JSA Print: Tajima TMFX 6 Head from AJS Embroidery

Joe Aston, partner

Tell us a bit about your business?

We’re a family-run business, based in the Rossendale Valley in Lancashire. We’ve been in business since 2011. We started working in the bedroom, moved to the garage and we’re now in a unit. Our bread and butter is workwear, and we focus on mainly embroidery and screen printing, and a bit of transfer where needed.

What is the latest embroidery machine you’ve bought?

In August we purchased our second Tajima six-head embroidery machine. We already had one six-head and a single-head, but we needed more flexibility and a machine to use for longer runs without holding up other jobs. It was £30,000.

What other machines, if any, did you look at before purchasing this one?

When we bought our first one, we looked at Happy and Barudan. However, with the second one we just went right back to AJS.

Why did you choose this specific make and model?

We went with Tajima as, after meeting Tony and Scott [of AJS], I felt like we were in good hands when it came to service and after-sales care. The main advantage of Tajima is they are such a well-known brand you know you are buying quality. They have a good resale value, which also helped make the decision, as it wasn’t such a risk if it didn’t work. Thankfully we haven’t had to sell it – we’ve had to get another!

We now have two TMFX six-head embroidery machines. We also have a Brother PR650 (we mainly use this for stitch-outs now): we used to have three of these before we got our first six-head. The Brothers are good but the difference between these and a Tajima is like night and day – you can tell the Tajimas are built for industry.

Thread breaks are rare with the Tajima TMFX six-head embroidery machine, says Joe

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

I would like to invest in the software that scans the production sheets so we can just pull the designs from the PC. We are currently using USBs, which is a bit of a nightmare, but we are looking to change this in the coming months.

What’s it like to use? Do you have any tips on how to get the most out of it?

Its screen-user interface is not as simple as the Brother to start with, but once you get the hang of it, you’re away. The machine runs smoother and faster, thread breaks are rare. Generally, it only stops to change the bobbin. I would say sometimes on difficult fabrics or thick caps, slowing it down a touch can reduce thread breaks and keep it running along while you frame your next batch up.

What type of work is it used for?

We’re mainly workwear focused, so a lot of left-chest embroidery, and small to large runs. We also do a lot of sweatshirts, polos and jackets. We do a good amount of caps and beanies – the machine is great for doing caps. Again, we sometimes slow it down when running 3D caps.\

What other machines do you have?

We also have an M&R Diamondback for screen printing and plotter cutters for transfer printing. A lot of jobs require embroidery and print so we can do most jobs in house. We only outsource our DTG work.

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

Buy from a reputable supplier. When you have issues you need a supplier who will be there to help quickly and it’s really important that I can speak to someone right away. Whenever we’ve had issues, AJS is quick to get me on the phone to a technician and 95% of problems can be fixed over the phone. I think I’ve only had to call them out once, and that was due to user error! I would also advise choosing a machine that holds its value. Avoid Ebay at all costs: there are lots of copycat machines on there, but if you buy cheap, you buy twice, in my eyes.