New to Embroidery! Help Please?

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Old February 9th, 2011, 01:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
Dan Forman Dan Forman is offline
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Default New to Embroidery! Help Please?

Hello there! I am new to the embroidery world and am looking for input and help in starting a small business from home. I would love to hear yalls sugestions on machines, classes, how to get started. I would appreciate all of your comments. Thanks Dan
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Old February 9th, 2011, 05:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
AlisonB AlisonB is offline
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Default Re: New to Embroidery! Help Please?

Do you have ANY machine yet? Any software?
Even a home machine can get you started, but if you want to make a business of it then get a commercial single-head to start with.
Get one with as many needles as you can afford. I have a 12-needle, and if I could go back and choose again I would get a 15-needle. Why - when so many designs are less than 6 colours? Because you can leave your most used colours on the machine, and change only what you have to.
Word of mouth is the best advertising. MAKE some things and show them around.
People like to personalize their stuff. Make a sample of names in different fonts.

Not sure about classes in your part of the world - I'm pretty far off! You should get training from whoever you buy a machine from.
You also have a wider choice of machines. Who would have the nearest service centre?
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Old February 9th, 2011, 04:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
EnMartian EnMartian is offline
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Default Re: New to Embroidery! Help Please?

If you can find a trade show, go and look around. You can see a variety of machines, talk to vendors, learn about supplies, the whole deal and it's all in one place. There are the ISS Shows, the NNEP has shows, and there are the DAX shows. Any of those shows could be useful.
Embroidery and Sublimation Supplies
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Old February 9th, 2011, 06:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Re: New to Embroidery! Help Please?

Hi Dan.

They are correct, you can try ads on here, embroidery yellow pages, and craigs list/ebay, but just beware on there for your first machine. Cause you get it, and good luck. No warranties or anything.

Here is post that I wrote a while back for another member, I'm pasting it here to save myself the re-type, forgive me if its info overload. Feel free to post any other questions.


in an attempt to answer your furhter questions about machinery and jobs here goes.

Machines: I personally would tell you to buy either a Tajima or Barudan. I own both. Both of them are great machines, I probably favor Baurdan a little more so, just because they seems to behave better on the extremely fine details. OK, now in effort to give you an un-biased opinion on machines here goes.

Barudan: Japanese made, awesome machines, nothing bad to say. I LOVE their cap system, due to their rounded arms.

Tajima: Great machines as well, the "M-Series" controllers are probably a touch more user friendly than Barudan.

Toyota: Basically a tajima, with a few less bells and whistles (that you probably don't need anyway)

SWF: Korean made machines, Cheaper, many of their parts are based of Tajima "old school" technology, the new LCD controlled ones I find to have an overly compliated control, everything is in a menu, and a sub menu, they run fast, still nice, but I haven't seen the fine detail quality come out of them like others. I can't endorse them, let's call it a bad experience, and leave it there. lol

Melco/Amaya: No matter what they say ... They ARE NOT MADE in USA. They are ASSEMBLED in USA. Start taking off covers and looking at solenoids and boards, they are mostly made in china. Although, I have never owned one, I have heard some REAL horror stories about them. Melco reels you in with a cheap price, but then they've got you with their funky proprietary file formats and stuff like that.

ZSK: German made, fast, reliable, nimble, but if you have something go wrong, they are a FORTUNE to fix. Also there is no universal timing on them (unless they've changed that in recent years) so in other words, every machine comes with a "timing gauge" if you ever need service, and you loose that ... in so many words ... you're totally screwed.

Brother: Good machines as well, Japan mande, not super common, however I did own a 4 head back in the day, was one of my first multi-head machines actually. I don't really have much bad to say about it, other than the bobbins, while yes, they do use the Jumbo-M bobbins, tensioning them can be a bit funky. If you use them, you should really use the magnetic core ones, this will help greatly.

Happy: Like using a jackhammer to embroider, lol. They are LOUD machines, their control panel desperately needs an update, and they are all in all quirky.

There are others out there too: Ricoma, Meistergram, Schiffi, Prodigi, I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but the moral is ... stay mainstream manufacturer.

Now as far as cost: This is going to hurt, and I'm sure there will be some rebuttals to this, but, I am going to say $20,000. Here's why. We all know that there are wants, and there are needs. I am saying that number bracing you for "impact" so to speak. I'll try to take this one thing at a time again.

Machine: For your first machine, buy new, reason being, if you buy new from the manufacturer, you get usually a 5 year warranty, and they will train you for free. They will teach you the basics and the not-so-basics and get you started, then if you find the need for another machine down the road, then you can buy used, cause you already know how to run it, so you're not buying a machine off craigs list, getting it home, and then saying to yourself ... ok, now what? Lets assume you buy a Tajima, NEO which is a good starter machine, it doesn't have the LCD screen, but its VERY easy just the same. You should be able to pick one of them up in the neighborhood of about $13,500 (I hope I'm still current on that assumption)

Software: You really do not need some fabulous or elaborite digitizing suite, start small, get a nice lettering & editing software that will allow you to do name drops and make very minor adjustments to files. You can easily send your logos out to a digitizer and have them done, then just mark them up a few bucks and charge it back to your customer. I'm going to say, you'll probably end up spenindg in the neighborhood of $1,000 for a nice setup here. NEVER under ANY circumstances buy used software, 99% of companies will NOT offer you upgrades or support for a re-sold or used product.

Hardware: Most machines come with everything you need to get started, 2 of each of the popular hoops 12cm's, 15cm's, 18cm's, some sort of jacket back hoop, and cap frame and driver. If you do a lot of heavy or odd things like dog collars, golf bags, ultra heavy canvas jackets, you may want to invest in a clamp system, Those are about $1,500, but not really a need.

Thread: It goes quick, and adds up faster than you think! For round numbers sake, lets say you have 30 colors and at about $7 (industry average) a cone thats $210 for one set of colors, not to mention you will probably want to have at least a few cones of each on your more popular colors. Trust me, its VERY easy to blow $500+ dollars on thread just by doing the, one of these, two of this, oh, thats a cool color. I've done it MANY times. lol

Other supplies: There is cut away stabilizer, Cap backing, tear away in different gauges and textures for various things, this all adds up as well, not to mention bobbins. There is spray tack for applique (if you get into that) there is spot remover, which is cheap and very handy. Oil. Spare needles.

Hoopmaster: This is a Godsend, and its a minimum of $1,000 for a complete set, while you may not need a complete kit for every hoop, its going to be at least $800. This is the board that helps you hoop things square and uniform every time. You really DO need this, just adjust once, hoop your shirt and go, then every time you re hoop a shirt you just make sure the garment is pulled down, and presto! Hoop. Same place, every time.

There are a million more goodies you can buy. Its very easy to to crazy here. Again, perhaps $20k is an exageration, but its a good number to prepare you, so you don't have "sticker shock" lol

Hope I've shed some light on a few things for you

Let me know if you have any other questions!
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Old February 12th, 2011, 09:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
SunEmbroidery SunEmbroidery is offline
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Default Re: New to Embroidery! Help Please?

There are free publications available to the decorated apparel industry. These magazines contain helpful articles and industry-related advertisements which allow you to become acquainted with the industry. These trade journals also contains tons of contact information for many suppliers ranging from machines to software to patches and more. Here are some links:




Custom Embroidered Polo Shirts with your logo

Embroidered Button Down Shirts no minimum
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Old October 20th, 2011, 03:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
chipper chipper is offline
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Default Re: New to Embroidery! Help Please?

Dont buy a home embroidery machine as it will get you nowhere. Save some money and get a professional machine. You can go for a toyota, tajima or a happy voyager. As for the softwares Wilcom is the best there is. You can easily sart your work from within your house. just go though the manuals that come with the machine and the software. they will help alot.
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