Shopping industrial machines

I’m having a spate of bad luck with machines; both of my sergers are operating poorly, one of which I just had serviced. So I decided to shop around for a machine online. Does anybody have a site they like? Most of the independent dealer sites are still stuck in the late nineties with obtuse language, irritating animations, no pricing; these sites are awful! Still, this experience must be even worse for newbies since at least I know what I’m looking for but what if I didn’t? I realize that awful apparel industry sites are the norm rather than the exception but this is ridiculous. Many sites do contain useful information but it’s hard to know that. I’d think someone out there could make a decent profit developing websites for apparel industry suppliers and make everyone -customers and suppliers- much happier. Sometimes this business is so frustrating and it’s absolutely unnecessary! At times it seems there is no limit to the barriers to entry into this business and it just gets old.

Question: Does anyone have any experience with Artisan machines?

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7 comments

  1. Mike C says:

    We have had luck locating vendors and (in some cases) perusing inventory online, but all purchases ultimately required us to talk to someone via telephone or visit them in person.

    For new machines, we generally buy from our local shop. He’s more expensive than we could get if we bargain shopped, but he’s been very good about making the machines work and going the extra mile to help us be successful for them.

    For used machines, we’ve bought from

    * C and C (www.candcenterprise.com) We bought our initial round of machines and cutting tables here and U-hauled them from Tennessee to Houston. Machines were as described (well-used, but not used up) though it was painful having to learn how to operate these machines with no one around to help. We worked with Stew – nice guy.

    * DEMA (http://www.sewingindustrialmachines.com/) DEMA is out of Dallas and is basically a warehouse filled to the rafters with all manner of used equipment. We picked up a Yamato flat-bed coverstitch for a reasonable price from his inventory. It needed a bit of maintenance work (looper sharpening, I believe), but was a solid machine and a good value. We worked with the owner, Rene, who told us that he was hoping to do more via the web. At the time, at least, he normally dealt in machines by the shipping container full rather than to individuals. If you call ahead and show up at his warehouse, he’s happy to sell to you though. I believe he’d be happy to help you over the phone if you knew exactly what you wanted.

    For non-machinery needs, we tend to purchase locally. The discount for shopping at a mail order vendor isn’t enough to overcome the convenience of local. Plus, our shop delivers free of charge and will spend an hour or two around the shop kibbitzing with us about what/how we’re doing, which we appreciate. Our local vendor is Southwest Sewing Machine, and we deal with Gerald, the owner. Gerald does very little mail order and has indicated that its not something he really wants to get into.

  2. Marilyn says:

    I worked in a home sewing machine store for a while and we carried Artisan for small businesses. It is made by Mitsubishi and comes from China and seems to be OK. I did not use their sergers but the servo-motor on their straight stitch machines is superb. The machine is totally silent (no humming noise) and is easier to control because it doesn’t “take off” when you touch the pedal. When you order new machines off the web, you get the head, the table, and the motor and you have to put it together yourself because that’s how they ship them by freight company. I have ordered an industrial iron from http://www.atlaslevy.com and had good luck with them.

  3. Josh says:

    What exactly is happening to the machines? Tell me what the machines are doing and maybe I can help. I’ve had to deal with old sergers for 15 years. And no money to call a repair man. I’d just have to toy with it until it worked. And I always made it work somehow. Sometimes I think I willed them with my mind lol. It had to work or else I didn’t get the work out or and get paid.

    Funny story. I worked on an old straight stitch serger for 10 years. The thing was very old and flying apart. Most of it was held together with duck tape. I lost my contract with the company I had worked with for years and was using that machine to sew their stuff. It was the only straight needle I had to work on. The last day of work for them and on the very last garment the thing just died. My mind had held it together until it got to the last garment and then it knew it could die. lol

  4. Mike C says:

    For what its worth, our experience with Chinese made machines has been poor. From what we’ve seen, the machines from mainland China are still a few years away from rivaling the quality of Taiwanese or Japanese made machines.

    Our local industrial machine store reports the same.

  5. Micco says:

    Several years ago we saw an interesting machine the takes plastic filament and, with a heated component, converts it into plastic snaps that are fused directly onto the fabric of a garment. Does anyone know here we can find one of these machines to purchase, or anyone who has such a machine and is willing to do contract work?
    Desperately seeing an answer…
    Thank for your help, Micco.

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