ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZOOOOOOOOMMMMM sounds fast, doesn’t it? It’s not safe to use interstate and it is certainly not safe to use in a school zone. …. It’s not good for embroidery! We’ll be discussing speed and how it affects embroidery today!
Your car may be capable of driving 220 mph, but that doesn’t make it a good vehicle. Your embroidery machine is no different.
Someone sent us recently a photo of a piece that she was working on, and it was not very good. It was squished and puckered. We asked her how fast she was sewing. She was at her breaking point. She wasn’t sure, and hadn’t explored the possibility of adjusting her machine speed and Industrial secrets about screen printing.
She was able to achieve a stunning result by stitching at a much slower speed, which she is grateful for. Speed was the problem in this instance. Speed is not always the problem. However, it is important that we discuss how to get to our “gas pedal” to find solutions.
Most home embroidery machine manufacturers have machines that can adjust speed. All commercial machines can also slow down or speed up to the recommended speeds. These adjustments can be made to account for thread content, fabric type, placement, and other factors in online embroidery digitizing services.
This article will discuss
- How fast can embroidery machines go
- How fast can embroidery machines go
- Speed and your project
- Other options to keep up with the pace and save materials
Why is Machine Speed Important?
Let’s get to the point! What is the point of speed? Except for the best part, which wants to see “right now”, most people don’t want to wait. Because time is money, commercial embroiderers are concerned about how long it takes to get the cap off the machine and another one loaded. The more money you make, the quicker you can do that.
Time for embroidery production
Production time refers to the time taken for each piece of fabric to be hooped, inserted in the machine and then embroidered. Finally, the piece can be removed and trimmed. The number of stitches used and the way the design was digitized will affect the time taken.
Simply divide the number of stitches by the speed you are stitching to calculate the production time. The “speed” is an average speed; machines don’t stitch at light speeds. They gradually increase the speed to the chosen number.
NUMBER OF STITCHES / SPEEDY OF MACHINE = STITCHING TIMES IN MIN
EX: 12500 STITCHES/650 SPM = 19.2 MINS
Remember that color changes on single-needle machines, thread or needle breaks, and other things such as color changes on single-needle machines can affect the time. This can prolong the time.
Factors That Lessen Production Time
Poorly Digitized Embroidery Design
Good digitizing can make a huge difference in production time. Using well-thought out designs makes a big impact. The best digitized designs are created using the least number of stitches, trims and color changes. If you plan to duplicate the file or use it frequently, a skilled digitalize will save you more than the cost of purchasing it.
You will get the best results if you use high quality designs that have been digitized for production. Or, invest in learning digitizing so you can understand how designs work and identify problems before they cost your time and money.
Click here to see our Legacy Design Kit. It includes five stitch-friendly designs. You can then experience the difference high quality embroidery designs can make. If you have already tried our designs, go to our nearly 30,000 embroidery designs that are soft and will make your machine sing.
Thread breaks are something we all hate! All is going well, except ….snap! Most home machines include a thread detection function. It functions like a “deadman switches” on a train engine. The train will stop if the Engineer is overtaken by a hijacker or falls ill. This feature is standard on all new commercial machines, but older machines may differ as they assume that there is a tender nearby.
There are many things that can cause thread breakage, but we will stick to the most important ones. It is important to have high thread quality. Thread that is inconsistent or cheap tends to be less durable than thread that is older and more reliable. Thread does have a shelf-life, so don’t buy thread that isn’t in good condition. It will end up costing you more long-term. Remember that thread doesn’t like being super dry, hot, or damp, so don’t store it there.
The thread content is another factor. Polyester thread is the strongest and most durable thread. It also has a lower tendency to crack. Rayon thread, on the other hand is a synthetic fiber made of wood cellulose and can look beautiful but it can be difficult to work with.
Click here to learn more about the different types of machine embroidery threads, and when they should be used.
The thread can’t withstand the strain and stress caused by speed is probably the most common reason for thread breakage.
Another note about thread breaks: keeping machine tension discs clean is important. To make thread glide easier, many operators apply a few drops silicone lubricant to a cone of thread.
Nesting refers to a thread wad that is caught under your embroidery on the side of the bobbin. It can happen in many ways but the most common culprits are:
- Incorrect threading in the upper thread
- Combination of loose top tension and tight bobbin tension
- Tiny bits of thread or dust
- Bouncing the hoops (also known as Flagging)
- Too fast for material
For more information on how to prevent stitch puckering in machine embroidery, please click here
Push and Pull & Their Relationship To Speed
Hatch embroidery software offers push and pull compensation. This allows you to increase the size of your object by a small amount. These objects are usually long stitches or large amounts of tatami fills, which can cause the object to become out of shape after it is stitched. Although the object’s added size compensates for shrinkage from many stitches in the same direction, it doesn’t make the machine “stitch looser.”
Click here to better understand push-pull compensation in embroidery and why digitizing is so important
The problem with rushing the machine is that the pull and push will become more difficult due to the extra energy spent on the stitching. The tension will be perfect if you are walking back and forth between the two rows of trees while carrying a rope.
It will become tighter as you go around each tree. You can contract the fabric as you sew sections. This means that when you move on to a new section of the fabric, your work surface will already be distorted.
Did you ever look down while stitching to see if there were any missing or skipped stitches? Speed may have been a factor. You can skip stitches by running too fast in some applications. This is because the machine doesn’t have enough time to recover before you move on to the next one.
The needle can also deflect at high speed and miss the hook. These conditions are ideal for commercial machines.
Fine and light fabrics
Speed will not cause too many puckers unless you are trying to smock lightweight fabrics. Be gentle with silks, nylons and tulles. A slower machine will use less energy to stitch and the fabric will lay more naturally, with fewer puckers.
Recommended Speed for Your Embroidery Project
We have covered many speed factors. But how do you determine the most efficient speed for your project? It all depends. Standard fabrics are best suited for 600-700 spm. If you don’t have to make 1000 hats, you can slow it down and get it right the first time.
It is slower for lighter fabrics, such as lace, or making free-standing, lace, or neting, silks and light nylon. The thread’s energy and force is too great and causes the fabric to wilt. Vinyl and leather are very similar. You cannot re-stitch vinyl or leather.
Find out more about the three main fabrics used for machine embroidery by clicking here. This will help you choose the right fabric for your different embroidery designs to get the best results.
Another consideration when choosing speed is how fast you are stitching. Speed is an important consideration for details and lettering. The only way to determine the speed you prefer is to test it. This will allow you to find out what your machine is capable of doing and then adjust accordingly.