Author Topic: adding embroidery good idea or bad  (Read 1138 times)

Offline Croft

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adding embroidery good idea or bad
« on: February 15, 2018, 02:14:41 PM »
I'm a long time screen printer with no experience in embroidery . My printing business is a good size .  my knowledge of embroidery is just general and I have never used a machine.

I have never had this happen before but 3 of my good customers which run marketing companies very well, have approached me with a questions of , Am I interested in taking on embroidery.
From what they are telling me is that they do have embroiders now but all are starting to get older and have told them or they sense they will be closing in the next few years.
They want to get ahead of this and are very happy with my work/ service . These are 10+ years customers so are not fly by nights.
2 have offered to finance machines if I need ( I don't). I'm pretty sure I could find an operator in my area.

I'm really on the fence if this is something I should get into?, If I did I would probably get 2 new 8 head machines.

So talk me off the ledge if you have done it and regretted it or if it worked out for you.

Offline Homer

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Re: adding embroidery good idea or bad
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2018, 02:28:57 PM »
Do it. I went in with the the concept of using it as an upsell and then send out the production work. I bought a single head to run off a hat or two, stick it in the box of t-shirts and see if they bite. Next thing I know we were blowing up with embroidery work and I ending up buying a barudan 4 head and single heads run names / samples etc. I had NO idea what I was doing either. Hell I never saw an automatic until I uncrated my first gauntlet! Embroidery is a different animal so all the knowledge you have about screen printing is not really all... ;D send out the digitizing, have some late nights, watch you tube, you'll be fine
...keep doing what you're doing, you'll only get what you've got...

Offline T Shirt Farmer

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Re: adding embroidery good idea or bad
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2018, 02:30:16 PM »
No ink no chemicals no hazmat - small foot print - much easier to find and train operator - predictable set ups and run times... imo if you are doing contract you need 12 head machines to make a go of it, plenty of quality used machines that will last a life time with proper maintenance.
Your Source for Decorated Apparel.

Offline 1964GN

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Re: adding embroidery good idea or bad
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2018, 11:17:18 AM »
I agree. Do it. Start with one 6 Head (Barudan, ZSK, Tajima or Happy). Don't but ANY Chinese clone. Once that's running 5 days a week add a second. There is definitely a learning curve. Hire someone with experience, don't hire a trainee.

We did this in 2015.
- We purchased a brand new 4 head Chinese clone (mistake #1).
- We did not hire an experience machine operator and opted to teach ourselves until business warranted a full time person for the job (mistake #2)
- We went with cheap digitizing and fast turn around times (mistake #3)

Fast forward to today.
- We recently picked up a new-ish single head Barudan and it's LIGHT YEARS ahead of our 4 head paperweight
- We hired a full time embroidery person with 10 years of experience
- We are going to adding a 6 head Barudan later this year, after we get moved into a large building.

I disagree with needing a 12 head to make a go of it in contract work. The more the better I agree with. 6 head machines make the most sense for us. Many of our jobs are 12, 24, 36, 48, 72 pieces. We do get some 144-1000 pcs orders throughout the year but most jobs are in the lower range.

Offline bpfohler

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Re: adding embroidery good idea or bad
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2018, 01:18:48 PM »
  It's also a great compliment to screen printing.  Before we started embroidery entire leagues (softball, baseball,T-ball) would come to us for uniforms and want hats.
 When we couldn't do it all they would find someone else.  You machines will stay busy and if you price properly you'll have plenty of business and they'll pay for themselves in no time.

Offline mk162

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Re: adding embroidery good idea or bad
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2018, 09:28:17 AM »
we run a lot of contract work on our 6 head.  Most of their orders are small, 3-24 pcs.  If I needed it I would buy another 6, but at this point it's not needed.

I would add it in a heartbeat.  It goes so well with screen printing.  Most of our orders include both.  Especially for businesses.  They need polos for managers and tees for field employees or casual days.  We bill way more per square foot in embroidery than printing.  It's not even close.  You also need fewer employees to run it.

I agree, get a good used machine.  A top tier brand.  They also hold their value well so you can usually sell them for close to what you paid for them.