We frequently get asked why do I want a serger or an overlocker, what's the difference between them, can they do finish work, why do they cut the fabric....and many others. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about sergers they we hope will help you decide if a serger is right for you.
What is an embroidery machine?
An embroidery machine supports an embroidery unit or embroidery arm that allows you to attach a hoop to the sewing machine. The hoop is then moved by the sewing machine while a design is stitched out to created an embroidery on the object/fabric in the hoop. These can be combination machines capable of sewing and embroidery or embroidery only machines such as the BERNINA Deco series of machines.
What is embroidery? And what does hoop size mean?
In the past embroidery was always accomplished by hand sewing multiple strands of thread in close proximity to create a design on a piece of fabric. Today we see embroidery on many of our garments and everyday items, such as a logo on a jersey. Embroidery is the placement of stitches in such a way as to create a design on the surface of an object or to create a free standing object from thread, such as lace. The hoop is used to hold the fabric to be embroidered in place while the stitching is done. Different machines and manufactures create hoops in a variety of sizes. Determining what type of designs you want to stitch will help to determine which machine fits your needs. Some models support hoops up to 16" long, others have nice big square hoops, while some are geared towards smaller spaces like or 5 1/2" x 8". If you are looking to do lots of small monograms, then a big hoop size may not be required. But, if you want to stitch large jacket back designs, or quilt your quilt in the hoop, then you need to consider a machine with a larger hoop size.
Do I need a computer to embroider?
A computer is not required for most embroidery machines, but it will make it easier to load new designs and edit them to your liking. Other machines will require a computer to control the embroidery process. Those machines with sufficient processing capabilities built in to the embroidery machine can embroider without the use of a computer while those with limited computer power will off-load the compute responsibilities to a connected computer to drive the stitch out. See a sales associate to discuss which type of machine fits your needs.
Why do embroidery machines have "ports" on them?
Embroidery machines have limited storage, just as your computer does. To allow you to add new designs on to your embroidery machine there needs to be a method of transferring designs to the embroidery machine. Many models have a USB port that can use a standard USB memory stick or connect directly to your computer to find a design. Some models use other technologies such as SD cards, PC/MCIA ports or USB direct connect cables to a PC.
How do I get new embroidery designs?
There are many sources for embroidery designs, including creating your own. Designs can be downloaded, emailed, on CD or USB memory sticks to name just a few. All of these formats are computer/PC readable. Once you have a design on your computer you can transfer it to your embroidery machine using the correct format and transfer media for your machine. We have a wide range of designs available for you to pick from.
Are embroidery designs and pictures the same thing?
A picture is a graphics file, it tells a computer how to draw a picture by specifying how each "dot" or "pixel" is to be colored so that when colored together they form a picture. Embroidery is not created from a series of dots but from stitches that require length/direction/color. Pictures can be converted in to embroidery designs using software available from a range of manufacturers, but pictures can not be stitched out without the conversion into stitches.