Do you remember the first time you went to buy stuff for your first child?
As a new parent, you were so scared – you had no idea what exactly you were looking for or which brand was the best.For me, I will never forget that feeling when I went to buy my first embroidery machine…
Quite frankly, it reminded me all too well of that new parent feel. I was scared.
First, I had no idea what questions to ask because I had never done this before. I didn’t want to ask anything that might make me appear naïve, and I was unsure of what aspects of the machine were most vital – or even really mattered at all.
Secondly, I was not looking to spend an incredibly large amount of money. Of course, I wanted a high-quality machine but I was not looking to make a major investment because, once again, this was all new to me.
So, there I was – with no knowledge of embroidery machines aside from what they did, unsure of what questions to ask, and simply trying to stay within budget.
Is this feeling sounding all too familiar to you?
If you are on the hunt for your first embroidery machine, you are likely experiencing these same emotions right now – confusion, fear, worry, and even a bit of frustration.
But, don’t worry – although it might feel like it, you are not the first person, or only person, to have ever felt this way when it comes to shopping for an embroidery machine. I’m sure that crafters around the world can attest to having this same experience at one point in their crafting lives.
It is natural to feel this way, and I almost believe it is part of the fun – trust me, one day you will look back and reminisce and laugh about how inexperienced you were and how far you have come…
However, I do have a few tips for you that might make your first embroidery shopping experience a little less gruesome:
- Consider your intentions for the machine.
Most often, new crafters think of an embroidery machine as something to make t-shirts with…
Yes, this is the main use for an embroidery machine, but it does so much more than that. It can also be used with other fabrics to make towels, blankets, memory games and more.
So, start by considering what you plan to make with the machine. Then, consider how you plan to use the machine:
For personal use or business use.
This will play a big role in the volume your machine creates, which also plays a role in what kind you need.
For example, some machines are built specifically for business with mass production and can withstand continuous hours of operation.
- Consider the brand.
In general, most name brand machines are going to be of good quality. But, of course, there will be one that is the best fit for you.
Start by checking out the manufacturers’ blogs, websites, and forums to get a good feel for overall customer satisfaction. Read through a few of the comments to see if one specific complaint seems to be a trend – it might be the one thing you are looking for or looking to avoid, so it could be a deal breaker.
Determining the best brand for you can also help you narrow down your budget as some brands will be more expensive than others, even if the machine is on the cheaper end for that brand.
- Consider the embroidery designs.
Some machines already have the embroidery designs built into the memory while others can connect to a computer.
Depending on your needs and expectations, this may or may not be the main factor in your decision.
However, the to access the most stitches and designs as possible, look for one that will connect directly to a computer or one that can load files from a thumb drive.
- Consider the amenities offered.
Most embroidery machine dealers offer at least one owner’s class and the option of refresher classes to help you with your new machine.
Seeing as though you are new to the machine and probably the craft overall, these are a huge benefit.
Of course, you can typically locate these outside of the dealer, but having at least one provided and included with your purchase is a major cost-saver and help.
- Consider the warranty – is it included?
Regardless of if you go for the cheaper or the more expensive option, an embroidery machine is an investment nonetheless.
And, one way to get the most bang for your buck is to ensure there is a warranty and/or service included with the machine in the event that something should go wrong.
Otherwise, if such a mishap does occur, you are responsible for shipping it off to the manufacturer which could be timely, costly, and even risky.
- Consider the accessories.
Of course, a machine is great on its own, but you really get the most out of it when you start adding accessories and upgrades.
Before making a purchase, check out what options you might have in the future because a more expensive machine might have a feature you would want in the future, but a cheaper machine might offer the same thing just as an accessory.
Then, you could spread the costs out – rather than buying a more expensive machine now, just buy the accessory upgrade later on down the road.
- Consider the separate units.
If the embroidery unit can separate from the sewing machine then you will be able to use the same machine for sewing and quilting as well.
This is probably my favorite feature because you definitely get the most bang for your buck! And, if you are short on storage but would like all three capabilities, this can save you a ton of space in your crafting nook.
Buying your first embroidery machine might still present a little fear, and rightfully so. But, I hope these tips will help ease your mind a bit and offer you some insight as to where and how to begin your search for the perfect embroidery machine for you.
Now that I have shared my favorite tips for your first embroidery machine purchase, it is your turn.
Did I miss any steps? What tips do you wish you would have known when you bought your first embroidery machine?
Share with us in the comments!