September '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 S E P T E M B E R P R I N T W E A R 2 5 your finished piece, sampling on one head of a multi-head machine while any order that could fill its capacity is left waiting is not the best use of your production time. If that weren't enough, having a single-head around makes it easy to experiment when you are learning new techniques or materials. Though it's always a temporary opportunity cost to play, that cost is a lot less devastating to your throughput if you can keep the multi-head operating while you get in some training with your single-head machine. VERSATILITY Being agile and able to fulfill orders of any kind, at any time, requires versatility in your equip- ment. Multi-head machines, by their nature, must run the same design on all heads. Though you can turn heads on and off, stitching personalizations and/or variations on each head in a single run, a multi-head is most efficiently utilized when all the needles are outsource, having a modicum of control over your production is preferable to being entirely reliant on another party who may or may not have the capacity to help you when an emergency (or an opportunity) presents itself. SAMPLING/EXPERIMENTATION Provided your machine is well-maintained and has reasonably similar outcomes to the new addition (as it should), it always makes sense to sample on your single-head equip- ment. As much as I advocate testing in a scientific manner, and machines can affect Ready to move to a multi-head machine? Get advice on what to look for here: This trade show display of two networked single-head embroidery machines is the picture of versa- tility with a large, flat tote on the left while the machine on the right stitches away on a cap design.

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