Basic Care of an Embroidery Machine

Whether you sew constantly or occasionally, basic maintenance of your machinery is essential. Some models need to be oiled after every 10 hours of use. Always check your manual first. Some of the new machines do not recommend oiling unless it is done by an authorized trained technician.

If your manual recommends oiling, be sure to use proper sewing oil. Oiling not only lubricates the moving parts but also reduces the risk of rust. Refer to your owner’s manual for the right spots to oil. Not every hole needs oil! Some older models have marks to show you where to put the oil. After oiling, do some sewing on scrap material to absorb any excess oil.

Lint and fluff build up and should be removed. Fine working mechanisms such as the bobbin and tensions can be damaged by lint build up. Use a lint-removing brush or vacuum cleaner to remove this regularly. Never use sharp tools to dig out lint.

Treat your machine to a full service regularly by an authorized trained technician. This will keep everything working nicely – they can get out bits of thread, lint etc. that are stuck right inside the workings of the machine and could cause damage, or prevent it from sewing quite as well as it should.

Change your needle regularly. It is reccommended to change it after every 10 hours of sewing, or before you start a new project.

If in doubt, ask the experts. Your embroidery machine is a valuable and highly computerized piece of delicate technology. If you are not sure about anything, always check with an expert.

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Buying an Embroidery Machine

A good sewing machine dealer will be happy to let you try different machines and will show you how they work. You should sit down and play with them until you have a good feel for the machine.

Be comfortable with your machine. The most important aspect of choosing your computerized embroidery sewing machine is how comfortable you feel about its controls and viewing screen. Do you feel confused by it, or does it seem to make sense? Is it easy to get it to do what you want it to do, or does it seem illogical to you? The buttons, layout and procedures of the machine are what you will be dealing with, so make sure they make sense to you.

You should not feel pressured to buy a more expensive model. A good dealer will never try to offer you a special sale price that you have to take immediately or miss out on – rather, they should offer you the opposite – an extension of a special price so you have time to make up your mind comfortably.

Try before you buy. You should visit your local sewing machine dealers and try a variety of different machines to see what you like. Bring your own thread and your own fabric (of types similar to that with which you plan to do your regular sewing) to try the machines with. Note that some dealers will offer to provide these items for you. You should try your own anyway, as they may provide thread and fabric which the machine handles well, but that you wouldn’t actually want to use.

Ask about lessons and courses that the sewing center may offer. Some offer video tapes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask people who do machine embroidery.

Read the warranty before buying an electronic or computerized sewing machine to see how the manufacturer guarantees the electronics. Many manufacturers warrant the electronics for a shorter period of time than the mechanical parts of the machine.

Be familiar with the hardware requirements. If you want to connect your sewing machine to a computer for doing machine embroidery make sure that it can be connected to your type of computer. For example, some sewing machines can not connect to Apple computers, or your laptop may not have the correct port.

Most importantly, take into consideration the price of software needed. Dealers will always want to sell you the latest software to go with your machine. While some brands require brand specific software and hardware, others can use just as well generic programs like Embird. Do your research before you purchase your machine and it could save you money in the future.

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Machine Features

What support is available?  Is there a good sewing machine dealer in your area that supports your brand of machine? They will be able to help you use the machine, get supplies for it, and also service it.

The sewing field and hoop size. Embroidery designs come in different sizes. If your machine only has a small hoop size, you will be limited to what size design you can sew out. Everyone always wants to sew out the biggest size available. Standard sewing field sizes are 4×4″ 5×7″, 6×8″ and up to 8×12″ with some machines. The sewing field is the area inside your hoop where the design is sewn. The physical measurement of your hoop is different to the sewing field size.

How will you obtain your embroidery designs? Do you need any additional hardware and software to use designs from the internet with your machine? How will you transfer designs from your computer to your machine?

The embroidery format your machine uses. Embroidery designs come in different formats for the different brands of machine. You need to ensure the format your brand uses is commonly available online. If it isn’t, then you need to check what software you will need to convert to your required format. The major formats like PES (Brother) and HUS (Husqvarna) are commonly available. However, sometimes machines require a certain version of the format that is not available everywhere and you may need the software to convert to this. Do your research on this before you purchase.

Another thing to take into consideration when buying a machine is the cost of the digitizing software if you intend to create any designs yourself.

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Choosing a Machine

No doubt you will have seen some of the amazing embroidery sewing machines that are available now. Thanks to modern technology, scanning, programming and creating designs can now be a part of everyday home sewing and home embroidery.

You don’t have to be a computer whiz to operate these fantastic machines as they are very user-friendly. You can buy embroidery designs on diskettes to go with your machine, or download free embroidery designs from the Internet.

Remember that embroidery designs come in different formats for the different brands of machines.

Look into the different brands of embroidery machines available and choose one that suits you best.

Pfaff                             http://www.pfaff.com

Janome/New Home       http://www.janome.com

Brother                         http://www.brother.com

Husqvarna/Viking          http://www.husqvarnaviking.com

Bernina                         http://www.bernina.com

Elna/Esante/Babylock    http://babylock.com

Allbrands is a handy website with lot of information about the various brands of machines.

The latest versions of each machine will have the most up to date features, largest sewing fields, and easiest ways to transfer designs from the computer to your machine.  If you can afford the latest, then purchase it. But don’t worry if you can’t as the earlier machines are also great value and will enable you to create amazing projects.

Your time will be well spent initially doing some research on the Internet. You should have some idea of what options you want on your embroidery sewing machine before stepping into a sewing center and putting yourself in the hands of a salesperson.

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Organizing Embroidery Files

Often, this time of year is spent cleaning up our sewing rooms and organizing embroidery design files. It can seem overwhelming. How? What categories do you use? Fortunately, Secrets of Embroidery has a set of design category folders you can download for free!

Nearly all embroidery designs are downloaded today, so it is easy to lose track of them. The best thing is to file them just as soon as they are downloaded. Setting up a filing system makes it so much easier to find designs when you need them.

Get some organizing tips here, then click on the link to download the prenamed category folders.

You will find it in the Downloads folder on your computer.

Double click on the zipped file and a folder of design categories unzips.

If it looks familiar, it is because the organization folders follow the same format as the design category choices on Secrets.

Several subfolders are included under their respective folders. For instance, click on the Animals folder and you find several subfolders identifying different types of animals.

The same way, you will get subcategories of different animals when you click on the Animal category on the Secrets menu. How convenient! Just drag or copy your embroidery files into the corresponding category folder.

Sometimes, the hardest part is getting started. Now, you can keep your files arranged just like you are accustomed to searching for them on the Secrets of Embroidery site.

How do you organize your files?

 

 

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