Comparing & Reviewing Commercial Embroidery Machines

The differences in the top 5 Single Head Machines Updated for 2019

We highlight the Avancé brand commercial embroidery machine. as well as the next-best monogramming machines in the market for 2019



Choosing the right commercial embroidery machine or monogramming machine to start your new business venture, or expand your existing one, can make a huge difference in your embroidery or monogramming business.



Updated for 2019, new updates have been made by each of the manufacturers and new features have been added to each brand. So, how do each of the following top commercial embroidery machines stack up against each other?


Keep in mind that your business is living and growing. Even if you do not yet see a need for a specific feature, it’s possible that exact feature could have a huge impact as your business grows.


For example, the Avance 1501C has the largest jacket back size of any other commercial embroidery machine represented in this top list of single head machines.

You may not have a huge call for large jacket backs now, but chances are good that you will want this and other features like it as you learn all the little tricks and techniques for using that extra size (patches, case covers, towels, etc.). It’s important to keep your options open to take advantage of new opportunities as they come along. Let’s learn how.


Here we review not only the machines and features, but the brands and the companies that sell them. We cover distribution strategies as well. There are several different distribution strategies that manufacturer’s use, and the way they go about selling makes a difference to the end user.


Support, Training and Warranty options are also HUGE factors in the long term success of your business.  Many small businesses can’t get off the ground because they don’t understand their machine’s full potential.  Or they don’t understand how to price embroidery.


Also, even though the embroidery machines made for the embroidery or monogramming business have similar features. They each use different methods for expressing those same features. The manufacturer may or may not emphasize particular things in their marketing.


For example; they will all embroider on caps, but cap frames may or may not be included with a particular purchase. Machine stands are typically available or included, and they all typically have some kind of tracing/laser option.


Each will usually have a “table” for embroidering on heavy items like jackets, blankets, or caps etc., some manufacturers include these things for free and others do not.


ALL will do 3D text and small lettering – it’s just a matter of specific fonts which are included or not and the quality of the small fonts.


Lastly, any commercial embroidery machine also qualifys as commercial monogram machine.  However, they are an improvement over the 6 or 10 needle monogram machines because of their larger sewing field, their more commercial construction and their capacity for 15 needles. It’s important to have multiple jobs ready pre-loaded on the embroidery machine for smoother production from job to job.


Commercial embroidery machine features that are best for start-up’s

  • Unlimited Training
  • Quick Support Response
  • High Quality Included Software
  • Large Sewing Field (Jackets, Patches, Etc.)
  • Ability to do Caps

Training and Resources to look for:

  • Training – online and offline
  • Education – videos, books +
  • Quality Technical Support
  • Industry Connections
  • Start Up MUST Haves

5 Things to look for in your startup package:

  • Hoops, hoops, hoops, the more the better
  • Supply startup kit – backings, thread, bobbins, etc.
  • Embroidery Designs – as many as possible
  • Digitizing/Embroidery software (necessary)
  • Rolling Stand

Comparing Brands and Manufacturers

The new 2019 Avance machine represents the 3rd year ColDesi, Inc. has been the exclusive dealer for this world class brand. ColDesi, Inc is a 100% American owned business operating in the US for over 17 years in the industry.

They maintain a reputation of having the best service and support in the world with hundreds of hours of media, webinars, podcasts, and technical insights available for free.  More people visit ColDesi operated support and educational sites worldwide than any other industry source.

ColDesi, group of companies has over 60 people on staff with a large portion of their staff working in customer support, machine preparation and training roles.  ColDesi commitment to support is built right into the mission statement of the company.

In fact, the company made a decision in the fall of 2015 to shift a large portion of their marketing budget from trade shows to service and support. They instead added personnel and infrastructure to help more customers grow and be successful with their professional embroidery machines, t-shirt printing machines or bling equipment.

In our research for 2018 and 2019 the Avance 1501C is the best commercial embroidery machine.  Our chart shows the Avance 1501C leads in nearly every category.  The Liberty Digitizing software that is normally bundled with each new machine purchase (17th version strong) is the best software.  It’s clear and easy for anyone wanting to create the high quality custom digitized designs.

The quality and professionalism of the 4,000 included stock designs are considered the best in the industry.  ColDesi training is absolutely unlimited which means customers can take the instructor led courses as often as they like as long as they own their machines.

This is when many of them will be upgrading to multihead computerized embroidery machines and wanting to get the most value for their existing equipment.  ColDesi, Inc has a clearly defined growth path for the success of their customers.

The downside to the Tajima professional embroidery machine brand is in its pricing. While certainly a respected traditional product it is price tag is up to $4,000 more than the average price of the models we are comparing here.

That’s a 30% premium over the Avancé 1501C! During the last century, the Tajima brand was the market leader in the US in terms of Market Share.  They made their reputation when larger embroidery shops (those with over 100 heads of embroidery) dominated the professional embroidery and monogramming business. That’s where their good reputation started.

Since then, Tajima has been in rebuilding mode facing stiff competition and a market that values flexibility and value. The 2018 new Tajima embroidery machine touts a few good features and a larger commercial embroidery machine field than the model previously reviewed.

The Barudan machine is one of the two most expensive brands in the industry. Also getting its start in many large factories in North Carolina where the machine is distributed, the Barudan brand has been known as one of the top brands in the industry and has an astronomical price tag to match.

Having pioneered some of the major improvements in the industry in the past, the brand is somewhat in maintenance mode now.  The manufacturer has stuck to incremental design changes for over 10 years.  Operators in larger factories are often familiar with the brand.

However, it’s lack of largest jacket back size, it’s limited included software, and the lack of comprehensive videos and training materials make it much less attractive for those who are just expanding their business OR starting  with a single head professional embroidery or monogramming machine.

Happy has carried over the ala cart feature and accessory attitude from their consumer products into their HCD2 commercial embroidery machine.

Happy is well known for its home embroidery machines or expensive consumer machines similar to the Brother PR1000e Entrepreneur Pro. Along with their multi-needle home the Japanese conglomerate that owns Happy now makes a 15 needle commercial machine, the HCD2.

The lack of included hoops, smaller jacket back size, and the rather simplistic “Stitch N Sew” software tend to keep the machine in the wheelhouse of the home styled machines.  This is somewhat surprising considering the machine is priced higher than the other commercial embroidery machine listed.

Melco has changed ownership recently and now shares its product line with a consumer line of embroidery machines. Careful with distribution here – make sure if you buy from a home sewing and vacuum sales outlet that you get commercial level training.

The Melco emt16 has an appealing look, somewhere between the consumerist packaging of the Brother Entrepreneur Pro and the more industrial Avancé and Tajima brands. The pricing is also attractive at slightly under the average here.

The biggest drawback may be that the Table Attachment is optional – makes doing large items more difficult and adds to the complete product price.  However, the fact that the machine requires the computer to remain operational can mean that if your Windows based computer crashes, it could affect the machine or sew out.

The Brother PR1000e, or Entrepreneur Pro, is a consumer embroidery machine that has been positioned as an entry into the commercial marketplace. Unfortunately, even with a beautiful LCD menu screen and some clever features, it lacks some of the basics that commercial and professional embroidery machines should have.

The PR1000e has the smallest sewing field, is lacking in included supplies, no hoops included, no stand, only 10 needles as opposed to 15+, no trade in, only a 2 year warranty. In fact, the only reason this unit is included in the comparison is because of its retail price, at almost $12K, and offer’s home embroidery machine owners essentially a more expensive home machine for their upgrade path.

If additional growth in your business and being able to satisfy all the requests of your customers is important.  Consider another brand.  That’s our recommendation here.

Why Sewing Field Matters

Here’s 5 market segments where sewing field size make a HUGE Impact

There are several pricing models used by embroidery professionals, but they all have one thing in common; the bigger the design, the bigger the price.

The bigger the price, the more dollars you get to keep at the end of the month. With a large sewing field you can make more money with each change of the hoop.

Large beautiful designs sew longer, require less operator time, and attract the types of customers who are willing to pay top dollar for their customer Jackets and Patches.

Learn More About The Avancé 1501C

You can also chat below or call 877-793-3278.
Jacket backs and Patches require the largest sewing field and a strong and sturdy hoop to match.  They are very popular and profitable projects for embroidery. Here are just a few examples:

  • School and Letterman Jackets
  • Military & Police Backs & Patches
  • Baseball club windbreakers
  • Golf jackets
  • Motorcycle club jackets and vests
  • Sports & Club Jackets
Not only is a large sewing field a huge money maker, but the large field size showcases your capabilities, attracts higher quality customers and helps you win jobs you had not expected.

For example, if your main competitor was using an Amaya XTS commercial embroidery machine and you owned an Avancé 1501C, you could offer a 45% LARGER DESIGN. Which do you think a customer would prefer?

They both take the same amount of time to hoop and load. But don’t take our word for it.  Speak to an embroidery industry professional about which system is right for your business.  Use the links at the side to learn more, or dial the phone number above to speak with an industry advisor now.

Distribution Strategies

Where You BUY your commercial embroidery machine matters

There’s a difference between how you use a system for home or hobby use, obviously, and what kind of dealership you buy from as well.

There are really 3 kinds of distribution strategies that commercial manufacturers are using in today’s marketplace:

Sewing Center Sales

Regional Distribution

Single Point

Sewing Centers are the places where many professionals that started as hobbyists get interested in embroidery as a business. They have classes on embroidery, sewing, quilting and crafts and often sell very expensive, higher end equipment for those purposes.

The advantage to sewing centers is that you have a built in supportive community. BUT, a community of hobbyists and consumer equipment is probably not going to be helpful in starting an actual contract or custom embroidery business.

The EMT16 from Melco Amaya, for example, is distributed in this way.


Regional Distribution can come in several forms, mostly depending on the size of the regions.

Fundamentally, these are companies that only sell commercial equipment, are used to dealing with and supporting commercial embroidery machine customers. The different forms come with how large the region is and whether or not they are exclusive.

A regional distributor for Brother, for example, might sell all of their equipment brands and may just be an embroidery system distributor as part of the package.

The biggest disadvantage in some of these businesses is that you will be dealing iwth their local shop instead of corporate for support – this could be an advantage as well depending on the reputation of the manufacturer.

Single Point Distribution are where the manufacturer selects, or develops for itself, a single sales and support arm for its product.

Basically, you are shopping at what amounts to a Factory Store. Imagine buying a car or appliance directly from the maker without having to go through a local dealer.

Everyone you deal with will be an expert, or at least will be focused on the product you’re purchasing.

You also get dedicated, well trained support personnel and, usually, better training and service options as well.

Pricing for equipment sold in the Single Point Distribution model is normally better than with the other strategies because your closer to the supply chain origin.

The fewer middle men between you and the product, the better the fewer times the items is marked up.

ColDesi, Inc. is the sole reseller of the Avancé product line in the Americas

In addition to the Avancé, ColDesi is also the only distributor for CAMS Automatic Rhinestone Machines, ProSpangle Bling Machine and the DTG brand of direct to garment printers. This allows us to offer the absolute best support and training!

When You Grow

Many beginning embroidery companies are caught by surprise at how fast their business can ramp up and grow. Normally, that’s a good thing, but if you purchase equipment with immediate needs in mind with no thought of expansion or success it can cause some real issues.

Issues with Growth

Equipment Fatigue – If you made the choice to spend as little money as possible up front and went with a more consumer embroidery machine you will quickly find that the components and construction just aren’t up to high volume work.

Software – A basic embroidery application might be fine for a low volume shop, but as you get busier and earn more business you will need more capabilities – consider an upgrade to a software package like Sierra Stitch Era Training Employees – one of the first steps to growing is adding a person or people to actually run the equipment while you run the business – free ongoing and self-paced training classes are vital!

ColDesi offers them free for the life of your machine. Adding and Upgrading – once your business is ready to expand in capabilities you’ll need to look into adding more “heads” to your operation through upgrading or adding on.

Networkable machines, like the Avancé 1501C, allow you to purchase another commercial embroidery machine and hook it up to the same computer that your 1st one is connected to so you get a 2 head or dual function system. Great for production!

Ready to Start or Expand Your Embroidery Business?

Chat with us below, call us at (877) 458-5575 or click button and let us help you get your business growing.