Embroidery Machines





1.  What's the difference between a good quality commercial embroidery machine and a home/hobby machine?

Well of course there are differences and depending upon the make and model, those differences can be very significant.   There is a good reason why a high quality commercial machine costs more than a home/hobby type machine.

Home / hobby machines have gotten better and some makes like Brother PR have great features that are not included in commercial machines. 

They are designed for light to medium home/hobby use only.   The internal parts are moslty metal but the outer cases are generally made of plastic.   The motors for driving the machine and the hoop movement system are designed to operate only up to a certain speed and have a power rating suited to a light weight embroidery machine.

This is most noticeable when you run a design that has longer stitches.  When the stitch length increases past 2 or 3 mm then the machine speed will decrease quite significantly.   A commercial machine has much stronger mechanisms, more powerful motors and advanced electronic control systems that allow it to continue running at high speed even on much longer stitches.


Commercial quality machines like Barudan are not necessarily for everyone

You might not need the speed, the flexibility and embroidery quality provided by a commercial machine. 


A good quality, commercial machine can quite literally be run for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and if maintained well should last well in excess of 10 years or more.

Whilst some of the home/hobby machines do have some very useful features like automatic needle threaders and cameras, they tend to have a much smaller embroidery area, run much more slowly (especially on designs that have longer stitches and are not nearly so versatile when running tricky products like caps with centre seams.

Finally I would make mention of warranty. Typically a home/hobby machine will have a 12 month, back-to-base warranty whereas a good quality commercial machine like a Barudan can have up to 7 Years, electronic and major parts warranty and up to 7 Years stitch quality guarantee.

If you're running a business then the last thing you want or need is an expensive break down (especially when you are in start-up phase).   A 'world's best' embroidery machine warranty gives you that protection and peace of mind.



2.  What about Japanese made machines versus the lower priced machines from China - Are they comparable?

The short and simple answer to that is a very emphatic  No - They are not!


Japanese machines

Established companies like Barudan has been designing and developing advanced embroidery machines for more than 60 years.  They have many of the major developments in computerised embroidery to their name and they continue to build using high quality steels and aircraft grade alloys - in Japan. 

Barudan's custom designed, Japanese-made electronic control systems and motors are powerful and are built to withstand extreme work-loads and power conditions in countries all over the world so when their machines are used in a stable, reliable, power supply like ours here in Australia . . it's like a walk in the park.  

That's why there are so many Barudan machines still in use today that were first installed 20+ years ago and of course many more new models too.


Local parts supply - reputable machine manufacturers rely on reputable, local distributors who like us, maintain an extensive stock of spare parts, have a large team of well trained technicians.


World class warranty - A very quick and easy way to determine the quality of a product and the confidence of the local supplier is to find out what warranty and guarantees are offered.   Are they offered up front without your request or are they hidden on some obscure page, written in small print with disappearing ink and 3 pages of warranty conditions.



Chinese-made machines

At the time of writing this article there are as many as 50 companies who assemble copy embroidery machines in China.  

Now you'll notice that I said "COPY" and  "ASSEMBLE".  

  • They don't research and develop.  
  • They don't innovate and improve.   
  • They simply copy what is now very old Japanese technology, using low quality electronic and mechanical parts with inferior assembly too.  The majority of Chinese-made embroidery machines that I know of here in Australia broke down within the first year or two and were simply pushed into a corner to gather dust.
Now that's not to say that things won't change for the better in future but let me tell you that I've been watching the embroidery machine manufacturing industry in China very closely for almost 20 years and I have to say that whilst the machines look better now externally - What I see once the covers have been removed still fills me with much concern

So pleeeeeease - If you have some cash you'd like to throw away - throw it in my direction.   I need it  :o)


Now all jokes aside - Don't expect to pay peanuts and get a quality made, reliable machine. I have been in this industry for the best part of 45 years and I have not seen anything to convince me otherwise yet.

All of the Chinese made embroidery machines that I have seen (and I have seen many) could almost be mistaken for being from the same factory.   You see in a way, they are all the same.  They all buy the parts from completely separate companies and just put them together.   Beleive it or not there are even report of farmers who have decided to supplement their incomes by assembling muti-head embroidery machines in there farm buildings. NOW THAT'S SCARY.

(Now you know where the straw in the packing case came from)

  • There are only one or two companies who make the control systems
  • There are a few other companies that make the chassis
  • Other companies make sewing head castings
  • Finally there are some others that make needles bars, presser feet, gears Etc. Etc.

Every one of those 50 or so machine builders buys the parts from a series of manufacturers and then takes them back to their own building where they go about assembling them and painting them different colours with putting their own name on the front of each sewing head. Of course they all claim that their machine is in some way far superior to all others.   They are not!

They ship them out to different countries around the world where they are cheap but often run very badly with very high thread breakage and poor embroidery quality. They usually end up breaking down and the unlucky (or unwise) owners find that there are no spare parts locally - No technical support and as for warranty well that is in your dreams only.

What's the latest trend in Chinese-made machines?

Well, what has happened is that a couple of U.S. companies have decided to buy machines in China, paint them a different colour and put their own name on them. They don't actually say that the machines are made in the U.S. W@hat they might say is something like "Designed in the U.S." or "Development based in the U.S."

That may or may not be true but it is to say the least, worded in such a way as to to suggest to the unwary that perhaps it is an American embroidery machine.