen interfaces are particularly intuitive and make it simple to edit embroidery designs. LCD screens with clear menu options and icons enhance usability and ease of operation. Additionally, consider the placement and layout of buttons and controls for comfortable and efficient use. An intuitive user interface will streamline your embroidery workflow and enhance your overall experience.
What are some creative projects you can undertake with your embroidery machine?
Embroidery machines offer endless possibilities for those with a creative flair. Personalize clothes and accessories, add a touch of elegance to home decor items, embellish quilts and blankets, provide custom embroidery services, and delve into the world of intricate freestanding lace designs. With an embroidery machine at hand, the only limit is your imagination.
The best part about these machines is that they come with various built-in designs that make it easy to get started right away. You can also download designs from the internet or create your own patterns using software programs. Whether you're a professional embroiderer or just starting out, an embroidery machine can help bring your ideas to life with stunning precision and detail.
Conclusion on the Best Embroidery Machine
Thank you for joining us to look into the factors to choosing the best option for you. To truly unleash your creativity and make the most of your embroidery machine, consider exploring various projects beyond the traditional. Personalize gifts for loved ones with monogramming or experiment with applique embroidery to add texture and depth to your designs. Let your imagination run wild and create unique pieces like embroidered home decor, fashion accessories, and intricate quilt designs. Your embroidery machine can bring your ideas to life, so don't be afraid to push boundaries and try new techniques. With dedication and practice, you'll soon be creating stunning and one-of-a-kind masterpieces that showcase your talent and passion for embroidery. So go ahead, get inspired, and let your creativity soar!
Before you leave, make sure to come and join us in our Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop Facebook Group. We have almost 100,000 sewists willing to share sewing tips. You can also share what you make and get information on new sewing patterns, projects, and more.