Embroidery Digitizing is simply a manual placement of stitches and machine commands for a digital embroidery machine to follow. It is a highly specialized trade. Without proper experience, an Embroidery Digitizers project can look and perform badly. If you have ever experienced embroidery that is hard to read, curls or waves, or the design elements don’t align, this is likely because of faulty digitizing.
The word digitize means that artwork is somehow automatically turned into stitches. Well, this is far from true. Most digitizing is time-consuming and requires specialized experience and software. Any Embroidery Company will likely have Expert Embroidery Digitizers to create a good-quality embroidery file needed to run a digitizing machine.
Why Expert Digitizers Are Important?
Many digitizers have spent a significant amount of time learning from embroidery production. They have come to know how stitches and embroidery affect various garments. What types of stitches work and don’t work, and how to create complex, layered stitch effects, and embroidery patterns with the small stitches or embroidery machine stop. Expert digitizers are people who have spent time running a production team or embroidery digitizing machine themselves.
Since there are no official schools to learn embroidery digitizing, this is the most efficient way to learn how to run an embroidery machine. Also, to know what stitch layouts the machine likes best.
The Mind Of Embroidery Digitizers
Digitizers are special because they are artistic and also stick to a very ordered list of dos and don’ts for embroidery. Embroidery Digitizing machines are digital sewing machines that often run at 800 to 1,200 stitches per minute. Production managers are looking for any way to speed up production time. Digitizers must know this and make designs with fewer color changes, stitch counts, thread trims, and stops. They do this all while making a quality embroidered item that will perform well.
To digitize effectively, Embroidery Digitizers must create a map or list of what parts of the artwork they will sew first, second, and so on. They will also need to know the size of the final design and the type of material it will be going on. For example, the process a machine must take to successfully sew on a left chest polo shirt vs the front of a baseball cap is quite different.
Important Things To Consider When Digitizing Artwork
- Underlay Stitches
Underlay stitches are the pattern you can sew first under the design and will help prevent the garment from curling or bunching when worn and washed. Although you can’t see these stitches in the final design, this stage is important to a great performing sew-out production. Some inexperienced digitizers looking to save a few seconds in production will not include this step, but the effects will be noticeable over time.
- Pull Compensation
Pull compensation describes the extra length that is added to the stitches to compensate for the natural push and pull of garments when embroidered. The natural movement of fabric responding to the tightening of thread is one of the main learning curves to becoming expert embroidery digitizers and creating clean embroidered products.
- Stitch Types
Stitch types are distinct ways the machine sews over a specific area and will determine the final look of the embroidery. Knowing the area and using the right stitch type is important. Using the wrong stitch type for an area and not knowing the limitations of embroidery machines can result in entire areas missing stitches, numerous thread breaks, and slow production time. These problems can further result in messy, unfinished, or frayed sew-outs that can unravel over time. The primary embroidery stitch types are manual stitches, satin stitches, fill stitches, and run stitches. Each of these stitch types is used for specific reasons, and each of them is widely used in the industry.
- Embroidery Size
Embroidery size is considered first before digitizing any stitch. Vector Artwork that will be embroidered at a full back size vs left chest size will have to be set up differently because of the stitching areas and overall length for each stitch.
- Different Fabric Types
The type of fabric must also be considered when creating an embroidery piece. For example, a piece of lightly knit cotton vs heavy vinyl cloth will respond to stitches much differently. It can also handle a certain amount of stitches correctly.
- Number Of Colors
The numbers of colors in the design are also important. All Digital Embroidery Machines have different capacities for the number of threads they can hold. Thus, this limits the number of colors that a design can have. Commercial embroidery machines usually range from 6 to 15 needles on each head. This determines how many distinct spools and colors can be in any design.
- Order Of Embroidery
You must consider the order of embroidery for digitizing as well. Like underlay, fill stitches, then a final satin stitch to make a finished embroidery sew-out look good.
Embroidery is a great print method when used and digitized correctly. Embroidery can maximize the value of items and bring an upscale look to an item. Also, it is durable and long-lasting. You can achieve the best digitizing results by working with Expert Digitizers.
I hope this blog has given you some basic understanding of embroidery digitizing. It has shed some light on what it takes to produce good quality embroidery items.