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The Embroidery Column

How to double your embroidery production

Amaya Sales UK’s managing director, Peter Wright, provides some top advice on how you can double your embroidery production, while reducing your machine downtime.


ust take a walk around your production area and check how many of your embroidery heads have stopped, for how long and why.

I have over 30 yearsʼ experience in the embroidery industry and the most common thing that I see when visiting an embroiderer is the amount of downtime in their production area. I see a multi-head stopped while the operator frames up the next run, there is no excuse for this, they should be ready to swap over as soon as the previous run has finished. If the design has a small amount of stitches then more frames should be purchased so that several runs can be framed in advance. I see machines standing for much too long when new designs are being loaded and colours set up. Thread breaks can account for a great amount of downtime, the more the heads on a fixed multi-head the more time is lost. There are so many situations were down time can be saved. Remember, more production means more profit and happier customers.

Modular v fixed head machines All of the above are much more relevant if you have a fixed multi-head machine because all heads are stopped while the issues listed above are dealt with. On the other hand, if you have a modular machine set up, much of the above downtime will not happen because only one head at a time will be affected. If you are not already using a modular system why not take some time to investigate how it could save you a great deal of time and money. The initial cost is a little more but the system will pay for itself in a matter of months. Also please remember that a modular system is not just a line of single head

| 36 | May 2017

machines. A good system will have operating software that will help control your production flow and turn a single head into a modular multi-head in seconds. Make sure you see a working

demonstration and let the supplier prove to you the efficiency of their system. Some other areas to look out for:


The next area that can cause downtime is poor thread. Try and purchase the best thread at the best price. Even the most expensive thread cost very little in relation to the amount used in a design. So use the best thread available and cut down drastically on thread breaks and improve the quality of your embroidery.


Needles are very cheap to buy but I often see them being saved for re-use when they have been changed from sharp to ball point for example. Throw them away, needles are a very important part of quality and production. If the needle becomes blunt or slightly bent then it will cause bad quality and possible thread breaks. Thread breaks stop the machine and cost money so donʼt penny pinch on the cost of a new needle. Depending on the machine usage, try and change them every month.

Bobbins and bobbin cases

The same as the top thread, use a good quality bobbin thread. This will give you greater consistency of tension and less thread breaks. On a multi-head machine change all bobbins at the same time. Always have spare bobbin cases available so if you need to clean or change them, they are readily available.


Again a good quality backing will save you pounds on lost production and will help give you perfect embroidery. Poor backing that does not support the garment correctly will cause poor quality embroidery and will cause thread breaks.

Digitised designs

Poorly created designs will increase the possibility of threads breaks and of course will affect the quality of the product. There are many digitising companies out there now so try two or three of them until you are happy with the quality. Years ago, these companies would test their designs on a machine before they were sent to the customer but unfortunately now, because of the falling amount they can charge, this does not always happen. So, you should always run the design and check before putting into production.


Last, but not least, is the maintenance of your machines. This is vital if you want trouble free running of your machines and with as few thread breaks as possible. Your equipment costs a lot of money so please show it some respect and keep it running to its optimum level. Some customers will scrimp on maintaining their machines but it could cost them hundreds of pounds in parts and lost production when a break down occurs. Try and have your machines serviced once a year, preferably by a recognised supplier.

So, have another good look at your production area, reduce you downtime and greatly improve your production.

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