What You Need to Turn Your Passion for the Craft Into an Embroidery Home Business

Nothing is more satisfying than turning something that you enjoy doing into a profitable business. An embroidery home business has many of the same advantages as other types of businesses run from home, including setting your own hours and prices for your services but with the added twist of doing something that you really enjoy. To get started turning your passion for embroidery into a business, you will need to have some basic tools on-hand so that you can just focus on providing the best customer service and quality products to your new customers.

Start with the Right Embroidery Sewing Machine

Woman operating embroidery machine.

There are many styles of embroidery machines on the market including those made for home use and those for commercial use. Most people who start a home-based business opt for a home machine. Commercial machines are designed to handle larger jobs and are built stronger to hold up to repeated use. Also, commercial embroidery machines can cost thousands of dollars more than home use machines, making them a poor investment for a business that you are just starting.

Do your research on the different type of embroidery machines and the warranties on each one. All embroidery machines use special embroidery software and a computer. When you find a design that you want online, you purchase it and then download it onto your computer. From there, it is transferred to the embroidery machine using a USB memory stick or directly from a laptop.

If you have the option to purchase a commercial embroidery machine that is used at a lower cost than a new one, consider how it transfers designs. Some of the older models work by reading cards and they are not as likely to be compatible with the newest technology. You are better off to buy a new machine at a comparable price.

Some machines include free embroidery software while others must be purchased separately. Some software is available for free while those that are for sale are quite expensive. Before you purchase a machine, find out if the software is included and how many designs are already programmed into the machine. This will determine whether you will also need to buy a USB storage device, a laptop or computer, and expensive embroidery software. If you already own a MAC, you will also need to know if the software is compatible with your existing computer or if you will have to upgrade.

Once you have purchased an embroidery machine, it will help serve as a guide for buying other tools you will need for your business including:

· Stock Embroidery Designs –

The designs you keep on-hand and programmed into your machine for your business will depend on the types of customers you serve. If you will be embroidering caps for a sports team, monogramming gift items, or using a selection of designs to use as your signature on purchased or created items, you will only need a limited number of designs that you can edit to suit each individual need. On the other hand, if you plan to encompass a broad range of designs according to the customer’s interests, you may want to start with a significant stock and then add new options as customers request them.

· Needles –

 The variety of needles that you need to stock up on will depend on the types of embroidery you will do and the different types of embroidery material you will be using. What you do need is to have enough needles on-hand to change the working needle regularly to keep your embroidery clean and sharp.

· Thread –

Polyester thread is becoming the standard choice over Rayon due to its resilience and colorfastness. You want to use high-quality thread to ensure your machine works optimally and to prevent the potential for thread breaks. A good way to save money on this basic supply is to purchase thread collections that are made to match those of the leading brands that are available at a much lower price. The key to getting quality and savings is to go with a brand that has been making embroidery thread for many years and which has a high rating among users.

· Hoops –

If you will be embroidering a variety of flat items, then get a variety of hoop sizes that are compatible with your machine. You want to use the smallest possible hoop for any design to keep the fabric tight and secure during the embroidery process. There are also specialty hoops for embroidering oddly shaped garments or those that are hard to access such as baseball caps or the legs of jeans.

· Pre-Wound Bobbins –

 Black or white thread that is made specifically for use in the bobbin is an essential tool for any home based embroidery business. Purchasing pre-wound bobbins will save you a lot of time and frustration instead of worrying about whether you have enough thread on hand and keeping it separate from your other embroidery thread. If you don’t purchase pre-wound bobbins, you will probably need to invest in a bobbin winder unless your machine has a bobbin winding function that works independently from the sewing function.

· Stabilizer –

There are four types of stabilizers including cutaway, tearaway, water soluble, and tacky. Each style is useful for different types of projects. Determine whether you will need more than one type according to your potential embroidery projects. The best rule of thumb is to keep some of each type on-hand so that you are prepared for any challenge.

· Tool Kit -

Keep a small toolkit with embroidery and regular scissors, tweezers, touch pen, seam ripper, cleaning brush, oil, and a needle-threading tool nearby for all the little details that you will face each day.

· Tax ID Number –

Although you will find most of the embroidery materials you need online at prices that are below wholesale, you may want a tax ID number if you plan to stock the items you will embroider and sell them as an entire unit. For example, men’s baseball caps, baby layettes, or women’s scarves that you can buy in bulk for consistent design, material content, and appearance will be more affordable when you purchase wholesale.


The most important factor in making your home-based business a success is to be prepared for whatever job will come through your door next. Delivering high-quality embroidery in a timely manner will help spread the word and build a reputation that will help your embroidery business thrive.

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