We ahve a small business and I want to personalize my kids' shirts. What is a auitable model for this type of use?

You should look for a machine that has (at the very lease) a stitching (hoop) area of 5 x 7, or you will be limited to designs no larger than 4 x 4.

Also important is Internet connectivity. UBS port B is direct connection via a cable that comes with the machine and USB port A is a removable flash stick/drive. A is the most convenient, the PC needs to be near the embroidery machine to use the port B cable.

The less expensive machines use machine embroidery reader boxes and rewritable cards only – these are almost obsolete.

Bernina and Husqvarna are the most expensive and are proprietary when is comes to accessories (like additional UBS sticks).

Brother and Babylock are the same family of machines, the most user friendly and compatible with software, including the USB sticks.

Singer – has had an iffy reputation for several years.

They all are basically the same as far as functions. They get more expensive as the luxury features are added on.

You should be able to get an embroidery machine that has the larger stitching area and USB connectivity for around $1,000, or less.

You can buy new or a dealer may have a gently used one that has been traded up for one of the luxury models.

Do buy from a dealer for the support you may need.

Visit as many dealers as you can, watch the demos and then try the machines.

Buy the brand you like best from the dealer you like best.

Don't buy any software from a dealer until you have used the machine and are comfortable with what you can do with additional software – there are companies that have free trials that you can download and test.

For more discussions, you may want to sign up at: or

Both have a lot of embroidery machine discussions – the sites are free.


I want to get an embroidery machine that I can just put in what I want to embroider onto something and then let it go. I do not want to free hand embroider. Can someone help me, because I am unsure on which one to buy?

Any brand. However, Brother is the most user and software friendly.

Putting "something in" depends on what you mean.

Embroidery machines can only read machine embroidery formats.

There are many machine embroidery designs you can download from the Internet – some you purchase and some are free.

There will be some designs already built-into the embroidery machine, including alpha/numerical fonts.

Downloads or CDs have to be loaded on the PC. Then transferred to the embroidery machine.

How you get the design to the embroidery machine will depend on the capabilities of the machine.

Some use a machine embroidery formatted memory card – this type of machine will require a reader/writer unit and rewritable memory card for the brand and format of the machine.

Some use UBS port B direct connect cable. The cable comes with the machine and has to be connected to the PC for sending the design to the machine.

The best models have USB port A. You transfer the design to a flash stick and then insert it into the embroidery machine.

If you want to embroider your own art or clip art, you will need machine embroidery digitizing software and this starts at about $700.

Expect to spend at least $800. Plus another $50 or so for thread and stabilizer.