Hobbyist or small business owner? Whatever the case, a hat embroidery machine can be a fun new addition to your arsenal. These nifty little machines can add a touch of personalized creativity to an otherwise basic hat design.
If you’re in a hurry you can check out this list of the best available embroidery machines to save some time. But before you make that purchase, it helps to know that not all embroidery machines for hats are made equal.
What is important?
• Needle Count
A machine’s needle count tells you how many colors of thread you can have at the ready. The standard for commercial hat embroidery machines is 4-15 needles, which means you can have from 4 to 15 different thread colors prepped and ready to go at all times.
There are some with fewer counts, and they can be easier on the pocket. But you will have to consider how that can weigh down the user experience. Unless you’re willing to stop the machine and switch out your thread before getting started again, then you might find a 15-needle machine more efficient.
• Embroidery Speed
The faster your machine, the more hats you’ll embroider in a day. For small business owners, time means money and so a faster machine should be a good investment. Most commercial hat embroidery machines will run at about 1,200 stitches per minute (SPM.) Personal or hobby machines will only be able to operate at about a third of that speed.
• Sewing Field
This refers to the area of the hat that an embroidery machine will be able to tackle. For monogram designs, you won’t really need such a wide sewing field. But if you’re hoping to produce large embroideries that cover most of the hat’s front panel, then you may want to consider a machine with at least a 270-degree coverage.
• Color Stop
Most of the basic hat embroidery machines you’ll find will stitch continuously until the design is complete. That limits you to a single color, but the color stop feature makes it possible to work with more than a single thread. But more than that, color stop also lets you stop the stitching to position foam which enhances the 3D effect that adds dimension and decorative appeal to an embroidered hat.
• Hat Hoops
The hoop is the device that holds the hat taut for proper needle and thread placement. Machines that come with two or more hoops let you prepare the next hats as the machine works on its present task. That way, you won’t have to wait for the machine to finish before you can hoop the next hat in the series, and thus save time in between hat switches.
• Sewing Capacity
A commercial embroidery machine for hats can sew projects quite literally all day long. For small business owners with bulk orders, a high capacity machine can power through large quantities of hats without heating up or breaking down. If you’re a hobbyist working on the occasional embroidery project, however, buying something as long-wearing might be a bit of overkill for your workshop’s modest needs.
Over to You
Embroidery machines for hats have become exceedingly sophisticated these days, offering a wealth of features that make each machine different from the last. But don’t buy a machine based on flashy functionality alone. Take the time to ask yourself what you really need to determine to buy the ideal machine for your craft.