If you'd like to try your hand at machine embroidery, you'll be looking at all the different brands and models. Brother Embroidery is one of the most popular manufacturers of home embroidery and sewing machines. The Brother embroidery machine line ranges from machines for beginners to home embroidery businesses to industrial models. All of these options can be very confusing when you're trying to find the right embroidery machine. This article explains the major differences between the Brother embroidery and sewing machines that are commonly available online and in retail stores.
Brother Embroidery and Sewing Machines - Common Features
The Brother SE400, SE350, HE240, LB6770 PRW, and LB6800 PRW are all basically the same computerized combination sewing and embroidery machine. They are good beginner embroidery machines and intermediate sewing machines, and offer a lot of value for the money.
As a sewing machine, they all have 67 built-in sewing stitches with 98 stitch functions, including 10 styles of one-step automatic buttonholes, seven-point feed dogs, push-button thread cutter, advanced needle threading system, a full range of included accessories and much more.
The embroidery unit adds 70 built-in embroidery designs, 5 monogramming fonts, and 120 frame pattern combinations with the popular 4x4 inch embroidery frame size.
Both the sewing and embroidery operations are controlled step-by-step with the backlit, LCD touch-screen.
The Major Difference -- Downloading Additional Embroidery Designs
The most significant difference between these models is the way you download additional embroidery designs into the machine. Sooner or later, you'll get tired of the built-in designs or want something different or a special design for a special project. And then it's essential to be able to load the embroidery designs of your choice into the machine.
Brother Embroidery Memory Cards
All of these models have a memory card slot that accepts a Brother Embroidery Card. These cards look like small flash memory cards such as cameras use, but they are in a Brother Embroidery propriety format. A large variety of Brother embroidery designs are available on these cards. But the cards can be expensive and not cost-effective if you only want one or two of the designs. The solution is to write embroidery designs you can download for free or at a reasonable cost from the internet onto your own cards. But for this, you'll need to buy software and a card writer/reader such as the Brother PED-Basic.
The Brother SE350 and Brother LB6770 PRW can only import additional embroidery designs from these memory cards. They have no USB port or computer connectivity. So with these machines, you'll need to buy the additional software and card reader/writer when you want to expand beyond the built-in designs.
USB Port for Computer Connectivity
The Brother SE400, HE240, and LB6800 PRW have a cable USB port that attaches to your computer for downloading embroidery designs. This type of USB port is not compatible with a USB stick or jump drive. You connect your computer's USB port to the embroidery machine's USB port using the included USB cable. Then you can copy embroidery designs saved on your computer to the embroidery machine's memory for stitching. You don't need additional software and card writer.
Brother SE400 vs. HE240
The Brother HE240 is the same machine as the Brother SE400. The HE240 is an exclusive version sold by HSN with a few additional accessories.
Special "Project Runway" Machines
The Brother LB6770 PRW and the Brother LB6800 PRW are special Project Runway Limited Edition Sewing & Embroidery Machines. Brother is the Exclusive Sewing and Embroidery Licensee for the popular fashion reality television show, Project Runway. These machines are identical to the SE350 and SE400 respectively, except that they have the Project Runway business logo and come with a cool Project Runway Rolling Storage Bag. The rolling bag is very handy for taking the machine to classes, workshops, and sewing circles.