Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Part 2-Purchasing an Embroidery Machine

So we discussed some things to think about when you set out to buy a new sewing machine.  Now let's talk about another option.  Maybe you've seen some fun things done with an embroidery machine.  Monogram on towels are great, but there is so much more.  But hold on to your hat!  Like starting up any new craft, it can get expensive quickly.

It may have crossed your mind that this may become a business.  Again, do your homework before jumping in with both feet.  An embroidery business can be rewarding, but it does require investment of time and money.  Let's talk about embroidery as just a hobby.

First, deciding on a machine.  Again-lot's of choices.  And if you have NO experience, you'll want good support AFTER the sale.  Is the support within an easy travel distance?  You will probably have to take your machine and all your supplies to a class. You can take embroidery classes, but machines can vary with functions.  You'll want to learn on your machine.

Capabilities of the Machine.
Hoop Size
The more affordable machine may only have a maximum hoop size of 4x4 (inches).  That will be fine for the majority of designs out there.  But then comes that one design you find (that you have to have) that won't fit inside that hoop.

Someone says, "Oh, that's easy!  Split the design!"  Well, yes and no.  You will need to buy software to split the design and then have the skill to re-hoop your project and re-align the design.  There are some re-positionable hoops that assist with split designs without re-hooping, but that's another purchase.  (Beginning to understand why we need to think this through?)

Machine Communications
There will be some designs (and maybe letters or fonts)  included with your machine.  They are installed.  But you will need to get other designs (whether purchased or downloaded) to your machine.  Some machines require a direct hook-up to your computer, or designs can be transferred via a thumb drive.  Older machines may have a "card" option. This option requires a "card writer."  Yes, another option and purchase.

Depending on the machine you select, some design editing can be done by the machine.  Changing machine formats (not all machine brands speak the same language), enlarging a design, monogram designs, changing thread colors, combining or splitting designs, and digitizing (creating) your own designs are just a few things that software can do.

Here, again, there are lots of choices.  And many have free trials.  I encourage you to try them.  You most likely will not be able to save any work.  You will just be able to play and explore the capabilities.  And you should have some computer knowledge.  Some programs will work with Macs as well as PCs.  Some will not.

And, I assume, since you are reading this, you have a computer.  You need a computer.

Threads, Needles, and Stabilizers

Yes, there's more to buy to get started.  They are all necessary to get a good sew out.  It's another big subject - too many variations to get into here.  Just put it on your shopping list.

My intent is not to discourage or dissuade you from wading into the "embroidery" pool.  Just don't get in over your head.  Embroidery can be so much fun and very rewarding. I want to see you enjoying the processes and not frustrated by them.

If you missed our previous discussion about starting the sewing machine purchase process, click HERE to begin.

Want to know more?  Just ask...

Happy Sewing!

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