Many embroidery machines are available today, but the big question will always be what embroidery machine is best for this or that purpose.
They may be all embroidery machines, but there are vital differences between them, and some do not function as effectively and efficiently as others.
And it gets more complicated as the issue moves from having quality embroidery machines to specialized ones needed for unique products or fabric.
Examples are hats and shirts, so let us grapple with it: we will discuss the best embroidery machine for shirts and hats.
But how can we know if that embroidery machine is genuinely ideal, truly the best for shirts and hats?
We must first know some things to determine if the embroidery machine is up to the task.
Among the things you need to look at in finding the ultimate embroidery machine for the two are:
Does the embroidery machine possess the needed threading system for the job?
Every embroidery machine has a different design and sometimes employs a different number of needles, so you need to bear this in mind.
For instance, industrial ones may have fifteen needles working at once to save time making embroidery for hats. Some can have few than that, but you might consume a lot of time switching on thread cones.
Home-use machine embroidery need not have that many needles, of course. But they still need an efficient needle threading system.
We are talking here about the specific area where the embroidery will take place and the whole field required to hold the fabric in place. It is customary to have 270 degrees, or about three-fourths of the entire circle, enough to keep the caps, for instance, though some may need not much of that.
Every embroidery machine has different specifications, and some have more advanced features than others. Depending on the need, you may have a particular embroidery machine for the project.
If you make embroidery designs for mass production, you will need one with more advanced technological features.
For home use, you may need much, but if you want to save time, you need to have one that is easy to operate.
Those who are handling smaller projects may settle for smaller but effective ones. Again depending on the specific embroidery project, one may choose a particular embroidery machine tailored for fabric, in our case, shirts and hats.
Some machines have limited embroidery designs, while others do not have embroidery software that allows you to create and customize embroidery designs.
You need to look for this if you need to make your design or if ever you feel that the embroidery machine’s design is severely limited.
If you can upload designs through USB ports, that could solve your problems.
Embroidery Machine For Shirts And Hats: Our Top Picks
1. Brother SE 1900: The Best Embroidery And Sewing Machine
For the sheer number of designs, the stitches available, and the excellent features it sports, the Brother SE1900 is one of the most efficient embroidery machines.
Suitable for personal and professional use, this embroidery machine is probably the most ideal for both hats and shirts.
Its appearance belies its excellent features and capabilities, for it is very light and compact; you can bring it anywhere.
But it packs so much performance; it can do 850 stitches per minute and has an excellent LCD that can show you a detailed view of the design, making for better embroidery.
- It has a nice embroidery area (5×7)
- It has excellent sewing capabilities too.
- It possesses superior technology (LCD, lighting system, etc.)
- It has seven feed dog points.
- The machine has one embroidery foot and seven sewing feet.
- It can do 850 stitches per minute.
- The package includes many accessories, like an embroidery arm, an embroidery hoop, bobbins, an embroidery foot, needles, etc.
- It is easy to use and operate.
- It is portable and very light.
- There are some issues with the hoop
- It does not come with a dust cover
Verdict: The wide embroidery area, superior technology, lighting, performance, and excellent stitching are some things you cannot ignore from Brother SE1900.
Its weight and being portable also increase its appeal to many sewists.
If we add to that its excellent sewing capabilities and the price, you can easily understand why, on balance, it is the best embroidery machine, overall, for hats and shirts.
2. Brother PE800: Best for Novices
Its user-friendly features, like the LCD, navigation keys, and design and editing options, are suited well for those just beginning to engage in embroidery.
It also has 138 embroidery and ten frame designs and offers 11 fonts in three languages.
Aside from those features, Brother PE800, at nearly 14 lbs, is one of the lightest embroidery machines. This one is perfect for those still learning who can bring it practically anywhere.
- Prime technology employed
- Easy to operate
- Portable and extremely lightweight
- Include a wide range of options for designs, frames, and fonts.
- It can do 650 stitches per minute.
- It is a silent operator
- Fantastic stitch quality
- Excellent editing options
- A large embroidery area (5×7)
- LCD is considerably smaller compared to others.
Verdict: Even advanced users can enjoy the Brother PE800 embroidery machine because the weight and the device are handy and easy to operate.
But the best thing about it is that the fantastic features can make the beginners hooked on embroidery, and better to start with their hats and shirts.
3. Singer Legacy SE300: The Best For Experts
If you are only thinking of embroidery, on how to create the most beautiful design for your shirt or hat, and need not engage in other things like sewing, this might be the machine for you.
The beauty of this embroidery machine is that its features can further enhance the experts’ skills.
It has excellent lighting, easy-to-use adjustable tension, small and large embroidery hoops for different projects, and an advanced bobbin system that can wind even as you are embroidering.
It has detachable features that suit your needs and comfort and a unique geometry for the embroidery area.
The unique geometry allows you to add further details, resulting in the fantastic embroidery design you want.
- Superior technology (LCD, lighting, etc.)
- Uniquely-shaped embroidery area
- Notable features that enhance your embroidery skills
- Easy to operate
- A lot of options are available for different embroidery projects.
- Excellent bobbin system
- A USB port is available; you can have tons of designs.
- The machine has six alphabet options.
- A narrow table to work on
- Pretty challenging for beginners
Verdict: You might wish you had a more expansive table for this, but focusing entirely on embroidery is part of why this machine has such a design.
The important thing is that the Singer Legacy SE300 can give the embroider all the advantage he needs to have a fine, excellent work of art for hats and shirts.
4. Janome 500E Memory Craft: The Most User-Friendly
If you are looking for a “machine” that can give you all the leeway you want, whether design, size, options or everything you need for embroidery, look no further. Janome 500E Memory Craft got you covered.
The embroidery area of 7.9×11″ can take on any project and can take all the hats and shirts that you want.
With excellent features like a quick-bobbin system, LED lights, easy-to-use buttons on full-colored LCD, and an extra spool pin, you can have that enjoyable experience in embroidery.
This embroidery machine ensures the user will be hassle-free as he engages the hats and shirts. No rehooping, for instance, and editing and applying the design to the fabric are very easy.
- Fantastic technology (colorful LCD, LED lights for greater visibility, etc.)
- Easy to use and operate.
- A variety of options for designs (160 embroidery designs)
- A vast embroidery working area
- You can do monogramming
- Excellent mirror imaging (4-way)
- Very bulky
- Not ideal for thick fabric
- Pretty expensive
Verdict: This is the “machine” in performance, efficiency, and, we can say, even structure and weight.
It is pricey, yes, but it can give everything you need and want in embroidery in the most convenient, hassle-free way possible.
5. Brother PE770: Best For Thick Fabric
If you want an embroidery machine that deals specifically with thick fabrics, you need a tough one too, which is what Brother PE770 provides.
It can take on not only shirts and hats but other apparel like sweatshirts, caps with thick materials, and the like.
Brother PE770 has 136 designs, ten frames, and twelve border styles; you will never run out of options for your embroidery design.
The LCD touchscreen features allow editing options ideal for designing and embroidering hats and shirts.
- Multiple editing features available in LCD touchscreen
- Can deal with thicker fabrics and apparel
- It has an extensive range of options for design.
- It has an automatic thread-cutting feature.
- Consistent, quality stitching
- Some hoop issues with this machine.
Verdict: It has excellent features and user-friendly technology that allows you to play with numerous designs, ideal for hats and shirts, especially those with thick fabric.
And with its price, it is almost a bargain. No wonder Brother PE700 sells like hotcakes in the market.
6. Janome MB-4S: Best For Small Business
If you want to start a small business designing hats and shirts, starting with this one cannot go wrong.
This one is an embroidery machine with many features intended for maximizing both the space available and the time, which can result in profit.
Its futuristic design allows you to have several bobbins on top, a sizable LCD that is easy to operate, and many design options, with equally many options for resizing and editing.
The machine features an automatic thread cutter that allows you to jump between letters as you do monograms.
It can do 800 stitches per minute and has a feature to wind up bobbins even as the machine is stitching.
- Easy to operate
- Very versatile
- Excellent technology and features
- A true time saver
- Very expensive
Verdict: The price of almost eight grand is way higher than other embroidery machines, but it is for small businesses, not personal use.
If you are serious about having an embroidery business, you need to invest substantially in this machine; it is worth it anyway.
All machine embroidery we reviewed has its pros and cons and can handle an embroidery project differently.
But all are efficient and, used according to their strengths, can give any embroiderer the desired, finished product with less hassle, more comfort, and a delightful manner.
Looking for the best embroidery machine for shirts and hats need not be tricky. You only need the proper skills suitable for a particular embroidery machine to optimize its use.