September '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 6 P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9 2 6 P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9 moving up and down at the same time. Moreover, a multi-head machine is only achieving its best output in a given period when the number of garments you need to produce is divisible by the number of heads on your machine. By maintaining your single-head machine, you allow yourself to run two configurations. Whether that means having one set up for hats and the other for flat goods, running entirely separate orders, or even using the single-head like an expansion of the multi, keeping your start-up single-head allows for production options that a multi-head alone can't. PERSONALIZATION Unsurprisingly, decorations that must be run one-at-a-time make a good case for hanging on to a single-head machine. If you have an inkling that you'll be doing one-off personaliza- tion, you'll be happy to have one in-house. While some think of personalization as something relegated to gift-shop embroi- derers and monogrammers, traditional commercial shops have a long history of adding right-chest or sleeve name drops to corporate or team apparel. In truth, there are many ways you can use single-head personalization to keep your multi-head moving even in a primarily B2B market. Though uncomplicated, single-placement personalization is the simplest example. Those personalizations associated with a design in a single decoration area may also benefit from a two-machine method, pro- vided your single-head and multi-head ac- cept the same hoops and you have enough to fill your multi-head twice. It takes little more than a trivial alignment of the single- head with the existing design embroidery to allow you to make use of single-head personalization. Hooped garments can be removed from the multi-head machine after the design is run, mounted on the single-head, allowing you to run person- alizations while the multi-head is already running the next set of garments with the main design. This method is incredibly ef- ficient for high-stitch count designs with short name or number drops. You may be able to finish a 'set' of personalizations in the time it takes to get the design element stitched on the next set. A CASE FOR ALL SINGLES It's extremely easy to advocate for keep- ing a single-head machine for shops with production warranting multi-head em- broidery, but sometimes the question isn't whether a shop should keep a single-head while adding multi-head equipment, but if a multi-head is even the right choice for the shop's business model. In the case that your primary market and that which you target going forward is primarily com- posed of customers who either place sin- EMBROIDERY Erich's Embellishments Top: One thing to consider about multi-head setups is the footprint they require. Even a four-head ma- chine can have around 9 feet in length. For some small shops and home-based businesses, more single- heads or a combination of smaller machines might make more sense. Above: Though more traditional commercial offerings might offer more needles and larger sewing fields, 'prosumer' machines like these are more than capable of becoming personalization stations.

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