Echidna Sewing Articles https://www.echidnasewing.com.au en daily 1 https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/assets/website_logo.png Echidna Sewing Articles https://www.echidnasewing.com.au Must-have features for your first sewing machine https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/buying-and-selling/must-have-features-for-your-first-sewing-machine/ https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/1125 2021-04-30 00:00:00 Learning to sew, whether to create your own apparel, alter or mend your existing wardrobe, make home furnishings, quilting or even machine embroidery is one of the most satisfying and rewarding skills any person can carry through life. Starting this journey is as simple as having a sewing machine and a little time to invest in the learning process. These days with the abundant wealth of online education at our fingertips, it has never been easier to succeed. But, it’s important to remove any unnecessary obstacles that may sour the experience. This includes ensuring you have a quality, easy to use, reliable machine and for beginners, the first question is, which machine should I buy...

Learning to sew, whether to create your own apparel, alter or mend your existing wardrobe, make home furnishings, quilting or even machine embroidery is one of the most satisfying and rewarding skills any person can carry through life.

Starting this journey is as simple as having a sewing machine and a little time to invest in the learning process. These days with the abundant wealth of online education at our fingertips, it has never been easier to succeed.

But, it’s important to remove any unnecessary obstacles that may sour the experience. This includes ensuring you have a quality, easy to use, reliable machine and for beginners, the first question is, which machine should I buy? Do I buy a mechanical or computerised machine? 

People often say "I’ll just get something cheap and easy and see how I go". But cheap machines are rarely ever easy to use and will more likely turn you off what should be a fun, rewarding experience.

That’s why we recommend a computerised machine, every time. And, it shouldn’t cost a fortune.


Why a computerised machine?

If you’re considering learning to sew or perhaps giving a child the opportunity to learn this valuable skill, here is a brief explanation about why we so strongly recommend a computerised sewing machine as the best option to ensure success.

These days we expect everything to be somewhat computerised and to be honest, most modern sewing machines are computerised to some extent. Some are simpler than others and of course, some work better than others. Then there is the price tag, which can vary from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. So what are the key features that you should look for?


10 features that we think are essential

This is a list based on both technical and practical benefits that we consider priorities when teaching a beginner to sew, be they child or adult.

User-friendly LCD screen

Naturally, this goes without saying but the simplicity of selecting a stitch and a clear concise LCD screen is important. Computer machines usually set the optimum stitch setting automatically by just selecting a stitch number. A backlit or illuminated LCD screen is also an advantage.


Large selection of stitches

A large stitch selection is appealing and sometimes exciting. Simple decorative stitches expose creativity even on the most basic of projects. It's very engaging and encourages creativity.


Simple threading

Some models can just be downright difficult and these days an automatic needle threader should be mandatory. A horizontal thread spool and easy bobbin winding should also be on the checklist.


Drop-in bobbin

This is important. A jam-proof drop-in bobbin that does not require the user to draw the bobbin thread and hold both threads when starting to sew is a blessing in disguise. Anything less than this will result in probable thread jams which is the surest way to turn anyone off sewing.

You should also look for a machine that has a rotary hook system; this relates to the bobbin system and rules out all the cheap push-in type bobbin machines with what we call an oscillating shuttle. Buying one of these “oscillating shuttle” machines is possibly the biggest mistake that could be made. This type of shuttle is cheap and struggles on lightweight and knitted fabrics. They are notorious for jamming and are far more difficult to load the bobbin correctly. Because of their design, they also tend to bounce and jump around the table. Just don't buy anything other than a drop-in bobbin machine. It's really that simple!


Speed regulation slide control

All computer machines have a foot control that regulates the sewing speed, but for beginners, this can be one of the most challenging or even scary aspects of learning to sew. A twitchy foot on the foot control can not only mess up the stitching but can also create a safety issue with the potential of a needle through the finger. A speed slide control means you can slow the maximum speed right down to a very slow inching speed which is perfect for children and learners of all ages. For us, it's a must-have feature for a beginner.


Automatic needle stop position

This is a must-have and is generally standard on computerised machines. It means that the needle will always stop in the correct needle-up or down position and ensures that the take-up lever is also in the correct position. This is very important for threading and when you start sewing the next seam. It helps prevent jamming and the thread from coming out of the needle when you start stitching. Automatic needle-down is also very good as the child gains experience because needle-down allows for easy pivoting of the work. Best of all, the automatic needle stop function means the user does not need to mess with the handwheel on the machine. Again, a blessing in disguise.


Start/stop button

This usually comes with machines that feature a speed slide control and means that there is no need to use the foot control. This is a huge advantage when learning because the foot control can be a real obstacle for a beginner who may lack the eye, hand and foot coordination.


Soft-touch or electronic reverse

Some machines can be hard to engage reverse which of course is important for back tacking and locking off seams. Computer machines usually have a simple electronic reverse button with a very soft touch and is a far better option for anyone who sews. An automatic reverse or backtack function is also a big plus.


Variable stitch width and length settings

This is more important as you develop some skills. Most computer machines allow for the user to override the automatic settings whereas many cheap mechanical models don't have this option.


Modern, attractive and not too heavy

This may be subjective but if you think about it, we are all attracted to nice-looking things. Plus, a machine that is easy to move and store also translates into more willingness to set it up and start sewing. Be assured that there are some lightweight machines that by design are smooth and do not bounce around the table.

Well, there you have it. Ten very solid reasons why a good computerised sewing machine is the best way to introduce anyone to the joys of sewing.


What about reliability?

Computer machines, in general, are far more reliable than their older designed mechanical cousins and while we can't speak for other brands we can confidently vouch for Brother with reliability and ease of use as perhaps their biggest and best features.


So what do we recommend?

We’ve featured the Brother Innov-is NV50S on this article and for good reason. It ticks all the boxes and comes with a fabulous array of accessories.

At only $599 it’s a high quality metal chassis machine, with power and finesse for any project. A five year computer/electronics warranty provides peace of mind. But most of all, it’s so easy to use with features that even advanced users would be at home with.

Learn more about this machine →


What about ongoing support?

You're in safe hands with Echidna Sewing, Australia’s No.1 Brother dealer. Our dedicated video production studio, along with our Facebook, Youtube and instant chat facility is the centerpiece of our ongoing support program, ensuring that your learning experience is only a click away. Or, you can simply contact us on 1800 000 360 if you’d prefer to talk to a real person.

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Maintaining Your Machine https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/maintenance/maintaining-your-machine https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/807 2021-04-14 00:00:00 Sewing and embroidery machines are some of the more expensive appliances to be found in any household and for good reason. They are quite literally miracles of technology and far more complex mechanically than virtually any other home appliance. Thankfully the introduction of computerized machines has both simplified the operation and made them more reliable. But there is still a lot of mechanisms needed to make them perform all the amazing tasks they do. With that, comes the need for preventative maintenance. Just like a car, sewing machines have a myriad of moving parts, be that metal or plastic, that run at speed and they will eventually wear out. How long they last depends on how you ... Sewing and embroidery machines are some of the more expensive appliances to be found in any household and for good reason. They are quite literally miracles of technology and far more complex mechanically than virtually any other home appliance. Thankfully the introduction of computerized machines has both simplified the operation and made them more reliable. But there is still a lot of mechanisms needed to make them perform all the amazing tasks they do.

With that, comes the need for preventative maintenance. Just like a car, sewing machines have a myriad of moving parts, be that metal or plastic, that run at speed and they will eventually wear out. How long they last depends on how you maintain them.  Let’s take an in-depth look at what is needed to keep your machine in tip top condition and what you can do to help in the process. Regardless of how advanced or how good the quality is, all machinery needs preventative maintenance at some stage. So let’s start with the obvious questions.



How often should it be serviced?

This is always a topic of debate and there is no absolute or correct answer. But generally, it would be wise to have your machine serviced every 12 months under normal usage conditions. Many manufacturers recommend this and some even make it conditional upon maintaining warranty terms. In some cases, particularly for embroidery machines where the stitch count or actual stitching time can be very high, service intervals can also be determined by actual use. For example every 10 million stitches is a typical maximum interval between servicing.  By contrast, a machine left unused for months can suffer badly due to lack of use as the existing lubricants can actually dry out resulting in a tight or even seized machine. This can often lead to motor damage.


Who should you trust to service it?

This is also a hard one to answer because now in Australia, there is no legal requirement for a Sewing Machine Technician to be qualified at all. However, at the very least, you should ask to see if the technician has had some form of industry training. Almost all sewing machine companies will issue a training certificate when a technician completes training on various machines.


What can you do to keep it in good shape?

The environment

  • A solid worktable is the best investment - the arch enemy of anything mechanical is vibration. Make sure your machine is not bouncing or vibrating too much. If it is, get a better more stable work surface.

  • Too high or too low humidity can mean your machine needs more regular servicing. Excess humidity will cause moisture build up on internal parts which can lead to corrosion. A dry climate will speed up the natural tendency for lubricants to dry up and dissipate.

  • Avoid direct sunlight and heat. It can discolour and even warp the plastic housings. Excessive heat on LCD screens can and will damage the screen. Excessive heat will also contribute to drying out the lubricants prematurely. 

  • Cover your machine to prevent dust and other contaminants. If you have pets that shed hair, it is important to prevent hair settling in or around the machine. We have seen machines become very tight because of an accumulation of pet hair

  • Insects! Sometimes it is hard to avoid but insects, particularly cockroaches are like poison to sewing machines. They leave corrosive droppings and cause damage to circuit boards. They will even eat away some non-metal components.  Best plan is to keep them away with simple measures like baits and repellents.

  • Geckoes. These guys are even harder to control but generally if there are no insects, the geckos will leave. Geckos are notoriously bad for shorting out electronics.

The ingredients...

If you have a high-quality expensive machine, you would not use low quality supplies. All the good maintenance in the world won’t prevent some of the problems that are created by low quality thread, very cheap and nasty needles, poor-quality backings or badly digitized embroidery designs.  This is easily fixed - use quality ingredients.


What maintenance should you do?

These days there is less maintenance required by you the operator. Most machines now don’t even allow you to oil the machine and with good reason. Oiling in the wrong spot or too much oil can cause lots of problems. I’ve even seen people oil machines with vegetable oil - DON’T DO THAT!

However, there are some regular things you should do. Keep the bobbin race area clean and lint free. This is probably the most important area for you and the easiest part of your preventative maintenance plan. 

At least every 3 or 4 times you use your machine take the bobbin cover off and with a soft quality long bristle brush and tweezers gently remove all the lint and fluff that has accumulated. Mini vacuum cleaners are also useful but never use the “air in a can” directly on the machine as it tends to blow much of the lint and fluff back into the machine where builds up in gears and belts, thus causing other more significant problems.  The exception is the PR or multi-needle style machines.

Once every month take the actual needle plate off the machine and particularly on combination machines with feed teeth, clean out the slots between the feed teeth. The lint compresses in this area and can even damage the needle plate if left unchecked.

Inspect the needle hole for burs and dags. If you have a needle breakage, it can often damage the needle hole which in turn can contribute to thread breakage and poor-quality stitching. Sometimes it will need to be taken to a technician or even new needle plate is required but with a little care and a fine piece of wet and dry sand-paper, small burs can be easily removed by you. 

Check and clean in between the bobbin case tension spring. Lint and fluff and even a wax like residue can build up in this area preventing tension being applied to the bobbin thread. This results in your bobbin thread showing on top of the stitching.

Never pull thread back through the machine. When changing spools always cut your thread at the spool and pull the waste thread forward through the machine. There are two reasons for this.

  1. Winding thread back on the spools generally takes the twist out of the thread and often when you use this thread next, it may not form a correct thread loop and can result in the thread breaking or simply coming out of the needle.
  2. All machines have what is called a thread check spring. It’s a very important part of the stitching mechanism but it is quite a delicate little spring. By forcibly pulling thread backwards through the machine, you can easily damage or dislodge this spring, particularly if there is a knot or a frayed end on the thread. Unfortunately, replacing a check spring will mean a trip to the mechanic.

Removing thread that has broken up near the take up lever

This can be a frustrating problem. When thread shreds (which can happen for any number of reasons) there is often no tail of thread left to grab and pull back down to the needle. The end has seemingly disappeared or worse, has somehow gotten caught up in or around the thread take up lever mechanism. As we mentioned in the previous point, you should never forcibly pull the thread backwards through the machine for fear of damaging the check spring. It can also cause a knot of thread to jam in the tension assembly which will also cause stitching problems.

The best option is to un-thread the machine backwards - in other words, remove the thread by gently un-threading in the same way that you thread it normally. Most times this will release any jammed thread and you’ll be good to go.


What about power protection?

If you have ever frantically rushed around unplugging your expensive appliances when a severe thunderstorm is approaching, you understand that power surges and spikes can destroy electronic devices. But it’s not only during storms as your home is constantly experiencing power surges which don’t only damage electronics, but they can also simply cause random stitching malfunctions. It’s important to protect all expensive machines with quality surge protection devices.


What does a service cost?

There is no one fixed service fee that covers every make or model as there are so many variables. Some technicians or stores try to establish a standard fee but when you consider the following variables you’ll understand why “Standard Service Rates” can vary.

  • How old is the machine and has it been maintained well?
  • Is the machine presenting with a specific problem or is it running well and just needing regular maintenance?
  • How many stitches has it done? There are parts that simply will need replacing due to natural wear and tear.
  • Is it a sewing and embroidery machine or one or the other? A combo machine takes longer to service.
  • The more advanced the machine is, the more mandatory tests have to be done in service mode to ensure all settings are correct.
  • All machines should be thoroughly test sewn before going back to their owner. Obviously, this takes longer on combination machines.

The cost of a service will vary widely and may vary depending on location, just like wages do. But expect to pay based on the time it takes to do the job. For example, a simple $500 sewing machine can usually be serviced easily and in much less time than a high end combination sewing and embroidery machine. A full service on a very well used high end machine can take several hours without shortcuts and we don’t believe there should be shortcuts.

The best thing to do is ask for a quote and request that if additional expense is required, you are contacted to approve it. Most importantly, remember that a cheap quote is not always a good quote.

If your machine is failing outside of its normal servicing schedule, remember that modern machines are generally very reliable, with many problems resulting from incorrect or inferior ingredients or a user error. Threads, needles, backings, designs, the sewing environment and even you, the operator can be the root cause of the problem, so check all of these before rushing off to the repairman and you may just save yourself some money.

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Embroidery Placement Guide https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/product-guides/embroidery-placement-guide/ https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/1046 2021-01-25 00:00:00 When adding embroidery to a garment, making sure you find the right placement can be a little daunting, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together an embroidery placement guide to get you started. There are many factors that depend on the positioning of your embroidery, like size, design, garment type, and more. In this guide, you'll find steps on how to determine embroidery placement on: T shirts Button-down shirts Shirt cuffs Polo shirts Robes Washcloths/Hand towels Bath towels Aprons Jacketbacks Onesies Bibs Caps and beanies Pillow cases Embroider Buddies Download Embroidery Placement Guide (PDF) → ... Embroidery Placement | Echidna Sewing

When adding embroidery to a garment, making sure you find the right placement can be a little daunting, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together an embroidery placement guide to get you started.

There are many factors that depend on the positioning of your embroidery, like size, design, garment type, and more. In this guide, you'll find steps on how to determine embroidery placement on:

  • T shirts
  • Button-down shirts
  • Shirt cuffs
  • Polo shirts
  • Robes
  • Washcloths/Hand towels
  • Bath towels
  • Aprons
  • Jacketbacks
  • Onesies
  • Bibs
  • Caps and beanies
  • Pillow cases
  • Embroider Buddies
Embroidery Placement | Echidna Sewing
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Design Registration https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/embroidery/design-registration/ https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/849 2020-11-17 00:00:00 Aside from thread breakage, design registration (outlines that don’t line up) is the issue that is most commonly asked about. This article will give you a tried and proven solution to what is an easily fixed problem, but there are some things that need to be addressed first. For example, a badly digitized design will almost always give a bad embroidery result, and when it comes to outline registration it’s even more noticeable. Let’s assume you have a good design like this simple crab from our Sea Life Blocks 1 (ED-SLB1) range. It’s quite a large design with a stitch count of 29,000. The photos to the right are of the same design stitched on the same machine using the same thread... Aside from thread breakage, design registration (outlines that don’t line up) is the issue that is most commonly asked about. 

Design registration in machine embroidery

This article will give you a tried and proven solution to what is an easily fixed problem, but there are some things that need to be addressed first. For example, a badly digitized design will almost always give a bad embroidery result, and when it comes to outline registration it’s even more noticeable. 

Let’s assume you have a good design like this simple crab from our Sea Life Blocks 1 (ED-SLB1) range. It’s quite a large design with a stitch count of 29,000. The photos to the right are of the same design stitched on the same machine using the same threads, needle, hoop, and tension settings. The only difference is in the stabilizer and hooping technique. Note the yellow arrows pointing to the poorly stitched outlines on Fig 1 yet there are no such issues on Fig 2.  It’s not severe and you have probably seen far worse, but it can be easily avoided.   

Why has it happened? Consider stitching this 29,000 stitch design. Logic says that the seaweed, the swirls and the body of the crab need to stitch prior to the fine satin stitch outline on the crab. In fact, there are 20,521 stitches before the outline even starts stitching. Pull and push on the fabric is extreme and of course varies depending on the type of fabric and stabilizers in use.  The truth is, the outline has stitched exactly in the same position in both samples but there has been fabric pull or movement on Fig 1 and none on Fig 2.

The machine is not at fault, nor is the design. It is entirely hooping technique and stabilizer selection.

The sample in Fig 1 was stitched using a medium commercial-grade cutaway hooped with the fabric. It’s an incredibly stable product but didn’t prevent the fabric slippage or pull. 

The sample in Fig 2 had a layer of Echidna Fusible Softaway and a layer of our standard Softaway all hooped together, plus one of our favourite hooping tips...

Apply 6mm of double-sided tape around the perimeter of the inner hoop ring and remove the backing paper. The thin tape provides the perfect grip without bulk to prevent any fabric slippage and is easily applied and removed. Conveniently, one application can be used for up to 10 hoopings. Be sure to use only the 6mm acid and solvent free clear tape. 

It’s available from Echidna in a 50 metre roll. Don’t use the commercial yellow embroidery tape as it’s too tacky for this type of application. Double-sided tape is easy to apply and when combined with our fusible Softaway, ensures outstanding results regardless of what you’re stitching. 

The secret to Echidna Softaway is the wet-laid blend of polyester and natural fibres that tear easily without perforating like many tearaway stabilizers. Softaway is soft yet stable and allows easy removal from completed designs. Fusible Softaway can even be successfully applied on knits and when combined with an appropriate cutaway gives an amazing result. In fact, Softaway is perfect in most applications. That’s why it is our most popular embroidery stabilizer.

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Making the most of glow in the dark thread https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/embroidery/making-the-most-of-glow-in-the-dark-thread/ https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/1015 2020-09-02 00:00:00 HOW DOES IT WORK? We’re all familiar with fluorescent dyes like those used in highlighter pens. These dyes look bright because they take in light of a variety of colours and then transmit it back as a single colour. For example, a green highlighter’s ink absorbs the white light which hits it and shines it all back as an intense green colour. Glow in the dark products take this one step further. They use very clever chemicals which absorb and store the energy from light, then emit it steadily over minutes or even hours. The process has the catchy name of “Phosphorescence”. Usually the light given off is an eerie whitish green glow. Dyes can be added to create other colours, but they won’t ... HOW DOES IT WORK?

We’re all familiar with fluorescent dyes like those used in highlighter pens. These dyes look bright because they take in light of a variety of colours and then transmit it back as a single colour. For example, a green highlighter’s ink absorbs the white light which hits it and shines it all back as an intense green colour. Glow in the dark products take this one step further. They use very clever chemicals which absorb and store the energy from light, then emit it steadily over minutes or even hours. The process has the catchy name of “Phosphorescence”. Usually the light given off is an eerie whitish green glow. Dyes can be added to create other colours, but they won’t be as bright as the whitish green.

GETTING THE MOST GLOW

It’s important to remember that the thread needs to be “charged up” with light before it will glow. This only takes a few seconds of bright light (or up to a minute for the full effect). If it’s quickly moved into darkness, you’ll then get a glow for several minutes before it gradually fades out. The trick to getting the best effect is using the right type of light: Standard light bulbs (particularly LED and incandescent) don’t work very well. Although they look bright to humans, they don’t put out the type of light that charges glow in the dark thread effectively Fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescents work slightly better Direct sunlight is the best choice, a few seconds are enough for a bright charge. However, it’s hard to switch off! You’ll need to quickly move to a dark room to see the glow, and it can take some time for your eyes to adjust. Blacklights (UV bulbs) are by far the best option. They can charge up the thread but aren’t visible to the human eye so the thread appears super bright in a dark room.

CREATING A VIBRANT GLOW IN THE DARK!

You’ll find UV torches available cheaply online. They work well, and are easy to give to the kids to play with in the dark. We use them at events to demonstrate the thread, even in a bright room. For the best possible result, replace a room light or lamp with a compact fluorescent (CFL) blacklight (available from Bunnings for about $15). They’ll give the thread a very bright and long lasting glow!

APPLICATIONS

For the best applications of glow in the dark thread, think about situations where the item will go suddenly from a bright area into the dark – on a shirt walking into a cinema, a stuffed toy on the bed, even a quilt. With a bit of thought you can hide the glow thread beneath another design, revealing something spooky when the lights go out! You’ll be amazed how long it can keep kids entertained.

Softlight Glow in the Dark thread is available in a 6-spool sample pack, or on individual 800m spools.

Glow in the dark thread before
Glow in the dark thread glow

Embroidery design stitched by Carolyn Keber

Image source: Echidna Sewing & Embroidery Facebook Community

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Turn a drawing into embroidery https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/embroidery/turn-a-drawing-into-embroidery/ https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/993 2020-07-07 00:00:00 My grandchildren love to draw and when 5 year old Peyton drew this little masterpiece I couldn’t resist turning it into a unique embroidery that is now hanging on her bedroom wall. It’s such a cute original drawing...and who doesn’t believe unicorns? They are almost as magical as the Brother My Design Centre! Individual creativity is now even more accessible with the stunning features of Brother’s My Design Centre. You, yes you, can create your own unique designs quickly and easily on the huge colour touch screen that is synonymous with Brother. No computer or digitizing software needed and best of all, creating a special design takes minutes, not hours. Start with a simple draw...
My grandchildren love to draw and when 5 year old Peyton drew this little masterpiece I couldn’t resist turning it into a unique embroidery that is now hanging on her bedroom wall. It’s such a cute original drawing...and who doesn’t believe unicorns? They are almost as magical as the Brother My Design Centre!

Individual creativity is now even more accessible with the stunning features of Brother’s My Design Centre.

You, yes you, can create your own unique designs quickly and easily on the huge colour touch screen that is synonymous with Brother. No computer or digitizing software needed and best of all, creating a special design takes minutes, not hours.

Start with a simple drawing by a child, something you’ve penned yourself, a colouring-in book page or even a full colour clip art file from a simple google search (there are millions available). My Design Centre will turn these images into embroidery files right before your eyes. You can even edit or customize the designs right on the machine screen, quickly and easily.

My Design Centre Built-In Shapes & Fill PatternsThere are also the auto stippling and quilting options which allow you to apply perfectly stitched scalable quilting backgrounds that the machine cleverly knows where not to stitch. It’s so easy to create a stunning quilt block or even quilt as you go without needing years of experience. 

Quite frankly I could write pages and page of information on My Design Centre which, incidentally, is available on four different Brother models including Stellaire XE1 & Stellaire XJ1, the Luminaire XP1 and the all-conquering PR1050X ten needle model.

On top of the My Design Centre, there are the other incredible and exclusive Brother technology features, like the InnovEye Camera and the new My Design Snap app. 

It is far more informative and inspiring to watch the videos on our website. So, if you’re dreaming of your next machine then please check out our super deals on all Brother models. Remember, we can always tailor a package to suit your individual needs.   

1: Draw it
Child drawing
2: Snap it (Stellaire) or Scan it (Luminaire)
Take a photo withMy Design Snap App
3: Convert it
Convert drawing into embroidery on your machine
4. Customise it (if you want)
Edit childs drawing embroidery with My Design Centre
5: Stitch it
Stitch Kids Drawing Brother Stellaire
6: Gift it, Display it, Enjoy it!
Turn Drawing Into Embroidery My Design Center Display Wall Hanging
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Stabilizer guide https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/product-guides/your-guide-to-embroidery-stabilizers-and-backings https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/770 2020-05-14 00:00:00 Stabilizers are an essential part of machine embroidery. These thin layers of backing material keep your fabric from stretching or puckering during the stitching process. Knowing which stabilizer to use for your projects is a skill which you can master with practice. In our stabilizer guide below we explain the different stabilizers available, what they're made from and when to use them. We have created a handy stabilizer guide (PDF, 218KB) that you can download and print to make it easier to refer back too. Softaway (tearaway) Medium weight - Non-woven polyester, wood pulp, PVA | 55gsm A softer, lighter tearaway for woven fabrics (e.g. apparel and crafts). Easy to ... Stabilizers are an essential part of machine embroidery. These thin layers of backing material keep your fabric from stretching or puckering during the stitching process.

Knowing which stabilizer to use for your projects is a skill which you can master with practice. In our stabilizer guide below we explain the different stabilizers available, what they're made from and when to use them. We have created a handy stabilizer guide (PDF, 218KB) that you can download and print to make it easier to refer back too.

Softaway tearaway

Softaway (tearaway)

Medium weight - Non-woven polyester, wood pulp, PVA | 55gsm

A softer, lighter tearaway for woven fabrics (e.g. apparel and crafts). Easy to hoop, doesn’t perforate and tears away easily and cleanly. Can be used on knitted fabrics with lower stitch count designs.


Buy 20" x 10yd roll → Buy bulk 50cm x 45m roll →
Fusible Softaway tearaway

Fusible Softaway (tearaway)

Medium weight - Non-woven polyester, wood pulp, PVA, olefin | 55gsm

Softaway with an added low-melt-point fusible layer. Ideal for difficult or slippery woven fabrics (e.g. satins, sateens and poplins).


Buy 20" x 10yd roll → Buy bulk 25cm x 100m roll →
Echidna Tearaway – Black

Echidna Tearaway – Black

Medium/heavy polyester | 76gsm

A standard commercial style black tearaway offering great support during the stitching process. Will tear away easily. Ideal for dark loosely woven fabrics.

Buy 20” x 10yd roll →
Cutaway Light

CutAway (Light)

Non-woven polyester | 50gsm

Echidna Light Cutaway stabilizer is ideal for lighter weight knitted or stretch fabrics or when a low to moderate stitch count design is used. Example: a logo on quick-dry polo shirts. Light cutaway prevents stretch and provides stability both during stitching and the life of the finished item.

Buy 25cm x 100m roll →
Cutaway Medium

CutAway (Medium)

Non-woven polyester | 80gsm

The universal stabilizer. Use one layer with medium to heavy stretch or knitted fabrics (e.g. polos and sportswear). Whenever possible, hoop with the garment or for difficult items baste the garment on top of the hooped stabilizer. Trim away the excess backing after stitching. Leaving about ¼ inch around the finished design.

Buy 20" x 10yd roll → Buy bulk 25cm x 100m roll →

See-through Cutaway

See-through CutAway

Non-woven polyester

A soft cutaway ideal for lightweight, soft drape and semi-transparent fabrics. Very stable, but almost invisible from the right side the fabric. Ideal for in-the-hoop projects and quilt blocks. Trim back close to the stitching on the underside of garments. Our pick for light coloured polo shirts.

20" x 10yd roll (White) → Buy bulk 20" x 50yd roll (White) → Buy 20" x 10yd roll (Black) →

Fusible See-through Cutaway

Fusible See-through CutAway

Non-woven polyester, low-melt adhesive

Same as the see-through cutaway but has a fusible low-melt-point resin that easily adheres to the fabric with a medium heat iron to prevent scorching. Best for particularly light weight, slippery types of fabric.

Buy 20" x 10yd roll →

Iron-on paper

Iron-on paper

Polymer-coated paper

Prevents unstable fabrics losing shape during hooping. Apply with a hot iron and hoop together with a layer of tearaway or cutaway (depending on fabric type). Peel and tear off the excess. Ideal for polycotton blends and tight weave poplins.

Buy 35cm x 20m roll →

Washaway

Washaway

Water-soluble non-woven PVA | 50gsm

Supports stitches during embroidery, then completely dissolves in warm water. Ideal for lace, free-standing designs or sheer fabrics. The suggested hooped stabilizer to use when embroidering on toweling. Can be used without fabric for free standing designs..

Buy 20" x 10yd roll →

Supersolv

Supersolv

Cold water-soluble clear PVA film | 35 micron

Holds down the nap of the fabric, preventing stitches from sinking in. Place on top of fabrics like towels, suede, spongy knits and piled fabrics. Tear the excess away and dissolve remnants with water. Can be simply sponged away.

Buy 20" x 10yd roll →

Echidna Light Heataway

Echidna Light Heataway

A clear film used on high pile and textured fabrics to create a smooth surface and prevent stitches from sinking into the fabric. It virtually disappears when heat is applied; a great alternative to water-soluble topping.

Buy 20" x 10yd roll →

Hot melt web

Hot melt web

Non-woven polyamide

Clear, iron-on webbing used to bond fabrics together. Perfect for applique and welding craft fabrics to each other. The web-like double-sided glue has paper on one side for heat application. Ideal to use with the ScanNCut.

Buy 12" x 10yd roll →

Hot melt film

Hot melt film

Polyolefin film

A clear, heat-set film ironed on to an embroidered design to create a badge, which is then ironed onto fabric. The plastic film-like double-sided glue has paper on one side for heat application. More permanent adhesion than Hot Melt Web.

Buy 12" x 5yd roll →

Stiff Specialty Felt

Stiff Specialty Felt

Available in black or white

This 100% polyester non-woven felt is ideal for machine embroidery projects such as badges, photostitch, home furnishings and can be used for bag making. It provides extra support and flexibility where required.

Buy 50cm x 100cm roll (black) → Buy 50cm x 100cm roll (white) →

Filmoplast Adhesive Paper

Filmoplast Adhesive Paper

Non-woven cellulose, solvent-free glue

Non-heat bonding of fabrics before embroidering. Ideal for difficult placements of embroidery and stabilizing high stretch fabrics.

Buy 50cm x 100cm (pre-cut lengths) → Buy 25m x 100cm roll →

Double-sided tape

Double-sided tape

Clear low-tack or yellow high-tack

Tape used to embroider fabrics without hooping. Apply the 15mm high tack tape around the outer edges of the hooped stabilizer and secure the fabric on top. Be sure to not stitch through the tape or use the 6mm tape on the outer circumference on the inner embroidery hoop ring to prevent hooped fabric from slipping during the embroidery process.

Buy 6mm x 50m roll (clear) → Buy 12mm x 18m roll (yellow) →

Cover It Up

Cover It Up

Soft iron-on interfacing

Iron on to the wrong side of the embroidered design after stitching is complete (with your iron set at a medium temperature). This prevents the “scratchies” which can sometimes cause irritation when wearing embroidered clothing. Particularly for infants and children or when metallic threads have been used.

Buy 20” x 5yd (pre-cut lengths) → Buy 20” x 50yd roll →

Crystal Organza

Crystal Organza

Polyester | Available in Black & White

Crystal organza is ideal to use when stitching 3D embroidery designs such as 3 dimensional flowers, butterflies, Christmas decorations, bookmarks and much more. Excess organza can be burnt away with a soldering iron.

Buy 28.5cm x 10m roll →

Tulle

Tulle

Polyester | Available in 3 colours: Black, Cream & White

Use tulle as a stabilizing agent by sandwiching it between two layers of Washaway to give freestanding lace more strength and ensure all the stitches remain regimental after washing. This will keep a more consistent shape and generally ensures a longer life to the work.

Buy 20” x 25yd roll →

Download a printable stabilizer guide (PDF, 218KB)

Buy stabilizers in our online shop

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Which needle should you be using? https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/product-guides/which-needle-should-you-be-using/ https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/869 2019-10-01 00:00:00 The most important thing when sewing is using the correct needle and stitch with the fabric you are working with. This can be a little confusing when you are starting out. Let’s start by explaining to you what needle to use. Below is a list of your basic machine needles and a guide line of what fabric to sew with them. Needle Type Sizes Type of fabric UNIVERSAL NEEDLES (TNCUNI) Slightly rounded tip but still sharp for general sewing of most woven fabrics BUY NOW → 70/10 Fine Cottons, Batiste & Poplins. 80/12 Medium Weight Woven Dress & Craft Fabrics. ... .table-striped tbody .no-style tr:nth-of-type(odd){background:none;} .no-style tr:first-child td{border-top:none;}

The most important thing when sewing is using the correct needle and stitch with the fabric you are working with.  This can be a little confusing when you are starting out.  Let’s start by explaining to you what needle to use.  Below is a list of your basic machine needles and a guide line of what fabric to sew with them.

Needle Type Sizes Type of fabric

UNIVERSAL NEEDLES
(TNCUNI)

Slightly rounded tip but still sharp for general sewing of most woven fabrics

BUY NOW →
70/10 Fine Cottons, Batiste & Poplins.
80/12 Medium Weight Woven Dress & Craft Fabrics.
90/14 Medium To Heavy Weight Woven Fabrics or when Paper Piecing.
100/16 Heavy Weight woven fabrics.

BALLPOINT OR JERSEY NEEDLES
(TNCJER)

Has a slightly more rounded tip than a Universal. It is not as likely to snag knits and stretch fabric.

BUY NOW →
80/12 Medium to Heavy Weight Knit or Stretch Fabric.
90/14 Heavy Weight Knit or Stretch Fabric.

STRETCH NEEDLE
(TNCSTRETCH)

Also has a rounded tip. It’s specially shaped shank creates good stitch formation on elastic or highly elasticized fabrics such as spandex. Try this needle if getting skipped stitches on stretch fabric.

BUY NOW →
75/11 Light to Medium Weight Knit or Stretch Fabric such as Interlock or lycra.
90/14 Heavy weight Stretch Fabric – Stretch Fleece Fabric.

QUILTING NEEDLE
(TNCQUILT)

Has a slim tapered point and slightly stronger shaft for stitching through multiple fabric layers and across intersecting seams. The quilting needle will also give you a better tensioning of your thread when quilting.

BUY NOW →
75/11 Use for intricate designs and piecing.
90/14 Stitching your quilt sandwich.

MICROTEX NEEDLE
(TNCMICRO)

Is thinner and sharper than the universal point. It makes a perfect straight stitch. Use it on very fine fabrics and chintz.

BUY NOW →
70/10 Fine woven fabrics such as satins & silks.
80/12 Medium weight specialty fabrics with a high thread count – microfiber or silk.

JEANS or DENIM NEEDLE
(TNCJNS)

Has a very sharp tip, slender eye and a strong shaft. This is good for sewing on tough, heavyweight fabrics such as denim and canvas.

BUY NOW →
90/14 Medium weight woven fabric such as corduroy or denim.
100/16 Heavy weight woven fabric – Denim, Canvas or Upholstery Fabric.

EMBROIDERY NEEDLE
(TNCEMB)

Has a larger eye, a slightly rounded point and a deep scarf (groove above the eye) to protect decorative thread from shredding or breaking.

BUY NOW →
75/11 Stitching embroidery designs on light to medium weight fabric.
80/12 Stitching embroidery designs on medium weight woven fabric.
90/14 Stitching embroidery designs on medium to heavy weight fabric.

TOPSTITCHING

Has an extra-large eye and deeper groove for use with heavier topstitching or decorative threads.

80/12 Medium Weight Woven Fabric.
90/14 Medium to Heavy Weight Fabric.

METALLIC NEEDLE

Has a larger Teflon coated eye which reduces friction but still accommodates heavier threads and reduces splitting and shredding on delicate metallic threads.

80/12 Use a Metallic Needle for sewing with monofilament or invisible thread as well as fine metallic threads.

TWIN NEEDLES

Are generally used for topstitching on garments.

Two needles are put on a single crossbar to create perfectly parallel, multiple rows of stitching in one pass using a single bobbin thread.

UNIVERSAL
1.6mm
2.0mm
2.5mm
3.0mm
4.0mm
6.0mm
The finer Universal Twin Needles are used for both decorative stitching and creating Pintucks in heirloom sewing.
STRETCH
2.5mm
4.0mm
Stretch twin needles are used mainly for Topstitching Hems on stretch and knit fabrics.

WING NEEDLE

Are designed for decorative stitching on tightly woven fabrics.

Wide wing blades or fins on each side of the shank create openings in tightly woven fabric such as linen and batiste fabric to resemble entredeux trim.

16/100 Light to Medium weight Woven Fabrics.
18/110  

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Why does thread break? https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/why-does-thread-break https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/802 2019-07-01 00:00:00 It helps if you first understand how it works! No one enjoys dealing with thread breaks and often the embroidery thread itself is unfairly blamed. Granted there are some cheap and nasty threads available, but there are also a host of excellent brands like Hemingworth, which of course has the benefit of the exclusive spool and cap system. So why does thread break? The process of forming a stitch is quite complex. In fact, it’s a miracle that sewing machines can create a stitch at all with so many things having to work in perfect harmony for every stitch to be a successful one. I think it’s easier to work out why thread breaks if you first understand how a stitch is formed. A ... It helps if you first understand how it works!

No one enjoys dealing with thread breaks and often the embroidery thread itself is unfairly blamed. Granted there are some cheap and nasty threads available, but there are also a host of excellent brands like Hemingworth, which of course has the benefit of the exclusive spool and cap system.

So why does thread break?

The process of forming a stitch is quite complex. In fact, it’s a miracle that sewing machines can create a stitch at all with so many things having to work in perfect harmony for every stitch to be a successful one. I think it’s easier to work out why thread breaks if you first understand how a stitch is formed.

A sewing or embroidery machine forms what is called a lock stitch consisting of an upper needle and lower bobbin thread, which are locked together during the stitching process. The needle thread is delivered as a continuous thread, whereas the bobbin thread is wound onto smaller bobbins. People often ask why it can’t be two continuous threads but the fact is, to form a lockstitch one thread has to be completely enveloped by the other, hence the need for a bobbin.

So let’s follow the formation of a lock stitch. Imagine the needle is threaded and in the up position with the take-up lever also in the up position. The bobbin is loaded and there is also fabric under the foot.
 

Embroidery Needle Explained
  1. The needle starts to move downwards piercing the fabric on the way. At the same time the take-up lever also starts to descend, creating slack in the needle thread to assist in forming the stitch.
  2. The needle continues downwards until it reaches the very bottom of its stroke. As it then begins to rise, the slack needle thread starts to form a small loop behind the needle eye, under the needle plate. The pinching effect of the fabric and the structure around the needle eye assist with this step.
  3. As the thread loop forms a rotary hook (sometimes referred to as the shuttle point) intersects with the back of the needle, just above the needle eye, at the point called the needle scarf. If the hook point does not enter the thread loop, a missed or slipped stitch will occur. Multiple consecutive missed stitches will usually result in thread shredding.
  4. After entering and catching the thread, the hook (or shuttle) continues its rotating movement. It then carries the still slack needle thread around the bobbin, which is housed in the bobbin case (holder), and completely envelopes the bobbin thread.
  5. At about halfway through its rotation, the hook/shuttle will release the slack thread and the needle thread take-up lever will begin to rise from its lowest point. It will start taking up the slack thread that was needed to envelop the bobbin thread.
  6. The take-up-lever will continue upwards, removing the slack thread. At this point the thread tension device comes into play by applying enough tension to the thread. This allows the take-up lever to pull the thread and set the stitch firmly to the fabric without pulling excess needle thread from the thread spool.


This whole intricate process repeats for each and every stitch. You might be surprised at the length of thread required to produce a single 2mm long stitch. This will pass through the needle-eye, at speed, about 45 times before it’s sewn into the fabric. As you can imagine, creating a stitch is a complex process and there is a lot of stress on the thread. Everything has to work in perfect synchronization and if it doesn’t, the thread will break or shred. Let’s look at a list of things you can remedy yourself if you are having thread breakage issues:
 

Typical causes of thread breaks or shredding

  • Needle too small - means a smaller eye and causes stress on the thread. Remember how many times the thread passes through the needle. Choose the correct size needle for the thread you’re using.
  • Wrong needle type - an embroidery needle has a slightly larger eye than most needle styles which allows for better loop formation and accommodates the thread more efficiently without relying on a larger needle diameter.
  • Damaged or worn needle eye - Needles do wear out and particularly when using metallic or abrasive threads. This will stress the thread.
  • Damaged needle hole on needle plate - This can be abrasive on the thread and usually is the result of needle breakages. A damaged plate can usually be ground and polished by a technician. If you do it yourself, don’t make the needle hole too big.
  • Damaged bobbin case or shuttle hook - will catch or snag the thread. Again often caused by needle breakage or incorrect insertion of the bobbin case. Normally this would require a new bobbin case so always have a second or spare bobbin case on hand.
  • Incorrect threading or thread path obstruction - a very common user error, especially a failure to ensure thread is in the Take-up lever correctly.
  • Tension too tight - causes stress on the thread and is often due to an individual thread spool or colour that is simply pulling too tight. Some colour dyes do affect the tension. You can lower the needle tension.
  • Tension too loose - creates excess thread, which can cause the thread loop to collapse or not form correctly resulting in missed stitches. Tighten the needle tension.
  • Thread could have dried out - most good thread is lubricated with silicone during production. This can dry out and cause thread shredding and or tight tensions. Simply spray the thread with pure silicone spray and leave it for a hour (or overnight). This will usually bring dry thread back to life.
  • Designs that are too dense - will cause stress on the thread or will deflect, bend or even break the needle. It can also stop the thread loop from forming, causing missed stitches. Use a different design or filter the design using Embrilliance Density Repair Kit.
  • Fabric Flagging - often caused by incorrect or no backing, incorrect presser foot height, bad hooping, hoop vibration, dense designs or a damaged needle. This is the most common reason for thread shredding.

Presser Foot

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Pressing Matters - Garment Care https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/pressing-matters https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/786 2019-02-01 00:00:00 “Press as you sew” is what we all heard when we were learning to sew and it really hasn’t changed a great deal. You can’t get away from giving a project a light press during its construction and by doing so it will look better by its completion. This technique is referred to as “under pressing” and it helps make the final press less of a task. There is a big difference between “ironing” and “pressing”! Ironing is the movement of the iron while the heating sole is on the fabric and this technique can cause stretching and shining of the fabric. Pressing is the lifting and repositioning of the iron onto the fabric so as not to stretch or shine the fabric. Pressing equipment is usually... “Press as you sew” is what we all heard when we were learning to sew and it really hasn’t changed a great deal. You can’t get away from giving a project a light press during its construction and by doing so it will look better by its completion. This technique is referred to as “under pressing” and it helps make the final press less of a task.

There is a big difference between “ironing” and “pressing”! Ironing is the movement of the iron while the heating sole is on the fabric and this technique can cause stretching and shining of the fabric. Pressing is the lifting and repositioning of the iron onto the fabric so as not to stretch or shine the fabric.

Pressing equipment is usually a low priority on the “things to buy” list for the sewing room yet without good pressing tools it is almost impossible to get a professional finish on any garment. 

 

Pressing accessories are a must as well. Using a heat proof “jelly plate” that the iron can rest on without scorching the ironing surface and a removable Teflon glide sole that slips onto the iron when pressing fabric that are either dark or mark easily (a lot of people have this sort of sole on their iron all the time, for safety). Some “should haves” for pressing: a sleeve board for pressing skinny enclosed seams, a couple of different pressing pads for putting inside garments while opening up seams or pressing off and a Rajah cloth (pressing cloth that has been chemically treated for great results). Brown paper for pressing in pleats and an old linen tea-towel (always used damp) can be added to these pressing necessities. 

To press a seam it is necessary to open the seam up with steam and then dry the seam out generally by turning the steam off. Some irons have a vast array of steam holes through their base and these are ones to avoid as they wet the fabric far too much. The best iron to look for is one that has its steam delivery holes in the top ¼ of the iron and the rest of the sole is flat. This ironing sole plate professionally sets the fibres into place but there are some fabrics that want to curl up once pressed, no matter what you do to them, but an immediate press on the right side of the fabric with a rajah cloth does help but be careful not to bruise the fabric! 

A small travel/crafting iron (approx. $50) that is set up next to the sewing machine on a quilters pressing pad/mat is a very handy to doing quick pressing jobs without having to get up and go to the ironing board. If your iron is set up in another part of the house then having this small iron is a god-send when stitching and it also encourages “press as you sew” techniques. Quilters quite often have a small iron set up beside their machine so why shouldn’t garment makers. Larger irons can get in the way of the garment and inadvertently scorch any garment piece that is resting against the hot sole accidently. 

 

Taking all the above into account, a dedicated ironing system gives, by far, the best result in any workroom or laundry. These systems have a built-in boiler unit that generates a constant flow of dry steam and also a built-in vacuum unit that removes steam from the garment or project through the board and allows the fibres settle under the dry heat of the iron. Some of these units have a “blow” function on them that aerates up through the garment while pressing, making piled fabrics and easily creased fabrics a breeze to work with. This blowing system is based on the on a similar idea to the “air forma” dolly that a dry-cleaner uses to press torso garments on (it looks like a vinyl blow-up mannequin with no head). In addition to dry steam and vacuum some systems have a heated ironing board that prevents the build-up of moisture in the pressing surface and stops any pressing puddles from forming.

This article sounds a bit like an infomercial but I have found, like most of us, buying a cheap iron that only lasts six months is frustrating as it seems like you only just get the feel of the iron and how it copes with different types of fabrics and then it goes fizz! Most frustrating indeed! The Lichfield shirt company in New Zealand had a marketing phrase on their labelling and packaging that said “no one ever regretted buying quality” and that’s exactly how I feel about pressing equipment. The results from these units are remarkable and the price tag is well justified! 

Martyn Smith

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History of Brother https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/inspiration/brother-history https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/797 2019-01-01 00:00:00 Read about this remarkable company and you’ll understand why Echidna Sewing is so committed to Brother products. Brother dates back to 1908 when Kanekichi Yasui established YASUI SEWING MACHINE CO which focused on the repair of sewing machines and production of machine parts. At this time the market was still based on imported sewing machines. Kanekichi sent his two sons Masayoshi and Tokio to Osaka as apprentices where they witnessed the state of the sewing machine industry in Japan and questioned why Japan was not able to manufacture a sewing machine domestically. At the age of 16, Masayoshi took over the business and manufactured ... Read about this remarkable company and you’ll understand why Echidna Sewing is so committed to Brother products.

 

 

 

Brother dates back to 1908 when Kanekichi Yasui established YASUI SEWING MACHINE CO which focused on the repair of sewing machines and production of machine parts.

At this time the market was still based on imported sewing machines.


 

 

Kanekichi sent his two sons Masayoshi and Tokio to Osaka as apprentices where they witnessed the state of the sewing machine industry in Japan and questioned why Japan was not able to manufacture a sewing machine domestically.

At the age of 16, Masayoshi took over the business and manufactured the hydraulic machine for manufacturing straw hats.


 

 

Soon after the Yasui brothers manufactured the "chain-stitch sewing machine" for making straw hats. The chain-stitch sewing machine became popular for its durability in comparison to imported sewing machines, slowly the need for repair decreased.

This was the beginning of the BROTHER brand which symbolizes the cooperation of the two brothers which led to the creation of the sewing machine.


 

 

The Yasui brothers succeeded in mass producing the shuttle hooks in 1932 for the first time in Japan, by creating machine facilities to manufacture the shuttle hook with one's own hands.

In the same year, their goal of manufacturing sewing machines domestically was achieved with the birth of the first home straight lock stitch sewing machine.


 

 

While the straight lock stitch sewing machine for home usage increased sales, the demand grew for military-use sewing machines.

Brother invented an automatic gear cutter to mass produce industrial sewing machines. In 1936, an industrial sewing machine was manufactured.


1971 - 10 Millionth sewing machine produced


 

 

With the electronization of products we got to see the release of the first electrical sewing machine "Compal DX".


 

 

The release of the PC-7000, a computerized sewing machine with embroidery function. A memory card enabled the reproduction of 900 types of patterns, and colourful embroidery using a maximum of 5 colours.

Functions such as video tutorials showing basic operations and sewing methods, an automatic thread cutter, and automatic thread tension adjuster, all made it easy to use.


 

 

Brother celebrates 100 years of business with the release of the Quattro, the ultimate partner in sewing, embroidery, quilting and crafting. The Quattro featured industry firsts such as InnovEye™ Technology, an Up Close™ Viewer function and Runway™Lighting


 

 

Brother announces the release of the PR1000 a Multi-needle Embroidery Machine. With a stitch speed of up to 1000 stitches per minute, allows completion of most multi-colour designs faster, easier, and with greater precision.


 

 

The Dream Machine, the ultimate creative partner with My Design Centre which integrates InnovEye 2 Technology with design techniques such as line art scanning, illustration scanning and the ability to create stippling and free-motion-like stitching without the use of a PC, software or stitch regulation.


 

 

In 2018 we witnessed the release of the Luminaire and its revolutionary StitchVision Technology which, through an innovative projection of light allows you to preview stitches and embroidery designs directly onto your fabric.


 

Want to know more? Visit the Brother global website for loads of interesting facts.

 

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Where have all the sewing shops gone? https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/business/where-have-all-the-sewing-shops-gone https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/832 2018-11-01 00:00:00 The headline reminds me of the song “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”. It’s a song with a message about change, the passage of time and how some things are inevitable. These days it’s not only sewing shops that are disappearing, many industries are being forced to change from their traditional retail practices. But surprisingly, it’s not all because online sales have taken over. In fact smart retailers have embraced online sales while still maintaining their traditional shop fronts. Changing customer habits, the fast fashion industry and perhaps less need to sew have certainly had an impact on our industry. The improved reliability and performance of modern computerized sewing machin...

The headline reminds me of the song “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”. It’s a song with a message about change, the passage of time and how some things are inevitable. These days it’s not only sewing shops that are disappearing, many industries are being forced to change from their traditional retail practices. But surprisingly, it’s not all because online sales have taken over. In fact smart retailers have embraced online sales while still maintaining their traditional shop fronts. 

Changing customer habits, the fast fashion industry and perhaps less need to sew have certainly had an impact on our industry. The improved reliability and performance of modern computerized sewing machines have also resulted in less service revenue which was often the cornerstone of a business. Throw in the extra expense of rising retail rents, government red tape and compliance costs and it’s easy to see why many sewing machine stores have closed in recent years.

But what about support and inspiration?

Change cuts both ways and irrespective of the above, it doesn’t mean there are less options for support and help when you need it. In fact we think there is more education and support available now than ever before! You just need to be willing and prepared to use it and more importantly, understand how to access it. 
Video education is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. All you need is an internet connection, a tablet/iPad or a computer and a question that you want answered. The likelihood of quickly finding a good quality video on YouTube, clearly showing you how to perform a task or solve a problem is almost 100%.
Best of all, you can pause and replay a video as many times as you need to fully understand the process you’re struggling with — something you can’t do in a classroom. 

YOUTUBE IS YOUR FRIEND

I’m a huge advocate for YouTube. It’s so simple and totally free! If you have a tablet like a Samsung Galaxy or Apple iPad, just find the YouTube app and enter your question in the search bar. Alternatively on your computer, browse to www.youtube.com. You can find information on anything!

PERSONALISED VIDEO TUTORIALS

We are constantly uploading videos to YouTube. Sometimes we create and upload a video for a specific customer request like “Explain how to set presser foot height”. We then email the link for that video directly to the customer and they are watching it in no time. It’s like sitting in front of a machine in our showroom without you needing to leave your home.

PREFER TO TALK TO SOMEONE?

Just call our freecall number 1800 000 360 and we’ll help you. You would be surprised how often a two minute phone call to Echidna saves the day. Whatever the support question, we can help. We can even talk you through using YouTube..

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