Author Topic: How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?  (Read 952 times)

Offline Maxie

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How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?
« on: November 18, 2019, 06:58:40 AM »
I have a business doing silk screen printing, I subcontact our embroidery.     We pay our subcontractors about $2000 a month.
I am thinking of doing embroidery in house but am not sure it's the right thing to do.
I have enough trouble finding staff to do the screen printing, now I'll need someone good to run the embroidery.
I notice that a lot of the shops in the USA do both.
I'm interested in finding out how long it takes to learn embroidery and if it pays financially.
Maxie Garb.
T Max Designs.
Silk Screen Printers
www.tmax.co.il


Offline Homer

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Re: How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2019, 08:33:51 AM »
embroidery has a steeper learning curve and the machines are temperamental, but the pay is worth the investment. buy a quality brand, none of the knockoff junk. Just like good seps, good digitizing determines a quality job or a frustrating day of bird nests...and if something isn't sewing right, check the tension ;D

Mighty hoops, good digitizing, Barudan machines are the way to go for us.
...keep doing what you're doing, you'll only get what you've got...

Offline T Shirt Farmer

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Re: How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2019, 09:27:40 AM »
embroidery has a steeper learning curve and the machines are temperamental, but the pay is worth the investment. buy a quality brand, none of the knockoff junk. Just like good seps, good digitizing determines a quality job or a frustrating day of bird nests...and if something isn't sewing right, check the tension ;D

Mighty hoops, good digitizing, Barudan machines are the way to go for us.

Having screen printed since 1985 and embroidering since 1992 my experience is that training a operator for embroidery is by far easier than an on press worker. Women are much more likely to take the position over screening as it much easier on the body. Having more than 1 income stream ( screen, embroidery, promo products) has developed a very nice niche for my company.

X2
Mighty hoops, good digitizing, Barudan machines are the way to go for us.

Robert
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Offline GKitson

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Re: How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2019, 09:35:10 AM »
How difficult is screen printing?  Sorry for the flippant reply but both methods are a unique combination of craft and technology.

Reality is you have to pay your dues or pay someone else for their knowledge.

At 2000 a month I would say you were right on the edge of a decent ROI based on having space for the operation, a qualified applicant to train and an understanding that you probably will still be sending out all digitizing and the more difficult embroidery jobs.  All about the best tool for the job.

So of the 2000 you are talking about you may still be sending out 500 to 1000 and your ROI just got more difficult. 

Additionally with embroidery you will be doing higher value items and stupid can be a whole lot more expensive than with SP.

My 2 cents...
Greg Kitson
Mind's Eye Graphics Inc.
260-724-2050

Offline Maxie

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Re: How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2019, 10:07:12 AM »
Thanks for the replies, I'm not sure there is an agent here for Barudan.  I'm in Israel.
I was quoted around $50,000 for a new 8 head Tajima.
I believe it's a good machine and the agent is reliable.
Maxie Garb.
T Max Designs.
Silk Screen Printers
www.tmax.co.il

Offline T Shirt Farmer

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Re: How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2019, 10:15:57 AM »
?   
Additionally with embroidery you will be doing higher value items and stupid can be a whole lot more expensive than with SP.
Yes, but your margins are much greater ( baring contract work) easy trade off if pricing is done correctly. I personal and frequently produce $300-$500+ hr on one 8 head machine ($10perX8hdX4run hr easily attainable for a newbie)  trimming and packaging is worth 10-15 minutes per machine hour possibly with less skilled labor. No chemicals, super small footprint, can operate with 1 person how could you not love adding embroidery.

Ask Mr Lamborghini/Mclaren/Porsche guy if having design/screen print/embroidery/stickers in his quiver is the jam. Brandt made a niche and is serving him very well by the looks of things.
Robert
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Offline BP

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Re: How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2019, 02:11:48 PM »
Not knowing your order size, But at one time we started with a 1 head and was hard to pay someone and make money. I wish we would of started with a 4 or 6 head.

2-cents

SHIRT HAPPENS!

Offline 3Deep

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Re: How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2019, 02:48:28 PM »
good digitizing !!!!!!

As Homer stated this can make even a crappy machine sew good, but going with a good machine to start with helps this even better, we have a single head as we don't do a ton of embroidery put it has paid for itself and makes us money, and around here just about every house wife has a machine in there home doing it on the side LOL
Life is like Kool-Aid, gotta add sugar/hardwork to make it sweet!!

Offline TCT

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Re: How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2019, 03:23:25 PM »
If you are sending out embroidery now contract, do you get it digitized yourself? If so, and you have good results you have a good portion of the battle under control. We were in the EXACT same place about 2 months or so ago. We were spending a tad more on contract embroidery monthly, closer to $3000. We picked up a 6 head and brought it all in house.

Wish I had done it sooner. The ability to turn jobs faster and even do sample items for customers has grown our embroidery volume double!

For what it is worth, my only regret is not getting a single or double head also. It sucks to run names or something with like 80K stitches and tie up a 6 head.

8 head may be overkill though, just my opinion though.
Alex

Hopefully I'll never have to grow up and get a real job...

www.twincitytees.com

Offline jupmode

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Re: How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2019, 04:55:26 PM »
I find embroidery to be so much easier than screen printing. There aren't as many variables, you can do a sew out really easily to show a customer, and margins are solid.

We added a six head this year after hiring an experienced embroiderer. Prior to that we had a single head for small orders and contracted our big work out.

I can't advocate for adding embroidery enough. It's been great for us.

Offline bimmridder

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Re: How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2019, 07:45:11 PM »
We started with a used 12 head and no experience. We knew we could do better than our local contractor. And we did. I won't say we ever mastered it, but we grew to 54 heads and running a second shift for a while. It was good. We probably jumped in the wrong way, but we did well with it. Just don't let the machines sit under 8" of water. They don't like it. We don't do embroidery anymore. I miss it and I'm glad it's gone. I loved it and hated it. Do it right and there's good money
Barth Gimble

Printing  (not well) for 25 years. Running  four M&R autos, 2 CTS. Strong in licensed sports apparel. Plastisol printer. Located in Cedar Rapids, IA

Offline 1964GN

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Re: How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2019, 07:24:45 AM »
In 2015 we had a falling out with our contractor and decided to bring it in house. We were doing about the same as you in volume and decided to buy a new 4 head Chinese machine from a local company (don't buy a Chinese machine!). When word got out to some of our regular customers that we offered it in house our volume quickly doubled.

We started by me (the artist) learning from the ground up. While I was pretty busy I did have enough time to learn the ins and outs of running the machine. We now have the 4 head, a Barudan single, and Barudan 6 head.

I would disagree with the comment about there not being as many variables in embroidery vs screen printing. Thread weights, needle sizes and point type, backings, toppings and a ton of other things. The second you hoop a $40 jacket and hit start is when all hell breaks loose LOL. If your a busy screen printing shop that runs lean like we do, I would hire an experienced embroidery person to run that department. Find someone that doesn't mind catching shirts or checking in jobs when it's slow in embroidery, or at the beginning before things ramp up. You need someone that understands what good digitizing, or bad digitizing, looks like when it sews. How to properly hoop a variety of different garments, hats, bags, whatever.

I would agree that an 8 head would be over kill. For us the sweet spot is a six head, or multiple 6 heads as you grow. Barudan, Tajima or ZSK are the best options if they are locally available with techs near by. Margins are better than screen printing and can be very profitable as long as you don't cut corners on the machine, the machine operator, and the digitizing.

Offline T Shirt Farmer

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Re: How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2019, 09:19:05 AM »
Because of the lengthy cycle times optimizing the number of heads per run is really significant. I find the 12 head is too large for a single op to run and hoop next set at the same time and has a very large footprint. With the 6 head the op can outpace the machine in hooping next run and easily fit in another 2 units per run based on medium skilled op - 7k stitch 3 color 12 trims - 2ea x 4 runs hr x 6 hr shift x $6 per item could easily be an additional $288 per shift NET PROFIT that just made your monthly payment plus in 5 shifts. When we have large orders with stitch counts under 4k I often add a second op one hooping the other loading unloading.

The price per additional head amortized over a 6-7 year life span is ridiculously low, buy the largest machine you can afford and fit in you shop you can than me latter.


Thread Jack ;-)  New machine lands next week I have an extremely well taken care of 6 year old 8 head FS - Barudan tech days $45-50k looking for $40 completely serviced with all new bobbin hooks + mountain of hoops.
Robert
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Offline Homer

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Re: How difficult is embroidery? Does it pay?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2019, 09:29:35 AM »


I would disagree with the comment about there not being as many variables in embroidery vs screen printing. Thread weights, needle sizes and point type, backings, toppings and a ton of other things.

exact same experience here, with screen printing, any idiot can get by with a 110 mesh and have a go at it... To produce quality embroidery, you kinda need to know what the heck you are doing, and I've sure blown through enough mistakes to know what NOT to do ;D.....another thing, BUY GOOD THREAD.... thread is not interchangable like ink brands are, if you set the tension for Madeira polyneon #40, the wheels fall off if you switch brands and weights...ask me how I know ::)

nice thing about embroidery, you can fire up and bang out 2 items in a few minutes and sell for high margins. I have a few local companies that send employees in with a shirt or two, we have the file set and in 10 minutes can pocket 50.00.. Not huge money but it's super easy to do and pays for the employee to take that 45 minute bathroom break ::)
...keep doing what you're doing, you'll only get what you've got...