Selecting the RIGHT Industrial Embroidery Machine

There’s no one answer to “what’s the right embroidery machine for my business?” or “which one should I buy?” The answer will be different if you are just getting started in the embroidery business, adding a machine to your shop or looking for the right equipment to expand your production.

Start up embroidery businesses typically begins operating their shop out of the home with a single-head embroidery machine.  This home-based business affords you the opportunity to work the hours that are right for you and keep your overhead costs low. Creating a business plan can help you decide whether you want to get into the monogram business, screen printing business, T-shirt printing business, commercial embroidery business or an internet only shop.

The average embroidery business start up begins with a 15 needle single head machine because of their low entry price and the ability to do most small and large projects. The 1501C has the advantage of a very small footprint, so it’s especially convenient for a home office environment.

Single head equipment is usually perfect for the start-up embroiderer, however you must also look at the niche you are deciding to pursue. Will the volume require a single-head, 2 head , 4 head , 6 head or an even larger industrial embroidery machine? Or will you need 2 or more single heads?

Compare Embroidery Machine Reviews

ColDesi’s SWF Embroidery Machines have outstanding reviews. Even though we have the the best  prices in the industry, it's the support, training and service that keeps our customers loyal. You can see by our Customer Success Stories how many of them are happy and successful doing business with SWF and Stitch It International!

Buying New Vs Used

When evaluating your apparel decorating business objectives and needs, there is no more common a question than "Should I buy a new or used piece of embroidery equipment". If you’re just looking at price, it would be easy to decide to buy a used commercial machine because it will definitely cost less than a new one. Or should you consider a new embroidery machine because it has a warranty, start up supplies, newer features, and you don’t have to worry about how it was maintained.

The following offers a little insight into both sides of the New Versus Used Embroidery Machine debate.

When does buying a used  make sense?

There are many factors to consider when buying used embroidery equipment, let’s take a look at just a few.

  • How old is the equipment you are interested in?
  • Are there new or used parts available in the market?
  • Do you currently own and operate an embroidery machine, same brand or maybe this is your first one?
  • Are you more or less mechanically inclined, will the machine be installed by a factory technician?
  • Is it still under factory warranty and if not is it being sold through an authorized agent of the brand?

After asking yourself these questions, you may consider purchasing a used machine from a private party, with no warranty or set-up. If you are already in the embroidery business and are more mechanically inclined than most, and you have a source for parts for the machine it may make good sense. Otherwise you can reduce your risks by buying from a company that sells the same brand new or has a good reputation for supporting what it sells, offers set-up as an option and can give you a meaningful warranty. In addition, you can reduce your risk further by buying a used embroidery machine that has been gone through and warranted by an authorized agent.

With the new equipment on the market today and easy-to-use digitizing software, creating designs and logos are easy.  But producing high-quality, commercial designs that can be sold to anyone does take TRAINING. Training that is provided free online for Stitch It International customers!

Stitch It International, for example, offers used SWF embroidery machines for up to a 2 year warranty, sells the products new and stocks thousands of dollars in embroidery machine parts.

How Can Stitch It International Make Purchasing Used Work For You?

Used embroidery machines for sale from Stitch It International are presented and advertised with integrity. We do not sell used Brother, used Barudan, used Happy, used Tajima or used Toyota machines because if we did we would be unable to properly service and support the equipment.

When you look at used or pre-owned machines on our site, you will see SWF embroidery machines only, all of which have been inspected and serviced by us and come with a warranty. When buying used, why choose a used SWF over other brands? One simple answer, Automatic Oiling System! SWF is one of the only manufacturers to offer this as standard equipment. Whether it's a single head or multi-head model, a used SWF machine will simply last longer than other brands due to the fact of consistent quality oiling.

In addition to that special oiling feature, SWF Used  Machines can be purchased through Stitch It International with additional and optional warranties, software, designs and training as if purchased with a new machine.

When to upgrade to a commercial

Many embroiderers and home sewing machine owners struggle with the decision as to when it is time to move into more industrial units. The issue of when to make the move from a home sewing machine like the Brother Entrepreneur Pro, a Janome or other consumer model, or even a move from a commercial single-head embroidery machine to a more industrial multi-head is an important one!

Here are three factors to help you determine when it is the best time to move your business to the next level.

1. Physical size of your jobs - Size does matter when doing some work. Many users of home machines have become very creative, as sewers are known to be, by using their home embroidery machine, (such as the Brother embroidery machine “PR 600”, a Bernina equivalent or machines like the Husquvarna, also known as Viking and of course the Singer Sewing/Embroidery machines) to do large field.

For example, if you are trying to sew out a design that is outside the limits of the home machine’s hoop size, like a large sweatshirt or sewing a logo on a beach towel, you will be challenged to do this type of job in a timely manner. Not only beach towels and sweatshirts that need embellishing but also jackets, horse blankets etc. are all very difficult. So, In order to recognize one of the reasons to move from that home machine to a more industrial model, ask yourself “how much time am I spending on re-hooping or fiddling with alignment issues?” If it’s more time than you're actually embroidering you may consider taking a step up to a commercial single head instead.

2. Time is an issue - If you have already taken the step to an industrial, also referred to as a commercial or computerized, and even if you’re an old pro with a shop full of  machines, there is one tell-tale sign that doesn't lie about the fact you need a new system that is larger, faster or both to run your business successfully – TIME.

There are so many shops out there, including home based businesses that operate with a head down mentality, meaning running their equipment  (head down) more than running their business heads up (what new business is out there to get?). If you are running out of hours in the day either with your home sewing machine, OR running a commercial shop, you need to upgrade or add new equipment to your business.

3. Types of Jobs  - The variety and size of jobs you can take with a commercial equipment can really make a difference in your income. For example, the SWF quick-change cap system allows you to quickly switch between embroidering on caps to flats, allowing you to maximize your time and income for this work. If you use a home sewing system, you may be turning away jobs to do very high volumes, or even low volume but heavy items like jacket backs, beach towels and more. This is a sure sign you need to upgrade!

If you’re running an existing shop, what’s the secret to being more productive? It is actually not that difficult; add additional capacity to your business so that you can spend less time embroidering and more time looking for additional business. Sure, you may have to make some new designs for those new customers but that work will pay off when you are shipping more shirts and hats to these new found customers.

When does buying a new embroidery machine make sense?

If you are just starting in the business, IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to either buy a new machine, which will include all the things you will need such as training, support, start-up kits etc. Or if you decide to purchase a used machine make sure it’s from a company that can provides the same kind of start-up service. When you ask any business owner, they will tell you how important it that the machine works right out of the box and you get trained on how to use it!

Used Embroidery Machines For Sale, buying with confidence. Stitch It International Certified Used Machines Prices.

Now that we have discussed some of the pros and cons of buying new versus used equipment, let's highlight what is most important in this process.

If you decide that a used machine is for you, make sure it has some kind of warranty. If it is factory certified, that's even better and the warranty should reflect the company's willingness to support what they call used and what would be considered certified pre-owned. A certified pre-owned machine is updated within reason to the highest standards and run very similar to a new machine.

Used, would imply "as is" and the probability of a cash and carry type of sale (only buy this if you are confident in your technical skills). If you are new to the apparel decorating business or adding this to another business but have no prior experience, make sure the used machine you purchase can be sold with a "new" machine start-up package and support.

Lastly, consider the long term costs associated with a used machine that has either a limited or non-existent warranty as it may very well cost you much more than a new machine in the long-run.

Adding addition equipment to big shops

This last tip is for the avid apparel decorator who really wants the most out of their time and investment. Answer these questions about the kind of jobs that you are typically producing. Are they short runs with many different designs? Are they longer runs with high stitch counts? Do you know the next shirt customer to walk in the door? Have you lost work to offshore exporters?

If you answered yes to two of these questions there are embroidery machine options that will really help your business. If you are doing short-run jobs with a lot of change in designs, then consider looking at buying 2 or more single head machines.

If you are losing work to offshore competition it is probably on higher stitch-count designs or large runs that are hard to beat from a cost perspective. The ultimate solution here is the all new K Series Machines ranging from 2-54 heads (The fastest Industrial Strength  Machines in the World). These machines will reduce your labor costs, increase production, decrease shop space requirements and allow your business to win back deals for the domestic market.

At the end of the day, there are many successful shops that have recognized when it was time to invest in additional or upgraded embroidery machines and when you meet one, ask them how they did it. Most are sure to answer you with a smile (embroiders are good like that).

If you need help deciding and pricing embroidery machines, the experts at Stitch It International are ready to help! Simply choose Contact Us and fill out the form or call the number at the top of this page.

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