The Most Important Features in a Commercial Embroidery Machine

What Features to look for before you Buy an Industrial Machine

There are things that are difficult to quantify when you’re talking embroidery machines. Reliability and ease of use are both vitally important, but frankly, there’s just no way to put numbers on those that don’t depend somewhat on the operator.

So if you can’t measure those, what FEATURES of each machine can you compare that will actually make a difference in how much money you can make and how fast you can produce designs?

Sewing Field Size

The sewing field size determines the size of the design you can make. There are work-arounds you can use to cheat the system, but in a production environment where you might be running your single head embroidery machine for 6 or 8 hours a day and deviation from the norm will cost you more money than you’ll earn doing it.

A great example of the difference in sewing field size is comparing the Brother Entrepreneur Pro with the Avancé 1501C, both comparably priced at around $11K. The Brother Entrepreneur Pro has 8X14” field size while the Avancé has an almost 15×20” – that will make a HUGE difference on a jacket back, or if you’re going to create patches. The bigger the field, the bigger the design or the more patch designs you can embroider at once. For more on the Brother vs. the Avancé, read this Review and Compare article.

Automatic Oiling

This is one of the sleeper features that really make a big difference in time for you. An automatic oiling system is basically a reservoir of machine oil on your commercial embroidery machine. You fill up this ONE spot, and it will oil many different places simultaneously.

Because some of the spots you have to get to are tricky otherwise, this is a big deal feature. It will save you time and improve your overall maintenance because someone will miss a spot otherwise! The Automatic oiling system is standard on many industrial systems, including the SWF line at

Quick Change Cap System

Embroidering on caps is an extremely hot, and profitable, way to make it in apparel decorating right now. Baseball caps for Little League or local sports teams, company logos, you name it, are all popular items.

When you’re busy, switching from caps to a flats – going from making a baseball cap to embroidering a company logo on a polo shirt for example – can be the difference between a productive day or not. Even though it doesn’t take more than 5 minutes on any machine that I’m aware of, that time adds up over the year(s) and can definitely impact your profits.

SWF Embroidery Machines, single and multi head systems, have by far the best and easiest way to switch between caps and flats. This video will show you why.

The Avancé has the most cumbersome cap system, where you must unscrew several allen nuts to change from flats to caps. The Tajima commercial machines have a kind of dial system, still slow, but at least you don’t need any tools. But the SWF system is clearly the best. Imagine if you have a 6 or an 8 head machine and have to switch, how much time you’ll save!


Don’t let descriptive terms sway your decision. Look for real FEATURES that you can see, touch and do before you choose your commercial industrial embroidery machine.