clothing embroidery gold A

Clothing Embroidery: Which Embroidery Machines Work Best?

Clothing embroidery is popular in many different industries. Whether it’s workwear, sportswear, school uniforms or even formalwear, embroidery is apparent everywhere. So, for businesses that specialise in clothing embroidery it’s vital they find the right embroidery machine. Choosing the wrong one could be detrimental to businesses, so you need to take time when deciding on a machine.

Various factors will influence your decision when looking for an embroidery machine. And you’re in luck. We’ll explain them all in detail in this post. 


We’ll cover: 


Different Output Capacities

No two clothing embroidery businesses are the same – each will have different demands and needs of their unique customer base. Which means that each business will need to adjust their output capacity accordingly. 

Capacity is the maximum level of output that a business can sustain to continue to operate smoothly. When planning for capacity, you need to be prepared to plan for limitations on your production – this involves assessing the number of staff members and your equipment too. 


capacity level metre


The bigger your orders and the more clients you have, the higher your capacity needs to be. Not only do you have to cover all the jobs that require completing but you need to allow a little leeway as breathing space for your employees. You may get an emergency request from a client or be anticipating growth. 

Choosing the right machine is crucial for getting your capacity level right. Single-head machines can’t produce products at the same rate as multi-head machines can. So, if you’re a larger business, a single-head machine wouldn’t suffice. You’d need a machine that has no problem working all day, has multiple heads that stitch quickly and is reliable. 

As a business, you don’t want to be working too closely to your capacity limit. Not only does this leave you no room for mistakes, but it’ll hamper your employees too. They’ll be under extreme pressure all of the time, which is no good for team morale. And poor team morale usually has a knock-on effect on productivity. This is why you need to pick the right machine to grant you the perfect output capacity.


Turnaround Times For Your Products

When placing an order with a business, one thing that customers will never tire of is receiving an efficient service. However, it’s all well and good being able to boast that you can turn around your orders unbelievably quickly, but if the quality of the product suffers from rushing then nobody is going to be impressed. 

There’s nothing quite like super-fast turnaround times that are carried out with a high-quality standard, is there? One way you’re able to make sure that you can turn orders around with A-grade quality is by having the right embroidery machine in place. 

You need to be realistic with your turnaround times when making a promise to customers. If you overestimate them, you’ll be the architect of your own downfall. However, if you forecast them to be too long, you’ll instantly put customers off and they’ll shop elsewhere for their clothing embroidery. 

Multi-head embroidery machines are the perfect solution if you’re looking for a quick turnaround time that doesn’t compromise on quality. The several number of heads means that various products can be worked on at the same time. This can dramatically increase order turnaround times – rather than waiting for a product produced one by one on a single-head machine. 

The Happy Japan HCR3-1512 will allow you to turn round orders rapidly, without compromising on quality. This machine will reliably guarantee results time after time.



twelve head commercial embroidery machine


It’s key features are:

  • Number of heads: 12.
  • Maximum speed: 1200 RPM.
  • Maximum Flat Embroidery size: 450mm x 500mm (360mm).
  • Tubular Embroidery Area: 420mm x 440mm.
  • Machine memory: 40 million stitches – Up to 250 design can be saved.
  • USB and LAN network port.
  • Automatic thread trimmer.
  • Automatic colour change.


The Range of Products You Offer

The range of products that you offer will dictate what type of machine you need. Obviously, not all of your products are going to be the same dimensions and size, so they might not all fit under the same embroidery machine.

Embroidery machines are a big investment, especially if you’re a small business. So, you’ve got to make sure that your investment is going to be worth it. Buying a wide-area embroidery machine is a great idea if you can afford it and are going to get the most out of it.

If you’re producing one-offs of different products that don’t fit in your machine, you might want to consider outsourcing your clothing embroidery until you can guarantee that buying a machine will be worth the investment. As wide-area machines are large pieces of equipment, you should consider whether you have the right premises for them and that staff have adequate training in using them. They’re a big investment, but a worthwhile one when utilised adequately. 

It’s easy to see why the Happy Japan HFR-W1502-120 wide-area machine is one of our best sellers. It’s ideal for businesses that are offering a wide range of products.

This machine has no problem with churning out orders, and it can be run all day – which is a big help in busy periods.


Other key features include: 

  • 10.4inch Color LCD Touch Screen Control Panel
  • Clip-Type Upper Thread Holder
  • Bobbin Thread Winder
  • Laser Position Marker
  • Front Safety Sensor (Needle Sensor)
  • Borer Device
  • Sequin Device
  • ZigZag Cording Device


The Complexity of Designs Required

Clothing embroidery isn’t always straightforward. There are a lot of simple jobs that require names and slogans stitching, but that doesn’t cover the full product range that embroidery companies can offer. For example, school uniform shops have to be able to embroider complex crests and logos onto an array of different products. 

This means that you need a machine that has the right functionalities to be able to produce these products. When designing crests and logos, rather than hire their own graphic designer, clothing embroidery shops find it cheaper to use a digital designer to produce these for them. Once they have the crest or logo, they can then use it for as many times as they like on their products. 

Embroiderers usually load these digital files onto their machines using a USB port and plug it straight into the control panel on their advanced machine. So, you need to find a machine that has the right software installed for you to be able to do this. 

Plus, it needs to be easy to use and load up from when you’ve plugged in your USB so that your whole team has no problem using the machine – and there’s no breakdown in production should any of your staff be out of work. 


The Number of Staff You Employ

Your staff will need training on your new embroidery machine. It’s best to have all of your team trained on the machines so that there’s no slow down in production. The last thing you want is to displease your customers just because some of your team are out of the office. 

Or, rather than pay for the training yourself, when recruiting for new staff members why don’t you look for people who are qualified in operating the embroidery machines that you have in place? That way, your team can get straight down to business and there will be less risk of mistakes being made due to their prior experience. 

If your team has never used embroidery machines before, then it’s not the end of the world. Brands like Happy Japan produce user-friendly, reliable machines that’ll help propel the production of your business forwards. 


two clothing embroidery workers


Invest in the Right Machine For Your Clothing Embroidery Business

Quite simply, without your embroidery machine, you have no products to sell. And without any products to sell, you have no business. Your embroidery machine is your most precious asset, so you need to think carefully when you’re deciding which one to opt for. Choose the wrong one ad it could cause major problems for your business.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure where to start when deciding on which one is right for your business. You’re not the only ones. Luckily at Midwest, we’re here to help. Which is why we’ve produced a free guide that compares single-head and multi-head embroidery machines, explaining everything you need to know about them and the benefits they can bring to your business.

Take the first step in purchasing the right machine for your clothing embroidery business and download it today. 


how to start a clothing manufacturing company

How to Start a Clothing Manufacturing Company: A Guide

Starting your own clothing company is an exciting prospect. However, like entering into any other industry, it can be particularly daunting – especially if you’re not used to running your own business and are starting out for the first time on your own. 

Clothes manufacturing is an extremely competitive market to emerge into, but if you find the right segment with an audience that has a true need for the product, then you could be onto a winner. The clothing manufacturing and branding industry may seem like glitz and glamour on the surface, but you’ll have to put in the hard yards before it’s all catwalks and big photoshoots. 

So, what does it take?  Well, this blog post will run through everything you need to know about how to start a clothing manufacturing company. 


We’ll cover: 


Form Your Brand

In the world of fashion and clothes manufacturing, the importance of your brand identity can’t be understated. Your brand identity is how people portray your brand and should embody the main attributes of your business. Clothing choices are very important to people. It’s a way of expressing who they are, so the brands that people wear become an extension of who they are. 


premium clothing brand labels


So when you’re first starting out your clothing manufacturing business, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What identity do you want your clothing manufacturing company to project?
  • Who will want to wear your clothes?
  • What can customers get from your manufacturing company that they won’t be able to get elsewhere? 
  • Is my clothing unique?

The answers to these questions will form the core of your brand. So, when it comes to making future brand ideas, you should address these first to make sure that you’re still on-brand with your decision. 

Having a clear brand identity that resonates with the audience is the key to success in the industry. It’s an exciting, fast-paced market so it’s only natural that you’ll have a lot of ideas flying around. But to be as successful as possible, especially when starting out, you need to carry out as much audience research as you can. That way, you form a brand that they’re bound to love. 


Consider the Main Costs and Outgoings

When starting your clothes manufacturing business, it’s important that you crunch the numbers and work out what your costs are going to be. Of course, it’s easy to get excited about the incomings and revenue, but without forecasting your costs you’re not going to have an idea of any profit margins or how much you’ll make month on month. 


businessman working on his costs


For a clothing manufacturer, the main costs and outgoings are: 

  • Your brand design – logos, marketing and your website. 
  • Any license or permit fees. 
  • Premises rent.
  • Infrastructural costs – phone and internet.
  • Marketing and advertising costs. 
  • Equipment – for example, embroidery machines and printers. 
  • Raw materials.
  • Staff wages and salaries. 

Running a small business isn’t cheap, but providing you invest the right amount of time and passion into it, it can be very rewarding. 


Workout Your Pricing Strategy

Firstly, to set an accurate and realistic pricing strategy, you’ll have to know what your cost per unit (CPU) is. Your CPU is just your starting point though. Obviously, you’re going to have to factor more than just this into your pricing, otherwise, you wouldn’t be making any profit on your products and it’d be hard to sustain your business on this model. 

You need to be aware of what your competitors are charging. There’s so much choice for the shopper that if your products are far too overpriced, they’ll simply switch to your competitors for a cheaper price point. You may feel that your products are worth more than your competitors – and that’s ok. But if you’re unaware of what your competitors are charging, you may miss the mark entirely. 

Be sensible with your pricing – if your product is premium and costs more to manufacture, then if you price it too low you’ll make a loss. It’s easier to drop the price of something once you’ve started your business than it is to raise it. 


Build a Web Presence

A website is one of the greatest ambassadors for your clothing manufacturing brand. It’s where a lot of people will first discover your business, so you need to make sure that it drives home your core beliefs and sells your brand well. Visitors should be able to recognise your brand as soon as they land on your pages. 


web presence graphic and mindmap


To project your brand’s voice and identity, follow these simple suggestions: 

  • Use your typical brand colours. 
  • Feature your logo and any slogans throughout. 
  • Write copy with your typical target audience in mind – always!
  • Showcase your manufacturing capabilities. 

A strong website will not only raise brand awareness and show your customers what you have to offer, but it’ll also lend credibility and develop a trusting relationship between both parties. After all, if a visitor trusts your brand, the chances of them returning and repeat purchasing increases massively too. They’ll become loyal brand advocates as well as customers.


Choose Your Industry Niche

What kind of clothes are you going to make? When you’ve decided on what industry you’re going to venture into, it’s time to decide on your niche. There’s no point simply making the same clothes as a lot of the other competitors in the market. Not only will you be less likely to get noticed, but it’ll also be so much harder to find any real success in a saturated market. 

Obviously, you’re not going to be able to cater to everyone’s needs. That’d be too time-consuming and too expensive. So, clothing manufacturing stores are more likely to succeed if they design specific products for specific people. When you’re deciding on your core audience is, you should always consider what the key products of your range are going to be. 

Some clothing manufacturing niche examples are: 

  • Women’s dress clothes.
  • Men’s sportswear. 
  • Swimwear.
  • Sports clothing. 

You should be passionate about your niche. If you’re not, it’ll be blatantly obvious in your efforts. Pick something that you love and give it your all.


Plan Your Manufacturing Process

You’re not going to be able to manufacture every product on your own by hand, that would be unrealistic and unsustainable for your business. So, you need to consider what equipment you’ll need, whether you’ll need to recruit extra members of staff and whether training will be required to meet new processes. For example, if you needed to buy an embroidery machine, then would you require training to be able to operate it?

Your manufacturing process is vital to the success of your business. If you don’t have the right system in place, then you’re not going to be able to meet the demands of your customers. And quite simply, if you can’t meet the demand of your customers, then you’re going to struggle to turn them into brand advocates. 

It might be that you aren’t skilled enough to carry out the necessary jobs, so you may have to look to outsource professionals. This isn’t a problem and can often be a solution for businesses who don’t want to or can’t afford to splash out on a full-time salary for a new member of staff. 


manufacturing process for your business


Create Your Sales Plan

You could manufacture the most premium clothes in the world, but if you don’t sell them properly and appeal to your target audience’s needs correctly, then you’re likely to fail in doing so. So, you need to decide how you’re going to sell your clothes once you’ve made them. Will it be out of a brick and mortar store? Or, an online shop? 

Selling your clothes online is a cheaper alternative and less labour intensive than setting up your own physical store. You don’t have any monthly rent to pay and it’s straightforward to set up an eCommerce selling platform too – so it couldn’t be easier or more convenient really. 

However, is it suitable for if you’re planning on expanding and growing? Unfortunately not. Plus, where will you store your products and base your machines? For example, embroidery machines can be pretty big, so need a lot of room to be stored and to have the ability to be run without issue too. 

Brick and mortar stores are great for attracting footfall and extra customers to your business – but the shop needs to be in the right place, otherwise, it’ll be wasted. For example, if your store is specialising in sportswear, there’s no point in choosing a location that’s renowned for women’s ball gowns is there? It simply wouldn’t work.


Spread the Word With a Marketing Plan

Now you’ve got everything in place, it’s time to spread the word and get your brand out there. And the way to do that is to decide which marketing channels you’re going to use to promote your new clothing manufacturers. New businesses are exciting, so make sure that you drum up an apt level of excitement that fully engages potential customers. 

A lot of businesses tend to use a hybrid of traditional and modern marketing techniques. Flyers and leaflets in similar shops or the local area, brochures that showcase their range of products and TV and radio adverts are amongst the more common traditional methods. Whereas, digital marketing efforts such as content marketing, SEO and social media campaigns are modern ways of promoting your brand. 

Without a marketing plan, your efforts will all be pulling in different directions, which will result in your campaign not being as successful as it could be. All different mediums should complement each other and should all work together to get to the same goal. Without a clear objective and set of goals, your efforts become confused. 


marketing plan graphic


Choose the Right Equipment For Your Clothing Manufacturing Business

Without the right equipment, you won’t have a product to sell – which is why it’s so important that you choose the right set for your business. Clothing manufacturers can come under seriously intense demand from customers, so make sure that you factor that into your decision when looking to kit your business out. 

One of the main pieces of equipment that you’ll need is an embroidery machine. Crests, logos and slogans are often needed to personalise workwear, sports kits and clothing and personalised t-shirts too. Embroidery machines come in single-heads and multi-heads, but which one will be right for your business? 

To help you, we’ve created a free comparison that contains everything you need to know about the two different types of machine. Download it today. 


what are the average costs of running a small business

The Average Costs of Running a Small Business

The costs of running a small business is appealing to a lot of people. What’s not attractive about being your own boss and seeing your creation grow into a well-established brand? But before taking the plunge and starting up, there are various things that you must consider. 

One of the main areas that you need to consider is the costs of running a small business. Irrespective of what line of work you’re in, you can’t escape costs. And the embroidery industry is no different – as much as we’d love to tell you otherwise. 

This blog post will outline and explain the different quarterly running costs of running a small business. 


Permits and Licenses

The first cost of running a business usually starts with obtaining the correct permits and licenses that allow you to start trading. These are usually paid annually or monthly, so when factoring them into your quarterly budget, work out what the total costs would be for 3 months. 

In some cases, you may not need any permit or license to start trading. As long as you’re properly registered with HMRC and have outlined a legal structure for your business. To find out more about the different permits or licenses you may need, click here


permits and licenses needed


Premises and Overheads

Unless you’re thinking of starting up your business from home, you’re going to have to consider renting out a premises to work from. For example, if you’re thinking of running a school uniform business, unless you were planning on operating solely online, you would need to rent out a brick and mortar store with storage facilities too. 

It all depends on the size of the place you want to rent out as to how much it will cost you quarterly. The rent for the facility won’t be the only cost either, you need to factor in further overheads. Utilities like water and electricity will be one of the main ones. Rates differ with different providers, so make sure that you shop around for the best rates to save your business as much money a possible. 


Equipment and Maintenance

Your equipment is one of the biggest initial investment costs. Taking the school uniform business example once again, you’ll need to invest in an embroidery machine. These don’t come cheap, but without one, you wouldn’t have a product to sell. The initial payment can be made as a one-off fee, or some companies may be flexible with finance options – so consider the payment terms and feature them in your quarterly budget.

This isn’t the only cost of your equipment either. You need to consider the upkeep of them and any maintenance work that may need carrying out. Your machines will be working hard all day, so general wear and tear might require some TLC. After considering the maintenance costs, an eventual upgrade may be required – but hopefully, that will be a lot further down the line than just a few months away from the initial purchase. 


Machine Maintenance


Note that dependant on your output this might be a continuous investment – if the business is a success you’ll need more machines to produce more products. Try to plan for the future.


Raw Materials

Just like with your equipment, without your raw materials, you won’t have a product to sell. And the total cost of them is completely dependent on the deal you have secured with your supplier. 

Remember if you want to run an effective business it makes sense to plan ahead. You’ll need to keep a large stock of materials for when you are at peak sales times, but you don’t want lots of excess stock lying around when your business is not as busy.

Your supplier may allow you to pay via credit – but each business is different and so are their credit terms. Regular credit terms allow you to get the products 30-60 days in advance before you need to pay for them. So, remember in particularly busy periods to include more stock on your quarterly budget than some of the quieter months. 


Employees and Benefits

Again, it’s completely dependent on the size of your business as to how many employees you have. These are the people that make things happen in your business – without them, you wouldn’t get very far. With that in mind, you must look after them fairly and keep them motivated to make sure that they fully back your business. 

Salaries, training costs, in-business perks and annual leave are just some of the factors that you need to consider. A poor wage or unfair benefits are said to be one of the main reasons for high staff turnover. And it’s said that it costs around a fifth of a full-time employee’s salary to replace a worker if they leave


employee benefits


If your employees are well looked after, they’re more inclined to work harder for your business. Plus, the moral around your business will be high – this, in turn, leads to high levels of productivity which can spark amazing results.

Again plan ahead – make sure you figure out how much more you need to sell to warrant another employee. Making early predictions means you can be proactive instead of reactive. The hiring process takes time so if Christmas is your peak time start recruiting temporary staff early to avoid overworked and stressed out employees.


Marketing and Sales

You can be running the best business in the world but if you don’t market it properly or approach it with the right sales tactics, then you’re not going to get off the ground. People need to know about your business, so a marketing allowance must be allocated in your quarterly budget. What you spend all depends on what results you’re looking to achieve from your efforts. 

As technology has advanced, so have people’s buying habits. This means that you need to react to this and sell to them the way they want to be sold to. Utilising a mixture of both online and traditional marketing methods is a good way to start. Plus, a social media presence is a must in modern times. 

Remember you can do lots of marketing for no budget at all – if you utilise social media and create content that cuts through the noise your spend needn’t break the bank.



All businesses need insurance. These are some of the most important costs that’ll go out of your bank every month. At the very minimum, we suggest that you need employers liability and public liability coverage. It’s also a good idea for you to cover yourself for illnesses, negligence, property and injuries too. 

Should anything happen to your business and you don’t have insurance, you’re going to be hit pretty hard in your pocket. Plus, you don’t want to be on edge of any accident happening and you not being covered. One issue could bring your business crashing down and that’ll be it. You’ll be able to rest easier and operate with a few less worries if you cover all bases of insurance. 


business insurance



Shrinkage refers to the loss of inventory at some point from the purchase from your supplier to the customer purchasing an item. Obviously, this isn’t a great cost to deal with but it, unfortunately, does happen – mistakes are only human and sometimes can’t be avoided, even with the best workforce that there is, for example, loss or theft. 


Payment Delays

If you’re a small shop you might not face this problem, as your customers will just be footfall that comes into your shop. However, if you’re a bigger business, you may be processing large orders that you’re allowing to be paid for by credit notice. As we mentioned earlier this could be 30 to 60 days, so when you’re accounting for your budget and quarterly finance forecast, be sure to factor these in. 

Banks can hold transactions and people can generally pay late, which definitely causes problems for your business. Although your payments may be late, your bills seem to never leave your account late, right? Late payments are annoying enough, but when they cause you to go overdrawn or miss payments yourself, there can be consequences. 


late payments


Outsourcing Professionals for Certain Tasks

As a small business, you’re likely to have a small team. Which is good for keeping wage bills down and reducing costs but it might leave you short on skills sometimes. This isn’t a problem though, we’re not expecting you to hire a team of superhumans who can do everything at once. 

Outsourcing is popular with smaller businesses, especially for one-off tasks. It’s a cheaper option than taking somebody on full time for a skill that you might not use all that often. For example, schoolwear and embroidery teams usually use a digital designer to help with their crest and intricate designs. Once they’ve received the file from them, they can use it forever then – so there’d be no point shelling out on an in-house graphic designer, would there?


outsourcing some jobs to professionals


Choose the Right Equipment For Your Uniform Embroidery Business

As we’ve mentioned, your equipment will be one of the biggest costs that you’re facing. Not just buying it but maintaining and upgrading too. Your most expensive cost as a uniform embroidery business will be the embroidery machine. It’s not only your most costly but your most important asset too. Without a machine, you have no product to sell. 

As it’s such a big part of your business, you can’t afford to take this decision lightly. You might not know which one is best for you – so that’s why we’re here to help. We’ve created a guide that compares single-head and multi-head machines. It poses all their benefits and different features so that you can decide on the right one for you. 

Grab your free copy today. 


Typical Requirements and Challenges of a Uniform Embroidery Business

When setting up any business, you must be prepared to face and overcome the various challenges that will be thrown your way. And the uniform embroidery industry is no exception. No business is purely plain sailing, but the rewards you can reap from setting up a school uniform shop are second to none. 

If you’re in the discovery and research phase of whether starting one up is a good idea, this post will help you outline all the speedbumps you can expect to encounter. It’ll also provide the details of all the usual requirements that uniform embroidery businesses have and how partnering with Midwest can ensure you a smooth business experience.


The Typical Requirements of a Uniform Embroidery Business

Let’s start with your biggest and most valuable asset – your embroidery machine. To be able to embroider your products, you’re going to need a machine that’s capable to do so. School uniforms usually feature crests and other intricacies that can’t be performed on a standard machine, so you need to make sure that you have the right one in place for your company.

Not only does your embroidery machine need to have advanced features, but it needs to be able to cope with the capacity of orders to turn around in a timely fashion. Uniform embroidery businesses usually opt for a single-head machine – and sometimes have two of these. 

Single-heads are perfect for the amount of embroidery that uniform stores require. Usually, they’ll have a commission embroiderer too that’ll have multi-head machines. They’ll be sent the larger orders so that they can get them boxed off quicker. These orders will be for anywhere between 10 and 100 products. 

You needn’t worry about any additional software. Although the crests and badges are intricate and tricky to design, this’ll be outsourced usually. It’s cheaper this way, rather than forking out on a salary for an employee to do this. The crest will be sent off to a digitising company, who’ll then process the design and send it back. 




Larger embroidery businesses may have their own graphic designer who knows how to do this but it’s unlikely that a school uniform shop will. Once you’ve requested the design once, it’s then yours to use freely on other products should people from the same school come and make orders. 

Once you already have the crest, it’ll save your business time and money, Therefore, you can start churning orders out quicker and focusing more on delighting your customers so they return or recommend you to another parent. 


What Challenges Do Uniform Embroidery Businesses Face?

As we mentioned earlier, no business operates without any roadblocks from time to time. And if they say they do, they’re lying. But undoubtedly, the biggest challenge you’ll face in a uniform embroidery shop is the back to school rush before term starts again after the summer holidays.

As a new school year begins, every pupil will likely need new uniforms. And not everybody is kind enough to stagger it across the holidays. Everything seems to be a last-minute dash, so you’re going to have to be prepared to be equipped enough for them orders coming thick and fast. 

For this reason, uniform embroiderers tend to need a machine that can operate at high speeds. Remember that all orders are different, depending on the complexity of the crests and badges some orders will take longer than others. A typical badge will take around 20 minutes with 10,000 – 15,000 stitches per minute.

Shops may have a multi-head, high-speed machine in the back or an industrial unit, along with the single-head in the front. Or, if demand gets too much and they can’t cope, they’ll use their commission embroiderer to offload some of their workload on. 




Why don’t uniform embroidery stores just invest in more equipment than getting help from their commission embroiderer? Well, if they have the budget too then that’s completely fine to do so. But more equipment usually has a knock-on effect on costs. 

Not only will you have to shell out for the initial investment in the machine, but you may also need more staff to operate it and a bigger premises to fit the equipment in too.


How Can Midwest Help Uniform Embroidery Businesses?

At Midwest, we’re experts in all things embroidery. Not only this, we’re dedicated to helping our loyal customers achieve their maximum potential. As a business, we believe that you should always provide your customers with the best support that’s possible – and that’s something that we put into practice every day. 

When buying a new embroidery machine, it can be forgiven if you’re not up to speed with the running of it. Like any new technology, you need to get a feel for all the functionalities before you can be fully confident with it. At Midwest, we’re here to help you use the machine. Whether it’s demonstrations or sharing our top tips and experienced guidance, our team are always on hand to support you. 

Aside from receiving a top-quality embroidery machine, you’ll be benefiting from the experience of our expert staff. It’s not just the product that we supply, we aim to supply a full customer experience that’ll leave you nothing short of delighted. 




Make Sure You Choose the Right Embroidery Machine For Your Business

Without an embroidery machine, you don’t have a business, so you need to make sure that you choose the right one for your company. It’s a huge decision and a big investment, so don’t rush into things – we know it’s easy to do so with the excitement of running your own company. 

So, to help you with your decision, we’ve created a comparison guide that tells you everything you need to know about single-head machines and multi-heads too. As we explained, some uniform embroidery shops choose a combination of both machines to achieve maximum output. 

Find out which one suits your set up the best and grab your free copy today.


Uniform Embroidery: What’s the Best Machine To Use?

School uniform embroidery is different from regular embroidery. Each school is likely to have its own badge or unique pattern, and creating these bespoke designs makes things much more challenging. This isn’t the only thing that makes uniform embroidery more testing than typical jobs. 

So, to make the job as easy as possible, you’re going to need the right equipment in place. But what is the right machine for your uniform embroidery business? This blog will outline everything you need to know to make sure that you invest in the right one.


We’ll cover: 


What Makes Uniform Embroidery Different to Normal Embroidery?

An embroidered school uniform isn’t just items of clothing for pupils to wear, it’s a symbol of unity and togetherness for the school. Uniforms will be embroidered to boast who they belong to with pride – usually with the school name, school colours and their crest or badge. It’s unlikely that school uniforms are left unbranded. 

One of the main reasons that uniform embroidery is different from normal embroidery is the intricacy and detail that is included in the typical requested patterns. Crests and badges are usually far more complex than business logos and simple writing – which is what a lot of typical embroidery jobs are. 

Plus, it’s not just the design and details that make it hard work – but they usually have a lot of different colours in them too. This means that you’ll need a more advanced machine with a high number of needles to produce an array of colours. 


school children playing on park in uniform


Think about the typical school uniform, there are so many different options that the children can choose from. So, with a lot of options, comes a lot of products from your business. This means that not only will you have to buy a lot of materials in the first place, but you’ll also need to research into which ones are compatible with your embroidery machine.

From blazers to PE kits, items of school uniform come in all different materials. Whether it’s a showerproof jacket or even a messenger bag, you need to make sure that the machine is capable of producing a consistent quality on each material. The last thing that you want is to provide poor quality, which could lead to driving customers away.


What Should a Schoolwear Shop Aim to Achieve With Their Products?

What a business looks to achieve through the sales of their products is completely dependent on its goals and objectives. For example, a small startup business will have completely different goals to a large enterprise company – therefore, what they aim to achieve with their products will reflect that too. 

But there are a few basics that the majority of businesses wants will be based on. 


Appeal to the Mass Market

Schools are everywhere – which means there are schoolchildren everywhere with parents that could be buying their uniform from your business. 

Luckily for you, a lot of school uniforms are all based around the same kind of products, so that’ll automatically appeal to the wider market – especially if you give the option to choose from an array of colours. 

Your pricing has to be fair. Parents around the country operate on differing budgets, so your products can’t be so high that they’ll push away your custom. You’re not going to get very far if you’re drawing your customers away to your competition. School uniforms aren’t your prized possession in your wardrobe, so people won’t be prepared to spend a fortune on their children’s uniform items. 


Increase Productivity

School uniforms can be particularly tricky to embroider and take longer than your standard embroidery job. Therefore, your productivity needs to be spot on to be able to turn orders round in a respectable time. Having the right staff, equipment and practices in place are just a few ways in which you can increase productivity.


uniform embroidery businesses should aim to improve productivity


After all, when running a school uniform shop you have plenty on your hands. Not being well equipped enough can cost you dearly. Being well prepared and well drilled will increase productivity, which will, in turn, increase the number of products that you can churn out. More products mean orders can be boxed off quicker, which in turn makes for more revenue and returning customers. 


Turn Orders Around As Quick As Possible Without a Drop in Quality

What’s the one thing that everybody loves when placing an order? Efficiency. 

However, you don’t want to solely focus on just being able to boast that you can turn around orders incredibly fast if the quality of the output is going to suffer. Nothing is more impressive than quick service that’s done with impeccable quality. 

One way to make sure that you’re able to turn around orders well in time is to ensure that you have the right embroidery machine in place. If you have a machine that doesn’t have the potential capacity levels, then you immediately have no chance. When buying the right one for you, think about your current output but also consider whether there’ll be any room for scale with that machine. 


Hire the Right Staff to Provide the Best Service

Your staff are also another huge factor in being able to turn around orders quickly. Are they prepared to get their hands dirty and work hard for the business? Or, do they just see it as a 9-5 and not have to worry about anything? 

Plus, are they experienced in using embroidery machines or with how a school uniform shop runs. All these things need to be considered at the interview stage. 


uniform embroidery staff


Offer a Full Range of Design Capabilities

If you can offer a wide range of design capabilities, you’re expanding what you can offer your customers – therefore, not restricting them to just a few options. The more diverse your service offering is, the more customers that you appeal to. 

If one of your competitors can offer a larger range of services, then the likelihood is that customers would opt to work with them. After all, if a business can offer more and is more skilled then you’re going to be more confident in their abilities, aren’t you?


Which Machines Are the Best to Achieve These Results?

Start-Up Businesses

Happy Japan HCH-701P


basic single head commercial embroidery machine


The machine is the ideal choice for a uniform embroidery start-up, especially if you’re starting out from small premises. It comes with a massive pack of features that are incredibly easy to use, yet create top-class results. 

It’s small and compact, yet holds enough power to impress anybody. A solid choice for your business’ first embroidery machine. It’s key features are: 

  • Number of heads: 1.
  • Maximum speed: 1000 revs per minute (RPM).
  • Needles: 7.
  • Tubular embroidery area: 285mm x 290mm.
  • Low-profile cap frame (optional): 67mm x 180mm.
  • Colour LCD touch screen control panel.


Small to Medium-Sized Businesses 

Happy Japan HCR3-1506


six head commercial embroidery machine


If power is what you need, then look no further! It’s easy to see why this machine is one of our best sellers. It’s ideal for those small to medium-sized businesses that are expecting to expand at a rapid rate but don’t want to end up spending big on a location that’s far too big for them at the time of purchase. 

This machine has no problem with burning through those orders, it’s so efficient and can be run all day – which is immensely helpful in busy periods. For example, at the start of a new school year or the end of the school holidays. If it’s reliability you need, you’ve found it right here. 

Other key features include: 

  • Number of heads: 6.
  • Maximum speed: 1200 RPM.
  • Maximum Flat Embroidery size 450mm x 500mm.
  • Tubular Embroidery Area : 420mm x 440mm.
  • Free PC connection software.
  • Machine memory 40 million stitches – up to 250 design can be saved.
  • USB and LAN network port.


Large Businesses

Happy Japan HCR3-1512


twelve head commercial embroidery machine


Once your business reaches this size, you’re going to be producing more orders than ever before. So, durability and reliability are crucial. You need a machine that allows you to turn orders round at a rapid rate but doesn’t compromise on quality. 

Like all Happy Japan products, this product is all about quality results. It’s easy to use and will never let you down – which is why it’s such a popular choice with larger businesses. It’s key features are: 

  • Number of heads: 12.
  • Maximum speed: 1200 RPM.
  • Maximum Flat Embroidery size 450mm x 500mm (360mm).
  • Tubular Embroidery Area : 420mm x 440mm.
  • Machine memory: 40 million stitches – Up to 250 design can be saved.
  • USB and LAN network port.
  • Automatic thread trimmer.
  • Automatic colour change.



Make Sure You Choose the Right Machine For Your Uniform Embroidery Business

Your embroidery machine is likely to be your most valuable asset within your business, so you need to take your time when deciding on which to invest in. Choosing the wrong one can lead to problems for your business, whereas having the right one in place can help your business build a strong and reputable name for itself.

It can be difficult to know where to start when choosing an embroidery machine, so we’ve put together a comparison that’ll help you choose the right one. It explains everything you need to know about single-head and multi-head embroidery machines. Grab your free copy today. 



Running a School Uniform Shop: A Guide

Uniforms are one of the only factors that the majority of schools in the country have in common. They’re instigated for various reasons – they promote unity, create a community and reduce bullying – to name a few. 

School uniforms are currently more expensive than they’ve ever been. Which is leaving a gaping hole for a school uniform shop that isn’t overpriced. Running a school uniform shop is a long term business as school kids will always need uniforms. 

And running a fairly priced one is even better – as parents are always looking for different ways to tighten their purse strings! So, if you’re looking at starting and running a school uniform shop, this post will act as a comprehensive guide of everything that you’ll need to look out for. 


Will You Require Extra Staff Members? 

Without staff members, you have no business. Whether that’s just yourself or a small team of you – your business won’t get off the ground without the right number of staff members. When starting out, this all depends on how many schools you’re targeting and how much business you’re predicting. 

You don’t want to have too little of a team to cope with the demand and vice versa. You’ll end up losing money either way and your first customers when starting out are some of your most vital. These first orders will set the tone and will be your first impressions for other customers to base their opinions off. 




If your orders are taking too long because you haven’t got the right amount of staff members, then your first impression will be tarnished and it can prove difficult to overturn these.

It’s not just order numbers and demand that should determine your number of staff members. A lot of school uniforms have custom embroidery on them, so you need to think whether you need to hire somebody qualified to operate an embroidery machine or not. 

Adding this capability will add another string to your uniform shop’s metaphorical bow. After all, if you’re just selling plain clothing, then what’s making parents choose to buy from you, rather than any other shop on the high street?


What Equipment Do You Need?

This all depends on what range of products that you’re going to be selling. And whether you’re going to be selling online or operating from a brick and mortar store. It’s also dependent on whether you’re expecting to expand your store or not. 

Typical school uniform shops usually rely on the following equipment: 



Without raw materials, you have no products to sell. Simple. So, depending on your product range you’ll need a wide range of materials. These can usually span from polo shirts, sweaters and skirts to messenger bags, PE pumps and raincoats. It’s completely up to your product range.


Embroidery Machines

As we mentioned earlier, if you’re planning on selling custom embroidered products you’re going to need an embroidery machine. If you’re looking at operating a startup from home, then a single-head embroidery machine may be the right choice for you. Whereas, if you’re in a commercial workspace you may be able to purchase a multi-head which will allow scope for growth and meet increasing customer demands. 




Those are the main two – other key pieces of equipment that school uniform shops will need are: 

  • Display sets and mannequins.
  • A cash register.
  • Storage racks.
  • Label gun/maker.
  • Security tags.
  • Security cameras.
  • Storage capacity. 


What Are the Typical Day to Day Operations?

Like any retail store, school uniform shops have their peaks and troughs of business periods. Which means that your day to day role on busy days will be a far cry from your quiet ones. So, let’s take the day to day operations of a busy period, for example. 

So, the obvious starting point is customers coming into your store. Before you can focus on processing any orders that you have in the backlog, you have to start with your customers that are in the shop. So, get your most welcoming manner down to a tee and prepare to offer the utmost service with a smile possible. 

That’s why you may need more than one staff member, as you can’t be in two places at once. You’re likely to need someone who looks after the shop and a team who focus on processing and creating the orders. 

General store jobs are a big part of owning a school uniform shop. So, that means that you’ll need somebody or yourself to open up the shop in the morning and lock up at the end of the day too. Plus, you’ll need somebody to count and bank the takings at the end of each working day.




The shop will need to look presentable and appealing too. So, you’re going to need to restock the shelves in a morning and keep displays looking nice and tidy. Nobody wants a messy shop, it can say a lot about your brand – and not desirable things either! 

Processing deliveries is a big job too. Whether that’s laying new stock out in the shop, or preparing orders to be sent out to customers by your delivery team. 


Are You Looking to Open More Than One Store?

This is a huge consideration as not only does it mean extra work but it also means that may need double or triple the equipment that you’re already shelling out for on one store. The number obviously depends on how many stores you’re looking to open and how far you’re willing to expand your brand. 

As you expand your brand, one of the main things that you need to think about is recruitment. You can’t be in two stores at once, so you’re going to need to employ people who you can trust to run the shop and process orders to the standard that your brand has set already. Anything less will tarnish your reputation that you’ve previously worked hard for. 

As your team expands, your management style will need to change to accommodate more staff members. So, whether it means that you’ll need to look at further management training courses to help you cope and adapt, you need to factor this into the forecasted costs. 

Your costs will be the biggest factor in giving the green light to a second or third shop opening. It’s a great investment when opening one store, so you need to make sure that you’re able to afford extra premises, equipment, materials and the rest of the requirements. When you’re budgeting, be sure to never miss anything out – you could pay the price at a later date.


What Marketing Strategies Are Most Effective? 

No business will ever be successful without the correct marketing strategies behind them. You could be selling the finest, nicely designed school uniforms in the world but if you’re not marketing them who’s going to know about them? Not many people. 

So, what are the most effective marketing strategies that’ll no doubt get your school uniform shops noticed? 


Window and Curb Side Displays

Especially if your shop is located in a place that gets a lot of footfall, a window display can be brilliant for drawing in customers off the street. Keep them fresh and mix them up regularly – we recommend at least once a month for the maximum impact.

Don’t neglect your curb side boards either. People don’t always look into a shop, but if they have to physically move out of the way of a board on the pavement, they’re more likely to notice it. 

Do your research and see what works for other businesses – but remember what works for one business may not always work for yours. Find your own unique approach and run with it.




Use Social Media 

Social media is the perfect platform to shout about your business and interact with potential customers too. Start conversations and generate a buzz around your school uniform shop using a multi-channel social media approach.

For example, you could use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to promote your business and drum up interest. 

It’s crucial to get yourself noticed. There are so many people and businesses active on social media accounts that you don’t want to risk getting lost in the huge sea of other users. Keep your content original and fresh – don’t be afraid to express yourself as a brand. 


Strengthen Partner Relationships

Promote your business through other local businesses or charities. Take advantage of their mailing lists and customers to get your brand in front of people who wouldn’t normally come across your company. 

This is a great way of extending your brand awareness and benefiting from another businesses recommendation. Their reputation will bolster your chances of people actually coming down to your store and checking you out. Plus, if you’re working alongside a charity it shows business credibility, which customers love.


A Holistic Digital Marketing Approach

Buying habits are continuing to advance with technology, which means that you should take advantage of this and approach your consumers this way. Obviously, the size of your business and the success will depend on how much you’re budgeting to spend on your digital marketing efforts. 

Creating a content, email and paid advertising marketing network is a great way to get your store in front of new people – but you need to remember to stay patient and back your investment. You can’t expect unbelievable results from a minimalistic budget, it needs to be realistic. 




What Are the Legal Requirements?

When opening any retail store, there are various legal requirements that you need to adhere to. Some requirements cover the areas of: 

  • Insurance and licenses. 
  • Premises regulations. 
  • Naming regulations.
  • Staff legal requirements.

These aren’t the only areas that there are laws in place for. To see the full range and to find out more about them before opening your own school uniform shop, click here.


Invest in the Right Machine For Your School Uniform Shop

So, now that you know what it takes to run a school uniform shop, you need to think about putting some of the actions in place. An embroidery machine is arguably the main part of your equipment, so you need to make sure that you get the right one for your business.

To help you with your decision, we’ve created a free comparison which shows which machine is suited best to your business. Download your copy today. 


What is the Cost of an Embroidery Machine? A Simple Guide

Whether you’re buying your first industrial machine or upgrading to a larger one as your business grows, you need to consider the cost of an embroidery machine. And that doesn’t just mean the price point of the machine that you’re looking to invest in. 

Sure, the machinery itself is one of the biggest costs but there are various other factors that you must consider before investing. You need to consider your capacity, the size of your business and your operational space – to name a few. 

If you’re wondering what you need to consider to work out the total overall cost of an industrial embroidery machine, we’ve got you covered. This post will outline and discuss everything you should consider before buying. After all, it’s a big decision, so you shouldn’t take it lightly. 

The considerations that we’ll cover are: 


Size of Business

It goes without saying, the larger and more established your embroidery business is, the less likely you’ll be worried about the cost of the machines. They’re quite the investment and will make up for the majority of your business’ monthly outgoings. 

This is why you need to consider the size of your business before investing in a commercial embroidery machine. For example, if you’re a small business, you’re not going to need a multi-head embroidery machine that’s suitable for a global enterprise company, are you?

Or vice versa. A large company simply wouldn’t be able to deal with their customer demands and needs on a machine that’s suitable for a start-up. The business would end up extending order processing and wait times, which would, in turn, deter people from working with the business. Ending up costing the business both financially and their reputation too. 

Smaller businesses would be silly to buy a machine that’s too big for them. As we’ve mentioned, they’re quite the investment, so it’s a lot of money to part with if you’re not going to use the machine to its full capabilities. Whilst it’s good to bear growth in mind, you’d be throwing money away that you don’t necessarily have if you upsize too quickly. 

If you don’t know where to start, it can be tricky to know which machines are best suited to what size businesses. So, here are the best commercial embroidery machines for your business




Scope for Capacity

If your machine isn’t working to its absolute capacity and you’re actively looking to upgrade it, do you actually need to upgrade it? Or are you making unnecessary costs for yourself? If you have the capacity to carry out more orders on your machine, then there’s no point in buying another. You’ll only be extending the room for capacity and therefore wasting money. 

That being said, you don’t want your workforce or machines to be working to their absolute capacity 24/7. Not that they’re not designed to be working as hard as they can all the time but what if there was a mistake in a job? Or a last-minute priority emergency came in and you had to turn away business? 

We recommend that you leave a little leeway should this happen – but not too much that you’re going to be wasting money unnecessarily. 

On the contrary, if you can’t get the orders out quick enough and need to start producing your products quicker, then you’re going to need to upgrade your machine. If you don’t, you could be costing your business valuable custom. Plus, how can you expect to grow if you’re constantly staying at the same level of capacity?


Design and Creative Freedom

The level of design you’ll need your machine to be able to perform completely depends upon how detailed your designs are. If you’re wanting to create intricate, colourful patterns you’ll need to buy a machine that is equipped with multi-needles and advanced functionalities – as opposed to one that’s suitable for very basic designs. 

Obviously, because they can create far more advanced designs than basic ones, their price point is higher. So, if you don’t need the functionalities and capabilities to carry out these designs, then there’s no point in investing in one that can.  




Wide area machines provide businesses with the largest surface area to get creative with their designs. With multiple needles to you can add a large range of colour to your designs and really bring them to life.


Your Budget Limits

Every purchase that a business makes has to adhere to the budget that’s been allocated to it. Setting a budget is incredibly important, you don’t want to jeopardise the rest of your business operations just so you can buy a top of the range machine that you won’t use to its full potential, do you?

You need to stick to your budget and purchase within your means. There are plenty of different options on the market that are more than suitable for a wide variety of businesses. Especially with Happy Japan, they’re experts in providing top-quality commercial embroidery machines that are not only reliable and built to last, but they ultra-powerful and can help any business go from strength to strength. 

Obviously, the more heads that a machine has, the higher the price point is going to be. So, when you’re setting your budget, make sure you take into account your production levels and don’t forget to think about your growth potential too.


Business Output Levels

Your customers wants and needs will determine your business’ output levels. Is your embroidery machine costing your output to suffer? If you’re operating on a machine that is too small to cope with your current orders, then the chances are that it is.  And if it is, that can be costing your business massively. 

This’ll mean that orders aren’t being turned around quickly and you’ll be keeping your customers waiting. In turn, your customers won’t be happy and may end up resorting to going elsewhere in the future. Plus, they’ll be unlikely to recommend your business too, which is going to damage your reputation overall – and these are hard to reverse. 

If your machine is coping with your business’ output levels just fine, then you don’t need to upgrade it – unless it’s broken, of course. There’s no point in buying a new machine for the sake of it, this is an unnecessary cost. Plus, as we’ve mentioned, they’re an expensive investment, so you won’t want to make it unless you absolutely have to. 




Size of Operational Space

As your company grows, you’ll be facing more and more demand from your customers. Which means that you’re going to have to produce a higher number of products. So, you’re going to need a bigger machine to cope with the upscaling. 

You need to consider whether you’ve got the room in your current operational space for a bigger machine. And not just the machine too. With more products being produced, you need somewhere to store them before they’re out for delivery. You also need somewhere to keep all the raw materials as well. 

You may end up needing to relocate your business, which means your overheads may end up increasing as a result of buying a new embroidery machine. There’s no point in investing in a brand new embroidery machine to cope with an increase in demand if your facilities can’t replicate this scalability. 


Any Other Equipment Used

When you’re looking for a new machine, it can be easy to forget about the rest of your business as it’s your most valuable asset. Your embroidery machines aren’t the only pieces of equipment that your business needs to operate successfully, so don’t go too overboard with the budget. 

You’ll need a wide range of materials to produce your products. And the most efficient businesses operate by stockpiling their materials so that they’re ready and waiting to go as and when ordered. It all depends on your budget and the range of products that you have on offer to your customers.




Items that are popular within the embroidery industry are: 

  • Caps
  • T-Shirts
  • Polo Shirts
  • Shirts
  • Jackets
  • Sweatshirts

For your designs, you’ll need access to a computer and a printer too. For those intricate and advanced designs, you’ll need to use software too. These are all extra costs that you need to be aware of when buying an embroidery machine. 


Buying Used Machines

One way to keep the cost down when buying a new machine is by buying second-hand ones. You may feel like the previous owner has got the best out of the machine, but you’d be wrong to think like that. These machines are built to last.

Make sure that you can trust the person that you’re buying a used machine from. They might list that it’s in amazing condition and full working order, only for you to turn up and view it and come away with a list full of problems. 


Ensure that You Buy The Right Machine For Your Business

So, now that you’re aware of all the considerations you should take when looking at the cost of an embroidery machine, you now need to focus on getting the right one for your business. The right machine can help your business grow rapidly, but the wrong one can leave your company stagnating and plateauing. And nobody wants that.

To help you with your decision, we’ve created a free comparison which shows which machine is suited best to your business. Download your copy today. 


how do embroidery machines work

How Do Industrial Embroidery Machines Work?

Industrial embroidery machines are an embroidery company’s most valuable asset. Without them, they have no product. And that means no money or success. But you need to make sure that your business has the right one in place in order for you to be as successful as possible. 

They come in all different sizes and are suitable for a whole range of businesses, from startups to large enterprise companies. But how do industrial embroidery machines work? This post will explain the ins and outs of the machines and everything else you need to know. 

We’ll cover: 

  • What is an Industrial Embroidery Machine?
  • How Do Industrial Embroidery Machines Work?
  • What are the Other Considerations for Industrial Embroidery Machines?

What is an Industrial Embroidery Machine?

There are various types of embroidery machines that your business can invest in. Anything larger than a single-head machine tends to be classed as a commercial or industrial embroidery machine. 

As you grow and expand, you need your equipment to have the scalability to grow with you too. You’re going to be experiencing customer demands and needs as you’ve never had before, so you’re going to need to have the right machines in place for you to be able to cope and produce as much as you can.

Industrial embroidery machines are large in size, so you need a large space like a factory floor that’ll be able to fit the machine comfortably. They’re not suitable for a home environment, unlike a single-head machine is. 

The size that you opt for all depends on the unique requirements of your business. Multi-head machines come in all different sizes and typically range from 2-8 heads. The more that you need from your machine the more number of heads you will need. 

How Do Industrial Embroidery Machines Work?

With all the heads and different parts, it’s easy to think that operating these machines would be tricky. But we can assure you that it’s a pretty straightforward process, albeit once you’re trained up that is. 

The first step is to load your desired design into the machine. These machines are very clever and have an easy to use control panel attached to them. This is where you control the machine from and program your embroidery patterns. It’s the point at which the machine is instructed to move from. 

You need to convert your designs to digital files and load them onto a USB. From here, take your USB and plug it into the built-in computer on the machine. Once it’s finished loading and processing, scroll around and find your design that you’d like to use for that particular job. 

The second main step is inserting your colours to your designs. This is where you instruct which needles move at what time to help colour the pattern. Each roll of thread has a specific location on each head of the machine, so make sure that the location you’re telling to move correlates with the correct colour on top. 


industrial embroidery machine


You can then see a trial run of how it will move. From there you can gauge whether it’s going to hit the right point of your design and adjust your programming or embroidery hooping. Once you’re happy with how it looks set to run, you can then press go and your patterns will be brought to life. 

What are the Other Considerations for Industrial Embroidery Machines?

Seems easy, doesn’t it? Well, as we said, operating the machines isn’t the tricky bit to embroidery but there are plenty of different factors that need to be considered for each product that you create. 

First of all, your hooping is key to the quality of your design. Hooping is the brackets that your garment will be sat in when it’s being embroidered. Your machine will come with an array of different sized hoops for various garments. You don’t want to use the wrong hoop for a job as your design will then be too small or too big.


embroidery machine


A good tip is to make sure that you always have an extra set of garments hooped whilst the machine is running. Therefore, once the first run of the job is on, you can clip the second lot on quickly after to make sure you’re getting maximum output from the machine. 

After all, if the machine isn’t running then it isn’t making money, is it? 

You need to consider thread tension on every job too. Poor thread tension can lead to poor quality stitching in your product, which then cheapens your work. Plus, it looks sloppy and unprofessional, which is what no business wants.  

Thread tension comes with understanding the materials that you’re embroidering. But you also need to understand the machine that you’re operating too.

There are different kinds of threads that all do different jobs. The different areas that affect thread tension are: 

  • Bobbin
  • Upper thread
  • Tension discs 
  • Tension regulator

A lot of people are sceptical when it comes to trying to find the right balance with their thread tension. Some people don’t even know how to diagnose unbalanced tension.

Or, some people head straight for the tension dials when there’s a problem. Before adjusting the dials check whether: 

  • Your machine is dirty. 
  • Your bobbin is damaged – perhaps it has been dropped? 
  • Your thread is incorrectly threaded.
  • Your bobbin has been incorrectly filled. 
  • Is your machine damaged anywhere?


happy embroidery machine


Backings help you produce a smoother end product.

You need to make sure that you choose the right backing for the right product. The main factor that affects what backing you need to use is the stretch of the fabric. The backing must be stable enough to not move whilst the stitching is being applied. You’ll need to experiment with the different types and see what type works best with your fabrics. 

The basic types of backing for commercial embroidery are: 

  • Tearaway. A lot of commercial embroidery is produced with tearaway backing. It’s quick, safe and cheaper than some of the other methods. 
  • Cutaway. These backings have stronger fibres to provide extra stability for stretchable and delicate fabrics. Cutaways help maintain a crisp and clean design. 
  • Adhesive or peel and stick. Usually used for hoopless designs or areas that are difficult to embroider. For example, collars, cuffs and highly stretchable fabrics.
  • Poly mesh. Mesh backing is used for elegant designs on super-thin materials, white or lighter coloured materials.  

To Succeed You Need the Right Industrial Embroidery Machine

As we’ve mentioned earlier in the blog, your industrial embroidery machine is your trump card. It’s your most important asset, so you’re going to need to choose wisely. Think about the size of your business, your customer demands and the scope that you’re looking to grow into eventually. 

There are plenty of different options available to you, so make sure you shop around to get the right fit for your business. To help you with your decision, we’ve created a comparison. Download your copy today for free and take the first step to invest in the perfect commercial embroidery machine for your business. 

commercial embroidery machine

Why Use Midwest for your Commercial Embroidery Needs?

From fashion to bed manufacturing, there are plenty of industries that rely on embroidery to enhance their products. Their embroidery services set them apart from the rest of the competition in their industry, so they need to be sure that they can rely on their suppliers. 

And we’re not just talking materials and stitching. Without their embroidery machines, they wouldn’t be able to produce their product and wouldn’t be anywhere near as successful. So, it’s up to their procurement manager to find them a supplier that can be relied upon to get the job done –  time after time. 

So, with that in mind, this blog will explain why Midwest is the perfect choice for all your commercial embroidery needs. 

We’ll cover: 

  • A Wide Range of Products
  • Customer Care is a Priority
  • Widely Experienced
  • See What Our Customers Have Said

A Wide Range of Products

range of products


A good procurement manager should start the procurement process by recognising the needs and requirements of each department of their business. In a commercial embroidery business, a procurement manager may point out which model of multi-head commercial embroidery machine they’ll need.

Well, that’s where we come in. Once your procurement manager has highlighted this, we can work closely with them to decide on which one is the perfect fit for your business. After all, we know how important it is that your equipment is scalable to cope with customer demands and production output.

We can guarantee that we’ll have a machine in stock that’s perfect for your business. After all, we’re the largest stockist and sole distributor of Happy Japan embroidery machines in the UK and Ireland so our range is very wide. 

Whether you’re looking at your first embroidery machine or upgrading to your umpteenth, we know how to deal with businesses of all different sizes and have the product range to show that. Plus, we cater to all budgets and have a range of top-quality used machines for those who are operating with a lower budget. 

Customer Care is a Priority

customer care


When looking for a supplier, your procurement manager should be looking to partner with a supplier that they can see themselves working with long term. You don’t want to be swapping and changing suppliers every few months, as you’ll never get the perks of being in a long term business relationship. For example, discounts or extra offers. 

At Midwest, we look after all of our customers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re returning advocates or new customers, everybody matters. Our customers matter to us, they’re a big part of what takes us from strength to strength, so we make sure that’s reflected in our support and service 24/7. 

As the only stockists of Happy Japan in the UK, you won’t find another company that can provide the level of support we can for these machines. Whatever the query is, please don’t hesitate to contact us and one of our expert team will be happy to assist you.  

Widely Experienced

As a procurement manager, who would you rather supply your business with your most valuable asset – a novice supplier or a supplier with an abundance of experience? We know what the majority of businesses would choose. It’s a huge gamble taking on a contract with a novice supplier, whereas a reputable business has a track record behind them which can help you gauge their level of experience and service they provide. 

At Midwest, we have over 20 years of experience in helping businesses find the perfect commercial embroidery machine to meet their customer’s needs. Not only do we work with you and assess which ones are perfect for your current situation, but also take note of your growth potential so that we can pair you with the right machine for years to come – so that you can get the most out of your investment. 

See What Our Customers Have Said

good customer reviews


Word of mouth is an important form of recommendation. For example, would you trust what an unknown online account recommends or what somebody close to you tells you? The likelihood is that you’ll choose the latter, wouldn’t you?

What our customers say is also a great form of feedback for us at Midwest. To showcase what we do for our customers, here’s a statement from Mark Robinson, Director of our long-standing client Stitch-It: 

“I’d just like to say a huge thank you to all. As per normal the four-headed machine I purchased, plus a second-hand six-headed machine was sorted within a week and delivered as promised on time. Nothing was too much for the engineers even moving my existing six-headed machine to make a little more room. 

There are many machinery suppliers out there but Midwest appreciates how valuable time and having a working machine when you need it is. On the one occasion in 3 years when I’ve had an issue with a machine, they were there the next day to get me back up and running in no time.

I would not hesitate to recommend these machines and Midwest to my colleagues within the industry.”

For All Your Commercial Embroidery Machine Needs, Look No Further Than Midwest


midwest logo


As you’ve seen, we welcome new partnerships and opportunities to work with different kinds of businesses throughout different industries. So, with that in mind, do you need a new embroidery machine? Or are you due an upgrade due to expansion? Well, if so, look no further than us. 

If you need a little more convincing about the products that we stock, we’ve created a free comparison that’ll help make the buying decision a little bit easier. Download your copy today and take the first step towards working alongside Midwest – a step that you won’t regret!

The 7 Key Steps of a Procurement Process

Getting Started with Your Procurement Process

A strong procurement process is key to the financial efficiency of any business. It aids in paying the right price for goods and services, minimises delivery times and helps you choose the best partners to work with your business. 

How a procurement process looks is completely dependent on the size and type of business. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for companies, it needs to be completely tailored to a company to ensure that maximum efficiency is achieved. 

Whether you’re looking at documenting a procurement process from scratch, or you feel that your business needs to reassess theirs, this post will outline 7 key steps you should follow. 


Step 1 – Identify Goods or Services Needed

Your procurement process should start when you realise that you need to obtain goods or services from an outsourced company. With this in mind, your first step should be looking at the whole business and recognising the needs of each department. 

By doing this, you’re presented with a great level of visibility of all the spending that’s required in your company. Therefore, you can outline the areas of the business that you can look at saving money and cutting costs. 




This stage of your procurement process is where you’ll set your budget. 

For example, if an embroidery business was just starting out, in this stage they’d outline how many and what type of embroidery machine they’d need. Or, if a larger embroidery business was expanding, they’d come back to this stage and assess what machine they needed to meet customer demands and needs. 


Step 2 – Consider a List of Suppliers

Finding the right supplier for your business is vital, so it’s not a decision that you should take lightly. If you choose to work with the wrong supplier it could have a knock-on effect throughout your whole business. 

Not only could you end up paying more than you should for your goods or services but the delivery times may not be suited to your business – which could delay your business operations. 

Your suppliers are your partners and you wouldn’t enter a partnership without doing your research, would you?

So, when you’re looking at your suppliers you should weigh up your options. We recommend that you make a list and compare all the different options on offer. That way, you can compare the competition against each other and can see the different areas in which they excel.




Here are some ideal traits that a top supplier should have: 


  • Accountability
  • Production capabilities
  • Ease of communication
  • Ethics
  • Prioritising building relationships


For example, an embroidery machine, whether it’s your first one or an upgrade, is quite an investment. Not only are they your most expensive cost but they’re your most important commodity, without them, you can’t produce your products. Plus, you need one that’ll cope with your customer demands, so you should compare an array of different options from suppliers. 


Step 3 – Negotiate Contract Terms with Selected Supplier

After you’ve made your decision on which supplier to work with, you need to negotiate your contract terms with them. This stage is important as you want to agree on a price that’s fair for both parties and that you’re both happy to work with. 

Contracts don’t only cover pricing either. The scope of the whole project – terms, conditions and timelines of delivery are all areas that should be taken into account. You should always keep a copy of your contract so that you can refer to it  should anything not be up to your expected standard. 




Analysing previous contracts are a great way of scoping where you can streamline your costs and save money. If you feel that you’ve agreed to a too high a price point in the past or have agreed on unrealistic terms, then learn from your mistakes going forward with your negotiations. 

An embroidery company may have a contract with several suppliers. After all, to be able to embroider their products they’re going to constantly need a refreshment of stock and materials. So, rather than having to manually order them each time, a rolling contract can save time and may incur certain discounts too. 


Step 4 – Finalise the Purchase Order

Once you’ve submitted your contract to your supplier and both parties are happy with the detailing, it’s time to finalise your purchase order. Your purchase order is a document that outlines:


  • A description of the goods or service 
  • Total costs 
  • Quantity
  • Approval of workflow 




When you’ve approved your purchase order, it signals to the finance team to release the details to the supplier. That way, they then have access to all the key bits of information that they need. For example:


  • Reference number (should they need to chase anything up)
  • Agreed on payment terms
  • Any other key information they require


This document shows a further agreement between the two parties. Whereas a contract agrees the whole collaboration, purchase orders tend to contractually agree to individual jobs. A purchase order is typically sent via email. 

Using the embroidery business example again, when they require an upgrade to a machine they’ll have to get internal approval for their request to upgrade. So, a purchase order will be prepared including the description of the new machine, pricing and any other details. 

Once approved, the finance team will then share the purchase order with the supplier who’ll begin to prepare the order and sort payment. 


Step 5 – Receive Invoice and Process Payment

Once your supplier has received your purchase order, you’ll receive an invoice from them detailing the agreed price and instructions on how to pay. On this invoice you’ll find details of your order too, so make sure that you keep a record of them for any future reference necessary. 

Depending on what you’ve agreed in your contract you’ll have a certain amount of days to make the payment. A lot of businesses offer 30 days credit notice, which gives you leeway to make the payment if you can’t do it at the time of the order. However, it’ll depend on what you’ve agreed between you and your supplier and the strength of the relationship between both parties. 




We recommend that you pay your invoices when you receive them. This saves any potential problems in forgetting and maybe incurring extra costs for being late. Plus, your supplier will appreciate the fact that you pay on time, every time. This will stand you in good stead and will establish a top rapport between both parties.  

Having a great relationship with your supplier is massively beneficial when working within an embroidery company. From time to time they may include extra materials at little or no cost due to your loyalty. Or, should anything, unfortunately, go wrong and you can’t make your payment, they’ll look favourably on you if you have a good track record. 


Step 6 – Delivery and Audit of the Order

Again, depending on what terms you’ve agreed in your contract your delivery will arrive soon after your purchase order has been sent in. You should always keep a record of when the order is delivered in relation to when you ordered it. That way, you can keep track of whether your supplier is sticking to their agreed delivery times. 

If they’re not, then you have a proven record of them not holding up to their side of the bargain. And if it shows that they are, then happy days!

You should always double-check the order upon arrival too. The last thing you want is for you to come to carry out a job and the product that you thought was there turns out it hasn’t been delivered.  could lead to you letting your customer base down for something that wasn’t your mistake. 

So, when your order arrives, take your invoice and inspect the delivery. If you notice that something is missing, then contact your supplier as quickly as possible to rectify the problem and reduce potential downtime. 



For example, if an embroidery company orders an upgrade on their machine to cope with new customer demands and it’s delivered with a missing part, they’re going to be affected in various ways. Firstly, it could affect their production and delay orders going out. Secondly, the delay will affect their contracts with customers and may leave them unhappy and wanting some form of compensation or refund. 


Step 7 – Maintain Accurate Record of Invoices

Be sure to keep a record of all your invoices and payment records. In case of any audits carried out, you then know exactly how much you’ve spent throughout the allotted time and can categorise them to analyse your spending even further. Keeping all your invoices is key to working out whether you’re overspending or sticking to your budget. 




For example, if an embroidery business looks back at their records and sees that they’re overspending on materials they could decide to look for a new supplier. Or, if they review their spending to find they’re overspending on machinery and equipment, it could be an indicator that the brand they’re using isn’t suitable for their demands and needs. 


Streamline Your Business Spending With the Right Equipment

So now you’ve established that a solid procurement process can seriously help you cut business costs. Which is something that every business can benefit from, right? Well, one of the best ways to cut costs is to invest in the right equipment and tools for the job. 

As the saying goes, “buy cheap, buy twice” and it’s no different in the embroidery business either. Your embroidery machine is your most valuable asset and is something that you definitely shouldn’t try and cut corners on trying to get it cheaper. 

But which one is right for your business? Well, don’t worry if you’re not sure. We’ve put together a free handy comparison to help you get a feel for which one would suit you best. Download it today.