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Which Commercial Embroidery Machine For Shirts Should You Buy?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about trying your luck at starting a custom apparel decoration business and need help choosing the best commercial embroidery machine for your personal situation.

If that’s you, then let us tell you about some of the models which you can choose from!

In a way, this post will help narrow down the best options for you while answering some of the questions you may have about equipment: How much would it cost you? How do you work it? What can you make with it? And finally, how much can you charge for your creations? 

We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, so let’s start finding answers to these (and other) questions.

What Is an Embroidery Machine & What Does It Do?

Let’s begin at the beginning and ask, ‘What is an embroidery machine and what does it do?

If you can answer it, you can choose to skip to the next section. If not, continue reading forward because we’re about to find out the answer to that question.

In its simplest form, an embroidery machine is a device that automatically stitches out artwork (with needle and thread) onto a piece of fabric.

These machines typically have a hoop or frame that holds the fabric taut while the machine moves a needle and thread according to the programmed design.

They are commonly used to add decorative elements to clothing, accessories, home decor items, and more.

That’s a very brief definition of it, but that’s basically what it is.

That said, there are some things you should probably consider before selecting and buying an embroidery machine.

So, let’s talk about them next.

We’ve put together a useful guide with everything you need to know about machine embroidery.

Things You Should Know (and consider) Before Buying an Embroidery Machine

Just like any other major purchase you’ve made, picking an embroidery machine is no different—it takes some forward planning and patience from you.

You obviously want to end up with an embroidery machine that’s just right for you in every aspect.

This includes getting the basics down, gaining clarity on the general features of an embroidery machine, and identifying the things that matter most to you.

Purpose and Use: Decide whether you’ll use the machine for home projects or for running a business. Commercial machines typically offer more features and greater durability. Also, think about how often you’ll use the machine. If you plan to use it frequently, you might need a more robust, higher-end model.

Complexity of Your Designs: How simple or complicated do you plan to make your designs? This is to get you thinking about how many actual colors you will use for customization, and, of course, what size designs you will work with.

Budget: Embroidery machine prices can range into the thousands of dollars, depending on the make and model. Then there are running costs to consider; power consumption, accessories, blanks, maintenance, and repairs.

Features: When choosing an embroidery machine, consider the embroidery area, as it determines the maximum size of your designs. Additionally, stitching speed is important since faster machines can complete projects more quickly. Built-in onboard fonts and designs add convenience by providing a variety of options without needing external software. Finally, think about the machine’s physical size to ensure it fits comfortably in your workspace and is easy to handle.

Training & Support: In addition to the points mentioned above, receiving support and training is beneficial for those wanting to get into custom apparel embroidery.

Updates & Upgrades: It’s good to think about the availability of updates and upgrades. These regular maintenance and periodic upgrades can keep your machine running longer, compatible with the latest and greatest devices, and improve performance over time. Plus, being able to ‘mod and upgrade’ different parts of the machine lets you customize it to better suit your projects.

Of course, this list is just a starting point. There are other factors to consider (and look for) before you go out and buy one. But, we’ll leave the rest down to you to decide.

For now, let’s press forward with the types of embroidery machines available in the Avance lineup.

Here’s a handy guide on how to price your embroidery work and which items would give you the highest ROI.

How To Choose The Right Embroidery Machine For You: Exploring & Comparing The Full Range of Avance Embroidery Machines

Now that the foundations have been laid out, you’re better informed about what an embroidery machine is and what it does, as well as the key factors you should consider and watch out for before making a purchase.

Now is the time for us to explore the various embroidery machine models available in the Avance lineup.

Avance 1201C: Let’s first shine the spotlight on the Avancé 1201C embroidery machine. This model comes with 12 needles that can sew up to 1,000 stitches per minute! That’s an impressive number for such a compact piece of equipment. You’ve got everything you need with this one: a 10.1’’ touch screen control panel, 28 built-in fonts, and 4,000 designs to get you started on day one. And to top it all off, it comes at a more attractive price point than its bigger brother, the Avancé 1501C.

Full technical details for the model can be found here.

Avance 1501C: Described as the “bigger brother” of the Avance 1201C, the 1501C improves on its predecessor by offering more of everything. Namely, it’s equipped with 15 needles that operate at the maximum speed of 1,200 stitches per minute! Beyond that, you get a bigger embroidery area that gives you more freedom and flexibility in the types of projects you can take on and handle. And if that’s not enough, it comes with a solid selection of pre-loaded fonts and designs! So, there’s really nothing else that can compete with this one!

A detailed description of the 1501C and a full list of model parameters can be found here.

Whichever one you choose, you pretty much can’t go wrong with either one. But, before you buy, give some thought to where and how you’ll use it, as well as how much you’re willing to spend on such a piece of equipment.

Since we’re in the neighborhood, let’s walk you through some of the accessories you’ll need or want to get along with your new Avance embroidery machine.


A List of Essential Machine Embroidery Supplies, Tools & Accessories You Will Need Along With Your Avance Embroidery Machine