The ancient craft of sewing has evolved considerably from its days of having to spin wool or flax to get any reasonable type of thread, to the very elegant and efficient business it is today. And while sewing by hand is still very appreciated and worth knowing, anyone who is serious about this as a business will do most of the work with an embroidery machine for small business.
They come in numerous forms and sizes, from very powerful industrial-sized ones to the antique foot-powered machines we know mostly see as decorations in coffee shops. So given such a large choice you really have to dig dip into what your sewing business is all about to be able to choose the best one for you.
How Heavy Are We Talking?
The fabric you plan on using and the thickness of layers will mean the most when deciding on how big and powerful a sewing machine you need. Things like blankets, multi-layered jackets, and winter clothing, in general, will need both a stronger engine and thicker needles to penetrate and hold all of that together. Not to mention leather, as it can cause needles to break in no time if you are not careful.
To give you a technical note: most household sewing machines will have an electric motor of 80 to 100 Watts power. Older models tend to be weaker, but either way, they get the job done. For heavier use consider getting a machine with at least 120 Watts, though they can be as strong as 180 Watts when industrial-sized.
Details and Embroidery
Unlike heavy-duty work, embroidery is usually considered very fine, though that doesn’t have to be the case at all – it depends on both the size of the work and the thread weight. Anyway, very fine and artistic embroidery is still often done by hand, but embroidery machines are a must-have if you plan on making any serious money off of it. Numb fingers and aching eyes are always a consequence of hand embroidery, but that is easily avoided with the use of appropriate machines and patterns.
Some of the more advanced ones have a very handy display too, which lets you choose and project what kind of embroidery you want, while the most prized ones are those that function almost completely automatically, needing only the thread and needle to be changed.
Ease of Repair
Like any other machine – sewing machines sometimes break. Be it due to worn-out parts, dirt jamming the system, or accidentally breaking something, they will need to be repaired a few times during their working life. And if your entire business depends on using one machine it is actually a very costly repair, as you are not only paying for the spare parts but also for the time you are not working.
That is why you should consider buying a machine that is easily repairable if you don’t already have someone to fix it for you as soon as possible. Some people opt to have a whole spare machine to just use for spare parts when needed, though it is smarter to have a set of tools and to know how to use them to get rid of the problem instead of having even the spare parts fail because of the same reason.
Are Looks Important?
Finally, do you need your machine to be aesthetically pleasing? Most engineers working on these machines indeed try to make them look modern and sleek, but anyone can hardly call them pieces of art. If a big part of your business marketing strategy is collecting and posting pictures of your sewing kit and how you work then you will definitely want one that will draw attention.
Old sewing machines, such as the antique Singer ones with cast iron legs, look fabulous in any workshop and are a great addition to photos. Unfortunately, they are rarely in usable condition and would mostly be just for show and not for use. That is why it would probably be a better solution to make a casing for an existing modern one and maybe decorate it with decoupage techniques to give it an old-timey vibe.
It is wonderful to have a craft as a home business – you get to express yourself through your products, you work in a comfortable environment, plus you are making some money! But to manage all of this and actually make it flow like a breeze you will need the tools of the trade for it to happen, and as we’ve seen – finding the perfect sewing machine is not as easy as it sounds, but with the right motivation anything is possible.