Echidna Sewing Articles https://www.echidnasewing.com.au en daily 1 https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/assets/website_logo.png RSS https://www.echidnasewing.com.au Design Registration https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/inspiring-and-educating/design-registration/ https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/849 2019-08-01 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 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 gi... 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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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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 firm... 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 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 b... “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 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 preci... 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 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.. ...

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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Introducing the Brother Luminaire https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/buying-and-selling/introducing-the-brother-luminaire https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/794 The latest and greatest sewing, embroidery and quilting machine of 2018 How do they do it? What creative inspiration drives the design engineers at Brother? Who sat down and thought “mmmm let’s put a projector into our next generation machine and project the image right there onto the fabric in vibrant colour?” Oh to be so visionary. And that’s just the start! Why we love the Luminaire The Brother Luminaire XP1 is truly something special and now that I’ve had some time to really absorb the new technologies that quite frankly are years ahead of the pack, I am smitten with this machine. But if pushed for my absolute number one reason to love the Luminaire, it’s the engineering quality and unprecedented quietness that impresses me the most. It just feels good With advanced new motors for both the machine and embroidery unit, there is a feeling of absolute surety when you stitch on the Luminaire. In other words it just feels and sounds so darn good and that means you’ll love using it. You can have the most incredible features but if the quality and feel is left wanting, they mean nothing at all. It’s one of the key reasons I have passionately sold Brother machines for so long. As a machine mechanic myself, I gravitate to quality and the fact that Brother are also leaders in technology is quite honestly a huge bonus. The ultimate user experience The Luminaire is choc full of surprises at every turn and I find myself saying “wow” repeatedly. The huge new capacitive touch screen is like using an iPad or a tablet and the image quality is amazing. The pinch to zoom and touch scrolling functions combined with the best user interface on the market means finding the right design or stitch type is easier and faster than ever before. And let me tell you there are a lot of stunning built-in designs to choose from including amazing new Disney designs. Anyone can create their own designs Drawing upon all the best features of the still very popular Dream Machine, the Luminaire incorporates a more advanced version of the exclusive Brother My Design Centre. Scan an image or drawing using the scanning hoop provided, load a jpeg file directly to the machine or even simply draw directly on screen and the My Design Centre will turn your ideas or images into a ready to stitch embroidery design, right there on the machine – no computer required. Existing Dream Machine and PR1050X owners know what we mean and My Design Centre has been enhanced even further. With an even bigger range of built-in scalable quilting fill patterns plus automatic stippling and the new echo quilting function, creative minds have no boundaries. Does Size Matter? They say size matters and the Luminaire delivers with Brother’s largest embroidery area ever at 408mm x 272mm. That’s a whopping 16” x 10.5” hoop size which is reinforced with steel and rubber grips for better fabric security. Imagine how many exquisite PhotoStitch portraits you could create with ... The latest and greatest sewing, embroidery and quilting machine of 2018

How do they do it? What creative inspiration drives the design engineers at Brother? Who sat down and thought “mmmm let’s put a projector into our next generation machine and project the image right there onto the fabric in vibrant colour?” Oh to be so visionary. And that’s just the start!

Why we love the Luminaire

The Brother Luminaire XP1 is truly something special and now that I’ve had some time to really absorb the new technologies that quite frankly are years ahead of the pack, I am smitten with this machine. But if pushed for my absolute number one reason to love the Luminaire, it’s the engineering quality and unprecedented quietness that impresses me the most. 

It just feels good

With advanced new motors for both the machine and embroidery unit, there is a feeling of absolute surety when you stitch on the Luminaire. In other words it just feels and sounds so darn good and that means you’ll love using it. You can have the most incredible features but if the quality and feel is left wanting, they mean nothing at all. It’s one of the key reasons I have passionately sold Brother machines for so long. As a machine mechanic myself, I gravitate to quality and the fact that Brother are also leaders in technology is quite honestly a huge bonus.

The ultimate user experience

The Luminaire is choc full of surprises at every turn and I find myself saying “wow” repeatedly. The huge new capacitive touch screen is like using an iPad or a tablet and the image quality is amazing. The pinch to zoom and touch scrolling functions combined with the best user interface on the market means finding the right design or stitch type is easier and faster than ever before. And let me tell you there are a lot of stunning built-in designs to choose from including amazing new Disney designs.

Anyone can create their own designs 

Drawing upon all the best features of the still very popular Dream Machine, the Luminaire incorporates a more advanced version of the exclusive Brother My Design Centre. Scan an image or drawing using the scanning hoop provided, load a jpeg file directly to the machine or even simply draw directly on screen and the My Design Centre will turn your ideas or images into a ready to stitch embroidery design, right there on the machine – no computer required.

Existing Dream Machine and PR1050X owners know what we mean and My Design Centre has been enhanced even further. With an even bigger range of built-in scalable quilting fill patterns plus automatic stippling and the new echo quilting function, creative minds have no boundaries. 

Does Size Matter?

They say size matters and the Luminaire delivers with Brother’s largest embroidery area ever at 408mm x 272mm. That’s a whopping 16” x 10.5” hoop size which is reinforced with steel and rubber grips for better fabric security. 

Imagine how many exquisite PhotoStitch portraits you could create with the new PE Design 11 software that is included in the introductory package. PhotoStitch is very cool! A huge hoop makes it even better.

Room to move

For sewers and quilters, the extended 13.1” needle to arm space is cavernous, accommodating large quilt rolls. Converting from embroidery mode to sewing is quick and easy and if you opt to leave the embroidery unit in place, there is ample room to sew. The new design also eliminates the embroidery arm slots so there is no chance to lose misplaced pins into the embroidery unit.

Australia’s best deals

I could go on and on about this remarkable machine but I do recommend watching the excellent videos or better still drop in and see it in person. We have Australia’s best package deal. 

It’s fair to say that we are chuffed with this latest technology and already there is a long list of very happy Luminaire customers. Well done Brother on yet another industry milestone. They just keep coming.

 

Are you a serious embroider? You may want to consider the PR1050X 10 needle. View our comparison article.

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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 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 moving metal parts 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? Who should you trust to service it? What can you do to keep it in good shape? What maintenance should you do? Removing thread that has broken up near the take up lever What about power protection? What does a service cost? 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 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 fact, 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 though 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 work table 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. Cover your machine to prevent dust and other contaminants. If you have ... 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 moving metal parts 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 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 fact, 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 though 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 work table 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.

  • 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. The will even eat away some non-metal components.  Best plan is to keep them away with simple measures like baits and repellants.

  • 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 or poor quality backings.  This is easily fixed - use quality notions.


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 mult-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 the there is 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 the take up area. 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. So it’s important to protect all expensive machines with quality surge protection devices.


What does a service cost?

There is no 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 within the hour. But 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 this, modern machines are very reliable and most problems are usually a result of one the ingredients not being right. Thread, needles, backings, designs, environment and the operator. Check all of these before rushing off to the repairman and you may just save yourself some money.

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Brother PR1050X vs Brother Luminaire XP1 https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/buying-and-selling/PR1050XvsLuminaire https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/793 The Luminaire is the latest top of the range home sewing and embroidery machine from Brother and is truly visionary. For many it will be the ultimate machine, but for others it may not be the right choice. That’s why we always suggest that serious embroidery lovers should look carefully at the Brother PR1050X Entrepreneur Pro. Introducing the PR1050X (10 Needle) The PR1050X is the 10 needle fully automatic embroidery machine that was created to embroider like no other. Featuring the advanced Brother My Design Centre and the ultimate versatility of tubular or free arm embroidery, this workhorse model is equally at home with hobbyists and small business owners alike. No need to babysit your machine The automatic colour changing function means you can hit the go button and walk away. If your design has 10 colours or less, your next liaison with the machine is when the job is finished. In other words you don’t need to babysit the machine. Have more than 10 colours? No worries! The clever PR1050X will stop and tell you exactly what colour thread to load on each needle and with the easy pull-through threading path and smart needle threader, changing colours is anything but a chore. Plus repeating colours are automatically recalled. Advanced camera technology built-in The tried and proven Brother InnovEye camera and snowman function means design alignment is perfect. You can even scan your fabric after it’s hooped and place your design exactly where you want on the huge high resolution colour screen. Imagine positioning an embroidery design on a printed fabric without any guesswork at all! Did someone mention hoops? There is an abundant range of both genuine and aftermarket additional hooping options like caps and hats, clamping frames for shoes and bags and even special hoops for sleeves and pants legs. Imagine not having to unpick seams to embroider otherwise difficult items. Get more done in less time At up to 1000 stitches per minute it’s not only quick, it’s also more efficient. With the 10 needle automation and fast start up speed you’ll be finished each design in no time. Will it fit in your sewing room? Yes! You might have difficulty believing this but the clever design of the PR1050X provides a smaller footprint than almost all current top of the range home embroidery machines! For me personally, it’s the perfect embroidery machine. While I am totally smitten with the new Luminaire, I urge serious embroiderers to be sure to compare the two models. The prices are similar and they both offer the world’s best technology. They both exude the quality engineering that you’d expect from Brother but it’s important to choose the machine that is right for you. Let us help you make the right decision. We have a package that will suit you We pride ourselves on tailoring packages that suit individual needs. Some customers already have everything they need so a machine-only deal is perfect. Others are starti... The Luminaire is the latest top of the range home sewing and embroidery machine from Brother and is truly visionary. For many it will be the ultimate machine, but for others it may not be the right choice. That’s why we always suggest that serious embroidery lovers should look carefully at the Brother PR1050X Entrepreneur Pro. 

Introducing the PR1050X (10 Needle)

The PR1050X is the 10 needle fully automatic embroidery machine that was created to embroider like no other. Featuring the advanced Brother My Design Centre and the ultimate versatility of tubular or free arm embroidery, this workhorse model is equally at home with hobbyists and small business owners alike.

No need to babysit your machine

The automatic colour changing function means you can hit the go button and walk away. If your design has 10 colours or less, your next liaison with the machine is when the job is finished. In other words you don’t need to babysit the machine. Have more than 10 colours? No worries! The clever PR1050X will stop and tell you exactly what colour thread to load on each needle and with the easy pull-through threading path and smart needle threader, changing colours is anything but a chore. Plus repeating colours are automatically recalled.

Advanced camera technology built-in

The tried and proven Brother InnovEye camera and snowman function means design alignment is perfect. You can even scan your fabric after it’s hooped and place your design exactly where you want on the huge high resolution colour screen. Imagine positioning an embroidery design on a printed fabric without any guesswork at all!

Did someone mention hoops?

There is an abundant range of both genuine and aftermarket additional hooping options like caps and hats, clamping frames for shoes and bags and even special hoops for sleeves and pants legs. Imagine not having to unpick seams to embroider otherwise difficult items. 

Get more done in less time 

At up to 1000 stitches per minute it’s not only quick, it’s also more efficient. With the 10 needle automation and fast start up speed you’ll be finished each design in no time. 

Will it fit in your sewing room?

Yes! You might have difficulty believing this but the clever design of the PR1050X provides a smaller footprint than almost all current top of the range home embroidery machines! 

For me personally, it’s the perfect embroidery machine. While I am totally smitten with the new Luminaire, I urge serious embroiderers to be sure to compare the two models. The prices are similar and they both offer the world’s best technology. They both exude the quality engineering that you’d expect from Brother but it’s important to choose the machine that is right for you. Let us help you make the right decision.

We have a package that will suit you

We pride ourselves on tailoring packages that suit individual needs. Some customers already have everything they need so a machine-only deal is perfect. Others are starting fresh and a complete kit of additional hoops, software, threads, accessories and even furniture fits the bill. There is no one size fits all but we will guarantee the best deal available and provide the very best after sales support available. It’s what we’re famous for.

Want to know more?

We can mail you a detailed information kit or you can download it all from our website and watch some excellent videos. But most importantly you can call and talk to Gary or one of our amazing team to see if a PR1050X is right for you.

Beware of imitations

It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and there are a host of Brother PR series copies now being manufactured. I saw them all on my last visit to the international sewing show in Shanghai, China and let me assure you the only similarity is the external covers which are almost identical.

Trade-ins are always welcome

It’s a big help when you can use your old machine as part payment and we are happy to consider trading in any make or model.

Finance available from less than $80 per week with No Deposit over 60 month term* 

Both finance and in-house payment plans are available and you’ll be surprised at how affordable a smart new multi needle machine can be.

Support is our priority

We’ve been shipping Brother machines, including multi needle models, all over Australia since 2006. Our remote support is legendary, so just because there may not be a local sewing machine store near you doesn’t mean you need to miss out. Our phone and online support is your peace of mind.

*Finance quoted for Latitude Finance to approved applications based on the recommended retail price of $18,999 for the PR1050X with no bonus items. 

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Brother presser feet and accessories https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/product-guides/your-guide-to-brother-presser-feet-and-accessories/ https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/769 Use this list to quickly browse Brother's full range of presser feet, attachments and machine accessories and find out what each part is used for. We'll happily order in any part you can't find in our online shop. .video-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; padding-top: 30px; height: 0; overflow: hidden; } .video-container iframe, .video-container object, .video-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

Use this list to quickly browse Brother's full range of presser feet, attachments and machine accessories and find out what each part is used for. We'll happily order in any part you can't find in our online shop—simply call us on 1800 000 360 to place your order.

For pictures, order codes and to check if a part is compatible with your machine, download the full Brother Accessories catalogue (PDF, 19MB).

Presser feet for general sewing

  • Adjustable zipper/piping foot—for easier attaching of zippers and piping tapes
  • Blind stitch Foot—adjustable for creating blind hems on a variety of fabrics
  • Concealed zipper foot—for easy installation of concealed zippers
  • Edge joining foot—for easy joining of two pieces of fabric or attach lace or trim
  • Narrow hemmer foot—for narrow rolled hemming
  • Narrow zipper foot—this presser foot is useful for attaching various kinds of zippers
  • Non stick foot—for fabrics which may stick to the bottom of the foot such as leather
  • Overlock foot—for creating overlock seams
  • Picot foot—for shell stitch effect while creating a hem
  • Piping foot—for easier attaching of piping tape
  • Roller foot—for sewing specialty fabrics such as vinyl and leather without leaving marks on the fabric
  • Seam guide—for guiding fabric edge with an accurate 1/4", 1/2" or 5/8" (approx 6.5, 13 or 16mm) seam
  • Side cutter—for cutting, trimming and sewing in one operation
  • Stitch guide foot—for precise topstitching from fabric edge
  • Stitch in the ditch foot—for sewing quilt bindings or concealed seams on clothes
  • Straight stitch foot—for straight stitch sewing (with needle in center position)
  • Straight stitch foot and straight stitch needle plate—for perfect straight stitching when sewing thin fabrics etc.
  • Vertical stitch alignment foot—the marked ruler lets you measure the distance from the needle
  • Zigzag foot—for utility stitches, especially useful to promote perfect feed on thick fabrics when to start sewing
  • Adapter for low shank—for fitting optional feet on sewing machines with a low shank

Presser feet for decorative embellishment

  • Adjustable binder foot—for Attaching various width bias tape from 3/16" (5mm) to 3/4" (20mm)
  • Binding foot—for attaching one-inch wide bias tape (folds and sews tapes simultaneously)
  • Braiding foot—to attach braiding includes adjustment screw for varying heights of braiding
  • Candlewicking foot—for sewing candlewick stitch
  • Clear-view foot—for optimum visibility while sewing
  • Cording foot—to attach three or less cords or decorative threads
  • Cording foot (5-hole)—for cording work with 5 cords
  • Cording foot (7-hole)—for cording work with 7 cords
  • Couching foot—to create decorative yarn embellishment with free-motion sewing
  • Fringe foot—creates dimensional thread loops on the top surface of the fabric and attaches fringe simultaneously
  • Gathering foot—to gather one or two layers of lightweight fabric (two layers of fabric can be sewn together and gathered simultaneously)
  • Needle felting attachment—you can apply embellishments to fabric by piercing yarn or wool with special needles.
  • Open toe foot—to attach appliqué motifs (choose from metal or clear plastic)
  • Pearls and sequins foot—to attach pearls, sequins or beading to fabrics
  • Pin tuck foot (7 grooves)—for making pin tucks in varying widths with/without cord
  • 5 grooves pin tuck foot—for making pin tucks with larger intervals
  • Pin tuck foot (5 grooves)—for making pin tuck with/without cords
  • Ruffler foot—creates ruffles and pleats in varying depths and fullness (can attach and create simultaneously)

Presser feet for Quilting

  • 1/4 inch piecing foot—for quilt and patchwork piecing with 1/4" or 1/8" seam allowance
  • 1/4 inch piecing foot with guide—for sewing an accurate 1/4" (6.4mm) or 1/8" (3.2mm) seam allowance
  • Quilting guide—to set precise distance from one point to another
  • Open to quilting foot—the opening on the foot gives you wide visibility
  • Quilting foot—spring action foot for darning, quilting or free-motion embroidery
  • Walking foot—for sewing or quilting on fabrics which stick or tend to slip. Useful for sewing multiple layers as in quilting
  • Open toe walking foot—the open front gives you greater visibility
  • Creative quilting foot—provides a variety of quilting possibilities
  • Quilting accessory set—includes useful sewing feet for quilting
  • Free motion guide grip—guide grip keeps the fabric taut and helps as you sew free motion embroidery

General sewing accessories

  • Bobbins (10pcs)—11.5mm (7/16") in height
  • Bobbins and bobbin clips—10 bobbins and bobbin clips that keep thread from unwinding
  • Bobbin work kit—sew 3-dimensional designs using decorative threads in your bobbin
  • Circular attachment—sew in circular designs with a guide for measuring and sewing with a variety of decorative stitches
  • Creative sewing pack—includes 5 kind of useful sewing feet
  • 5 foot embellishment pack—to enhance your creative possibilities as you sew
  • Dual feed—dual Feed foot enhances fabric control on top and underside of your fabrics as you sew
  • Open toe dual feed foot—the open toe provides expanded visibility of the needle area
  • Couching dual feed foot—easy to sew heavy fabrics in straight line with dual feed
  • Stitch in the ditch dual feed foot—the fabric can be smoothly fed when sewing quilt bindings or concealed seams on clothes
  • Dual feed 1/4 inch guide foot—the fabric can be smoothly fed while piecing with a uniform seam allowance
  • Dual feed quilting guide—the fabric can be smoothly fed while sewing stitching at equal intervals
  • Edge sewing sheet—provides proper alignment with the edge sewing feature
  • Adjustable knee lifter—can raise and lower the presser foot with your knee
  • King spool thread stand—lets you set two large spool threads
  • Multi-function foot controller—various sewing machine operations can be performed
  • Multi-purpose screwdriver—you can rotate the position of the driver and use for multi purpose
  • Wide table—for better fabric measuring and handling during sewing and quilting
  • Wide table and free-motion guide grip

Embroidery accessories

  • PE-DESIGN 10—turn your idea into embroidery with PE-DESIGN software
  • PE-DESIGN PLUS2—basic digitizing and easy embroidery work
  • Embroidery thread sets—satin finish embroidery sets (40/21/12 colors) and Country thread sets (40/22 colors)
  • Bobbin threads—for best embroidery results, use the appropriate machine embroidery bobbin thread
  • Prewound embroidery bobbin threads
  • Iron-on backing stabilizer (28 x 100cm (11" x 1yd), 3 pcs)
  • Water soluble stabilizer (non-woven fabric 30 x 150cm 1pc)
  • Water soluble stabilizer (28 x 300cm (11" x 3.3yd), 1pc)
  • Dream Machine XV8500D Software Upgrade Premium Pack I—includes square embroidery hoop and My Design Center upgrade
  • Dream Machine XV8550D, XV8500D, XV Software Upgrade Premium Pack II—time saving presser foot function and additional embroidery designs
  • V-Series Software Upgrade Premium Pack I—expanded embroidey area to 12" x 8" (300 x 200mm) and additional frames with program update
  • V-Series Software Upgrade Premium Pack II—time saving presser foot function and additional decorative stitches
  • Embroidery positioning sticker (504 stickers)—makes design placement easy
  • Embroidery card reader—can use Brother embroidery card collections
  • Embroidery foot with LED pointer—can adjust the needle position accurately with LED pointer
  • Embroidery frames—embroidery hoops in a variety of sizes to suit different applications (see brochure)
  • Border frame—simplifies process of making borders
  • Square embroidery frame—an ideal size for embroidering on clothing, quilting squares, etc
  • 10 spool thread stand—sets up 10 spools of thread
  • Protective sheet—protect the sewing machine from being scratched

Presser feet for professional use sewing machines (PQ Series)

  • Spring action guide—use these compensating feet in 3 sizes (2mm, 5mm and 8mm) to hold fabrics for edge-stitching and topstitching
  • Gathering foot—to gather fabric for garment and home decorating applications
  • Heavyweight foot—for sewing on heavier or thicker fabrics
  • Very narrow foot—for tight corners, working up against a ridge, or other similar situations
  • Needle felting attachment—creates beautiful surface embellishment on fabric with wool roving, yarns

Presser feet and accessories for overlockers and sergers

  • Blind stitch foot—for trimming edges, finishing and hemming in one operation
  • Gathering foot—for gathering and sewing in one operation
  • Pearls and sequins foot—to attach pearls and sequins up to 5mm in diameter to fabric
  • Piping foot—for sewing piping and two fabrics together
  • Taping foot—to attach tapes and elastic to stretch fabrics up to 12mm in width
  • Wide table—for better fabric handling during sewing and quilting

Attachments for coverstitch machines

  • Belt loop guide—to make belt loops or straps of 11mm (1/2") wide
  • Bias tape folder—for folding and attaching 12mm (1/2") wide bias tapes
  • Double fold binder—for making and attaching 12mm (1/2") tape in one operation
  • Dual function fold binder—for making and attaching 8mm (5/16") tape in one operation
  • Bias tape binding set—for folding and attaching 6mm(1/4") or 12mm (1/2") bias tapes to fabric edge
  • Hemming set—to make single or double fold hems
  • Top stitching foot set—for decorative top stitching

How to use each presser foot

Watch our video playlist and learn how to use each of the diffferent presser feet in the Brother range.

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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 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. Softaway (tearaway) A softer, lighter tearaway for woven fabrics (e.g. apparel and crafts). Easy to hoop, doesn’t perforate and tears away easily and cleanly. Non-woven polyester, wood pulp, PVA | 55gsm Buy softaway (tearaway) 20" x 10yd roll Fusible softaway (tearaway) Softaway with an added low-melt-point fusible layer. Ideal for difficult or slippery woven fabrics (e.g. satins, sateens and poplins). Non-woven polyester, wood pulp, PVA, olefin | 55gsm Buy fusible softaway (tearaway) 20" x 10yd roll Cutaway The universal stabilizer. Use one layer underneath stretchy, knitted fabrics (e.g. polos and sportswear). Hoop with the garment or float the garment on top. Then trim the excess backing away after stitching. Non-woven polyester | 80gsm roll/75gsm sheets Buy cutaway (20" x 10yd roll, White) Buy cutaway (20" x 10yd roll, Black) Buy cutaway (41 x 25cm sheets, White) See-through cutaway A soft cutaway ideal for lightweight, soft drape and opaque 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 polo shirts. Non-woven polyester Buy see-through cutaway (20" x 10yd roll, White) Buy see-through cutaway (20" x 50yd bulk, White) Fusible see-through cutaway Same as the see-through cutaway but has a fusible low-melt-point resin that easily adheres to the fabric with a warm iron to prevent scorching. Best for particularly light, difficult and more fluid type fabrics. Non-woven polyester, low-melt adhesive Buy fusible see-through cutaway (20" x 10yd roll) Iron-on paper Prevents unstable fabrics losing shape during hooping. Apply with a hot iron and hoop together with a layer of tearaway or cutaway. Peel and tear off the excess. Ideal for polycotton blends and tight weave poplins. Polymer-coated paper Buy iron-on stabilizer (35cm x 20m roll) Washaway 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 towelling. Can be used with or without fabric. Water-soluble non-woven PVA | 50gsm Buy washaway (20" x 10yd roll) Supersolv Holds down the nap of the fabric, preventing stitches from sinking in. Place on top of fabrics like towels, suede, sp... 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.

Softaway (tearaway)

A softer, lighter tearaway for woven fabrics (e.g. apparel and crafts). Easy to hoop, doesn’t perforate and tears away easily and cleanly.

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

Buy softaway (tearaway) 20" x 10yd roll

Fusible softaway (tearaway)

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

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

Buy fusible softaway (tearaway) 20" x 10yd roll

Cutaway

The universal stabilizer. Use one layer underneath stretchy, knitted fabrics (e.g. polos and sportswear). Hoop with the garment or float the garment on top. Then trim the excess backing away after stitching.

See-through cutaway

A soft cutaway ideal for lightweight, soft drape and opaque 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 polo shirts.

Fusible see-through cutaway

Same as the see-through cutaway but has a fusible low-melt-point resin that easily adheres to the fabric with a warm iron to prevent scorching. Best for particularly light, difficult and more fluid type fabrics.

Non-woven polyester, low-melt adhesive

Buy fusible see-through cutaway (20" x 10yd roll)

Iron-on paper

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

Washaway

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 towelling. Can be used with or without fabric.

Water-soluble non-woven PVA | 50gsm

Buy washaway (20" x 10yd roll)

Supersolv

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.

Water-soluble PVA film | 35 micron

Buy supersolv (20" x 10yd roll)

Double-sided tape

Tape used to embroider fabrics without hooping. Apply the high-tack tape around the outer edges of the design and secure the fabric. Use the low-tack tape on the inner edges and the underside of the embroidery hoop to prevent hooped fabric from slipping during the embroidery process.

Hot melt web

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.

Hot melt 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 one one side for heat application.

Pellon Peltex ultra firm fusible

Ultra-firm single-sided fusible is a smooth, heavyweight stabilizer for accessories, crafts, home decor, machine embroidery, bags and more. Apply with a damp cloth for 10-15 seconds, pressing firmly.

Filmoplast adhesive embroidery paper

Non-heat bonding of fabrics before embroidering. Ideal for difficult placements of embroidery and stabilizing high stretch fabrics. No gumming of the embroidery needle and perfect to use with Durkee and EZ frames.

Download a printable stabilizer guide (PDF, 145KB)

Buy stabilizers in our online shop

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What is the right embroidery software for you? https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/article/inspiring-and-educating/what-is-the-right-embroidery-software-for-you/ https://www.echidnasewing.com.au/guid/article/795 What’s right for you? Do you need it at all? With so many amazing embroidery software programs to choose from it’s hard to decide on what’s right for you, or even if you need software at all. Echidna is very proud to offer a wide range of world class products with each one boasting its own unique credentials. The truth is that some advanced embroiderers use far more than one program but for most, choosing the software that best suits your needs can be a lottery. We can help you decide by simply asking questions like.... What level of computer skills do you have? What embroidery skills do you possess? Do you want to create your own designs? Do you want to edit existing designs? Do you embroider a lot of lettering? Are you a Mac or PC user? Have you ever used graphic software before? The more we understand about your embroidery journey, the better we can assist in choosing the right software. Sadly, I have personally spoken to countless customers over the years who have unnecessarily spent thousands of dollars on software to only ever use it to transfer deigns to their machine. Or they have purchased a full digitizing suite when all they needed was basic customizing software. Or even worse, they didn’t need software at all. All the products we recommend offer various levels or modules at affordable prices and we think it’s important that you don’t spend money on levels that you are unlikely to use. You can always add more features in the future if the need arises. Which brand suits your machine? These days, almost all embroidery software is what we call brand neutral, so it doesn’t matter what make of machine you have. For example, if you love the idea of high quality photostitch designs then the Brother PE Design 11 is well worth looking at but you don’t need to own a Brother machine. Will your old software work with a new machine? Most likely it will but check with us if you’re unsure. Sometimes the only reason you may need to change or upgrade software is simply to get your hands on the latest technology and features. It’s true that software technology never stands still and what was new last year can be old hat only months later. More education available Embroidery software is perhaps one of the biggest beneficiaries of the rise of YouTube. There are thousands of free and paid-for videos online dedicated to teaching home embroiderers how to use their software and covering virtually any brand you can imagine. It’s incredible and you can access them 24/7. Embrilliance An easy-to-use suite of 8 embroidery software modules Runs on MAC or PC Offers basic customizing through to advanced digitising Priced from only $149 Grow the suite by adding only the modules that you need Works with all makes of machines Thousands of online video tutorials plus the support of Echidna A popular choice for hobby and small business embroiderers BROTHER PE DESIGN 11 Widely regar... What’s right for you? Do you need it at all?

With so many amazing embroidery software programs to choose from it’s hard to decide on what’s right for you, or even if you need software at all. Echidna is very proud to offer a wide range of world class products with each one boasting its own unique credentials. The truth is that some advanced embroiderers use far more than one program but for most, choosing the software that best suits your needs can be a lottery. 

  • We can help you decide by simply asking questions like.... 
  • What level of computer skills do you have?
  • What embroidery skills do you possess?
  • Do you want to create your own designs?
  • Do you want to edit existing designs?
  • Do you embroider a lot of lettering?
  • Are you a Mac or PC user?
  • Have you ever used graphic software before?

The more we understand about your embroidery journey, the better we can assist in choosing the right software. Sadly, I have personally spoken to countless customers over the years who have unnecessarily spent thousands of dollars on software to only ever use it to transfer deigns to their machine. Or they have purchased a full digitizing suite when all they needed was basic customizing software. Or even worse, they didn’t need software at all.

All the products we recommend offer various levels or modules at affordable prices and we think it’s important that you don’t spend money on levels that you are unlikely to use. You can always add more features in the future if the need arises.

Which brand suits your machine?

These days, almost all embroidery software is what we call brand neutral, so it doesn’t matter what make of machine you have. For example, if you love the idea of high quality photostitch designs then the Brother PE Design 11 is well worth looking at but you don’t need to own a Brother machine. 

Will your old software work with a new machine?

Most likely it will but check with us if you’re unsure. Sometimes the only reason you may need to change or upgrade software is simply to get your hands on the latest technology and features. It’s true that software technology never stands still and what was new last year can be old hat only months later. 

More education available

Embroidery software is perhaps one of the biggest beneficiaries of the rise of YouTube. There are thousands of free and paid-for videos online dedicated to teaching home embroiderers how to use their software and covering virtually any brand you can imagine. It’s incredible and you can access them 24/7.

 

Embrilliance

  • An easy-to-use suite of 8 embroidery software modules
  • Runs on MAC or PC
  • Offers basic customizing through to advanced digitising
  • Priced from only $149
  • Grow the suite by adding only the modules that you need
  • Works with all makes of machines
  • Thousands of online video tutorials plus the support of Echidna
  • A popular choice for hobby and small business embroiderers

BROTHER PE DESIGN 11

  • Widely regarded as having the industry’s best photostitch.
  • All-new Version 11 boasts 54 scalable automatic quilting background designs
  • Compatible with all makes and models of machines.
  • Only two levels, starting at $649 for PE Design Plus
  • Version 10 to 11 Upgrade now available for $579 (even less with Platinum discount)

HATCH BY WILCOM

  • Developed by Wilcom (an Australian company) for the home market
  • Already the software of choice for thousands of embroiderers around the world
  • Starting from only $219
  • The all-new Hatch V2 is available in a modular or full suite option
  • Works with all brands of machines

BUZZ TOOLS

  • A suite of easy-to-use programs including BuzzSize, BuzzEdit, BuzzWord, Buzz2Stitches and BuzzXplore
  • Most popular program is BuzzXplore for its simple but effective design cataloguing and conversion system
  • Compatible with all brands of machines
  • Pricing starts from only $179 (less with Platinum discount).
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