At-home embroidery machines are easy (and quick!) way to personalise your clothes with custom designs. While you may want to try the latest embroidery caps trend on jeans, dresses and sweatshirts, embroidery by hand can be time consuming (and, frankly, exhausting), leaving you with accidentally pricked fingers. Whether you need a new embroidery machine for your at-home business or to try a new hobby, using an embroidery machine isn’t as simple as just pushing a button; they still require skill, understanding and lots of time to master to get ideal results. We found the best embroidery machines for your next DIY project based on hours of Lab evaluations.
Brother SE2000 Computerised Sewing and Embroidery Machine
Working as both an embroidery and sewing machine, this pick from Brother is top-rated for a reason: It’s easy to use with its clear controls like a big touchscreen, automatic thread cutting, speed controls and needle up/down — plus, all the accessories you need to get started. The large 5″ x 7″ embroidery area accommodates a wider range of design sizes and you can easily upload designs wirelessly. GH analysts appreciated how intuitive Brother sewing machines are to operate, finding it easy to operate the automatic needle threader and wind the bobbin. Note that this is an upgraded model from the popular Brother SE1900 sewing and embroidery machine.
Brother SE600 Sewing Machine
For under $500, this sewing machine with embroidery options is an absolute steal. With a clear LCD screen, an easy drop-in bobbin, variable speeds and free motion sewing capabilities, this Brother machine has everything you’ll need for sewing and embroidery projects alike. There’s a 4″ x 4″ embroidery area to use the 80 built-in designs, plus a USB port to upload custom images. Our pros found the provided instructions easy to follow, making it the perfect buy for a beginner.
Baby Lock Altair Sewing and Embroidery Machine
Boasting a massive touch screen and Bluetooth capabilities, this luxury embroidery and sewing machine from Baby Lock has everything you need to handle all types of sewing projects. GH analysts were impressed with its IQ Intuition Positioning App to wirelessly upload custom designs to the machine with ease. The huge workspace accommodates hoops up to 9.5″ x 14″ for larger embroidery designs. The touch screen was easy to navigate and customize any included designs. With excellent ease of use features like automatic thread cutting and tie-off, this machine also worked beautifully as a sewing machine.
Janome MB-7 Seven-Needle Embroidery Machine
If you’re capitalising on the current embroidery trends and selling your designs on Etsy or other online sites, this multi-needle embroidery machine from Janome is worth the investment. You can thread the seven needle heads in advance for quicker embroidery speeds with multiple colours. With a maximum embroidery size of 9.4″ x 7.9″, this machine accommodates. A wide variety of design styles and has a USB port to upload designs. As a multi-needle machine, it doesn’t have sewing capabilities. Reviewers especially appreciate the large LCD screen, independent bobbin winder (allows you to wind bobbins while the machine is embroidering!) and a ton of free included accessories.
Bernette B79 Sewing and Embroidery Machine
GH analysts raved that sewing and embroidering with this machine was “a total game-changer.” Innovative features like tie-off (no backstitching necessary) and thread cutting can be programmed to happen automatically. You can even customise stitches by drawing on the large touchscreen display. The largest hoop size, at 10″ x 6.3″, accommodates massive embroidery designs. It boasts an impressive 1,000 stitches per minute speed. After testing, all GH analysts agreed that this was one of their favourite machines.
Brother PE535 Embroidery Machine
Embroidery machines tend to be bulky and quite heavy, but this sleeker style from Brother is just an embroidery machine with no sewing capabilities, so it’s much more lightweight. There’s an LCD screen to see your designs in color with a USB port to upload a custom design. It embroidered floral designs and text with ease. GH Lab pros found it easy to set up, thread the machine and choose a design — a great option for beginners.
How we test embroidery machines:
The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab has tested dozens of embroidery machines, sewing machines and sergers over the years. Whether a novice sewer or an expert, our experts gathered machines from top brands on the market. And tested each in the Lab to see which is worth buying. In our latest test, we tested 13 different machines, leading to over 100 different data points to analyse. We evaluate each machine based on the following criteria:
Features:Embroidery machines continue to innovate with new features being available on higher-end models. When testing, we look for features such as the ability to upload custom designs, a variety of hoop sizes, automatic thread cutting/tie off and included accessories. We also compare these features to the price and performance of the machine to see if they’re actually worth paying up for.
Ease of use:Especially for those new to embroidery, setting up an embroidery jackets machine can be a difficult task. GH analysts evaluate the readability of each instruction manual and all included accessories. We also evaluate the difficulty of changing the hoop, choosing a design, threading the needle as well as adjusting the tension and speed.
Performance: For this test, we set up multiple different embroidery designs, including floral. And text, to determine how accurately the machine embroidered. We note any inaccuracies or difficulties with creating an embroidery design. GH analysts also uploaded a custom design when available. If the embroidery machine also had sewing capabilities, we also evaluated the machine’s sewing performance. Read More Stories–>>