What is an embroidery machine?

In this article, we looked at the question: What is an embroidery machine? The names we used to know from the automobile or computer sector: Toyota and Brother. This is more surprising when handcrafter are using different yarns in a device with tHesse names.

These companies mainly produce embroidery machines for the large-scale industry. After all, every shirt, every sweater, and last but not least every trouser has the word / logo of the producing company. Since the development of embroidery technology is very cost-intensive, the international manufacturers have developed semi-professional devices for the market of small and medium-sized enterprises. And simple embroidery machines for the private household.

Embroidery module of an embroidery machine

Embroidery module of an embroidery machine

Basically, an embroidery machine embroiders a desired embroidery motif on a textile fabric, e.g. Fabric, jeans, felt etc. Devices for simple, private use are visually similar to the known construction of a sewing machine. In this case, an embroidery frame (hoop), which is covered with the textile, is placed in a sewing table below the needle, which moves it automatically in the horizontal and vertical axis during the embroidery process. This keeps the needle in the same position.

A combined variant is called sewing / embroidery machine. The name suggests that this machine can be used for both sewing and embroidery. These models are cheap and therefore ideal for beginners. For large projects, however, these machines can be used only to a limited extent, since the maximum embroidery surface is relatively small and not only the sewing table has to be changed constantly, but also the embroidery foot has to be removed with a screwdriver and replaced by the presser foot.

Pure embroidery machines differ in two versions. Both allow larger projects as well as larger embroidery motifs through larger embroidery hoops. Embroidery machines that look like classic sewing machines work with a needle. A change of yarn is also necessary for every color change. More professional devices work with up to 15 needles, each with up to 1,000 stitches per minute. It is also logical that 15 different yarn reels can be threaded. The machines are similar to an oversized overlock machine. With stitching.

How does an embroidery machine work?

Older devices receive the embroidery information of the desired motif on an embroidery card, which is inserted into a lateral insert (slot). Newer devices are connected to the computer with a USB cable, or already have an input for a USB memory stick.

Embroidery file stored on a USB

Embroidery file stored on a USB

The information for the embroidery motif is stored in a particular file format and is only a few kilobytes. All machines work with paths (vector-bobbed), which consist of a mathematical formula and therefore require little memory space – in contrast to pixel graphics. Each stitch is pre-programmed. Lines (also: Outlines) are created, for example, in a zigzag stitch, straight stitch or triple stitch. Surfaces are applied in satin stitch, fill stitch, cross stitch, circular stitch, radial stitch or spiral stitch.

If a motif consists of several colors, the embroidery file contains both the information about the sequence to be stitched (steps) as well as the color of the thread to be threaded.

Embroidery machine connections, e.g. USB-port

Embroidery machine connections, e.g. USB-port

What are the formats / file formats?

The manufacturers of embroidery machines have never been able to agree on a file standard so that each manufacturer specifies at least his own embroidery format. This leads to confusion, especially for beginners, so here all common embroidery formats in an overview (alphabetical order):

  • Brother (*.PES)
  • Husqvama / Viking (*.HUS, *.SHV, *.VIP)
  • Janome (*.JEF, *.SEW)
  • Melco (*.EXP)
  • Pfaff (*.PCS)
  • Singer (*.CSD, *.XXX)
  • Tajma (*.DST)

How expensive is an embroidery machine?

The prices for embroidery machines vary between a good computer and a well-equipped mid-class vehicle. The described beginners with sewing and embroidery function begin at approx. 700, – EUR. For medium class models with a larger embroidery surface, you have to place between 2,000 and 8,000 EUR (NP) on the counter. These devices have numerous settings with touchscreen. Professional embroidery machines with several yarn rolls start at approx. 10.000, – EUR. There are no limits to the top.

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