If you could time-travel a century back, you’d find folks huddled around a sewing table hand-embroidering cloth pieces together. But with all the things that we need to get done with by dinnertime, who’s got the time for that today? Monogramming or embroidering items is an excellent way to add some sizzle to the sewing world, and the best monogramming machines make embroidery so much easier.
The modern monogram machines come with automatic features, allowing you to use different thread colors. Some come with a backlit LCD display for maximum efficiency and the best for monogramming projects and embroidery. The hardest part of it is picking the right one for the job.
What Is A Monogramming Sewing Machine?
Generally, a monogram is the combination of two or more letters to form a symbol or design. From this, a machine for monogramming would be so named if you can use it to monogram cloth items such as handkerchiefs and linens. But monogramming isn’t all these machines can do; these machines can also stitch other embroidery designs. For this reason, you might hear other stitchers refer to them as embroidery sewing machines.
What are the Differences Between A Monogram Machine and Sewing Machine?
Here are a few differences:
- A monogram machine looks quite similar to a regular sewing machine, but the difference is that it doesn’t sew; its an embroidery only machine
- Modern monogram sewing machines are computerized sewing machines. A computerized embroidery machine has a range of built-in fonts and embroidery designs that you can select from the machine’s LED display
- As a computerized machine, some monogram machines can be connected to the computer or USB flash drive, letting you gain access to even more designs
How Does A Monogramming Machine Work?
A machine for monogramming works by taking the preinstalled software fonts and then stitching the embroidery design. Each monogramming machine may work a little differently depending on the number of needles used to create that specific design.
You’ll start by creating the specific design, then use an embroidery hoop to center the maximum embroidery area where you want the monogrammed design to sit on. Then, you can finally put the machine to work. This computerized embroidery machine won’t need to be guided on the fabric or to change the stitches.
1. Brother PE535 Embroidery Machine
This sewing machine comes with the ability to do 400 stitches in a minute so you can easily and quickly finish your embroidery projects. Its 3.2-inch colored LCD display is quite awesome since it shows the sketches and lets you adjust them with the touch of a finger before stitching them up. In addition, it has an embedded color palette that lets you choose or switch between thread colors before you stitch.
The computer’s memory storage contains 80 high-quality embroidery models, which include florals, borders, patterns for holidays and children. It also has a colorful alphabet that you can use to personalize the designs with 9 different lettering fonts. All the fonts come in either small, medium or large sizes to meet your preferences.
It also has numbers and symbols in both the upper or lowercase letters that you can easily select either in English or Japanese. Alternatively, you can use the USB port to import more embroidery designs into your machine if that’s not enough. Additionally, it’s user-friendly, making it an ideal choice for machine stickers.
Apart from the built-in templates and fonts, it has so many apps that you could choose designs from or add your own using the USB port. All these embroidery features make this machine versatile and ideal for creative works. Overall, the Brother PE535 is an excellent choice if you are on the search for an embroidery-only machine.
- Versatile monogram machine
- Affordable machine
- Plenty of features
- Built-in storage memory
- 80 designs
- Large display
- Can import designs using its USB port
- Covered by a 25-year warranty
- Doesn’t have free-motion sewing
2. Brother SE1900 Sewing and Embroidery Machine
The SE1900 Brother is the ideal all-in-one unit that can be used for sticking and sewing. A single monogramming and embroidery machine is also a sewing machine that can take you through all your sewing projects and meet all your needs. In addition, the Brother SE1900 machine comes with a large area for sticking compared to regular sticking devices.
The large stick area grows to length 4, which is significantly larger than the 5-7 inches that work for most users. This means that you’ll also be able to use it to work on large embroidery projects such as quilts. As a combination sewing machine, the Brother SE1900 doesn’t just come with integrated designs, but it also comes with many built-in stitches.
It has 138 embroidery stitches that let you choose different patterns as you sew and 240 built-in stitches like the regular sewing machine. This makes it quite a complex embroidery machine that’s, surprisingly, also as easy to use. In addition, the Brother SE1900 machine contains 11 fonts in English, Japanese and Cyrillic.
When you need to monogram, you’ll pick from these fonts, but you can mix up the templates to create unique or specific patterns. By purchasing an extra hat hoop, the SE1900 is available for hat sticking. It has a super bright workspace with an integrated warm light LED display that provides light to the user.
This feature comes in pretty handy, especially when stitching on dark fabrics or working on intricate details. Overall, Brother SE1900 well accommodates embroidering functions and its sewing functions, making it the best sewing machine for monogramming and sewing.
- Combination sewing and embroidery machine
- Large LCD screen for larger projects
- Has an embroidery field
- 240 built-in sewing stitches
- 8 sewing feet
- Includes a zipper stitch
- Can use a USB stick to import designs
- LED work light
- Free-motion sewing
- Can get quite loud
3. Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine
The Brother brand has been established for years now that it’s an excellent choice for machines for monogramming and embroidery. More specifically, Brother PE800 comes with such excellent features and benefits. First, pressing the trim button physically cuts the strings instead of using scissors.
If not needed, the automatic thread cutting feature can be disabled, which is a great advantage if you have children around. With an automatic threader, this computerized embroidery machine has an accelerated automatic threading process. If using the automatic needle threader is difficult, you can manually thread the needle.
The coil rotates rapidly at the unit’s highest point, where the bobbin can be installed. Outstandingly, the Brother PE800 computerized sewing machine automatically pulls the coil seam while knitting. Upon rebooting, it uses a preset default string configuration, after which you can adjust the tension to your preferences on the LCD screen.
All these nifty cool features make it rank high as the best sewing machine for monogramming and embroidery.
- Automatic thread cutter that can be disabled for safety
- Sleek design
- Unlimited design options
- Large screen
- Large stitching field that’s ideal for larger projects
- Comes with 138 built-in embroidery design ideas
- Allows you to rotate the design
- Allows the user to mirror the images
- An automatic threader
- 11 preinstalled embroidery fonts
- lWork LED light
- The advanced needle threader might need some time getting used to
4. Brother SE600 Sewing and Embroidery Machine
The Brother SE600 noticeably comes with quite a large LCD screen. This helps increase the model’s accuracy, while the increased power enables you to work with thicker materials on the unit. These are by far the best upgrades on the machine.
With a 710 ppm speed, it might not be as strong as a big sewing machine, but it definitely has more than enough power to run whatever works. To eliminate the fear of putting relatively costly thread on the machine, it has bobbins that prevent the thread jamming issue. The Brother SE600 can easily handle designs that are 1-inch or less, making it possible to work on tiny fabrics with greater precision.
You’ll still have to focus on how the built-in embroidery designs are arranged. It has a stable automated threader and strong handles that don’t break as often as in other models. Overall it’s a decent monogramming machine.
- Comes in a practical design
- Comes with a 4 x 4-inch embroidery field
- Large LCD screen
- Enhanced embroidery features
- 103 built-in stitches for sewing
- Allows users to import custom designs
- Stable automatic needle threader
- Features a free arm for sleeves
- Bobbins that prevent the thread jamming
- Includes 3 different bobbins
- Embroidery area can’t be increased
5. SINGER Legacy SE300 Embroidery Machine
Overall, the Singer SE300 sewing machine is fitted with all kinds of features that give you a wide choice of embroidery features that meet different user needs, making it a more efficient and simple sewing experience. Singer SE300 functions as both a stitching and embroidery machine. It has more built-in designs compared to the average sewing unit.
It has 200 designs and 6 alphabet options already preloaded to improve monogramming skills. You’ll only need to pick the stitch design you want to use, and the unit will quickly start to imprint it on the garment.
The Singer SE300 has a simple, user-friendly setup that won’t take you hours to understand how to run even with all the great features. Just like a standard sewing machine, it will need some time to get used to. However, within several hours of proper installation, the Singer SE300 will be up and running.
- An advanced sewing machine
- 250 built-in stitches
- A simple and practical design that’s easy to understand
- Has decorative stitches
- Built and suitable for all kinds of projects
- Efficient automatic needle threader
- Embroidery hoops that can be snapped on
- 6 alphabet options
- High embroidery and sewing speeds
- Comes with a decent variety of accessories
- Doesn’t include a PSW Deluxe software
6. SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960
If you are searching for an adaptable machine that’s also as durable, then the SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 is definitely one for you. It has numerous features that give you such a satisfying sewing experience while working on your designs. The Quantum Stylist 9960 is a portable sewing machine with a decent range of easy-to-use features.
With an impressive selection of built-in stitches that include plain, stretch, and decorative stitches, you could work on your fashion sewing, home decor, quilting, and crafts. In addition, with a range of fonts you can choose from to configure the templates, the 9960 contains 600 stitches and 5 alphanumeric alphabets. The alphabets can be found in both the upper and lower cases in Russian, Gothic, Script, Italic, and Outline.
The mirror/reverse image feature is used to turn as many stitches horizontally and vertically. In contrast, the stitch elongation allows the user to lengthen the stitches up to 5 times their original length. These are nifty little smart features that allow you more freedom to load designs.
The SINGER Quantum Stylist comes with a maximum sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute, making it a high-speed sewing machine that ensures that your projects are sewn quickly. This sewing machine comes with a start/stop button that helps adjust the speed button. Additionally, it comes with 13-foot presses, including the all-purpose foot, the buttonhole foot with base pad, the zip foot, the blind hem foot, the satin stitch foot, the button stitch foot, and exposed foot. It also comes with a standard backlit black and white screen to help display the stitches you’re working on.
- Affordable machine
- Plenty of great features for efficiency
- 13 presser feet that provide multiple foot-press options
- Quality is an issue
- Doesn’t have a specific needle selection option
7. Brother SE625 Combination Computerized Sewing and 4×4 Embroidery Machine
The Brother SE625 is another trustworthy, dual embroidery machine, a computerized sewing machine that doubles up as a monogramming and embroidery machine. It has computerized controls and a manual foot pedal. There are 3 buttons and an adjustable speed dial to sew the foot free that you can use: needle up/down, start/stop, and back-together with.
You can operate the upper and bobbin strings to split automatically. Alternatively, you can do this manually by pressing a button. Its 3.2-inch colored front LCD also gives it versatility. To achieve maximum efficiency, the right foot of the presser can be used for stitching at a decent speed. It has 8 built-in tutorials and a help key below the LCD panel that gives a more detailed instruction manual.
You can also change the normal needle stop position, automatic thread clipping, buzzer sounds, and automatic reverse stitching by pressing on the settings key. In addition, it has 7 presser legs that include the button stitching foot, spring action zigzag foot, the buttonhole foot, the overlay foot, the zip foot, the monogramming foot, and the blind stitch foot. You can sew zippers, decorative reinforcement stitches, ties, transparent hems, and overcast fabric edges with these settings.
It comes with 8 buttonhole stitches and 103 stitches. The Brother SE625 is compliant with PES, DST and PHC surfing data files, but the suggested format is in PMV. With this machine, you can use denim, canvas and other heavier fabrics besides the usual embroidering caps and towels. Here is a multi-purpose machine that’s the perfect go-to sewing and embroidery machine.
- Value machine
- Combination sewing machine
- Can import designs using a USB stick
- Pre-installed editing and previewing options
- Automatic thread cutter and needle threader options
- Small hoop size
What Factors to Consider for the Best Monogramming Machines?
A) Number of Designs?
- An entry-level machine for monogramming has 20-50 built-in embroidery designs and 2-5 fonts. These machines also don’t allow you to download or install any extra monogramming options
- A mid-range machine has 50-100 built-in designs and 5-8 lettering fonts; however, it gives the chance to install more of such features creative via a USB drive
- A high-grade monogram machine offers more than 100 built-in designs and 8-12 lettering fonts. Some can directly connect to the internet if you ever need to download new designs, or link to your computer for custom-made pattern designs using specific softwares
B) Easy to Use?
All monogramming sewing machines have LED screens on them to allow you to select your preferred fonts and embroidery designs. Some machines will be easier to operate than others, and the built-in font or design selection process should be quite simple.
However, downloading new designs might actually be a bit trickier. If your computer skills don’t allow you to design your own digital patterns or download them online, then the ideal machine for you should have an ample amount of built-in monogramming options.
C) Embroidery Area?
Monogram sewing machines work within a certain maximum embroidery area in monogramming projects.
- Basic machines usually work within a smaller embroidery area, approximately 4 x 4 inches
- High-end machines have a larger embroidery area to work with, usually 8 x 12 inches
The size you’ll need will largely depend on the use of the machine. For basic monogramming, a reliable machine with a small area will probably suffice. However, for more elaborate embroidery pieces or large embroidery projects, you’ll definitely appreciate a much larger area
D) Number of Needles?
A basic monogramming machine comes with a single needle on its stitching head. So every time you need to change the color, you’ll first have to stop the machine then change the thread. If you really don’t want to do it, you need to consider a multi-needle machine. These machines for monogramming come with 4-10 needles on 1 stitching head. This machine allows you to thread different colors on each needle, so you won’t need to stop working on multi-colored designs.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Monogramming Machines
1. What is the difference between a monogramming sewing machine and an embroidery machine?
There’s really no difference between embroidery sewing machines and monogramming sewing machines. Machines for monogramming are a subset of embroidery machines as a whole. People will use the word ‘monogramming’ to describe what specific function the machine is used for.
2. How difficult is learning an embroidery machine?
It might seem hard, but learning how to use embroidery machines is relatively quite easy. This has been made much easier because the best embroidery machines are now designed and built to be as user-friendly as possible.
Like any other specialized skill you’d be willing to spend hours and weeks learning, embroidery skills will require time to learn and practice. In addition, you’ll need to use a technical machine to learn the different techniques for each step of the process.
3. What’s the difference between a cross-stitch and an embroidery?
A cross stitch creates a design on the fabric from a stitch that forms an ‘X. It’s also a form of counted embroidery since the term embroidery is more of an umbrella term used to describe the process of embellishing fabric using thread.
4. Can you embroider without using an embroidery hoop?
Yes, you can without the use of hoops, but you’ll need to maintain a decent amount of tension on the fabric to avoid any distortion. Another effective way to do this is by using a scroll fabric which helps maintain the fabric’s tension and also helps give you a hands-free operation.