Brother PR1050X

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Brother PR1050X

1 Introduction

Newly acquired machine being tested in DKS's office

The Brother PR1050X is a high-end consumer and professional entry level embroidery machine.

In Switzerland, list price is 12'000 CHF, in Germany 11'000 Euros. Street prices can be less and even lesser for education. We got ours from Nähfox. Since there wasn't any reseller in Geneva or nearby and the one in St-Gallen (my home town and Switzerland's textile and embroidery capital) offered a really nice price and good service we decided to bear with the 8 hour drive forth and back from Geneva...

TECFA bought one in August 2017 and there will be more information in this page - Daniel K. Schneider (talk) July/August 2017.

2 Specifications

  • The machine can stitch up to 10 different colors with one needle at the time
  • Size: 48 x 48 x 60cm ?
  • Size of the box: ?
  • Weight: 44 kg (60 kg in the box ?)
  • Size of a table (add-on): 70 - 100 cm height, 49 cm length, 80 cm width

2.1 Connectivity

  • USB host cable
  • USB media slot
  • SD card slot

2.2 Thread colors

  • Default colors
  • Each needle bar can be assigned a color through either the control panel or software (the latter is called manual color sequence).
  • Thread colors in a design can be sorted at the control panel (this may mess up order of printing of course)
  • Several manufacturers/makes color schemes are builtin. E.g. Madeira Poly, Sulky, R-A Poly.

2.3 Formats

The Machine can not directly stitch from design files like EMB or ART.


  • The PES format is the most important native machine instruction format for both small and semi-professional Brother embroidery machines. Designs can be somewhat modified.
  • Several version of PES seem to exist. Newer versions may not work on older machines
  • PES is the default format to export from your embroidery software.


  • A Brother format that only works on some machines that can stitch "Disney" designs. Some machines can be registered to decrypt.


  • An older Baby Lock/Brother/Deco format. Avoid.


  • Older Brother format. Avoid.


  • DST is a Tajima data file and it does not include color information (therefore avoid for this). However it includes cuts for jumpstitches of the same color (therefore use it). See p. 227 or the Brother Manual.

3 Hoops

The machine comes with several frames for each of which several hoops can be attached. By default you will get four standard frames that will attach on both sides. These are not suitable for repairing ellbow holes (one of my favorites) or stitching into a shirt or jeans pocket. Get the compact set for that. In addition, we recommend buying the long frame for arms/legs.

In addition to the for standard frames and hoop sets you can acquire, below are a few.

  • Border frame
  • Cap frame
  • Clamp frames (for shoes)
  • Cylinder frames (legs and sleeves)
  • Jumbo frame (requires turning)
  • Quilt frame
  • Small size frame kit (recommended)
  • Sleeve frame (recommended)

3.1 Standard

You cannot stitch up the edges. Roughly speaking you can stitch the inner size minus 2cm vertically and minus 4cm horizontally.

Name Embroidery size (width x height) Physical Size inside (width x height) Frame holder Remarks
Extra-large 36.0 x 20.0cm 39.5 x 22.0cm A Use the table
Large 18.0 x 13.0 cm 23.0 x 15.0 cm A none
Medium 10.0 x 10.0 cm 14.0 x 12.0 cm A
Small 6.0 x 4.0 cm 8 x 6.0 cm A

3.2 Compact frame set

These frames are attached with a single arm to the small E frame, i.e. they will stick out and are well suited for stitching inside sleeves and legs or pockets that are not too narrow. Make sure to understand that you cannot stitch up to the edges, e.g. frame 50 can only do 50 x 50mm and not 60 by 60 for example !

Name Embroidery size (width x height) Physical Size inside (width x height) Frame holder Remarks
Frame 70 (horizonal oval) 7.0 x 4.1 cm 9.0 x 5.5 cm E
Frame 50 (square) 5.0 x 5.0 cm 6.8 x 6.8 cm E none
Frame 55 (round oval) 4.4 x 3.8 cm 6.0 x 5.0 cm E
Vertical frame (vertical oval) 6.0 x 4.0 cm 8 x 6.0 cm E

3.3 Sleeve frame

The sleeve frame is attached on both sides. This means that the sleeves should not to too narrow. More information once we get ours ....

Name Embroidery size (width x height) Physical Size inside (width x height) Frame holder Remarks
Sleeve frame (vertical oval) 7.0 x 20.0 cm B

4 Use of stabilizers

There are several types of stabilizers, e.g.

  • Water soluble: Used for freestanding lace (FSL) and also as topping for some fabrics, e.g. towels
  • Self-adhesive tear away: Used for heavy fabrics (but also lighter and softer ones with less good results since , but it is the most easy to use)
  • Tear away: Medium-heavy woven fabrics and sturdy fabrics. This has to be ironed or glued to the fabric depending on the brand.
  • Polyester mesh cut away: Used for T-shirts and similar
  • Cut-away: pullovers and such

The Brother Operation manual (p. 254) recommends fabric/stabilizer combinations of which we reproduce some modified excerpts:

Fabric/Garment No. of Backing Pieces No. of Topping Pieces Comments
Denim 1 tear-away None Lower speed if problems
Terry cloth (bath towels) 1 tear-away 1 water soluble Increase density and avoid small lettering.
Fine woven shirts 1 tear-away None For high-density or highly detailed designs use two pieces of lightweight backing
Golf shirt 1 cut-away Optional
Corduroy 1 tear-away 1 water-soluble Use denser stitcher or denser/more understiches.
Lingerie or silk 1 or 2 lightweight tear-away Optional Reduce sewing speed
Knitting (sweater) 1 cut-away or adhesive tear-away 1 water-soluble Use tightly woven organza or curtain fabric in a matching color if knits have holes.
Sweatshirt 1 cut-away or adhesive tear-away Optional Two layers for detailed designs
T-shirt 1 light-weight cut-away or adhesive tear-away Optional Avoid stitch-heavy designs and make them low tension.

As general rule:

  • Any fabric needs a stabilizer. If you are lazy use at least the auto-adhesive one.
  • Very small lettering needs topping on most fabrics.
  • Fine fabrics should use cut-away stabilizers. These are nicer to wear and some offer extra stability.

5 Regular maintenance

5.1 Oiling the hook

This should be done each time, i.e. when you turn the machine on. There are two methods:

  • Open the hook cover
  • Remove the bobbin case
  • Turn the handwheel until the the hook appears to the right
  • Add a drop of oil onto the hook
  • Turn the handwheel several times (this makes sure that the oil gets better distributed)
  • Insert the bobbin
  • Close cover
  • Touch the maintenance icon, then the oil button
  • As above, remove bobbin and apply oil
  • Touch "OK" after that
  • Insert bobbin
  • Close cover

5.2 Cleaning the hook and bobbin case

To be done, each time a new bobbin is inserted. (Manual, p. 286)

Clean the hook

  • Open the hook cover and remove the bobbin case
  • Use the included cleaning brush to remove any lint and dust.
  • Put back bobbin (click) and close cover.

Clean the bobbin case

  • Remove the bobbin from the case
  • Now use a thick sheet of paper (e.g. a clean business card) to remove debris from the tension-adjusting spring
  • Use the brush to remove debris from the case.
  • Insert bobbin into the case, put back the case and close the cover.

5.3 Oiling the needle bars

Should be done every 40-50 hours of operation (for each needle, i.e. 10 times), pages 288-89 and 63 of the operations manual.

  • Remove the bobbin underneath (else you could create a mess while turing)
  • Select one needle bar at a time. To do so:
    • Select maintenance icon (second to the right)
    • Touch the key for the needle bar you want to oil (from 1 to 10)
    • Click OK
  • Turn the wheel counterclock wise to bring the needle to its lowest position
  • Apply a drop oil as high as possible on the needle bar, in any case, above the felt washer.

Repeat for each needle. After that, it probably is a good idea to stitch a little something that is not important, in case you spilled too much oil.

5.4 Cleaning around the needle plate

About once per month.

  • Turn of the machine
  • Remove the needle place (remove two screws)
  • remove the spacer
  • Use the brush to clean from the moving knife, the fixed knife, etc.
  • Put the spacer back.

5.5 Cleaning the thread paths of the upper threads

Periodically meaning ???

See p. 287 of the operations manual.

6 The Touch Screen Interface

6.1 Embroidery Settings

(chapter 4 of the manual) Color settings (p 133, 143)

  • On page 5 of the settings screen, set manual color sequence to on

6.2 Machine Settings

The settings screen includes seven screens

7 Tuning

Firstly, always check (1) if you oiled parts as explained above and (2) more importantly if the machine is correctly threaded. It is very "easy" to add an extra turn here and there ....

7.1 Too much white (bobbin color) on top

If this happens for all threads, it is probably best to tighten the screw of the bobbin.

If it is a single thread, then loosen the upper tension (after checking if it is correctly threaded)

7.2 Filament is breaking

Tension can be too tight or you got bad quality filament.

8 Links

8.1 Official

Manuals and Drivers
Manuals in French