Welcome back to All About Machine Embroidery. If you are visiting for the first time, catch up here.
Today’s subject: Gizmos and Gadgets
If you were to pick up a current copy of Designs in Machine Embroidery or Creative Machine Embroidery you would see ads for all sorts of products available for machine embroiderers.
The trick is knowing what you really need. Here are just a few you may run into.
1. PAL Perfect Alignment Laser (affiliate)
This is the latest item to help you align the cross hairs when hooping fabric. Basically, it helps you center your design in the hoop.
I own this and think it works pretty well. The base is very lightweight and needs something to hold it in place. Otherwise, great product.
2. Snap Hoop (affiliate)
I do not own this product because it is a bit pricy. Snap Hoops are made separately to fit different machine manufacturers which accounts for the price. It is a great tool for anyone who wants to do borders or multi-hooping projects. It also extends the embroidery field.
I’ve always had a concern with the magnet feature, since magnets and computers don’t get along so well.
Other embroiderers swear by it. I would ask a dealer to demonstrate this before purchasing.
3. Embroidery Placement Rulers (affiliate)
Before we had PAL (#1 above) there were all sorts of placement gizmos like these placement rulers.
They are designed so that you have perfect placement of a design on shirts or towels. They come in different sizes and sets. They seem to be very accurate.
I have never owned any of them because I don’t care about perfection. I use a ruler and my PAL.
What happens when you make a mistake with machine embroidery? Do you toss it out or pick out all of those tiny stitches?
This tool is reasonably priced and will definitely do the job. But, it requires a.very.steady.hand.
5. Peggy’s Stitch Eraser (affiliate)
Someone named Peggy must’ve made a few machine embroidery mistakes (and maybe didn’t have a very steady hand).
This gadget may look like a hair clipper, but it actually has special blades that can get under stitches and cut them while preserving the fabric.
If you plan to embroider custom items on other peoples towels, bags, etc., then this might be worth it.
I own it (and have used it a lot) because I should never be trusted with sharp tools like #4 above.
There are lots of other gizmos and gadgets out there for machine embroidery.
Many are excellent products, but not all are necessary. I recommend taking time to understand the process of machine embroidery before purchasing things you may or may not ever use.
Tomorrow’s topic: Embroidery Designs: What and Where
Thinking about purchasing an Embroidery Machine? Check out my Embroidery Machine Reviews.