Source: The Stitch Times: March 2009

 

Deciding whether you need to buy a single- or multi-head embroidery machine, or a combination of the two, depends on several factors. Here's what you need to know to keep your shop stitching profitability.


- By Jimmy Lamb


Embroidery machines exist in a wide variety of sizes, from one head up to 30 heads and even more. With multi-heads, the four-, six- and 12-head models are more predominant than the 20-head-plus mega-machines, but still the choices are many. So how do you choose the best machine for your business and your customers' needs?


The majority of new embroiderers start with a single-head machine and move on from there. Though sewing quality and operational features vary from brand to brand, the typical single head can handle a wide variety of garments including caps, shirts, jackets, aprons, etc. And when outfitted with specialty attachments, the repertoire of products expands to include CD cases, golf club head covers, wine bags, shirt pockets, pants legs, pet collars, etc. Single-head machines usually can sew at higher speeds better than multi-heads. And of course, the small size and simple power requirements make these machines ideal for home-based operations. The most common reason for purchasing a single-head machine is the cost.


Since most new embroidery shop owners have reservations as to how successful they'll be, they look for ways to enter the industry with the lowest investment possible. There's nothing wrong with this thinking, as long as the machine you choose does what's needed to bring in the revenue required to operate your business.


However, buying the wrong equipment, no matter how cheap, may impact your ability to provide the products and services needed to make a legitimate profit.