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Everyone knows what a sewing machine is, right? Sewing machines came to fruition at the time of the Industrial Revolution. They helped decrease the amount of hand sewing work performed at large companies that make clothing.
Many households have a $99 – $200 Singer sewing machine from Walmart stashed away for weekend crafting or some quick garment repair.
Or for the more adventurist, maybe you’ve even used a pattern to cut and sew a pillowcase, dress or a holiday gift.
And that’s the key.
While a sewing machine is designed for MAKING, or assembling pieces of material into a final creation, a monogram machine is designed to DECORATE something already made.
So, with one you’ll make a dress. With the other you’ll add a design to it.
You CAN do some monogramming with a standard sewing machine – it’s possible. And you COULD do some cut and sew with a pro monogram machine, but it’s not ideal.
Comparing pro monogram machines to sewing machines only make sense from the perspective of a home sewer that wants to start a business. Or maybe one that’s been sewing as a hobby and doing a few monograms for friends and family, but now wants to expand on that.
Sew… what ARE the advantages of a sewing machine vs a professional monogramming one?
Cheap sewing machines are everywhere! You can get a very good quality sewing machine at a local sewing center or online for $300 – $500 with features like:
Another big benefit, if you are using a sewing machine now you will pick up how to use the next level up or newer model pretty easily.
And since sewing machines are so cheap and so common you can find other users or help almost anywhere.
Sewing machines are single needle, one color at a time device, so when you want more than one color you’ll need to stop the machine and thread a new one on.
From a business perspective this just will not work for long. Because while most Monograms are one color, most business logos are not. It’s just not practical for you to do a left chest logo on 12 polos, or 50 polos, with a sewing machine.
Sewing machines truly are made for crafts and hobby applications.
While a sewing machine you use for a few hours every weekend or for a blitz of activity around the holidays might last a decade, it’s NOT going hold up to 8 hours a day work. Or even 4 hours of an after work side hustle activity for long.
You probably don’t appreciate just how small the sewing area is on a cheap sewing machine. 4” x 5” max on the better ones is tiny compared to a professional system.
Let’s face it, trying to monogram with a smaller sewing machine is tricky. Not so much because it CAN’T do it, but because it’s hard to hoop up your items.
It may be easy to do one or two sets of initials on onesies for a gift, but they’re just not designed for the workflow of producing higher quantities. And the kinds of orders you’re going to want are from companies that will order every month.
If you’re a sewer now, how long does it take you to hoop something and load it on the machine? Then remove a finished garment, hoop the next and set up to run the design again? Pro monogramming machines are designed for production workflow, there’s a difference!
Monogram selection is almost always limited to whatever fonts are built into the machine. There’s no room for your creativity OR to load in any of the hundreds of different premade monogram styles that are available.
You’re not going to be monogramming hats with a standard sewing machine.
Most regular sewing machines just can’t do a structured cap because you can’t make them flat.
Using a Professional monogramming machine is almost completely different. Here’s a short list of features you will love:
Most pro machines come with two sets of each common sized hoop. That’s because when you’re doing a large order it doesn’t make sense to wait to take off garment #1, unhoop it and hoop #2, then load onto machine.
Pros know you need to have garment #2 already hooped and waiting so the machine keeps running. And when it’s running, you’re making money!
Did you know most professional embroiderers charge by the stitch?
A regular sewing machine gives you 20 square inches to sew out. That’s your limit on how much you can charge.
The Avancé 1501C, for example, has a 308 square inch embroidery field. That’s over 15X the opportunity!
A business level machine like a multi-needle monogrammer is going to cost more.
Most professional systems range from between $10,000 to $15,000 or more. Of course, since it is a piece of business equipment you can typically finance them for just a few hundred dollars a month. If you’re making $10-$20 profit per monogram job you only have to sew out a few dozen items to break even.
Commercial embroidery machines come with professional digitalizing and design software. You can easily hire someone to create the designs for you, but you’re probably going to want to learn yourself as well.
Luckily, software training is usually readily available. For example, the Avancé brand machines often come with StitchEra Liberty embroidery software – and with a great self-paced online training course too.
There’s a simple touch screen control panel, but you’ll still need to learn to operate that.
And hooping caps is a skill.
And there are 15 needles worth of machine to learn to tension and maintain.
Again, because a company like ColDesi specializes in helping start embroidery businesses there are live online or self-paced videos to help you.
When you purchase a professional machine, you get professionals that stand behind you.
When you buy a sewing machine from Walmart, or even a local sewing center, they don’t know your business. To them, not being able to monogram for a day or two while you wait for something to be fixed is not big deal. And they are completely unfamiliar with fulfilling a 50 monogrammed cap order, so they really can’t help you troubleshoot. And they sell THOUSANDS of these little machines every month so you’re just a face in the crowd.
When you get a professional machine from ColDesi you’ll have people that know what you’ll need to start your business, so they include that in your product bundle.