To make unique embroidery designs on caps and other headgear, you need the best embroidery machine for hats. Sadly, it takes a little bit of time before you can find one you feel comfortable with.
To make this seemingly challenging process easier, we’ve gathered our favorite embroidery machines in the market.
We’ll go over everything about these machines and why you should buy them. And by the end of the review, you will find an in-depth guide on what you should look out for. That said, let’s jump right into it!
Table of Contents
- Top 10 Best Embroidery Machine for Hats 2021
- 1. Brother SE600 – Best Overall (Highly Recommend)
- 2. Janome 9850 – Premium Choice
- 3. Brother PE535 – Best Cheapest Option
- 4. Brother PE550D – Best for Home Use
- 5. Janome MB-4S – Best for Commercial Use
- 6. Brother LB5000S – Best for Beginners
- 7. Brother SE625 – Best Computerized
- 8. YEQIN EW-261 – Best for Professional
- 9. Janome 230E – Best for Hats and Shirt
- 10. Brother PE800 – Best for Intermediate Use
- Best Commercial Hat Embroidery Machine
- Best Home Embroidery Machine for Hats
- Cheap Hat Embroidery Machine
- 3D Hat Embroidery Machine
- Lids Embroidery Machine
- What Embroidery Machine Does Lids Use?
- Buying Guide: How to choose the Best Embroidery Machine for Hats?
- FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Top 10 Best Embroidery Machine for Hats 2021
If you need an embroidery machine that can get the job without taking forever, then you’ll find it down below. Take a look at our top choices:
1. Brother SE600 – Best Overall (Highly Recommend)
As our first choice, we went with a powerful and efficient sewing machine from no other than Brother. This brand is efficient and always delivers on its word.
To start off, the sewing machine comes with 103 built-in stitches. Whether you’d like to make zig-zag or straights stitches, this is your machine for embroidering designs on a hat.
Furthermore, we love just how straightforward it is to use when choosing your designs. It has a built-in screen, which allows you to visualize the designs as you’re picking them. And if that were not enough, you’ve got about 80 designs to choose from.
Last but not least, this model comes with 9-built in font styles: six gorgeous English fonts and 3 Japanese fonts.
Why do we like it?
- Stylish built-in fonts
- Shows the designs on a screen
- Built-in LED light
- Quick and easy to use
Overall, we’re pretty satisfied with how efficient this sewing machine is. It has several different built-in stitches, shows the designs in real-time, and has many fonts.
Want to upgrade your existing machine to a premium and efficient embroidery machine? Well, here is the Janome 9850 for you. This model is our favorite premium choice.
Right out of the box, this brand has gone as far as adding over 175 gorgeous built-in designs for embroidering on a hat. It has so many designs that you won’t run out of ideas.
In addition to the beautiful designs, it has two fonts for European characters, and you can do monogramming with them.
They’ve also made sure to add 200-built-in stitches for those folks who need more than just the basic stitches most sewing machines have.
And finally, this model allows you to transfer designs from your computer to the embroidery machine via USB.
Why do we like it?
- Allows you to transfer designs
- 200 stitches for creativity
- Crystal clear LCD
- Pretty easy to use
This sewing machine is more expensive than the other options, but you get what you pay for. It will enhance your embroidering experience in every way.
3. Brother PE535 – Best Cheapest Option
So far, the two machines we’ve reviewed have been quite expensive. But If you want a simple and affordable home hat embroidery machine, then the Brother PE535 is your best bet.
This fantastic model comes with 80 jaw-dropping built-in designs for embroidering. Among those designs, you can find designs for kids, holidays, and many others.
As for how many fonts it has, it comes with 9 fonts for your designs. The first 6 fonts are your typical English letters, and the other 3 fonts can be used for Japanese designs. On top of that, it allows you to view the designs by scrolling on the screen.
Another feature we like about this model is that it allows you to transfer designs via USB. And it has a small memory to store them.
Why do we like it?
- Simple and compact design
- Built-in LCD screen
- Allows you to add new designs
- Stylish fonts for embroidering
Don’t let the word “cheap” fool you into thinking this is not a good sewing machine. It has all the tools you need to get started on embroidering. Getting this machine is an excellent investment.
4. Brother PE550D – Best for Home Use
Trying to learn how to embroider but can’t find a decent embroidery machine? Well, then you’ll love the Brother PE550D. This is our favorite machine for home use.
This powerful model offers 45 beautiful Disney designs for embroidering. They’ve legally acquired the rights to use them. So, there is no need to worry about doing anything illegal.
On top of that, this sewing machine boats a beautiful LCD 3.2-inch display that allows you to view all the designs you choose.
Like some of the previous machines we’ve gone through, this model also features nine beautiful fonts. You can either choose English fonts or the three built-in Japanese fonts.
Another thing that caught our attention is that this machine allows you to add some margin between the letters, and it’s not even hard to do.
And to make this machine even more user-friendly, they’ve added a mechanism that allows you to quickly load thread through the needle threader.
Why do we like it?
- Perfect for monogramming
- Super easy to use
- Has a screen display
- Beautiful built-in Disney designs
We’re pretty happy with how efficient this sewing machine is. For embroidering, you pretty much have all the tools you need. If you get this machine, you won’t miss out on any feature high-end machines have.
5. Janome MB-4S – Best for Commercial Use
Are you trying to start up your own embroidery company but can’t seem to find an industrial cap embroidery machine that fits your need? Then you should look into the Janome MB-4S.
This embroidery machine is explicitly built with professionals in mind. By doing so, they have managed to add a gorgeous screen, which allows you to easily set up the machine.
Since you’ll probably have to install new designs from time to time, this machine allows you to store up to 110 new designs, and you can also save about 1,500,000 stitches into the memory card, which comes with the embroidery machine.
They’ve also been very thoughtful about this design. For example, they added a mechanism that automatically cuts jump threads.
On top of that, this machine is super easy to use even if the design does not look user-friendly. For example, the machine can rewind new bobbins as it is making new stitches.
And to make the embordering process less complicated, they added a LED light for more accurate results in the dark.
Why do we like it?
- New designs can be installed
- Winds bobbins as it is running
- Includes a monitor
- Comes with 50 fonts
After carefully reviewing this product, we’ve concluded that this is the perfect sewing machine for any entrepreneur who wants a commercial machine. It is easy to use, new designs can be installed, and it gets the job done.
6. Brother LB5000S – Best for Beginners
Learning a new skill takes time before you see any results. To make your embordering journey more effortless, we decided to go with our favorite embroidery machine for beginners. And that is the Brother LB5000S.
Like any modern embroidery machine, this one also allows you to view the designs in real-time on the 3.2-inch LCD screen. And since it has a touchscreen, you can scroll through the designs using your fingers.
In addition to that, this machine has a bunch of beautiful designs you can use for free. It comes with 80-built in designs, and you can even download Star Wars designs.
Another thing we want to stretch out is that the machine has a comfortable working area. It has a 4-inch by 4-inch embroidering area, which is plenty of space for embroidering.
We also love how flexible the machine is. For example, you can choose the color for the threads and create lettering on a curve.
Why do we like it?
- Comfortable working area
- Over 80 built-in designs
- Large LCD screen
- Thread colors can be changed
There are plenty of sewing machines out there to choose from. But only a few of them are beginner-friendly and good enough to bring your ideas to life. For that reason, we chose this model from Brother.
7. Brother SE625 – Best Computerized
If you’re a tech-savvy person and would like to acquire a custom hat embroidery machine, this model from Brother will serve you well.
Like the other embroidery machines we’ve seen so far, this one comes with an LCD that shows all the stitches as you select them on the screen.
They’ve also made it so that you can easily choose the color for the threads through the built-in screen before stitching.
You can also import unlimited designs into the machine if you’re not satisfied with the designs included on the CD.
Moreover, this embroidery machine has a built-in light to help you get some lighting to highlight areas you might not be able to see.
And finally, we love how they managed to integrate a comfortable working area for large projects.
Why do we like it?
- Stylish designs
- New files can be installed
- Large foot delivers excellent results
- Boats a compact design
There is no doubt that it is by far the best computerized embroider machine you can find. The touchscreen allows you to do so many things that it almost feels like a high-end computer.
8. YEQIN EW-261 – Best for Professional
YEQIN took it to the next level by redefining what it means to be a professional embroidery machine with the YEQIN EW-261.
If you’re not a big fan of automated machines and all those flashy features they might have, then this is your machine. It comes with a comfortable handle that allows you to control the machine easily.
On top of that, we love just how accurate it is. Since you’re in control of the machine, you have a lot more control over the final results. There’s just something about using handle operated embroidery machine that beats an automated machine.
Taking a closer look, we also noticed how sturdy the presser foot is. It keeps the fabric flat so that it does not get in the way when embroidering.
Why do we like it?
- Operated through a handle
- Accurate needle
- Sturdy V-belt
- You can change the speed with your feet
This is by no means a beginner-friendly embroidery machine. This is primarily aimed at those folks who have lots of experience with professional embroidery machines, and it does a pretty good job at that.
9. Janome 230E – Best for Hats and Shirt
We’re now ready to introduce the best embroidery machine for hats and shirts. For this, we went with the sewing machine from Janome.
Without adding a significant amount of weight, this embroidery machine sets itself apart from the rest by being the most straightforward machine to carry around.
This model is equipped with an excellent automatic needle threader. This allows the user to have a much easier time threading the needle, unlike conventional methods that take forever.
Instead of adding a ridiculous amount of designs, they integrated a USB port on the machine’s back, which you can use to install new designs as you please.
It also has a small but crystal-clear touchscreen that allows you to choose the stitch or design you want by tapping on the screen.
And finally, the unit comes with a beautiful 5-inch by 5-inch hoop. This size should be more than enough for most hat and shirt projects.
Why do we like it?
- Relatively easy to use
- Has a USB port
- Built-in touchscreen display
- Comes with 73 designs
We’re pretty happy with all the powerful features this model has. We genuinely believe that all these cool features give you a considerable advantage when embroidering. And for that reason, we went with this brand.
10. Brother PE800 – Best for Intermediate Use
So, you kind of got the hang of embroidering and want to upgrade to a more sophisticated machine but don’t know what model to pick up? Well, here is the Brother PE800 to make this process a lot easier.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and start off with the fonts. This model features 11 built-in fonts. 7 of which are English fonts, 3 Japanese fonts, and one gorgeous Cyrillic font.
Furthermore, the machine has a USB port, which can be used to import new designs you find online. And, all those designs can be stored in the memory the machine provides.
And to top it off, this brand added a large hoop for those folks who want to take on bigger projects but can’t due to their small hoops holding them back. This hoop is 5 by 7, and it is made of plastic.
They were also quite generous about the LCD touchscreen. It is 3.2 inches and displays all the designs as you go through them.
Why do we like it?
- Supports file transfer
- Large touchscreen
- Comfortable hoop
- Gorgeous built-in fonts
If you’re trying to step up your embroidering game, you’ll definitely love this model. It is pretty simple to get it running right out of the box and has many different stylish designs.
Best Commercial Hat Embroidery Machine
So far, the best commercial hat embroidery machine we’ve come across is the Janome MB-4S. It might look intimidating at first sight, but once you spend some time using it, it becomes second nature.
One of the main reasons we went with this model is that it has a powerful computer screen that allows you to set up the machine and choose up to 65,536 colors.
On top of that, it has a large memory that allows you to install new stitches and designs. This is a great feature for business owners since you need to install new designs to get more customers.
For all these reasons, we truly believe it to be your best choice for commercial use.
Best Home Embroidery Machine for Hats
For those who need a functional yet straightforward embroider machine at home, we suggest the Brother PE550D.
Since you’re probably going to spend a lot of time working on your designs at home, this machine will make it easier for you to get new cool designs. It has a memory, which allows you to import new files, and you can install them through the USB port.
It is also worth pointing out that you get a bunch of fonts with it. It has 6 beautiful English fonts and 3 Japanese fonts.
Taking all of those features into account, this is an excellent purchase for anybody who wants a home embroidery machine.
Cheap Hat Embroidery Machine
Nowadays, there are plenty of embroidery machines, which you can choose from. And you don’t have to spend close to $1,000 for them. As such, we went with Brother PE535.
Don’t let the price discourage you from getting this model just because it’s cheap. This machine has some of the most crucial features any embroidery machine needs.
It has over 80 built-in designs, 9 stylish fonts, and you can even load more files into it. There is no way you’d go wrong with this brand, given all the features you get for such an affordable price.
3D Hat Embroidery Machine
Hoping for that sweet smell of success after making a 3D hat? Well, then the Janome 230E is your best choice for a 3D hat embroidery machine.
We went with this model given how flexible and easy it is to use. We’ve reviewed hundreds of these machines, and few hold a candle to this model.
It makes your job easier as it comes with 73 preinstalled designs and 3 gorgeous fonts, which you can use for monogramming. On top of that, it comes with a touchscreen.
And finally, if you ever want to install more designs, you can do so with this embroidery machine. By merely transferring files into an existing USB and then plugging it into the machine, you’re good to go.
Lids Embroidery Machine
They use the TMBP S1591C. This is a costly model. But if you’re into embroidering and want to start up your own business, this is worth every single cent.
This is a very high-performance embroidery machine. It allows you to insert files for the desired design, has about 1,000RPM, and the end results just look amazing.
Perhaps the most noticeable feature is that you can use your custom images that you can configure to your desires.
What Embroidery Machine Does Lids Use?
If you’ve ever been to Lids, you’ve probably asked yourself which embroidery machine they use for their hats. The answer to that is that they get their industrial embroidery machines from Tajima, and they use the TMBP-SC Series.
Lids gets its machines from Tajima as this brand is one of the most reliable companies when it comes to making sewing machines. Their products are precise and consistent, making the overall end result as good as possible.
Buying Guide: How to choose the Best Embroidery Machine for Hats?
Trying to pick up the best embroidery machine for hats but can’t seem to find one? Well, down below, you’ll find a couple of features that any embroidery machine should have:
Built-in LED Light
A well-lit working space makes a world of difference when embroidering on a hat. If you genuinely want hat production efficiency, make sure the model has a built-in LED light.
Another feature the embroidery machine must have is a USB port on the back. If you want to digitize your graphics into embroidery files to import them into your machine, it must have a USB port.
Without it, you’ll be limited by the default designs and stitches your machine has. Also, make sure it has a memory card for the files to be saved.
A key feature that any decent embroidery machine should have is built-in fonts. Most embroidery machines have fonts by default. However, some of them do not. You can install them on some machines, but it’s a little bit tricky.
Depending on the model, some might have your typical English letters, while others might also have Japanese fonts.
Built-in Designs and Stitches
If you don’t want to spend time looking up or making your own designs, you want your machine to have a couple of templates by default to speed up this process.
Most embroider machines come with a couple of built-in designs. This number can go anywhere from 50 all the way to 100 designs.
This, of course, depends on your model and the brand. Some well-known brands, such as Brother, have licensing agreements with popular brands to use their embroidery machines’ designs. The most noticeable one being Disney.
Technology is everywhere, and you can’t blame it. It’s made our lives easier. The main point to take here is that a modern hat sewing machine should have a touchscreen.
If you don’t like the idea of pressing buttons and guessing the design, looking into getting a touchscreen is not a bad idea.
Swiping left and right to choose a design or a stitch is super easy and saves you a lot of time. As such, make sure your model has a built-in touchscreen and that it is at least 3.2 inches. You won’t regret it.
Don’t overlook your hoop’s size. Keep in mind that’s your working area, and it might make it hard if you get a small one. The standard hoop size is about 4 by 4 inches. But you might want to expand that number if you plan on dealing with large projects.
Touchscreens might be a good idea for most people. But if you’re not really into all these modern and flashy embroider machines, you might want to look into getting a classic embroidery machine powered by a handle.
There is just something about these old machines that make you feel like a professional. However, keep in mind that these machines are not beginner-friendly. They are not as intuitive and take some time before you get the hang of it.
Consider getting one of these handle-powered machines only if you’re not fond of modern models and have previous experience using an embroidery machine.
Automatic Needle Threader
Don’t want to spend unnecessary time threading a needle? Then make sure your embroider machine has an automatic needle threader. It’ll take care of the threading process for you in little to no time.
Compact And Portable
This point is a little bit subjective, depending on the application. But If you need your embroidery machine to be portable and compact, we suggest picking up a machine that’s anywhere from 13-23 pounds.
In addition to that, make sure it has a handle for you to carry the machine easily.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
For more information on embroidery machines, we suggest reading this section:
The best embroidery sewing machine for hats is by far the Brother SE600. If you’re getting started or have previous experience with these machines, it’ll be an excellent upgrade.
The average price for a basic but still powerful hat embroidery machine can go anywhere from $300-$600. But if you’re trying to get your hands on a professional 3D embroidery machine, expect to spend about $11,000.
Set up the hoop. Use a hoop center and then mark the center with a sharpie. After that, draw a vertical line. Now use painter tape to secure the sweatband. Next, draw a ¾ inch line above the brim.
Place the hat on the hoop and match the centerline. Now hold the hat using pins. Adjust the hat on the embroidery machine as well as the design on the touchscreen. Now press start.
Yes, the SE600 can embroider hats. It has a simple but powerful built-in display that allows you to choose the design you want for your hat. On top of that, the working area is pretty large, making it very comfortable.
To embroider a hat, you’ll need an embroider machine, a hoop that should come with the unit, and a couple of pins to secure the hat as the sewing machine is running.
Choose your design. Now take your hoop, put it inside the hat, and then put another hoop on top. Now draw the sketch on the hat. Next, get your embroidery floss and thread the needle. After that, start pulling the needle through the image you drew on the hat.
To use an embroidery machine, you first need to set up the hoop. After that, adjust the hat on the embroidery machine. Next, choose any design that you want to put on the hat and press start. The machine will now take care of the rest.
You can take any image you want to Lids, and they will embroider it on the hat, that is, as long as it is not copyrighted. As far as the price goes, you might spend about $25-$30.
Yes, you can embroider on a mesh hat. In fact, this is a hot new trend. Embroidering on mesh really adds that extra detailing you need on your hat.
Had any luck after going through the best embroidery machine for hats in 2021? Hopefully, you found the right fit. All those 10 embroider machines were chosen based on how much love they have received.
We were pretty critical about them before they made it to this list. And after carefully reviewing them, we were pretty happy with the results.
There are plenty of them. And chances are there is one for each one of you. Whether it be for a professional, a homeowner, a beginner, or an intermediate sewist, you’ll find one that suits your needs.
Philip K. Williams is a tool enthusiast and sewing machines expert for the last 5 years. He has been a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, machinery and DIY. Philip runs the editorial team at MachineryHacks.