We always cherish the end product but we rarely know what goes beyond a beautiful looking design. Today we will talk about the ‘HOW’ of embroidery digitization, the process that involves converting artwork into stitch files which can be read by an embroidery machine. Yes, we are talking about the patterns and logo you often see on you tee or cap commonly.
After a particular artwork has been modified in graphics program, the file is opened in an embroidery program. There it is used as a template in order to create a stitch file. Experts, who are in charge of the digitization process, determine the contrast, shape, design arrangement and color. They also decide the density, direction and length of the stitch. Once the designer chooses the thread colors, he sends a scanned image of the design to the digitizer.
What digitizers do
The illustrations, along with the thread charts, are sent to the digitizers. It is they, who decide how the ‘pathing’ in the design will run. If you are wondering what pathing is, it’s the sequence of stitches that will be followed in a design right from the start till the finish. It is important since it determines the finished look of a design. If the design is not embroidered in the proper sequence, there might be uneven text or gaps of fabric.
How to assign stitches
Once pathing is done, the digitizer assign stitch types to each of the sections of the design. The process begins with underlay stitches, although these are not visible once the stitch is finished. These stitches help stabilize the fabric to the backing, and lay down the nap of the fabric. This ensures the remaining stitches have a smooth surface, on which the embroidery can be done. This also helps add density to the design. If the proper underlay is not used, it can cause the stitches to sink into the fabric.
The stitch types
Usually, there are three basic stitch types – satin, run and fill stitches. There are lots of variations in these stitch types. For instance, fill stitches are used to cover large areas, but the exact type of fill stitch should be determined by the designer.
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