Direct to Garment Questions

What is direct to garment printing?

Direct to garment (dtg) printing is a fairly new garment decorating technology that uses a printer to apply specially formulated, high viscosity, water based inks directly to a garment. The GT-3 Series direct to garment printers are designed from ground-up to handle the specific needs of printing directly onto garments.

What type of printer is used in direct to garment printing?

The GT-3 Series garment printers are commercial inkjet printers that use Brother designed industrial print heads for printing with high viscosity, direct to garment inks. Brother is the only company that manufactures the printer, print heads, controller and software. Coupled with our exclusive, proprietary ink formulation this ensures a fully integrated system for the best possible results.

What is the difference between the reference to a light garment and a dark garment in direct to garment printing?

The terms light garment and dark garment are used to identify whether a white underbase needs to be applied to a garment before printing the CMYK ink. Direct to garment inks are semi-translucent and the color of the garment can show through on some light colors in your artwork.

Light garments do not require a white underbase to be printed first in order to print the desired colors in the artwork. Dark garments require a white underbase to be printed first because the shirt is darker than the color(s) in the artwork.

How is direct to garment printing different than using a digital transfer paper?

Digital transfer papers use a polymer or glue coating to adhere the ink or toner to the top of a garment. This creates what is called a polymer window on the garment and can be noticeable visually and to the touch. Direct to garment inks are manufactured to have binders in the ink that allow the ink to adhere to the garment without the use of a polymer top coating.

GT-3 Series Printer Questions

What are the available models for the GT-3 Series printer? Can they be upgraded?

There are three different models available in the GT-3 Series: GT-341, GT-361 and GT-381. The GT-341 has four print heads to print only CMYK inks on light garments. The GT-361 has a six print heads to print CMYK and White ink (2 white print heads). The GT-381 printer has eight print heads. One each of CMYK and four for white ink. Both the GT-361 and GT-381 printers allow for printing on dark garments.

The GT-341 and GT-361 can both be expanded to up to a total of 8 print heads (CMYK + 4 white), to maximize the machine’s potential and maximize productivity*.


What color of garments can the GT-3 Series print on?

This depends on the setup of the GT-3 Series printer. All models can print CMYK on light garments. If you desire to print on dark garments, which require a white under base to be printed before the CMYK layer is printed, you must have the GT-361, GT-381, or have an upgraded GT-341 (to GT-361 or GT-381 configuration).
Below is a chart that explains the three different models of the GT-3 Series.

GT-341 GT-361 GT-381

*Additional purchase required.

What types of fabric can it print on?

Direct to Garment inks are designed to bond to natural fabrics. You can print on a variety of fabric types, however, best quality results are achieved using 100% cotton and high cotton blends. Printing CMYK inks on to polyester and other synthetic fabrics can be done using a specialty pretreat fluid,* but Brother recommends users conduct a wash test of a test print on a sample garment before the start of production.

What is the maximum printing size?

The machine comes with an adult platen for printing standard 14”x 16” designs. The maximum print area of the GT-3 Series printer is up to 16” x 18” and requires the optional large platen for operation**. Brother™ offers other platen sizes for the GT-3 Series printer (additional purchase required).

How many garments can be printed in an hour?

The number of garments printed in one hour can vary depending on several factors. The four primary factors determining the number of garments printed in an hour are:

1) GT-3 Series model being used,
2) Whether printing just CMYK ink or CMYK+White ink,
3) Number of printing passes,
4) Desired print resolution,
5) Size / coverage of the artwork, and
6) Curing method

What is the machine’s size and weight?

The GT-3 Series printer is approximately 54" long x 41" wide x 26" tall. It weighs about 245 lbs. The working space needed to operate a GT-3 Series printer is 70” wide by 68” deep.


Are there any special environmental conditions or required humidity levels?

For best operation conditions and to help ensure consistent print quality, Brother recommends the machine be kept in an area where the temperature is consistently between 64°F (18°C) to 86°F (30°C) and relative humidity levels are consistently between 45 - 85% RH with no condensation. Machine should not be directly near heat source. Refer to owner’s manual for additional information.

** Requires large platen for operation (additional purchase required.) CMYK + White maximum print area 16" x 17". Selecting 16" x 18" design size will decrease print speed for duration of printing large format design.

How do you send artwork to the GT-3 Series printer?

The GT-3 Series printer can be directly connected to a computer using a USB cable* (included in starter kit), or LAN/Ethernet cable* (not included). For those garment decorators that want to have the GT-3 Series printer in a different location than where the computer is, artwork can also be transferred with a using your USB memory stick.

Is any special power supply required to operate the GT-3 Series printer?

No, the GT-3 Series printer works with regular AC power 115V (+/- 10%). It is recommended that the GT-3 Series printer be plugged into an uninterrupted power supply or surge protector to prevent damage to the printer due to spikes in the power supply.

Is financing available?

Yes, the GT-3 Series printers can be leased through third party leasing companies. See your authorized distributor for more information.

Can the printer fit through a standard 36” wide door?

Yes. The back cover can easily be removed to allow the GT-3 Series printer to fit through a 36” wide door. With the back cover removed, the width of the GT-3 Series printer is 32.9” wide.

Is the printer portable?

Yes. The GT-3 Series printer can easily be moved around on the commercial grade floor stand with casters (included). Print head alignment should be checked and adjusted as necessary after moving the unit.

Print Questions

How much does it cost in ink to print a garment?

The ink cost varies depending on several factors, including size and density of design, whether printing on darks, whether using a single pass or multiple passes and driver settings. Your authorized distributor can run a test print of one of your designs to estimate printing costs.

Are the prints produced very detailed?

The GT-3 Series printer produces graphics with up to 1200 dpi (dots per inch). In comparison, the average process screen printing is approximately 72 dpi. The higher resolution allows the GT-3 Series printer to print photographic quality prints. Below is a picture showing a 600 x 600 dpi print (left side) next to the 1200 x 1200 dpi print (right side).


How many colors will the printer produce?

By using the 5-color printing process (CMYK and White) it can produce over 100,000 colors including white.

How long does it take to print a shirt?

It really depends on the design. A standard 10"(H) x 12"(W) design printed on a dark garment (similar to below) takes approximately 2 minutes and 14 seconds when using the GT-381 printer (assuming 600 dpi, with underbase mask set at 2 and highlight at 6). The same design printed on a light garment finishes in less than 1 minute.†


Images are for illustrative purposes only.
† Estimated times may vary based on a variety of factors.

Ink Questions

What kind of ink is used?

The Brother™ GT inks are water based, eco-friendly inks developed especially for printing on garments. Brother inks are specifically formulated to be used with the Brother industrial print heads to provide bright, long-lasting prints.

How is the ink supplied to the printer?

Ink is supplied to the GT-3 Series printer via individual sealed cartridges (up to 8 depending on machine model). CMYK ink comes in 180cc and 380cc cartridges; white comes in 380cc cartridges. Inks can be ordered through your local authorized distributor, or through our accessory department at

Print Head Questions

What type of print heads are used in the GT-3 Series printer?

The GT-3 Series printers use industrial grade piezo print heads that Brother™ specifically designs and manufactures for printing on garments. The design and components of these print heads are similar to those used in the GT-541 and GT-782 printers. By manufacturing our own print heads it gives us complete manufacturing control and ensures availability in the future.

What print resolutions are available with the print heads?

The GT-3 Series printer comes with high resolution print heads that offer up to both 600 x 600 and 1200 x 1200 dpi resolutions.

Printing Software Questions

Is any special software or a RIP required?

No, graphics can be produced by using most of major Windows® based design software programs. The GT-3 Series printer comes with its own print driver that allows users to print directly from most graphic software programs.
The GT3 print driver is designed to allow users to easily select the desired print settings using sliders, check boxes and radio buttons.

This print driver provides users control over the white underbase, white highlight and color layers. Below is a screen shot of the GT3 print driver:


Can you print a white only design?

Yes. Our white ink is designed to be a stable underbase for color printing, as well as durable stand alone white ink. To print just white ink, select the White Ink Only option in the GT3 driver. In order to print a design using white ink only, the option in the GT-3 driver for “White Only” must be selected. This will display the slides for the Mask and Highlight layers. The design will be printed as a grayscale design using only white ink.


Do I need to create a white underbase layer?

No. The GT-3 print driver will automatically create a grayscale underbase based on the colors in the artwork. The option to print a white underbase requires the selection of “Color+White” option in the GT-3 print driver.

When printing on a dark garment, a white underbase needs to be printed prior to printing the colors in the design. The GT-3 driver will automatically create a grayscale underbase layer based on the brightness of the colors in the design. To create the underbase, select the option for “White+Color” option in the GT-3 driver. Then make adjustments to the Mask and Highlight layers to apply the desired amount of white ink.


What operating system(s) is required?

The GT-3 Series print drivers are compatible with the following Windows® Operating Systems: Windows® 8 (32 bit/64 bit), Windows® 7 (32 bit/62 bit), Windows Vista®, (32 bit/64 bit), Latest Windows® XP (32 bit/64 bit). The GT-3 driver does not run natively on a Mac® operating system.

What is an ARP file?

The Brother GT-3 print driver allows users to save a file with all the print settings so it can be reprinted at a later time without having to reopen the artwork in a graphic software program.

An ARP file can be previewed using the GT File Viewer and will display the print settings that were selected at print time. Users can also create a file name for the ARP file and view the amount of ink used for printing the file. In addition, ARP files can be loaded directly into a GT-3 Series printer using the USB port located on the control panel.

White Ink Printing Questions

When printing a white underbase, does the garment need to be pretreated?

Yes. All garments printed with a white underbase are required to be pretreated prior to the white underbase being printed. The pretreat fluid* allows the white ink to remain on the top of the garment and still have desired washability.

What is the white ink pretreat fluid?

The pretreat fluid* is a water based chemical that is specifically designed to start gelling the white ink once it is printed on a pretreated garment and helps bond the white ink to the garment.

How is the white ink pretreat fluid applied to a garment?

The pretreat fluid* should be applied using an automatic pretreater. It is important to apply the pretreat fluid evenly on the garment in the appropriate amount to ensure the optimal washability and print quality.

How much pretreat fluid is used on a garment.

The amount of pretreat fluid* applied to a garment can vary depending on the size of the artwork and the color of the garment. The amount of pretreat fluid can range between 14 to 30 grams for a full 14” x 16” print.

Below is a chart of the recommended amounts of pretreat fluid* based on the color of the garment being printed on and the size of the spray area.

  14” X 16”
10” X 12”
7” X 8”

The easiest way to determine if the correct amount of pretreat fluid* is being applied is to weigh the garment using a gram scale (postal scale) before and after the pretreat fluid is applied, but prior to curing it.
*Additional purchase required.

How is the pretreat fluid cured to the garment.

The pretreat fluid* is cured to the garment using a heat press* set at 356°F for approximately 35 seconds using 70 - 80 lbs. of pressure. While curing the pretreat, steam will be generated from under the heating press as the pretreat cures. When finished, the garment should feel dry.

Platen Questions

How is a garment loaded into the printer?

A garment is usually slipped on to the printer's platen much like a garment is loaded on to a screen-printing machine. Because the GT-3 Series printers use industrial print heads, the gap between the bottom of the print head and the top of the garment is one of the largest gaps used by dtg printers, so it is not necessary use a hoop or locking mechanism to hold the garment down.

How does the garment stay on the platen during the printing process?

The GT-3 Series printer comes with an Adult Platen (14” x 16”) that is covered with a special fabric that helps hold the garment in place. I

Can you print on sleeves?

Yes. The GT-3 Series printer can print on both short and long sleeves. It is recommended to heat press* the sleeves flat to prevent the bottom of the print heads from rubbing the top of the sleeve. Specialty platens are available to facilitate sleeve printing. Please contact your authorized distributor or our accessory department at for more information.

Can it print over seams, pockets, zippers or other features commonly found on garments?

Yes. The GT-3 Series printers use industrial print heads that have an approximately 6 mm gap from the bottom of the print heads to the top of the garment. This is one of the largest gaps used by dtg printers and allows for the ability to print over seams, pockets, zippers and other items commonly found on garments.

Are there other platens available*?

Yes. In addition to the Adult Platen (14” x 16”) that comes with all GT-3 Series printers, Brother also offers a Large Platen (16” x 18”)**, Youth Platen (10” x 12”), Baby Platen (7” x 8”) and Long Sleeve Platen (4.25” x 16”)*. Several other aftermarket platens are available for printing on a variety of substrates and sizes. Please contact your authorized distributor, or our accessory department at
*Additional purchase required.

** Maximum machine print area of 16” x 18” requires large platen for operation (additional purchase required.) CMYK + White maximum print area 16" x 17". Selecting 16" x 18" design size will decrease print speed for duration of printing large format design.

Curing Questions

How is the ink cured to the garment?

Since the GT ink is a high viscosity, water based ink, the ink can be cured either using a heat press or a textile conveyor dryer*†. Settings may vary depending on the equipment being used.

What are the recommended settings for curing both light and dark garment prints using a heat press?

Use a regular heat-press* set at 356°F and press for approximately 35 seconds† with light pressure to cure both a light garment and dark garment prints.

What are the recommend settings for curing both light and dark garment prints using a textile conveyor dryer?

A textile conveyor dryer or dryer box* can also be used to cure a print from the GT-3 Series printer when set to 320° for a dwell time of approximately 3 to 4 minutes† depending on the dryer.

Maintenance Question

Does the printer require any maintenance?

The GT-341 needs weekly tube clean maintenance. The GT-361 and GT-381 require daily maintenance to be performed to prevent the white ink from separating and clogging in the printer.

What daily maintenance is recommended for this printer?

The daily maintenance consists of agitating the white ink in the cartridges and selecting the daily maintenance procedure in the control panel. The daily maintenance procedure can be done in approximately 5 minutes and should not require opening the front cover of the printer or using cleaning applicators.

What weekly maintenance is recommended for this printer?

In order to prevent ink build-up in the ink lines and print heads, the GT-3 Series printer allows users to perform a weekly maintenance procedure that cleans out the ink lines and print heads. This tube clean procedure takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes to complete and is recommended to be performed the morning of the first day of the week.

Training & Support Questions

If I have a question, how and from whom can I receive technical support?

Users can receive technical support from the both the regional distributor whom they purchased the GT-3 Series printer and directly from Brother. Please contact Brother Technical Support at 1-877-427-6843, or email Be sure to provide your company contact information and have the serial number of the printer available

What type of training is provided with the purchase of the GT-3 Series printer?

Installation and training with a certified Brother GT Technician is required for an additional fee (Please contact your local distributor for cost). We recommend our 1-day on-site install and training program for the GT-341; and our 2-day program for the GT-361 and GT381. The standard training includes having a certified Brother GT technician uncrate, install calibrate and test the unit.

The technician will also provide training on machine operation, maintenance, pretreating (GT-361/GT381), curing and all applicable functions of the print driver and software. The certified Brother GT technician will also assess the minor variations with the customer’s heat presses and automatic pretreaters (if applicable) and make recommendations for the settings of the ancillary equipment to provide the best possible results.

* Additional purchase required.
†Estimated times may vary based on a variety of factors. September 26, 2013

Embroidery Production & Operations

Can I use the same needle on everything, or do I need different needles for different garments?

Different fabrics may require the use of different types of needles. Needles are categorized by size and needle point. Larger needles are used on heavier fabrics, whereas smaller needles are used on lightweight fabrics. The most common points are ball-point and sharp-point. In general, ball-points are used on knits, while sharp-points are used on wovens. Having said all of that, most people use a hybrid needle called a sharp ballpoint.

How do I estimate stitch count for a design?

If you are a user of Tajima DG by Pulse and have the auto digitizer tool, it makes for a great stitch count estimator. Otherwise, is it a combination of educated guesses and calculations. Figure roughly 1,200 stitches for every square inch of fill. 125 stitches per linear inch of satin stitching. 150 stitches per small to average size letter and then add 10% for error. If there is detail on top of fill, add that too.

I’m having sewing quality issues with cap embroidery, what am I doing wrong?

Embroiderers are constantly complaining about sewing on caps. The embroidery is crooked or slanted or puckered or whatever.

Rule #1 – The cap must fit the frame. If you have to force the cap to hoop it, chances are it doesn’t fit the frame properly. If not, then you will be forever destined to have cap quality problems. The best test for fit, is to match the curve of the base of the crown (where the bill meets the crown) to the curve of your cap frame. Some people even remove the bill from the crown against the cap frame to ensure a good fit. As you will find, not every style or brand of cap is a good candidate for your particular cap frames.

Metallic thread causing me problems. Any suggestions?

Metallic thread can be a challenge to deal with. Essentially, it's a lightweight cotton thread surrounded by metallic foil. Thus, it lends itself to kinking and twisting as it goes through the path from cone to needle, which invariably leads to the thread getting “hung-up” along the way, which in turn causes a thread break. With this in mind, it's important to find a way to either eliminate or reduce the kinking affect.

One of the features of many new embroidery machines is plastic feed tubes that stretch from the thread trees to the first set of tensioners. These tubes not only reduce the twisting of metallic thread, they also provide a smooth passage and prevent it from catching on an adjacent thread or any other surface for that matter.

You can attach a flexible drinking straw from the thread tree downward towards the cone of thread. The flexible joint allowed the straw to easily bend downward thus providing a smooth passage for the thread. It's not pretty, but it works quite well.

Another popular method is to punch a small hole in the bottom center of a Styrofoam cup, and place it upside down over the thread cone. The thread is fed up through the hole, and then on through the normal thread path. During the sewing process, the cup will eliminate a good bit of the twisting.

Another point to consider when dealing with metallic thread, is that it costs about three times more than conventional threads, so now you have a difficult item that is expensive as well. Therefore, consider a surcharge for designs that require the use of metallic thread. Some shops charge an extra amount per thousand stitches, while others use a basic percentage rate. Regardless of how you decide to charge for metallic, just be sure that you do. After all, it really does cost more to use metallic, so it should be reflected in the selling.

What information do I need to give my Digitizer for setting up a design?

A top notch digitizer can provide high quality work, but only if they are provided with the right information to get the job done. Low quality artwork will lead to low quality digitizing.

Artwork should be clear, precise and in color. Fuzzy images are not acceptable. There is a popular computer phrase that says: “garbage in equal’s garbage out.” This applies to artwork and digitizing as well. You must make every effort to obtain and deliver the best quality artwork that you can. A fax of a fax is not suitable. Graphic files from the internet tend to be very grainy and pixelated, and are usually too low in quality for digitizing. Vector files are ideal, but many customers don't have their logos available in vector format. High quality bitmaps are usually ok.

Second, you must identify what type of fabric the design will be sewn on. A design will require different stitch characteristics depending upon the type of fabric, as the type, texture and thickness of a fabric will affect the embroidery. Typically a design created for denim, will not sew as well on a knit.

Third, the intended sewing size of the design must be clearly defined. You can't just say that the design will be sewn on a cap. A golf cap has a larger sewing field than a baseball cap. Be specific. Also be aware that small, intricate details do not work well on small embroidered designs. Just because it can be printed small, doesn't mean that it can be sewn small. This is caused by the action of the needle. It takes two penetrations of the fabric for a needle to lay down a visible stitch. If the needle penetrations are too close together, the result is a large hole rather than a stitch. So don't be surprised when the Digitizer tells you that some details are not practical.

What is the best material to use for sample swatches?

One quality issue that many customers complain about, is that the embroidered garments they receive from the Embroiderer, don't look as good as the embroidered sample they were given prior to the start of the job. And of course, the approval for the order was based on their customer's review of the sample.

Some Embroiderers wave this aside and accuse the client of being too critical or blame the garment of being substandard if the customer supplied it. In reality, the quality of stitching is affected by many variables, including the garment itself. What sews great on denim, may not look as good on a t-shirt. The characteristics of the fabric have a direct impact on the embroidery.

Which is the best thread to use, rayon or polyester?

Rayon and Polyester are the two most popular types of threads, but there are others including metallic and cotton. In general, Rayon has more sheen (shine) and is available in more colors than polyester. However, polyester thread is stronger and more color-fast, meaning it resists bleach and stands up well to industrial laundering. Rayon has always been considered the higher quality of the two threads.

Pulse Software

What computer operating system is required to run Tajima DG15 by Pulse?

Pulse recommends the following minimum specifications to run Tajima DG15 by Pulse which is a 64 bit application. Please keep in mind if you use other graphics or embroidery industry software programs you may need to increase the RAM installed memory for good processing. ~ 3.0 GHz 64-bit Quad Core Genuine Intel Processor ~ 64-bit Microsoft Windows® 8 or 10 ~ 4 GB RAM ~ Minimum 2 GB hard disk drive space available

I’m considering adding the Pulse embroidery software to my business, where can I find more information to help me with my decision?

You can find information about all 5 levels of the Tajima DG15 by Pulse embroidery software on the Pulse Micro website, please copy and paste this link into your web browser to see the Embroidery Software Solutions page:

Here you will find an all level product overview as well as details for each of the 5 software levels available.

I am new to the embroidery industry, how can I determine which of the Tajima DG15 by Pulse software levels will be best for me?

That's a great question and one we hear from new customers often. The software level you choose will depend on the processes you want to be able to handle in house instead of using an outside service. Tajima DG15 by Pulse has 5 levels available beginning with simple text creation and editing in Composer. The beauty of the Pulse software is each level builds on the features of the lower version.

You can begin with the text creation and editing levlel to be able to customize pre-digitized designs for your customers. When you are ready to move up to add more features your current license can be upgraded to any of the higher levels. If you don't plan on creating your own digitized files, the Composer and Creator levels will offer all you need.

The higher levels, Illustrator Extreme, Artist Plus and Maestro Multi Media all have great digitizing features, each one more automated than the previous level with Maestro having all the Pulse software features. Please take a look at the Embroidery Software Solutions section of our web site for an overview of features included at all levels and additional level specific information.

I have an older version of the Pulse embroidery software, can I upgrade or update it to the current version?

Yes, your older DG/ML by Pulse or Pulse Signature software can be updated or upgraded and qualifies you for discounted pricing! Currently, Tajima DG15 by Pulse has 5 levels, Creator, Illustrator Extreme, Artist Plus and Maestro, older licenses at these levels will be updated to the current version.

All other older levels such as Editor, Scribe, Illustrator, Designer and others will be considered an upgrade since these levels have been retired from the line-up by Pulse.

I would like to use my Pulse embroidery software on more than one computer, is that possible?

Tajima DG15 or DG/ML by Pulse can be installed on multiple computers, however, since the software can be opened only when the security device is plugged into the computer, one installation can be used at a time if you do not own more than one software license and have a second security device.

If your business has grown since you purchased your original software license and would benefit from having more than 1 active software station, additional new licenses can be purchased for the current software version at the level of your choice.

I am purchasing a new computer for my embroidery software and the operating system is Windows 8 or 10, will my version of the Pulse software be compatible?

For the Windows 8 or 10 operating system only the current Pulse software, Tajima DG15 by Pulse and Tajima DG/ML by Pulse version 14 are supported. All older DG/ML and Signature versions were written for Windows XP or older operating systems and will have compatibility issues.

The software may install fine, however, with Windows operating system updates this may change and cause functionality issues that cannot be diagnosed. It is always best to install a program that is certified compatible with your computer operating system.

I use Pulse embroidery software and have an older Parallel embroidery machine. The floppy drive has stopped working, what are my options for connecting directly to the software to transfer files?

Our apologies, Parallel connections are no longer supported due to the age of the technology. Please contact our Parts Dept , 800-665-8958, and ask about the USB Linker option available for your machine. The USB linker will attach to your embroidery machine and allow you to transfer designs using today's USB flash drive technology.

My computer crashed and my Pulse software has a parallel security device but my new computer only has USB ports. Can I purchase a USB device to replace the parallel style?

If your Pulse embroidery software has an older parallel device, chances are that the software is an older unsupported version and will not be compatible with today's operating systems. Since parallel devices are no longer manufactured and today's USB technology will not be compatible with the older software an upgrade or update of your software will be necessary.

Tajima DG15 by Pulse is recommended for Windows 8, 10 and 8.1 64-bit operating systems and will include a new USB style security device with your order. Please contact your local RB Digital Sales Centre for further questions.

I am interested in garment personalization software for my retail store, what are my options?

Autograph is Pulse’s retail-specific embroidery software solution for easy and efficient garment personalization. The software features a simple user interface, logical workflow and sample templates that will help the user create and send customized designs directly to an embroidery machine in a matter of minutes. Autograph can be used to customize any and all garments that fit your embroidery machine.

Autograph is a great solution for retail stores to allow the sale of personalized garments to their consumers. Customers will be able to see their personalized design take shape as it is embroidered right in front of them. The entire process from design to a finished product takes just a few moments to complete, resulting in a memorable experience and a finely crafted personalized product delivered to a satisfied customer.

Please visit the Autograph page located under Pulse Embroidery Software to see how Autograph can provide an engaging and memorable experience within your retail environment.

Technical Service

How often should I clean underneath the needle plates?

With the newer style universal needle plates people tend not to remove the needle plates when performing maintenance on their machines. When enough of the tails build up, the knives will not open to cut the thread. In addition, if enough lint builds up behind the knives they may not fully retract after trimming so that the needle passage is blocked. The end result is a broken needle and possible a broken knife.

Remember to remove the needle plates once a week during the cleaning portion of your maintenance schedule and brush or blow out the thread tails and

How come one head will not stay in time with the others since I had a bird nest or had a broken needle?

Inspect the plastic bevel gear on the end of the rotary hook shaft for the head that will not stay in time.

The bevel gear may be cracked or damaged requiring replacement.

How do I get out of Standby mode?

Press and hold the "SET" key, then press the "A" key and release at the same time. You may need to turn the machine off then on before this will take.

How do I reset a 3A6 error code?

The movable knives are stuck open under the needle plate. Clean out any bird nest (build up of thread) or if you've had a needle break any needle pieces or any other obstruction which may be preventing the knives from closing completely. Close the knives completely, press SET to reset the code then try a manual trim or press START.

How do I rotate my design?

TMFX, TFHX, TMEX AND TEHX Machines: Press the B button three times to get to the Data Conversion screen, (leave setting at X:100) press SET (leave setting atY:100) press SET a second time, this screen will be the R: for rotation select the degree of rotation and then press SET to lock it in.

How do I stop a 2CE error code?

The beam sensor may not be aligned correctly, (both the green and red lights on the top of the sensor, on at the same time indicate proper alignment). Move/adjust the sensor or the reflector in order to line them up and ensure both lights are lit.

On TEHX or TMEX Machines if the beam sensor is properly aligned (see above) then check the emergency stop button; turn it to the right to release

I changed a needle and now it’s not sewing properly. What’s wrong?

It's very important that you install a new needle with correct orientation of the eye, to ensure proper sewing. The groove that runs the length of the lower portion of the needle must be in the front, while the cut-out section (scarf) is at the rear. Failure to achieve proper needle orientation can affect the timing process which is the basis for forming stitches.

I may have hit a hoop. Why won’t the needles go up or down?

Make sure the needle case is turned on. (Green light on or No light off) Make sure the jump motors are not disengaged. Try manual thread trims on multiple needles, if all the needles do not go down then the Reciprocator will need to be replaced. If this is the case please call your local RB Digital office for service.

If I stop sewing in the middle of a design and need to start over, how do I get back to the center of the hoop (starting point) and begin the design over or start a new one?

This is a twostep process: 1. Go to D button screen 3 this is manual origin return, turn the dash to a circle hit SET and the frame will move to the starting point of the design. 2. Now you can either reload from memory the design you were sewing or you may load a new design from a disk and start over.

NEO: 1. Press the P Origin button 2. The machine will ask if you want to cancel the embroidery 3. Press SET for yes the machine will move the frame back and put you at stitch zero on that design.

How do I troubleshoot thread breaks caused by burrs or scratches on the rotary hook?

Thread breaks are often caused by a scratch or burr on the rotary hook. This is likely the cause if you are having the problem on multiple needles on a particular head. The rotary hook doesn't have to be removed or adjusted to perform these steps. Remove the needle plate and the right side rotary hook cover.

Turn the power off on the machine, the main shaft (degree wheel) can be rotated little by little from 100 to 220 degrees to have access to the outer areas of the rotary hook. Lightly rub your fingertip or fingernail along the outer edge to locate the burr. Any rough areas need to be polished smooth using very fine emery paper or sandpaper. 600 grit is recommended.

If necessary, a more abrasive type may be used to polish a larger burr, however, be sure to follow that up with the very fine grit to ensure the area is smooth. Replace the cover and needle plate. Return the degree wheel to the red mark. Power on and test the machine

When I was sewing, suddenly the thread and fabric was pulled down into the hole on the needle plate, causing the machine to stop. What happened?

This is typically referred to as a "bird's nest". If you look under the needle plate, you will see that there is a large ball of thread, which resembles a bird's nest, thus the name. Typically it is caused by one of the following situations: 1. inadequate tensioning of the upper thread. 2. The upper thread is not through the take-up lever. 3. The upper thread not following the thread path correctly. 4. The fabric is bouncing up and down during sewing. (Referred to as Flagging) 5. The bobbin tension is incorrect. 6. The Hook Timing needs to be adjusted.

Solutions: After cleaning out the "bird's nest" check both upper and lower thread tensions download our Adjusting Thread Tension Instructions for more information. Also, verify the correct thread paths as per your Operator's Manual. This is the most common cause.

Typically Hook Timing is not an issue, unless you recently crashed the needle into the hoop. If this has occurred, then check the hook timing as per your Operator's Manual.

NOTE: Detailed instructions concerning thread paths and tensions for the NEO, TEHX and TFMX machines can be found in the Training Class Manuals that pertain to them. These can be found in the Resource Library located in the Support Section of this website