Best T Shirt Embroidery Machine [ALL BUDGETS!]

If you’re in the market for a t shirt embroidery machine – you’re in luck! Embroidering on t-shirts is easy to do on any embroidery machine, though it does take a bit of skill and knowledge to get it done properly!

Even the cheap embroidery machines are up to the task, as long as you’re content with being limited to 4″ x 4″ pocket sized designs.

But, if you’re interested in a machine for large designs, or you need to produce large quantities of embroidered shirts for sale, things get a bit more expensive.

While a bigger hoop is always better, this quickly drives up the price. So, be honest with yourself about what size you really need for your designs. Though I’d recommend at least a 5″ x 7″ hoop.

Likewise, while a multi-needle machine makes mass producing shirts much faster, since you don’t have to swap out the thread colors manually, it’s also expensive. The cheapest multi needle embroidery machines will still run you $5000+, and that’s just not in everyone’s budget!

Below I’ve given my top picks for t-shirt embroidery machines based on features, function, and price!

Best T shirt Embroidery Machine – Top Picks

Janome Memory Craft 400E – $1,349

The Janome Memory Craft 400E is an excellent embroidery machine for clothing, including t-shirts! I’ve recommended this as an embroidery machine for sweatshirts and hoodies before, because of its generous 8″ x 8″ embroidery area, and the large throat space, which makes it easy to maneuver bulky clothing under.

embroidery machine with USB port

However, this machine is also great if you want to make large t-shirt designs without spending a ton of money. It’s an excellent value for all of the features and the embroidery are that it offers.

With this machine you’ll be able to stitch designs at 860 stitches per minute, but it also has variable speed which you can dial down as low as 400 for designs that require more care.

You can upload your own custom designs via the USB port, take advantage of the on-screen editing functions to re-size, rotate, change thread colors, and manipulate your designs, and it even has automatic jump thread trimming – a rare feature for machines in the entry level price range.

Click here to get the best price on the Janome 400e

Brother NS1150 – $899

Is the 400E outside of your budget? No worries! While the Brother NS1150 is not quite as nice as the 400e, it’ll still work perfectly fine for creating custom t-shirts.

This machine has a smaller embroidery area, at 5″ x 7″ and not as much room to the right of the needle for bulky items, but it’s still a quality machine you can depend on.

So, what else will you be missing out on downgrading? Well, for starters it is a bit slower, and you’ll only get 650 stitches per minute out of it.

This machine also does not have the thread break sensor, and it does not automatically trim your jump stitches for you like the Janome 400e does.

However, if you can live with these limitations – it’s an excellent machine and forgoing fancy features will get you started in embroidery for a good deal cheaper.

Click here to get the best price on the Brother NS1150

Janome 500E – $2,399

Need a bigger embroidery area to work with? The Janome 500E offers an expanded 7.9″ x 11″ embroidery area when compared to the 400E if you can spend a bit more money.

The machine features a large touch screen with on-screen editing options, comes with all the hoops you need to get started, and it works very well on heavy duty fabrics, like faux leather materials.

Its embroidery area is large enough to make beautiful sweatshirt designs too, like this lovely racoon stitched out by a Reddit user.

settled raccoon on a sweatshirt and went as a gift)
byu/Manavi05 inMachineEmbroidery

In short, this is a great machine at a fair price point for the size of the embroidery area. It’s large enough that you won’t have to worry about outgrowing the machine and needing to resell it later.

Click here to get the best price on the Janome 500E

Brother PE800 – $899

The Brother PE800 is one of the most popular embroidery machines on the market, and for good reason! This budget-friendly machine offers a large 5″ x 7″ embroidery area, which will allow you to embroider large designs on t-shirts, hoodies, and more.

cheap embroidery machines for hat

Not only is it super easy to use, but since it’s so popular there are tons of tutorials online for it. That makes it an extra great pick for beginners, because every question you could have about this machine has already been answered on YouTube.

A Dragon ball z patch made on the Brother PE800
A Dragon Ball Z design made on the Brother PE800

As you can see above, this machine stitches out beautiful designs. It also offers 7 different embroidery fonts, a USB port for uploading your custom designs, a jam-resistant bobbing, an automatic needle threader – AND it has step-by-step tutorials you can access right on the screen if you get lost!

Click here to get the best price on the Brother PE800

Bernette 70 DECO – $1699

If you’re willing to spend a bit more, then you can upgrade to the Bernette 70 DECO. This excellent machine has an expanded 10.2″ x 6.2″ embroidery area, which is honestly huge at this price point.

This machine also has some very nice features, which include upper and lower thread sensors, and the Bernina tool box software for lettering is included for free. (Be aware this is NOT a full digitization software).

The machine is very easy to use as well, making it a great pick for beginners. The only real con of this machine is that it’s a bit slower at 800SPM, but you likely won’t notice unless you’re using it to stitch out a LOT of custom orders for an Etsy store. The needle threader also takes a minute to learn to use.

None of these things are deal breakers for this machine though, and if you want the most affordable home embroidery machine with the largest hoop possible, this one is a contender.

Click here to get the best price on the Bernette 70 Deco

Janome MB4 – $5,499

Looking to start up a clothing brand and need a machine that can create a lot of shirts fast? The Janome MB4 is one of the cheapest multi-needle machines around and it’s a great pick if you need a home business embroidery machine.

cheapest multi needle embroidery machines

This is a 4 needle machine, which means you can load up 4 thread colors and the machine will stitch your designs without the need to stop. Obviously, this saves a ton of time over a standard machine, where it will stop for each color change and you’ll need to re-thread it.

It also has a generous 9.4″ x 7.9″ embroidery area, allowing you to create large custom shirt designs, and it’s variable speed setting will hum along at a respectable 600-800 stitches per minute.

It handles jump stitches for you, has an automatic thread cutter, comes with all the free hoops you’ll need, and you can use it to customize a lot of products if your brand moves beyond t-shirts later.

Click here to get the best price on the Janome MB4

In closing, while any embroidery machine will technically embroider on t-shirts, it’s important to consider your needs before buying something. Will you need to make large designs, or will pocket tee designs suffice? Will you be making these shirts for just your own personal use, or do you plan to sell them in bulk? Do you plan to embroider anything else like flex fit hats or sleeves that will require a specialized machine?

Knowing what you need before making a purchase is important. Otherwise you’ll likely have regrets.