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How Do Embroidery Machines Work

There was a time when embroidery was done by hand and it was quite a difficult task. You would need to have some necessary tools such as needles, thread, fabric, and a hoop in one place to start the process. 

But with advancements in technology, hand embroidery was replaced by embroidery machines. Now, everything is on the computer, from designs to needle formation, everything is done by the magic of your fingers on the embroidery screen. Embroidery machines reduce time and also make everything simple and easy. You just have to follow a few steps and you will get your desired output. 

Embroidery machines are simple to use. However; if you have not used these machines in the past, using them will be a daunting task. It is true that machines are automatic but you still need to know how they work. 

You should have the knowledge to adjust the settings to get the desired result and in this article, you will find the know-how of how the embroidery machine works. After going through our article, you will surely know everything about how the embroidery machine works. 

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Have Everything Ready in One Place

The first thing that you need to do is to ensure that you have all the right equipment in one place because it will save you time and energy. These tools include different types of needles, threads, a bobbin, your fabric, embroidery computer software in your embroidery machine, a design in your software, a stabilizer, a notebook, embroidery hoops, scissors, and of course the embroidery machine. 

Related Article: How To Use An Embroidery Machine

The scissors will be used for cutting small threads that lurk outside the fabric when the project is finished. The stabilizer will be used for keeping the fabric in one place and also for making perfect stitches. A notebook will be used to note down all the readings and settings which would help you when you embroider again. Moreover, you would also need to pick a thread of your own choice that suits your design and fabric.

Set Up Your Machine 

When everything is ready, set up your embroidery unit. Connect your unit to a power supply and turn it on. See that everything is in place. Check whether your machine has pre-installed software or not. If it doesn’t have any pre-installed software,  purchase it and install it on the machine.  

Also, check if there are any errors or bugs in the machine. If so, call the expert and resolve it immediately.

If you want to know more about embroidery machines then check out our article on the best cheap embroidery machines.

Create/ Import/ Use an embroidery design

In order to create an embroidery design, you will have to make full use of your creativity to come up with an appropriate design. If you are creating the design for the first time, it is important to remember that it’s a technical job that requires having some technical knowledge regarding embroidering. The first thing that you need to consider is the fabric on which the design will be transferred.

Furthermore, Check whether the fabric is thick or thin because some machines don’t work well on thick fabrics. And consider different types of needles. Most of the time, needles break on heavy fabric. Plus, you should also keep in mind how many needles and colors your machine can accommodate. Also, make sure that the design should be that much that the embroidery machine can handle or you will have to break up your project into small sections. After considering all these factors, you can start stitching. 

However, if you find this a bit difficult, you can always import design files from the internet or use the pre-existing designs files of your embroidery machines. You can edit them in the embroidery software. It will save you a lot of time.

If you want to know more about pre-existing design files in the embroidery machines, check out our article on the best commercial embroidery machines. All the machines in that article include some of the best and modern-day preprogrammed designs.

Use And Transfer the Design File

After creating, importing, or using the pre-existing design, you must save it in a format that your machine can read such as PEC, PES, PHC, PHB, SHV, HUS, VP3, VIP, JEF, JEF+, DST, SEW, EXP, ART(v1-v3), EMB (v1-v6), XXX, JAN (v1). 

Keep in mind that each embroidery software has its own file format. Therefore, it is necessary to get the required knowledge of these formats beforehand. The file will only be transferred to your machine if the design file is saved in the native format in your software. Now, it is time for you to transfer the file to the embroidery machine. 

Use the Stabilizer

One of the most important steps of the embroidery process is to know how to use the stabilizer. There are many types of stabilizers that can be used for different types of fabrics and machines. Therefore, you must acquire the knowledge of using the stabilizer and its types. The stabilizer helps you transfer the design to the fabric. Plus, they also help in avoiding wrinkles and holding the fabric in one position. 

Learn Hooping Before Stitching

Before starting stitching, you need to learn hooping first. It plays a vital role in maintaining the quality of your project. Hoops are ring-shaped where your fabric or garments will be placed when they are being embroidered. Your embroidery machine will have different-sized hoops. In fact, each embroidery machine has its own kind of hoop. Some use rectangular hoops and others use circular hoops. You should use the right hoop depending on the size of the design or your design will be out of sync.

Keep in mind that there will at least be two hoops with every machine. The size of each hoop varies from machine to machine because every machine has its own sized hoops which are made for larger, smaller, or medium-level projects. However, as mentioned, every machine will have at least two hoops. One will be larger and another one will be slightly smaller. You have to sit the fabric on the smaller ring and place the bigger ring over it. Now, adjust the fabric in such a way that the design would be stitched in the middle because it will let your embroidery machine have an ample area to stitch on.

Consider The Size of the Machine

While purchasing the embroidery machine, you should know whether the machine is for larger embroidery projects or smaller embroidery projects. Also, consider the format in which you will save your designs. Try to purchase a machine that has loads of formats available, it will save you from a lot of trouble.

Choose the Colors of Threads

The embroidery software has a number assigned to each color that will be stitched out in a proper order set by you. Plus, If your machine has multiple needles then there will be numbers assigned to these needles also. Each needle will have a different color type thread. In order to make the machine stitch the way you want to, you must fill in the number of the needle at every point and it will decide the stitching schedule. 

When you fill the software with the number, you dictate the process of stitching. The stitching process will be done in a specific area. And that specific area will be on the fabric which sits in between the hoops. The machine will not work outside the hoop area until the assigned work is done. 

However, there are few machines that have a single needle which means only one color will be stitched out first then you can move on to the second one. In order to use the second color, you will have to insert the thread of that particular color in the needle bar. This process could be time taking. Therefore, it is better to use a machine that has a multi-needle function.

Start Hooping Process

Now it is time for the hooping process to start which is mentioned above. Once you are done with the hooping process it is time to pass the hoop to the machine under the tip of the needle for stitching. 

Start Stitching Process

Just press the start button and your machine will start stitching the design in a pattern that you have fed into the machine. When the stitching process starts, you should monitor everything carefully, the machine will only stop once you order it. It will also stop when changing the colors but that would be done automatically.

Start Gradually

If you are embroidering for the first time, start slowly. Choose a stitch speed that is not too fast. Once you are familiar with stitching speed, you can increase its speed according to your time management. And don’t forget to stitch the edges first because it will save you a lot of time. 

Notice The Thread Tension

You should always consider thread tension while you are working on the project. The thread tension must be tight so that the stitch quality is excellent. If the thread tension is poor or loose the whole work will look sloppy and unprofessional. 

Complete The Project

When your project is complete, remove the hoop from the machine and take your garment off the hoop. Also, tear out the excess stabilizer and use the scissors to remove the tiny threads that pop out of the design. Lastly, check your design.

Related Article: How to Tea stain fabric?


If you are reading the conclusion of the article, we hope that you found this tutorial easy, simple, and useful. We hope that by now you have the knowledge about how embroidery machines work. We just wish you will be creating great and beautiful designs with your embroidery machine.

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