Machine: SWF Single Head Compact 1501c
Tell me a bit about your business
Textile Decoration Services (TDS) was established more than ten years ago, offering schoolwear. A family business, it now offers garment decoration to a wide range of companies, sports clubs, hospitality businesses and schools in Jersey.
What is the latest embroidery machines you’ve bought?
We now have six heads, including our original 12-needle SWF from when we started. The latest is a 15-needle Single Head Compact 1501c SWF from YES; we got it three months ago. The government over here runs a lot of the utility companies, and we specialise in supplying them – we use the duplex machines for that, while the new compact does the small fill-in orders and schoolwear etc.
Why did you choose this one? What do you think are its main advantages?
It’s an absolutely brilliant piece of kit. Firstly, it’s got a very small footprint. Secondly, it’s got 15 needles on it. It’s got the updated visual display – it’s not touchscreen, but you can see exactly what’s going on, whereas with the original compact it was a digital thing and it wasn’t so good.
With 12 needles, sod’s law is the colour that you need is not one of the 12 you’ve got on there. But with 15, it means that when you know your customer base, it can have the 15 colours that you use continuously on there, so you’re not wasting time changing threads. It hasn’t stopped since we got it.
Did you look at any others before buying the SWF?
I’m an engineer by profession; I worked on tankers all over the world for years. The engineer in me thought, ‘Well, let’s have a look and see.’ I really thought the SWF was way above the others in regards of quality of build, simplicity of operation and reliability.
Was it easy to pick up?
Really. The screen will ask you questions and you just answer those questions. I cannot recommend this one highly enough as your first standalone machine. Once somebody’s shown you how you replace your bobbins, how you select your colours, how you thread it, how you replace the needle if you get a break… Once you’ve got all that, it’s easy.
Is there anything you’d like to see in an upgrade or don’t particularly like about it?
I think they’ve sorted a lot of the things that frustrated me from when we bought the first compact 10 years ago.
What would be your advice to others thinking of buying a single-head embroidery machine?
If anybody was looking to start an embroidery business from scratch, or had the sort of shop that gets embroidery done by a subcontractor, but they think they want to do it themselves in-house, you couldn’t get a better one.
There are lots of people that make single-heads. I don’t think that you can beat, however, the SWF for quality of build and for sensible operating, and YES is a good company to deal with. You can get cheaper, but it’s the old story: you get what you pay for.
The quality of the finish on these SWFs is really spot on. We’ve been doing quite intricate logos for Jersey Fire Service – we wouldn’t be getting that work if we weren’t producing a decent product.