6 of the best embroidery machines for 2020

Which is the best embroidery machine for you? Find out with out pick of the best digital embroidery machines

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You can use almost any sewing machine for machine embroidery. If you want to use your sewing machine for freemotion machine embroidery – where the machine does the stitching but you guide the fabric – all you’ll need is a sewing machine that lets you keep the feed dogs down so you can manipulate the fabric direction yourself. Depending on the sewing machine, you may also need to change the foot to a darning or a freemotion foot, too. To keep the fabric flat and taut, you typically mount it in an embroidery hoop that you can easily fit and manoeuvre in your machine, mounting the fabric so it is the other way up to how you would typically use an embroidery hoop, so the frame sits above the right side of the fabric.If you only want to work with freemotion embroidery, the best embroidery machine for you will be a sewing machine with the option to lower the feed dogs.

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Bespoke embroidery machines are a little different. They come with a built in hoop or frame to hold your fabric taut, and are digitally controlled, so it is the machine that moves the fabric as well as making the stitches. Once the user has chosen the design for the machine to create, and mounted the fabric into the built-in hoop, their involvement only usually extends to changing the thread colour their machine is using, and snipping off thread ends in lower spec models without this as an automatic function. Some of the best digital embroidery machines will hold multiple threads so even this user role may not be necessary with the best computerised embroidery machines. If making clothes if your passion, and you want to embellish them with embroidery, but don’t have the time and inclination to add it by hand, the best embroidery machine can add custom detail very quickly. They are also useful for monogramming or adding custom details to clothing and accessories – no more school name tags!

Take a look at our round up of the best embroidery machines that will work well for the home crafter. We are only looking at the best computerised embroidery machines with a single needle, rather than the multi-thread machines that more suited to a business environment. Which is the best digital embroidery machine for you?

 6 of the best embroidery machines

1

Silver CH01 Sewing and Embroidery machine

best digital embroidery machine silver CH10
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Buy from Hobbycraft

This powerhouse of machine is designed to be flexible to give you hundreds of options for all your sewing and embroidery machine needs, with 100 built-in stitch patterns, 120 built-in embroidery designs and 6 built-in embroidery alphabets.

Pros

  •  You get two different sizes of embroidery sets – the hoops that hold your fabric in place – so you can choose the right size for your design for the best tension.
  • The machine can handle embroidery motifs of up to 18 x 12cm
  • The touch screen makes it easy to combine motifs for custom design, and you can add more motifs using a USB, but there is no need to have a separate computer to combine designs.
  • There is a needle threading arm you can use the make threading the upper machine thread through the needle much quicker and easier.
  • The horizontal top loading drop in bobbin system makes it quick and easy to change the lower thread bobbin.
  • Also functions as a sewing machine with 88 stitches

Cons

  • There is only 1 thread colour in the machine at a time, so user imput will be required to embroider designs with more than 1 colour.
  • Beyond combining and modifying built in motifs, you can’t create your own designs or upload your own line art templates for the CH01 to stitch. It only works with design files as *’PES’ or ‘DST’ file format only.
  • If you are not going to use the sewing machine functions, or already have a sewing machine, it adds cost to make it not the best computerised embroidery machine for you.
  • The display screen is single colour and very small


2

Janome Memory Craft 350E Embroidery Machine

best digital embroidery machine Janome memory craft 350E
Here’s a dedicated embroidery machine that many users say is the best embroidery machine for experienced machine embroiderers to try because of its versatility with difficult fabrics. It has not got any sewing machine functions, it is a dedicated embroidery machine, aiming to be the best digital embroidery machine to help you personalise pillowcases, clothing and accessories.
Pros
  • The machine embroidery will work with all fabrics, including tricky fabrics like lycra stretch, activewear and denim.
  • The machine has an in-built library of 100 embroidery designs and three alphabets .
  • Embroidery time is calculated and displayed.
  • Two hoops included in basic model so you can choose the right one for your project, up to a maximum size of 14 x 20xm.
  • 2 year manufacturers guarantee.
  • Larger display screen so less time spent scrolling through designs as more cam be displayed at any time
Cons
  • The basic model does not include any spare bobbins, only one, which makes it even more time consuming to create designs with ore than one colour. Additional bobbin packs are available separately.
  • There is only 1 thread colour in the machine at a time, so user imput will be required to embroider designs with more than 1 colour.
  • The display screen is single colour
3

Brother NV870 embroidery machine

best digital embroidery machine brother NV870SE

Buy from Amazon

This machine has one of the best built-in libraries we have seen at this price with 138 embroidery motifs and 13 different alphabets you can use to personalise your projects, and more available for you to add via the Brother website. As you’d expect from these machine, the Brother NV870 comes with a touch screen display, but this machine boasts a colour touch screen, and lets you see a reality preview of your finished design. There are some great features that make this the best digital embroidery machine in this price bracket!

Pros 

  • Large embroidery area of up tp 16 x 26 cm embroidery area, with three hoops included so you can choose the right one for your project.
  • 3 years manufacturer warranty
  • ability to load your own designs onto the machine via USB
  • 850 stitches per minute makes this a fast machine
  • Auto needle threader and programmable jump stitch cutting function make starting and finishing stitching less time consuming
  • Quilting function with 7 built-in quilt designs. The included 150 x 150mm hoop is perfect for embroidering quilt blocks.
  • Preview your designs in full colour with zoom view to see every detail of the design.
  • Automatic frame size detector automatically adjust the size of your embroidery area depending on the hoop you have fitted
  • Thread sensor warns you when the bobbin thread is low
  • Colour screen

Cons

  • Large machine with an 48x25cm footprint
  • There is only 1 thread colour in the machine at a time, so user imput will be required to embroider designs with more than 1 colour.
  • Small display screen
  • You might not ever use the in-built quilting function if you are not a quilter

4

Brother Innovis NV2650D Embroidery Machine

 

best digitaal embroidery machine innovis 2650D

Buy from Create and Craft

Hello, Disney lovers! The thing that sets this model apart from the rest of the Brother range is the inclusion of a library of 46 embroidery motifs featuring the Disney characters – which makes this the best embroidery machine available if you are looking to customise clothing or accessories with Disney characters for children! As well as the Disney motifs, the machine has additional non-branded embroidery stitch library you can use in your designs, plus 7 different alphabets for customisation. In its sewing machine mode, it has 291 sewing stitches.

Pros

  • Great for kids clothing customisation with in built Disney motif library
  • 3 year manufacturer warranty
  • Large maximum embroidery area of 26 x 16cm
  • Extensive sewing machine functions included
  • 850 stitches per minute makes this afast machine
  • Embroidery hoops in 2 sizes with the machine – 260mm x 160mm and 180mm x 130mm

Cons

  • Cheaper models are available if you don’t want the Disney library or sewing machine functionality.
  • Reports of higher than average thread breaking on this model from some crafters.
  • There is only 1 thread colour in the machine at a time, so user imput will be required to embroider designs with more than 1 colour.

 

5

Brother Innovis V3 embroidery machine

best digital embroidery machine Brother V3

Buy from amazon

The Innovis v3 machine could be the best computerised embroidery machine for you if you want to create larger designs but are not quite ready to commit to a multi-needled embroidery machine. It has a large 30 x 18cm embroidery area – and a lovely large colour display screen, too! It has the features of the NV870 but is a bit faster, slightly larger design area and bigger display screen, and with a larger design library. If you are committed to using an embroidery machine, we recommended this higher spec model over the other Brother models here, as its speed, larger size and easy-to-use screen are worth the extra financial investment.

Pros

  • Easy threading, auto tension and thread sensors alert you to any problems
  • Fast 1050 stitches per minute embroidery speed
  • Big colour screen simple user interface and touch screen, for on the spot editing.
  • Automatic thread cutting for a tidy and professional finish
  • Over 200 built in embroidey designs
  • Independent bobbin winder lets you spool up your next thread colour while the machine is stitching the previous one.
  • The horizontal top loading drop in bobbin system makes it quick and easy to change the lower thread bobbin.
  • 3 year manufacturer warranty

Cons

  • Just a single needle machine means user input in requited to create designs with more than 1 colour.
  • The extra long arm gives you a large workspace (111/4”, 285 mm) which could benefit form a wider range of hoop sizes included in the pack – only 2 are included

 

6

Janome Memory Craft 550E

best digital embroidery machine Janome 55oE

Buy from Amazon

The Janome 550 E bring you a larger working area of 20 x 36cm – larger than the Innovis v3 and the machine has a lower retail price too – as well as 4 different embroidery hoops! But it also has fewer feature than the Innovis v3, and a smaller inbuilt library of embroidery motifs. But if you favour a larger embroidery area over choice of motifs, this could be the best emboidery machine for you.

Pros

  • Adjustable embroidery speed 400-860SPM – change to suit the thread you are using
  • Four hoops are included with the machine: RE36b Hoop 200 x 360mm (7.9 x 14.2”) RE20b Hoop 140 x 200mm (5.5 x 7.9”)SQ20b Hoop 200 x 200mm (7.9 x 7.9”)  SQ14b Hoop 140 x 140mm (5.5 x 5.5”)
  • Design time and stitch counter indicator
  • Maximum embroidery area 200 x 360mm (7.9 x 14.2inches)
  • Design software is available which can convert artwork into stitches to make and load your own designs
  • large full colour display screen
  •  Built-in 180 embroidery designs, plus 6 embroidery fonts
  • Auto return post thread break so the machine can continue after a break

Cons

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  • Louder machine than the Innovis V3
  • There is only 1 thread colour in the machine at a time, so user imput will be required to embroider designs with more than 1 colour.