embroidery sewing machine

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Embroidery sewing machine

This article is a guide to embroidery machines. It tells you what they are, who would use them, and highlights important features of the different models available.

What is an embroidery sewing machine?

Embroidery machines help you create custom, decorative stitches. A machine for embroidery will save you time and effort when working on your sewing projects. It will also make it easier to create uniform stitches, textured stitching,  and advanced embroidery design patterns.

Embroidery machines work by holding and moving a hoop under its needle while the needle is sewing. Embroidery designs will either be pre-loaded, purchased digitally, or downloaded from your computer. 

Table of Contents

Our Number 1, and best rated, embroidery sewing machine

Brother SE600 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

Why we rate this the best embroidery sewing machine

  • Brother is a very trusted brand for embroidery and sewing machines. This combination model comes with 80 preloaded designs and 6 lettering fonts, which makes it very easy to use for beginners who want to start customising. 

  • There is also a USB port for you to import your own designs if you would like extra variety.

  • The best-selling Brother SE600 also includes 103 built-in sewing stitches, including 10 styles of auto-size buttonholes. So, customers have lots of variety for their embroidering needs and get great value for money.

  • Another key feature is the automatic needle threader, which is designed to be jam-resistant. 

  • The maximum sewing speed for this combination machine is 710 stitches per minute, while the maximum embroidery stitch speed is 400 stitches per minute.

  • This machine’s large 3.2” color touchscreen will also let you preview and make adjustments to your designs.

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This is rated our best value for money embroidery sewing machine

Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine

What you need to know

  • This machine has a larger embroidery field (5×7”) than the Brother SE600 (which has a 4×4” field). You’ll be able to customise bigger areas at once if you choose this model.

  • It also comes with more in-built designs (138 in total), but note that this model is embroidery-only. So, it’s not suitable for construction sewing. 

  • The embroidery stitch speed is 500 stitches per minute.

  • The machine is illuminated with bright LED lights for your convenience, making it easy to see your design as you work.

  • If your thread breaks, you will be able to use the buttons to skip backward to the point that the thread broke. You can backtrack in increments of 1, 10, or 100 stitches at a time, and the machine’s needle and hoop will move as you skip so that you can see (not guess) that you have gone back to the right point.

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The best of the rest

What you need to know

  • This Bernette model is among the top range combination machines, so it can both embroider and sew. The embroidery module is removable and includes 3 hoops. It’s perfect for quilting.

  • Its functions feature a semi-automatic needle threader. The needle can embroider at 500 stitches per minute, which is faster than some other brands and models.

  • The machine has a 5” LED color touch screen, so you can more easily use your fingertips to adjust, recolour, and reposition elements of your design as you work.

  • You can also program the foot control, which has a back-kick function.

  • Another of main the benefits is that the machine can read multiple embroidery file types.

  • If you require assistance, there are help menus which can identify the cause of trouble or guide a beginner through different ways to use the tools.

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 Janome Memory Craft 500E

What you need to know

  • The Janome Memory Craft 500E is one of the more expensive high-end options, but it has a long list of features. It comes with 160 built-in designs and 6 fonts.

  • It can embroider at between 400 and 860 stitches per minute, and will automatically return after a thread break to where it needs to be. If that’s not enough, one of its tricks is flexible stitch traveling. You can fast forward or back track by 1, 10, or 100 stitches at a time.

  • Four hoops are included with the product. The biggest hoop size is 7.9 x 11”, which is significantly larger than many cheaper models. The smallest is 5.5 x 5.5”.

  • The touch screen has advanced editing functions, so you can easily change details using the tips of your fingers. You can group, arc, flip and rotate, or resize on screen. You can also change the corner layouts.

  • The machine comes with a holder for bobbins, embroidery foot, and automatic tension control.

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Brother PE550D – great for fans of Disney

What you need to know

  • The Brother PE550D is perfect for Disney fans. It includes 125 in-built designs, including 45 images and characters from Disney. So, you’ll be able to add some Mickey Mouse magic to all of your custom creations.

  • It’s a very user-friendly model for fun embroidery-only creations. The included instructional DVD will support those new to the hobby.

  • This Brother product comes with a 4×4” hoop, an embroidery foot, a grid sheet, and alignment tools.

  • Having an automatic needle threader makes it easy to get started customising your clothing and accessories.

  • There is a USB port for you to add your own designs to the machine’s in-built memory.

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Brother LB5000S – Star Wars edition

What you need to know

  • This special edition Brother embroidery machine comes with 10 downloadable Star Wars designs and 4 Star Wars faceplates. You’ll be able to customise your fabric with Darth Vader, Princess Lea, R2-D2, and more.

  • It’s a computerised combination machine, so you can both embroider and sew with this single themed product. 

  • Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, there are 80 other designs for you to choose from. The faceplates are adhesive and removable.

  • The 4 x 4” embroidery field comes with an appropriate hoop, embroidery arm, and 7 sewing feet.

  • The standard Brother 3.2” LCD touch screen is included in this model.

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What you need to know

  • The Bernette 70 Deco is ideal for embroidery specialists, or those who want to enjoy a luxury embroidering experience.

  • Editing your designs will be easy on this 5” color LED screen. 

  • This machine has 200 in-built designs,which means it offers more variety out of the box than most. There will definitely be something for everyone in this library.

  • The maximum embroidery area for this machine is perfect for users who would like to work on large designs. It measures at 10.2 x 6.2”. 

  • The knobs on the machine are multi-function and easy to use.

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What you need to know

  • This is another embroidery only machine designed for beginners and experts alike, so it’s very easy to get started once you unbox it.

  • There are step-by-step  tutorials you can follow on the LCD screen. The tutorials offer tips and tricks for beginner level embroidery.

  • The needle is threaded automatically in this model. It’s a very helpful feature for those who want or need to take some of the eye strain out of embroidery.

  • 80 designs and 9 fonts come included, and you can transfer more designs from a USB to the machine.

  • Brother PE535 has a 4 x 4” embroidery field which is best for users who would like to work on a multitude of smaller projects.

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What you need to know

  • With 240 built-in stitches for sewing, 138 kinds of design, and a handy USB port, you will have a large stock of ready-to-go elements to work with as well as the potential for adding more yourself.

  • The 11 fonts included are designed for both lettering and monogramming.

  • The combination machine includes a 5 x 7” embroidery field and 8 sewing feet. 

  • It even works well on thin and stretchy fabrics, which some other machines struggle with.

  • Having a jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin and a needle that threads with just the press of a lever takes away the fiddliness for you.

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Who would use embroidery sewing machines?

Anyone who would like to make embroidery easier in their sewing project might use sewing machines that embroider. Embroidery machines will let you customise anything from coats, to cushions, to towels.

All you need to do is stretch fabric over the hoop and secure it under the needle, reposition the embroidery design, and change colours for the different elements of your pattern. You can also use the machine’s touch screen to mirror individual elements and resize the image.

What features to look for when buying an embroider machine?

There are several features you will want to be aware of when browsing sewing embroidery machines. To get the best machines embroidery sewing experience, look out for:

 

  • Hoop size. The embroidery area you will be able to sew in one go will depend on the hoop size that your machine has. The larger the hoop, the more expensive the sewing and embroidery machines will normally be. 
  • Stitches per minute. Choosing a machine with a high stitch speed will mean that you can machine sew your designs faster. A complicated design might involve over 100,000 sewing stitches, so it’s important to consider speed when picking your model.
  • The type of screen. Getting an LCD screen with high resolution colour will increase the ease of your sewing project, and will likely make it more enjoyable too.
  • Number of needles. If your machine only has one needle, you will need to stop to thread your needle with a different colour at the right time. If it has multiple needles, this will be less of an issue because you can set them up with different colours.
  • The size of the machine. Embroidery and sewing machines can take up a significant amount of space. Choose a machine which can both embroidery and construction sewing to maximise your workspace.
  • Pre-loaded embroidery designs. Having a good range of in-built designs will be helpful to beginners getting to grips with the basics. However, you will be able to purchase more later, or design your own if you invest in specialist software.

 

What does a cheap sewing embroidery machine cost?

The cheapest kind of sewing machine with embroidery costs around $350-$400. The exact price depends on which product deals are available at the time of purchase.

The reason these machines are cheap is because they come with less functions. You might have a smaller hoop, less designs, and less automatic features.

What does the best embroidery sewing machine cost?

The best embroidering machines will have a wide selection of the features listed above: large hoops, a colour LCD touch screen, multiple needles, and a fast stitch speed.

The pricing for these embroidery machines can be as high as $2000.

Can a sewing machine do embroidery?

It is possible to do free hand embroidery with a regular sewing machine, but this takes a lot of skill. You need to be able guide your fabric through the sewing machine and move your hands in time with the sewing. 

You might also need to change the settings of your sewing machine so that you can embroider. This involves things like lowering the feed dogs, using darning plates, adjusting the stitch width and length, and potentially purchasing another pressing foot.

An embroidery machine makes the process of sewing your designs simpler, so you won’t have to create them free hand.

What is the difference between an embroidery machine and a sewing machine?

Embroidery machines are different to sewing machines because of the type of stitching they are designed for.

A sewing machine is intended to be used for construction sewing, while embroidery machines sewing is designed for creating artistic patterns. 

A useful video for you

Want to learn more? Well here is a useful video that provides you with more useful information when looking to make a purchase.

About the author

Ruth Hopkins

Ruth Hopkins

Ruth is a freelance writer with a passion for arts and crafts. She has been writing on the subject for a number of years.

Outsife of her writing and arts and crafts, Ruth is a keen cyclist. She enjoys the freedom it gives her and loves just disappearing in to the mountains for a long Sunday ride.

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