Embroidery is by no means a cheap pastime. You’d have to buy embroidery thread which can cost at least $5 per spool. Digitizing software can cost $1,000, or more. And of course, you’d have to buy an embroidery machine the price of which starts at $500.
Thus, it is not surprising that people who want to embroider at home usually opt for cheap embroidery machine. But is it really practical to buy a sub-$500 embroidery machine? Or is investing in a more expensive unit more practical in the long run?
It really depends on how cheap the embroidery machine. If we’re talking of machines that are less than $100, then you may want to pass up on one. Sub-$100 embroidery machines are often of poor quality.
If you’re really serious in learning the trade, then you would want to use a machine that has the features to grow your skills. Moreover, a good quality machine can also last more than a couple of years.
If you can increase your budget to at least $300, you should have a few good options to choose from. Some of the good brands like Brother and Singer have home embroidery machines that sell at that price range.
Features typically found in expensive machines
Like in almost any other purchase, the quality of the machine embroidery is almost always parallel with the price of the machine. Simply put, the more expensive the machine is, the more likely that it is of superior quality.
If you prefer a machine that has a surplus of features, then it is recommended to spend on a good brand. Most of the time, good brands like Janome, Singer, Bermina, and Brother have units that are rich in features designed to make embroidery less taxing to its users.
Settling for cheap embroidery machines may also mean you’re missing out on features that can help you embroider faster and more efficient. For instance, high-end models usually can stitch at higher speed some at 650 stiches per minute.
More expensive machines usually are of the multi-needle set-up, providing convenience and professional-looking results to its users. With four or more needles loaded with various thread colors, these machines are capable of virtually running by themselves. Color changes are also handled seamlessly.
Expensive embroidery machines can also let you download patterns from the Internet, giving you tons of options when it comes to the design of your project. These models have hundreds of integrated patterns that you can choose from, aside from alphabet fonts and sizes. And more expensive machines have built-in memory that lets users save their favorite designs.
Moreover, cheaper embroidery machines have small embroidery areas. This may not be an issue at all if you’re a beginner, as you would likely not work on large projects. But if you’re an expert or intermediate user, you’d like to have a high end machine with at least an 8×10 inch area.
This is not to say that you’re getting a cheap deal when you opt for embroidery machine that sells for $300 or less. At that price range, you should be able to snag a sewing and embroidery machine combo. You’ll also be able to find one with alphabets in various fonts and sizes, with control panels and LED screens.
But there’s also the inescapable fact that not everyone has the money to spend on a high end embroidery machine. It really doesn’t mean that you will have to settle for a lemon of a unit if you don’t have more than $300 to spend on an embroidery machine.
So how do you find a reasonably priced but still good performing embroidery machine?
Here are some tips that you should know:
1. Go to a sewing machine dealer and ask if it is selling embroidery machines that have been traded in for new models. While you will be settling for used machines, you might still be able to get a good quality unit.
2. You can also check the websites of reputable brands like Singer and Brother. You could get lucky and find a couple of high quality but reasonably priced machines offered in their websites. Aside from getting a unit that is within your budget, you can also benefit from money-back guarantees and warranties offered by these firms. You can also look for discount coupons online which may be applicable on the cheap but good quality embroidery machine that you are interested in.
3. Check online retail stores which may be offering embroidery machines from respectable brands at reduced prices. There are also online retail stores offering free shipping, which can give you substantial savings.
4. You can also visit traditional, brick-and-mortar stores for embroidery machines that may be priced very low. One advantage of going this route is that you can scrutinize the machines before buying them. You can also get the chance of trying the product you have chosen on the spot, and even use the machine as soon as you get home.
5. Finally, you can ask friends and relatives if they have old embroidery machines that they want to dispose of. You can even ask your friends and colleagues if they know one who’s willing to sell an old but still serviceable unit.
Other Buying tips cheap embroidery machine versus expensive ones
In case you have enough money to buy an expensive home embroidery machine, there are also several things you have to consider when purchasing one.
One consideration is the method by which you will obtain the embroidery designs. Find out how you will be able to get embroidery designs. Do you need an additional hardware or software to be able to use the designs you found on the Internet?
Also, ask about the embroidery format that the machine uses. Embroidery designs are available in various formats. You have to make sure that the machine you’re getting can read embroidery design formats you are likely to use.
The bottom line is that if you’re serious in picking up embroidery as a craft, then you should invest in a good quality embroidery machine. And most of the time, it means having to spend on an expensive unit.
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