Some basic tips when looking to buy a domestic embroidery machine are:
1. buy the machine with the largest stitching area you can afford. Many machines come with standard 5x7 inch hoop, but can stitch larger, some only stitch that or smaller. My Singer Futura does max 9"x6". Some machines will come with a huge hoop, but only have a stitch area of 5x7. The big hoop just means that you don't have to re-hoop the fabric when doing large designs.
2. Test it out yourself. Check that the top thread stays on top and bottom stays on the bottom. You don't want a machine that pulls either one too much. Most embroidery that you'll only see one side of uses solid black or white on the bobbin, so a good machine shouldn't be letting the colored top thread go to the underside of your fabric.
3. Make sure you can either plug into a computer (and if so, it'll most likely have to be a Windows PC) or use a USB stick. Some older machines only read pattern cards, which will limit you. If you buy new, you shouldn't have any problem with this.
Embroidery machines are tons of fun, so if you can afford one, go for it! I do some designs myself on Embird, and I also love downloading designs from Urban Threads. Their stuff is just so fun, it's what prompted me to want to get an embroidery machine. Mine sews and embroiders, but there are some that just do embroidery.
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Last edited by dizzymonochrome : 10-26-2012 at 10:19 AM.