10 Mistakes to Avoid in Embroidery Digitizing
Dec 5, 2019
Digitizing is the mainstay of any embroidery work. However, the success of digitizing is dependent on the various aspects of embroidery design. There are many factors that come into play when you are digitizing an artwork.
To tell you the truth, digitizing is a tricky job. What you see on the screen might not necessarily translate into a design that you have earlier conceptualized. Let’s say, you are digitizing artwork for embroidered patches and you are ready to set the variables, it can result in a poor design with gaps in between stitches and can cause the fabric to pucker.
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As a digitizer, you should set variables of an artwork based on the factors that influence an embroidery design in the production stage and avoid errors that can affect its outcome.
In this article, we will help you get familiarized with the various mistakes that you can make as a newbie digitizer and will share tips on how you can avoid them:
1. Not Planning
Planning is crucial for embroidery digitizing. Without it, you run the risk of making a distorted design that might need trims, color changes and adjustments in push/pull compensation. So it is a waste of time. To save yourself from the ordeal of these errors, you should set out the micro details of your embroidery and then make a list of things that should be considered during the digitizing process.
This will include everything from fabric that should be embroidered to the type and density of stitches. Once you have these details in hand, you will be in a better position to digitize the embroidery.
2. Not Using Underlay
Just as our body will collapse without skeleton, the embroidery will sink without underlay stitches. Underlay stitches are essential part of embroidery as they stabilize the fabric and give a structure to the embroidery. In addition, underlay stitches give a clean edge to your embroidery as well as add more coverage to the fabric.
Underlay stitches are particularly effective when digitizing for the fabrics like fleece, corduroy and wool which have an element of nap and can show through the embroidery if not properly stabilized with underlay stitches.
3. Not Considering the Stitch Density
The stitch density can make or break any embroidery. A higher density on a light fabric will not only look too thick but will also sink into the fabric. Similarly, a lower on density on a heavy fabric will look thin and the fabric will show through the embroidery.
To lay out a perfect design, you need to keep a density ratio between different stitch types. The fabric is the only deciding factor when determining the stitch density. Remember that low stitch density is appropriate for light fabric, while high stitch density is suitable for heavier fabrics.
4. Not Setting the Push/Pull Compensation
Newbie digitizers tends to overlook the issue of push/pull compensation which often leads to a distorted embroidery. Inaccurate push/pull compensation can affect size of embroidery stitches. It can cause satin stitches to shrink in width and run stitches to grow in length.
Push/Pull is a common issue that occurs in both direct embroidery and custom embroidered patches as a result of certain factors, such as fabric, stitch type, hoop and stabilizer. Pull is produced by satin stitches or fill stitches and it happens when the force of stitches creates a shrinkage in the embroidery.
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On the other hand, push is caused by run stitches that are produced next to each other. The combined weight of the stitches creates an outward force and the finalized embroidery looks bulged out. To counter the effects of push and pull in embroidery, you should set the right push/pull compensation in the digitizing software.
5. Not Using Lock Stitches
Lock stitches are the last thing that a digitizer considers in an artwork and some even overlook them. However, there are some fabrics which need lock stitches to secure the stitches so that they don’t undo. Knitted fabrics like lycra and jersey which are light and stretchy and they should be secured with lock stitches. Since knitted fabrics are relatively fragile, the stitches might untie if you don’t secure them with lock stitches.
6. Not Setting the Right Length and Width of Stitches
The length and width of stitches are essential for creating a particular stitch type. Not using the right values for length and width of stitches can seriously mess up the outcome of a design. This can be an issue with small lettering where the length of a stitch plays a crucial role. A wrong length can make the lettering look too small.
Similarly, a wrong width can make the stitches look too tight or too loose and can affect the coverage of the design. Therefore, you should always set right values for the length and width of your design during digitizing to get the right design in the production.
Besides, the wrong length and width of stitches can conflict with underlay stitches and force it out of the sides of a lettering.
7. Not Applying the Right Fill
Fills are what give a design the visual appeal and depth. Unfortunately, many newbie digitizers make the mistake of using wrong fills in their design. Your choice of fills should be in accordance with the character of your overall design. Therefore, you should be particular about the type and pattern of your fill and use one that can go with the personality of your design.
8. Not Pathing the Stitches
Pathing is an important part of digitizing. It involves setting a sequence of stitches in a design. Without it, the finalized design can have unnecessary loops, longer gaps between stitches and distorted stitches. To get impeccable stitches on the embroidery design, you should set proper pathing in the digitizing stage.
9. Not Setting the Direction of Stitches
Failing to set appropriate direction to stitches can spoil the entire design. The direction in stitches gives it a certain texture and creates a clean visual cue. Based on the shape of the design, you should set horizontal and vertical stitches to your design. Setting direction in stitches not only creates visual appeal to embroidery but it also adds clarity to the overall design.
10. Not Analyzing the Fabric
Before digitizing an artwork, it is equally important to analyze the fabric that is going to carry the embroidery. You should give particular attention to the texture of the fabric as well as look into its surface. Is it a woven fabric like twill, linen or denim or is it a knitted material that has a flexible and stretchy texture? Does it have a flat or round surface? To avoid any goof-ups in the embroidery stage, you need to take into considerations all these aspects of a fabric.
Digitizing is the first step to a successful embroidery work. Goofing at this stage can botch the entire embroidery. By avoid these critical mistakes, you can produce a flawless embroidery that will look fantastic on the fabric.
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