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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) or Questions and Answers (Q&A)

I get asked a lot of questions about so many things concerning embroidery machines and how to use them. Here are some Frequently asked Question and my responses.




Discussion and information about which embroidery machines are best and what to look out for when shopping for a machine.




DIY Embroidery Machine Repair - Information on repairing and working on your Embroidery Machine




How to Embroider - Tips and How-to information on how to use your embroidery machine.


AJST Library




Quick Link

Quick Links




Click on the articles below to find out more.



Reoccurring question from new embroider:

I need an advice for metallic thread. Specially When I am doing 3D job , keep thread break happens. I tried adjust tension (Top & Bottom) , replace new needle(75/11) , slow speed , adjust density.... I tried 3 different machines , still same problem. I am using Marathon thread. Is it better use Madeira , RA or Isacord? I need a advice .

Thank you in advance...




Happy Embroidery Machine:


Happy Needle Bar Driver:

Some Happy Embroidery machines use a Needle Bar Driver and roller bearings instead of a Reciprocator. The needle bar Driver is shown in the diagram below as part number 18. The whole assembly is expensive and may not be available but you can order the roller bearings and the C-clamps.

If it has been awhile since you have had these changed it may be a good idea to replace them. When the roller bearings get brittle with age and wear out they may give the same symptoms as a broken reciprocator.

The upper face plate may also cause issues with the operation of the machine. Please review these parts as some others that may be needed.




      Here are some quick links to things you might need as you are running your embroidery business.

         Link Page:


Sometimes your Avance' 1501 may give a main motor lock or main shaft error. This error also is known to occur in Toyota 9100, Toyota 9000, Tajima TEJT Neo, and Tajima TEJT Neo II.

A number of things may cause this, including but not limited to:

  • Stalled - Jammed Rotary Hook-
    • Worn, friction seized. Caused by heavy use and poor oiling.
    • Object stuck in the rotary hook. broken needle, thread, etc.
  • Main Motor defect.
  • Dry bearings/ bushings.
  • Main motor linkage.

This article addresses the Dry bearing/bushing issue.


Oil and Grease for your Embroidery Machine:


In the maintenance field the general rule is anytime metal rubs against metal you put a dab of grease on it. Machine maintenance will prolong the life of your machine and give you more sewing time. Embroidery machines do not last forever but a little preventive maintenance will keep your machine running and trouble free.

Be aware that there are many types of oil and grease on the market, and some may not be too healthy for you machine. Let's examine the maintenance schedule and I recommend to keep you machine oiled and lubricated.

 You should follow the recommendations of your distributor and/or manufacturer. They usually have information and directions in the users manual or on their website. With that information in mind with most companies there are 3 different oiling/lubrication schedules. This of course depends on how heavily you use your machine.

Under normal use where the machine is used consistently but not constantly most manufacturers recommend a Daily, Weekly, and Yearly. If you are running constantly, as in 1000s of shirts none stop all day you may want to use 4 hours, Bi-weekly, and Bi-annual.



We receive a lot of complaints and concerns about hard structured caps including The Infamous Richardson 112 and similar model caps. These hats are great looking caps that have a front that hold its shape like a batter’s helmet. They hold their shape, however; the thick hard buckram in the front is so hard it ends up shredding thread and breaks needles. Customers love them and embroiders hate them.

Click Read More for a few things that you can do that may help when embroidering these caps.



Rotary Hook

Rotary hooks rotate twice every time the needle comes down, so if you run your machine at 700 stitches per minute the hook spins at 1400 stitches per minute (SPM). The interior of the Hook has a rail that slides in a raceway and holds the hook together. There are no bearings, so the rail and raceway are metal on metal. This is the only point on the machine that most manufactures recommend you lubricate every four hours of use. ​Rotary hooks may need to be replaced at around 3 to 5 years, depending on use and maintenance of the machine.




How do you find out how many stitches on a Toyota Embroidery Machine? These videos explain how.


This also works on Tajima TEJT (NEO  and Neo II)



Breaking into embroidery? Thinking of adding an additional embroidery machine to your shop? Should you buy a single head machine or a multi-head machine? Here are several things that you need to consider when buying an embroidery machine.

During my time working on embroidery machines I have seen a huge variety of clients that have been successful in this industry. The main things that makes an embroidery business successful is turning out quality products, producing the items when you promise them, and finding your niche in the business.



Turning out quality products: You only have one chance to impress a customer, so I advise you to never let anything go out the door that you are not completely happy with. Too often I have clients that are new to the business and buy an embroidery machine. They are so excited and start taking orders from customers, sometimes even before they get the machine. Be aware that there is a learning curve that comes with embroidery. When we got our machine, it took us several weeks to turn out a consistent product. If you do your own digitizing it can take months to be consistent.

Producing the items when you promise them: Delivering your product when you promise is tremendously important. Do not promise something this afternoon if you are not sure you can deliver. I would rather tell a customer that you can’t get to it until Friday and call them to tell them that you completed it early.

Finding your niche is important: There are all kinds of sources for customers, you need to identify your customer base. Some examples… sports, public safety, military, motorcycle clubs, schools, Greek organizations, churches, weddings, funerals, children, Christmas, fraternal organizations, monogramming, and the list goes on. You can focus on any one or combination as your customer base. You may want to focus on several groups so if one has a down season the other kicks in.





Great tools for use with your embroidery machine.


When it comes to commercial embroidery machines there are all kinds of things that you can buy to make your work easier. Some things work better than others and some don't work at all.

Here are some reviews and information on some things that I have found.





 People bring you all kinds of things to embroider, and you can get into some real trouble if you mess it up. Stitching the wrong color, in the wrong place and any other various errors can put a real cramp in your paycheck.

When we first started business we were doing some towels for a friend of the wife's. We were sewing one initial on a set of 8 towels, and we gave them the friends and family discount, a whopping $3.00 a piece. Everything was going well until the last towel when my machine became hungry and ate it. The towel slipped and the hoop came apart. I tried to fix the towel and knocked a hole in it. I tried something else and hole got bigger. We finally decided that we had to replace the towel.

The label had a fancy name and informed us that the towel was made of 800 thread count Egyptian cotton. So the search began. Over the next few days Tracee went to Macys, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, Sears, Neiman Marcus etc.. and could not find a replacement for the Fancy Named, 800 thread count, Egyptian cotton towel. She finally gave up and called her friend.

Her friend told her not to worry about it, she bought the towel at Walmart.

So to recap this sad tale, Tracee spent about three days searching for a towel to replace a 5 dollar towel from Walmart. We only made $3.00 on it.



Feel free to copy and use it in your business.



CNC BoardWhat are the boards and electronics in a commercial embroider machine, and how do they interact with each other?

I get quite a few questions about electronics and boards in embroidery machines. This is some basic information about the boards involved. Your commercial embroidery machine is basically a CNC Sewing machine. CNC stands for 'computer numerical control' which is a system that tells a machine to move to this coordinate and do something. then move tho this location and do something else.

You may use a CNC machine every day and not know it as a cnc machine. Your Printer is a CNC machine. Laser cutters, plasma cutters, 3d printers, and cnc routers are examples of other CNC machines.

Again basically the machine moves to a X - Y Coordinate and then does something. Your embroidery machine moves a shirt or cap to a specific location and does a stitch.

Click "Read More" to find out more information on this topic.



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