The hats sold in fashion outlets all seem to bear an embroidered swag pattern. But if you are a cool kid, you might find these hats too generic and not eye-catching enough. The design and style of the embroidery just don’t speak to you.
Fortunately, you can get a hat and clothing embroidery machine if you want to create swag hats. This article will help you choose the right embroidery machine for embroidering hats.
Features to Consider in an Embroidery Machine
Nowadays, embroidery machines for small-scale embroidery projects can handle not only thin fabrics such as cotton but also thick ones like canvas. Aside from versatility, you should consider these features in an embroidery machine for hats.
Type of Machine
It is useful to know the embroidery machine types available. We have mechanical embroidery machines that offer very basic settings. But recently, electronic embroidery has become more popular since you can do a lot with a computerized machine.
Here are the types of embroidery machines you can get.
- Single-head and single-needle machine
- Multi-needle embroidery machine
- Free-motion machine embroidery
- Computerized embroidery machine
- Sewing and embroidery machine
The last one is a two-in-one machine, which comes in handy if you do a lot of sewing. On the other hand, the sewing function can be unnecessary if you want to focus more on machine embroidery. Nevertheless, it’s pretty nifty to have lots of functionality in one machine.
Built-In Designs and Fonts
Quality embroidery machines should have various embroidery designs and fonts to choose from. The Brother SE600, for example, has 80 designs and nine embroidery fonts, and the Brother PE800 offers 138 designs with 11 fonts. Meanwhile, industrialized machines such as Janome and Singer Futura have 250 designs with 20 fonts.
If you’re not happy with any of the designs these machines make, we highly suggest that you purchase a USB stick to download embroidery software to customize your art.
Embroidery Field Area
As the name suggests, it is where your embroidery machine will do its magic. The area can be anywhere from 4 to 14 inches. The wider the embroidery field, the more designs you can put on your hats.
Also, many computerized embroidery machines have LCDs, so you can move your design wherever you want on your fabric.
Hats are rounded fabrics, so putting them on a standard embroidery hoop isn’t practical. Instead, you’ll need an embroidery machine hat attachment specially designed to keep your hats stable and taut.
Automatic Needle Threader
One of the greatest frustrations in embroidery is guiding your thread into the eye of your needle. It’s a good thing that quality embroidery machines have this feature. Just pull the lever that will thread your needle, and you’re ready to stitch.
All machines have variable speeds. In the case of embroidery machines, it is measured in stitches per minute (SPM): the higher SPM, the more hats you can make. A good speed for embroidery machines is from 500 to 1000 SPM.
It is almost impossible not to get this feature with high-tech machines popping out of the market. You can embroider accurate designs and customize your embroidery art with this feature. All you need to do is plug your USB stick into your computerized machine.
An embroidery machine is an investment that should last for years, so choose one with a quality warranty. Some machines like the EverSewn Hero 400 Stitch, for instance, have a basic one-year warranty. Meanwhile, Brother SE1900 and other Brother machines have 25-year warranties. Better to safeguard your machines in case of unforeseen events.
How Important Is a Cap Hoop Attachment?
If your main focus is embroidering hats, purchasing a cap hoop attachment can make embroidery much easier than pinning your hat into the default hoop. Round, metal cap hoops are attachments you’ll normally find in heavy-duty and multi-needle industrialized embroidery machines. But for light flatbed embroidery machines, 5 × 7-inch hat hoops work perfectly.
What Are Your Alternatives If There Is No Hat Hoop?
Having no hat attachment for your embroidery machine isn’t the end of your hat embroidery journey.
Janome and Brother have machines with cap hoop inclusions, but you can work with just the flatbed. It’ll be quite tedious to flatten your hat, though. If you don’t like to buy an attachment for your hats, we suggest embroidering unstructured caps only. Otherwise, it will ruin the fabric and the structure of your cap.
Another creative workaround to a lack of cap hoops is to focus on making embroidery patches that you can attach to the hat. Patches look great on structured and thick fabric caps that are hard to flatten without destroying them.
Will a Good Embroidery Machine for Hats Work on Leather?
Leather is one of the thickest fabrics to embroider. Unfortunately, you’ll need a commercial embroidery machine to personalize your leather hat. Standard embroidery machines for beginners and hobbyists can only handle medium-thick fabrics such as cotton and fleece. Canvas is the thickest fabric these machines can work on.
What Threads Are Best for Embroidering?
The four popular types of thread used for embroidery machines are rayon, polyester, cotton, and silk.
Rayon thread might be the most commonly used due to its shine. It’s also easy to find in sewing supply stores.
On the other hand, silk is the strongest and most appropriate for your embroidery machine. But silk threads are hard to source. Plus, they’re quite expensive for embroidering hats.
The next best thread is cotton since it resembles hand embroidery.
How Do I Choose the Right Stabilizer?
In embroidery, you should tightly pull the hat or any article of clothing to have a smooth embroidery area. For that, you need stabilizers. They’re usually made of paper, fiber, or any water-soluble material that helps support the design of your fabric.
As for hat embroidery, we highly recommend using tear-away stabilizers since they are easier to use and go well with thicker, non-stretch fabrics, which most hats are made of.
Whether it’s the start of your little business or a newfound hobby, it can be tough finding the right machine for hat embroidery. Embroidery machines have tons of highlights, but it is important to choose one based on your embroidery needs. Whichever embroidery machine you choose, we hope you consider the features we discussed.
For more helpful reads like this, check out our other buying guides.