Hat Embroidery Machine Options | Learn Before You Buy
Hat Embroidery Machine (s) are commercial or professional units that are designed to do well embroidering on caps and hats as well as traditional flat garments.
Embroidery machines for business in general are different from those meant for home or hobby use. Even though consumer embroidery machines are getting more sophisticated, and expensive they are not designed to create custom caps and hats. Like the Viking / Husqvarna or Brother machines for example.
Important Features in Hat Embroidery Equipment
Hat Embroidery Machines can be found in many shopping malls across the US and Canada either in mall kiosks or in the popular Lids custom embroidered cap stores. There are even more you’ll never see in home based businesses and at big commercial cap manufacturers. They all have a few common features:
- 15 Needles –15 needles is the standard in commercial and custom hat embroidery. While few projects demand 15 different colors on one custom hat logo for example, you may have multiple jobs going on at once and it takes too much time to switch thread cones on a on or even 6 needle embroidery machine.
- Wide Sewing Field – many cap embroidery jobs call for “ear to ear” embroidery. An embroidery field for caps should be 270 degrees and come with at least 2 cap frames (hoops) that will allow that, like the Avancé 1501C Embroidery Machine
- 2 of Each – a professional or industrial hat embroidery machine, one that’s meant for business use, will come with 2 of each size hoop for both hats and flat garments. The idea is that while one hat is sewing a custom design you can be getting the next cap “hooped” so you’re ready to sew the next one. This is how production is done! Once again using the Avancé brand as an example, it comes standard with 11 hoops with TWO cap drivers. You can find a list of everything else that comes with it here.
- Embroidery Speed – embroidery speed is measured in “stitches per minute” or SPM. A higher SPM means you’ll be able to make more hats per hour, which means more money in your pocket. A professional machine will run up to 1200spm, though you’ll usually run them at 800 or so, while a consumer version will only run effectively at about 1/3 of that speed.
- All Day Sewing – commercial cap machines are meant to be run all day, every day and for more than one shift of work. It’s design to manufacture caps and hats. Consumer machines are designed to be used for a few hours on weekends.
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MultiHead Hat Embroidery Machines
All of the features listed above can and do apply to multi head hat embroidery machines as well. These bigger units have multiple “heads” or stations that all do the same embroidery at the same time. So for example, a 1501 15 needle single head machine might embroidery 1 hat every 10 or 12 minutes for a production level of 4 or 5 custom hats an hour. A 1504 FOUR head embroidery machine can do 4 hats at once. That means you can produce 16 or 20 custom hats per hour rather than 4 or 5.
The other advantage of a multi head machine is the cost. While the total price is more than a single head 15 needle, the price per head is quite a bit less.
Here’s an example, using the listed prices for the Avancé 1501C and the Avancé 1504 machines:
1501C $11,995 1 head | Each Head costs $11,995
1504 $28,995 4 heads | Each Head costs $7,248.75
Please note that pricing does change and these are retail price examples, your bundle or promotional price may vary.
That represents about a 40% difference in cost per head. So you can see that a Multi-head cap embroidery machine makes a big difference in production capability AND in how you can leverage your investment.
Financing an Embroidery Machine
Most people searching for a product like this are starting a new business doing cap embroidery or custom embroidery in general, so financing is part of the decision on which machine to purchase.
A BIG advantage of getting a professional machine vs a consumer one for business purposes is that you can apply for a business lease or financing line of credit. Financing has the advantage of leaving your cash for inventory, order fulfillment and paying the mortgage while using great equipment to generate profits. The benefit of doing this on a commercial basis is also that the application, approval and subsequent debt does not show up on your consumer credit reporting.
Believe it or not, your credit will probably be less affected leasing an Avancé 1501C for $240-280/month (typical payment range), or even a 1504 mutli-head machine that buying a less expensive consumer one on your credit card – and it won’t make nearly the same profits!
To learn more about caps and hats and the different kinds you can visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap