Allsorts Embroidery, Ricoma 1501TC-7S from Hobkirk Sewing Machines 

Jade Haworth, owner

Tell us a bit about your business

I decided in April 2018 that I wanted to do embroidery. I looked on the internet to find out who sold embroidery machines near me and I found Hobkirk. I went to Blackburn and looked at a few different machines, and by the end of May I had my own embroidery machine and own business, Allsorts Embroidery. Coming from an agricultural background and having friends that are big into the showing of wagons I knew that embroidery was something I could make work if I was willing to put the hard work in, so that’s exactly what I’ve done.

What embroidery machine did you buy from Hobkirk?

I bought the Ricoma 1501TC-7S. The machine cost me £8,394 (including VAT), and I also purchased the Wilcom E4 Lettering Package at the same time, which cost me £598.80 (including VAT).

Why did you choose this machine?

I chose it because I didn’t want to make the mistake of buying a smaller machine and then discovering I couldn’t do bigger designs.

Also, I liked the machine because it has 15 needles so it can hold 15 different colours, which means if you have a large design with many different colours you can set all your colours up, press go and leave it to stitch away.

What do you think are its main advantages?

Firstly, I like the auto thread break – I know I can leave the machine and if a thread breaks, the machine will just stop so when I do come back to it I know it has stopped for a reason and know what that reason is. I also like the auto thread trimming system; some designs can have a lot of detail and therefore have a lot of ‘trims’ so I can leave it to continuously run with the advantage of keeping it tidy along the way. Also, once you have set the design up you are able to use the ‘one step tracing’ to check that you have enough room between the design and the frame so that once you set the machine off you know that the needle and the presser foot are not going to come into contact with the frame.

Is there anything you’d like to see in an upgrade or don’t particularly like about it?

They only thing that I would like to see as an upgrade is how user-friendly the screen is – there is a big jump from the semi-industrial machines to the industrial.

What sort of work is it used for?

My machine is used for many different sized designs. The very first design I put through the machine was a back design of 172.1mm x 350.1mm – I threw myself in at the deep end! Customers will give me a picture of their tractor, cow, wagon etc – I do anything from chest to arm logos, then of course simple or extremely detailed back designs. I do caps and hats, polo shirts, jackets, hoodies, baby grows and aprons…the list is endless. I love it when somebody comes to me and asks me to do something I’ve never done before. I do one-ffos and also workwear for local companies.

What would be your advice to others thinking of buying an embroidery machine?

My advice would be to think what line of work you would like to do: are you wanting to go down the route of big back designs that take time or are you just going to do small, quick designs? Don’t just look at one machine, take the time to look at the different machines out there. Also, take the time to speak to salespeople as they have the answers to a lot of your questions.