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Buying Embroidery Machines
When shopping for embroidery machines, remember that there are different types of equipments that can be classified under embroidery machines, based on function, size and use. The most common types are those that need manual operation to create designs on fabrics and other materials, and are mainly used for fiber art and quilting projects. These are:
1. Embroidery only Machine: This unit is meant only for embroidery and can be a great accompaniment for sewing machines, and for creating simple embellishments of existing items. Portable, so best for homeowners who love to embroider.
2. Combination Embroidery Machine: This equipment combines sewing and embroidery features into one unit. Great for tailors or sewers who want to embroider too.
3. Commercial Embroidery Machine: Has multiple needles. Several colors can be threaded before starting work on the design so a lot of time is saved. Units can be large, so best for commercial and heavy use.
Computerized Embroidery Machines:
Computerized Embroidery Machines, though a little more expensive than conventional embroidery machines, are most convenient for hobbyists and professionals alike. These units are capable of automatically creating designs from pre-made patterns that are fed into them through CDs, floppy disks, or flash cards. They can also be connected to a computer to create custom designs.
The average Computerized Embroidery Machine costs around 500-600 dollars, along with the digitizing software program. Additional embroidery patterns can be bought from manufacturers, and other companies dealing with these kinds of embroidery accessories. However, many people prefer to create their own patterns by attaching the machine to a computer loaded with digitizing programs capable of resizing, editing and creating patterns.
Embroidery machine software programs can be divided into Commercial software– for custom designs, Machine-specific software – That can be downloaded for personal use, Independent-vendor software - An add-on for converting formats, Independent-designers software – which requires brand-specific hardware and software.
Important Features to Look for:
After you’ve made a decision to buy an embroidery machine that you like, don’t forget to double check if the equipment incorporates any of these important features:
1. Mirror-image capability - enables symmetry and balance in the pattern-creating process.
2. Cutaway Backing – enables cutting the excess with a pair of scissors.
3. Tearaway Backing – enables the excess to be torn away after fabric is embroidered.
4. Automatic needle threaders.
5. Bobbin: The spool that holds the thread. The stitches on the underside of the garment are formed by the Bobbin thread.
6. Presser foot - a tool that is used to hold the fabric steady and provides support and stability to the garment being embroidered.
7. Hoop – another embroidery tool to hold the fabric steady.
8. Embroidery Scanner - can scan custom designs and convert them into stitches.
Popular Embroidery Machines:
Some of the more popular Embroidery Machines that you might want to consider before buying one include those manufactured by Tajima and Melco such as Bernina, Pfaff, Babylock and Brother; and other brands like White and Simplicity.
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