A home-based embroidery business can be incredibly rewarding. You get to make more money as you live on your own terms. According to reports by the Association for Creative Industries, nearly 8 million people are operating their embroidery and sewing businesses at home.
To be successful in monogramming, you will need to work with the best machine. This review scours the market for the best monogram machines so you can make an informed buying decision.
- 1 Monogram machine buying guide
- 1.1 More needles mean more versatility
- 1.2 Find a monogram machine with an automatic threader
- 1.3 Larger hoop size is better
- 1.4 A high number of designs can help to grow your business
- 1.5 Find a machine that facilitates design editing
- 1.6 The machine should be easy to use
- 1.7 Top 5 Monogram Machines Worth Considering 1. Brother LB6800PRW
- 1.8 2. SINGER 7256 Fashion Mate
- 1.9 3. Janome Memory Craft 400E Embroidery Machine
- 1.10 4. Laura Ashley Limited Edition CX155LA Monogramming Machine
- 1.11 5. EverSewn Hero - 400-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine
- 2 The best pick
Monogram machine buying guide
Nothing beats the beauty of monogrammed and personalized fabrics like sweaters, towels, hats, or bags, among other things. Monogramming allows you to offer more value to your customers and therefore increases the price point of your offerings. However, without the right machine, this can quickly turn into a loss-making endeavor.
When I first started my home embroidery business 20 years ago, I went through a harrowing experience with monogram machines. One had incessantly leaking oil that destroyed all my jobs. The other one used fragile needles that buckled under hardy fabrics while the hoop in another was too limiting for large projects.
The fate of my business hung in the line, and I knew I had to get out there and find the right machine. Here are some of the criteria I employed to find the best monogram machine.
More needles mean more versatility
If you get many orders for your fabric products, there is no need to slow yourself down. With monogram machines that use a single needle, one has to stop every time they need to change thread. I work much better with multi-needle models. They have up to ten needles hooked with different color threads so that you can sew nonstop. It saves time and energy
Find a monogram machine with an automatic threader
It can be frustrating trying to get a thread through the eye of the needle. To make things easier, the best monogram models use an automatic threader function. It makes the job easier.
Larger hoop size is better
The hoop size refers to the embroidery area. Small hoop sizes only allow you to make small-sized embellishments not exceeding 4″ x 4″. On the other hand, larger hop sizes are up to 9.5″ x 14″. If you need to make larger designs, the latter would be the best choice. You will be able to finish many orders at a go as well as have the conveniences of a small hoop by adjusting the area of the fabric in the hoop.
A high number of designs can help to grow your business
More customers will only come to you if you can make unique designs on their clothes or upholstery. That means that the embellishments should be fresh and new every time. That’s only possible if your monogram machine comes with several preloaded designs and fonts. The best monogram machine should have more than 100 creative choices.
Entry-level machines usually have between 20 and 50 built-in designs and not more than five fonts. It is between 50 and 100 designs and eight fonts for mid-range monogram machine, and more than 100 designs and 12 fonts for high-end monogram machines.
Find a machine that facilitates design editing
You might not get all the preloaded designs you want with an embroidery machine, but if it’s computerized and allows design editing, it meets the cut. The best embroidery machines will allow you to transfer your downloaded designs via USB from a computer. Such devices also come with editing software so you can tweak the embroidery designs as you see fit.
The machine should be easy to use
Find a monogram machine that comes with a comprehensive user manual and instructional videos that guide on how to use it and leverage its features for the best quality embroideries.
Another feature to look for in a monogram machine is LED lighting. This inclusion allows for seamless working even in low light conditions.
A high number of preloaded stitches are also necessary in an embroidery cum-sewing machine. These are pre-programmed needle movements such as blind hem stretch, diagonal stretch, overlocking and overcasting stretch stitches among others. They make it possible to sew with ease by the touch of a button.
Top 5 Monogram Machines Worth Considering
1. Brother LB6800PRW
- Enjoy true versatility with a full range of 67 sewing stitches, comprehensive sewing functions, plus 4-inch-by-4-inch embroidery design and editing. Easy-view back-lit touch screen LCD display...
- Creative embroidery design options - with 70 built-in designs, 120 frame combinations and 5 lettering fonts; computer connectivity to import designs purchased from iBroidery.com, other sites, or from...
- Comes complete with 4-inch-by-4-inch embroidery hoop, 7 specialty sewing feet, designer rolling bag, USB cable, embroidery bobbin thread, soft cover, and more.Large 4” x 4” Inch embroidery area
Brother is a reputable embroidery machine maker, but such a high title comes with a lot of expectations. The LB6800PRW dispels doubts with assurances such as 67 sewing stitches and 98 sewing stitch functions. These features ensure that you have an easy time when using the machine for a wide range of embroidery styles.
The Brother LB6800PRW embroiderer comes packed with 70 designs, 120 frame combinations, and five lettering font options. These features can expound your creativity on your creations. Better still, you can use the included USB port to import new designs from a PC.
When not in use, you can put the machine in the rolling bag that helps to protect and improve the lifespan of the contraption. This is also a travel bag that will enable you to carry the device with you wherever you go. The bag features a dense nylon material for durability.
The monogram machine comes with built-in tutorials that you can view via the LCD screen. This inclusion establishes that Brother has tried to make the embroidery machine all-inclusive for both savvy users and new beginners. This LCD screen is also where you will get to browse and select your embroidery designs during sewing.
This monogram machine has basic embroidery area of 4×4 inches. This hoop area will work just fine when dealing with small monogramming projects. However, when you need to create elaborate embroidery pieces, you might want to find a machine with a bigger hoop.
Brother LB6800PRW Pros & Cons
- It comes with tutorials and an easy to follow the user manual
- The travel and packing bag improve the portability of the machine
- The computerized monogram machine comes with a high number of designs and font styles to enhance the quality of your output
- You can edit the included designs as you like
- Has a fast sewing speed of 710 stitches per minute
- 7 point feeding dog enables smooth fabric feeding
- The small hoop is limiting
- Tread tension doesn’t stay consistent
- The needles break too often during sewing and monogramming
- Limited memory space for loading designs from a PC
Singer seems to be taking things a notch higher with the 7256 Fashion Mate monogram machine. Its 70 stitches will give you a painless experience when monogramming stretchy fabrics, lace, and other embroidery projects.
Just like the Brother LB6800PRW, the Singer monogram machine is computerized and features an LCD screen that might help with usability. You can customize your stitch selections and embroidery designs with ease via this LCD screen. On top of that, the Singer 7256 uses an automatic threader, a feature that will take the stress out of threading.
The Singer 7256 Fashion Mate also has an easy to load winding bobbin feature, just like what is on Brother’s LB6800PRW monogram machine. This design makes it easy to insert the bobbin. One is also able to monitor the position of the bobbin thread amount via the clear glass cover.
The sewing speed for the Singer 7256 Fashion Mate is 750 stitches per minute, which is slightly higher than what you get with the Brother model. There is also an integrated LED lighting on this monogram machine to help light up your workspace.
One other notable feature on the Singer7256 includes the six automatic buttonholes. This design detail will help you make buttonholes in a short time. New beginners might also appreciate the instructional DVD that guides on how to use the machine.
SINGER 7256 Pros & Cons
- More pre-programmed stitches improve the flexibility of the machine
- The automatic threader makes threading an effortless task
- An LCD screen and tutorial DVD enhances ease of use of the device
- You can edit the included designs as you like
- LED lighting for use in low light conditions
- Easy to load the bobbin system
- Has a fast sewing speed of 750 stitches per minute
- Unlike Brother LB6800PRW, Singer 7256 Fashion Mate does not connect to a computer
- Limited embroidery designs and fonts
- Top loading full rotary hook bobbin | 160 built-in designs | 6 fonts for monogramming | 2 and 3 letter monogramming | Maximum embroidery size: 7.9" x 7.9"
- Design transfer via USB | Embroidery sewing speed: 400-860 SPM | Embroidery format: .jef | On-screen editing functions include enlarge/reduce, rotate, flip, drag and drop, arc, combine, copy and...
- Adjustable speed while embroidering | Flexible stitch traveling (by units of 1, 10, 100) | Direct jump to desired stitch point | Auto return post thread break | Adjustable hoop positioning
Unlike the two previous models explored in this review, the Janome comes across as a more professional or commercial option. This monogram machine flaunts an embroidery area of 7.9 x 7.9 inches. This hoop area is larger than you will find in most high-end models. You will effortlessly be able to work with large projects like towels or sweatshirts.
Better still; the fabric crafting machine is loaded with 160 built-in designs. That by far surpasses the earlier embroiderers in this review. More designs mean that you can stretch the limits of your decorative creativity. You will get to add more value to your fabric creations through a wide range of beautiful embellishments. The monogramming machine also comes with six pre-installed fonts for 2 and three-letter monogramming.
Additionally, you can import new designs via a USB port to expand your options when it comes to monogram styles. The machine also facilitates design editing via the LCD screen. The editing features give you maximum control over how your final projects get to look.
The sewing speed, in this case, is up to 860 stitches per minute, a factor that will enable you to maximize your output in a short period. Other features like the automatic thread cutter, high tension bobbin holder, and easy bobbin set help to improve the user-friendliness of this machine.
Janome Memory Craft 400E Pros & Cons
- A high number of preloaded designs (more than what you get with the Brother and Singer models in this review)
- Faster sewing speed
- A bigger loop for professional or commercial monogramming
- You can edit or import new designs
- This machine is not multipurpose; it’s limited to monograming
- Not any stitches pre-programmed
- This model comes complete with a full set of accessories, including 11 sewing and quilting feet, and an extra wide table
- Features a large, backlit LCD display for easy viewing, an advanced needle threading system, adjustable speed control, and the Brother exclusive jam resistant, Quick-Set top drop-in bobbin
- 100 built-in stitches, including 8 one-step auto-size buttonhole styles, plus 55 alphanumeric stitches for basic monogramming
The Laura Ashley Limited Edition CX155LA is one of Brother’s previous years’ models of sewing and monogramming machines. This model is also computerized and boasts 100 built-in stitches, eight auto buttonhole styles and 555 preloaded letters and numbers for monogramming. These features make this machine more suitable for a professional or hobbyist.
The sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute will enable you to complete your assignments in a short time. The machine has LED lighting for uninterrupted working in low light conditions. The Laura Ashley machine also comes with a wide table so you can efficiently work with sizeable projects like curtains or sheets.
You also get 11 sewing and quilting feet, inclusions that help to improve its versatility. Other features of note here include automatic threading to speed up and ease the process of hooking threads through the needle. You also can easily select stitches by the touch of a button and monitor your selections through the LCD screen.
Laura Ashley Limited Edition CX155LA Pros & Cons
- It’s a two in one machine
- Fast sewing speed
- A high number of preloaded stitches and fonts
- Relatively easy to use
- Backlit LED helps to illuminate your work area
- It falters in the face of sturdy fabric materials
- The machine is extra noisy with a lot of vibration
- It’s hard to see the thread and monitor the stitching action
EverSewn Hero 400 is sewing cum embroidery machine that comes preloaded with over 400 stitches and 40 monogramming designs. On a small and least known brand like this, we must admit that these are decent features.
The monogram dimensions you can create with the machine are up to 110x170mm. Although slightly smaller than what you get in high-end models, this embroidery area will still help you make substantial embellishments on your fabric products.
The EverSewn Hero has a USB port for importing new designs, a factor that helps to expand your style when crafting with the machine.
One other remarkable feature is the needle and bobbin thread monitoring. You will get a warning sign every time your thread is running low. The machine also stops automatically if the upper needles thread runs out. This feature can help to ensure that you produce high quality embroidery decorations.
EverSewn Hero - 400 Pros & Cons
- An easy to navigate LCD
- A big number of preloaded stitches and designs
- A high sewing speed – 800 stitches per minute
- The machine is compact sized and portable
- No user tutorials to help with ease of use
- Quality control issues; the monogram machine might be delivered with damaged parts
The best pick
Even though it’s not a multifunctional contraption, the Janome Memory Craft 400E Embroidery Machine stands out from this list as the most righteous monogramming machine. Its remarkable features include a large embroidery area which will give you room to handle commercial-scale projects. On top of that, the device has 160 preloaded designs and six fonts; a count that is higher than what any other monogram machine in this review has to offer.
You can also import and edit other designs that you downloaded with your computer. Above all, the Janome Memory Craft 400E Embroidery Machine has a faster sewing speed of 860 stitches per minute, a feature that will facilitate a quick turnaround on the orders you receive.
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