January '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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A N D R E A B O M M A R I T O 4 6 P R I N T W E A R J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 0 T he simple definition of a single- head embroidery machine is a machine that can produce one embroidery piece per operation. Although this may not seem impres- sive compared to the large, multi-head equipment, the single-head embroidery machine is one of the most popular models in the U.S. for embroidery em- bellishment because of its flexibility and versatility. A BRIEF HISTORY In the history of embroidery equip- ment, the single-head model did not evolve until the late 1970s and, even then, did not make a significant impact on the market. It was not until the mid to late 1990s that this type of equip- ment created a huge impression. Most embroidery businesses in the United States operated with several large pieces of multi-head equipment for mass pro- duction. Imagine that during this time, 16- and 20-head machines were stan- dard models, and the 4- and 6-head machines were considered small units. The single-head did not exist until the 1980s, and, even then, it wasn't well- received. The cost of a single-head ma- chine was one and a half to two times (or more) the price per head compared to multi-head equipment. Plus, the market norm was producing hundreds to thousands of pieces at a time, so why would a single-head be considered a good investment? The need for small- er orders and sample items started to emerge as mass production went over- seas. The changing economics forged a new embroidery market for the single- head and started a revolution in equip- ment. THE MIGHTY SINGLE HEAD The single-head may be the favored model because of its adaptability. For example, in the large shops, it's the proof or sample machine used to run designs to ensure quality and efficiency The Single-Head Revolution THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF THE SINGLE-HEAD MACHINE In addition to apparel, single-head embroidery machines are go-to piec- es of equipment for the home d├ęcor and automo- tive/aerospace/yacht inte- riors markets. (All images courtesy ZSK Machines)

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