Embroidery Machines

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Brother PE800 embroidery machine available in the Idea Shop.


Embroidery machines use special stitch files to create thread designs on fabric. This is an ideal machine for making embellished clothing or patches.

General Stats:
Material : Light to medium weight Fabric, Off the shelf fabric products.
Hoop Sizes : small 2"x3", medium 4"x4", large 5"x7", and extra large 5"x12"
Cost : $0.10 per 100 design stitches + cost of stabilizer
Stabilizer Cost : small: $2.00, medium: $2.50, large: $3.50, extra large: $4.50

Strengths and Weaknesses

Main Article : Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Convenient built-in design options
  • Making decorative stitched patterns
  • Faster than hand embroidering
  • Only works for light to medium weight materials
  • Custom files take some time to create

Using the Brother PE800 embroidery machine

Machine and Material Setup

Select a thread color and thread the machine as shown. Only use approved embroidery thread in the embroidery machine.


Ensure that the machine is off before inserting the embroidery cartridge. Clear anything from the path of the embroidery cartridge. Turn on the machine and click through to the warning. Press ok and the machine will move. (See steps 1-5)


Stabilizer must be used on all items to be embroidered. The stabilizer available in the Idea Shop has a water activated adhesive on one side. To adhere the fabric to the stabilizer, lightly apply water to the smooth textured side of the stabilizer and firmly press it to the wrong side of the fabric to be embroidered. (See step 6)


Select an appropriately sized embroidery hoop for the design. Separate the two hoop pieces. and insert the fabric as shown. Ensure that the right side of the fabric is facing up. (See steps 7-12)


To ensure that the fabric is taught in the hoop and there are no wrinkles, gently pull the edges of the fabric evenly along all sides. Once the fabric is smooth, tighten the screw on the embroidery hoop finger tight. (See step 13)


Push back the tab on the embroidery cartridge, and slide the pegs on the hoop into the holes in the cartridge. (See steps


Selecting Embroidery Patterns and Getting Started

Designs can be selected from the designs and fonts included with the machine or uploaded through the USB port. After a design is selected, it can be moved, rotated, and scaled in the system menu. Additional designs can also be added once the first element is selected. All files available on the embroidery machine can be found here Media:embroiderydesignguide.pdf


To start embroidering, lower the presser foot. The round arrow button should turn green. Hold the tail of the top thread with one hand and press the start button with the other. Once the machine has sewn a few stitches, the tail can be clipped off with scissors.


Machine Proficiency

In order for an individual to advance in machine proficiency they must demonstrate ability to perform certain actions or tasks. All levels include abilities and concepts from lower levels.

This section is primarily for student workers.

Level 0

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Turning on the embroidery machine
  • Raising and lowering the machine foot
  • Threading the needle
  • Operating the start/stop button

Individual understands the concepts:

  • Right and wrong sides of fabric
  • Trimming threads
  • Fabrics and items that can be embroidered
  • Top and bobbin thread
  • Jumps
  • Color switches

Level 1

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Threading the embroidery machine
  • Changing the bobbin
  • Trimming a finished embroidery piece
  • Opening a file on the embroidery machine
  • Switching Color

Individual understands the concepts:

  • How to stabilize material to embroider
  • Different kinds of thread can effect embroidery
  • What kinds of changes can be made to a file on the embroidery machine
  • Orienting embroidery files

Level 2

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Stabilizing material to be embroidered
  • Selecting an appropriate embroidery hoop
  • Advancing stitches or colors
  • Making changes to an embroidery file using the machine interface
  • Fixing a rat's nest

Individual understands the concepts:

  • Machine tension

Level 3

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Adjusting the tension
  • Recognizing different embroidery machine sounds
  • Cleaning the embroidery machine
  • Knowing when to oil the embroidery machine

Individual understands the concepts:

  • Checking the tension
  • The difference between top tension and bobbin tension
  • The cause of rat's nests
  • Determining the order in which to embroider colors