Although many people associate Brother Industries with office equipment like fax machines and printers, the company actually got its start in sewing machines. Today, Brother is a respected name in home sewing and embroidery equipment with many popular sewing machine models on the market.
Brief History of Brother International
In 1908, the Yasui Sewing Machine Factory began producing home sewing equipment in Nagoya, Japan. Eventually, the company began to export its machines, and in 1954, Yasui opened a headquarters in the United States. By the 1970s, the company had changed its name to "Brother" and was manufacturing printers and office equipment. However, Brother never left the sewing machine business, and it's gained a loyal following over the years.
Where to Buy Brother Sewing Machines
Brother makes a wide variety of sewing machines, quilting machines, sergers, and embroidery machines, many of which are available at your local fabric or sewing store. You can also buy Brother machines at many discount stores and online. The following websites sell these products:
Popular Sewing Machines from Brother
Brother machines consistently receive great reviews from Consumer Search and AllSewingMachineReviews.com. They're also popular with consumers, who praise their value and ease of use. No matter what your sewing experience level, there's a Brother machine that is perfect for you.
Brother Machines for Beginners
If you're a beginner, it's important to choose a machine that is easy to use, doesn't include too many complicated features, and is affordable. Brother makes several models that would be a great choice for new seamstresses, including the following popular options:
- Brother LS-2125i: Retailing for about $75, the Brother LS-2125i makes a great entry-level sewing machine for the beginner. Pre-programmed with 10 basic stitches, this machine is designed for simple sewing and mending. In developing this model, Brother focused on creating a sewing machine that was easy to use. Reviewers seem to agree that the company achieved its goal.
- Brother XL-2600i: The Brother XL-2600i is a very basic mechanical sewing machine. Instead of computerized screens and electronic key pads, this machine utilizes dials and levers. This makes it an approachable and affordable option for the beginner. It's small and light and comes pre-set with 25 common stitches. At about $100, it makes a practical choice for a kid's sewing machine or a first adult machine.
- Brother CS-6000i: If you're interested in a budget electronic sewing machine, the Brother CS-6000i would be a good choice. It features 60 pre-set stitches, a huge array of feet and other included accessories, and an easy-to-use buttonhole program. You control this machine with a button pad, rather than dials. This machine sells for about $200 and gets consistently good reviews from consumers.
Brother Machines for Experienced Seamstresses
If you're an experienced seamstress, you may need a machine that can embroider monograms or decorative stitching on your projects. You also need a machine that is durable enough for frequent use, as well as one that can perform well for heavy-duty sewing projects like slipcovers. The following Brother machines are popular with sewing experts:
- Brother PC-420 PRW: The Brother PC-420 PRW is a limited edition inspired by the fashion design reality show, Project Runway. At under $600, it represents a good bargain for a computerized sewing machine. In addition to the 294 decorative stitch patterns built into the machine, it is capable of producing monograms and other embroidered motifs. It's also designed to handle heavyweight fabrics like denim or canvas.
- Brother SE-400: Although the PC-420 PRW is popular for its decorative stitch features, it can only produce small embroidered details. The Brother SE-400, on the other hand, is capable of embroidering monograms and designs up to four inches square. With 65 pre-set stitches, 70 pre-set embroidery designs, and the ability to upload your own embroidery designs, this is the machine for the home seamstress who likes to embellish her products with embroidery. At around $400, this machine is a good buy.
- Brother PQ-1500SL: With the capability to sew at speeds of up to 1500 stitches per minute and a large extension for the machine bed, the Brother PQ-1500S is designed for quilting and large sewing projects. This machine has an automatic needle threader and comes with several useful specialty feet and other accessories. Expect to pay about $700.
Maintain Your Machine
Although Brother machines have an excellent reputation for reliability, it's still important to properly maintain them. Be sure to keep your machine covered when it's not in use, and have it serviced regularly by an authorized repair person. If you take care of your Brother sewing machine, it will take care of you for years to come.