Top 10 Embroidery Digitizing Mistakes to Avoid

All digitizers aspire to deliver impeccable designs right out of the box. However, sometimes, in the sprint towards the deadline, many professionals end up overlooking certain elements. These items typically include an unnecessary number of cropping, too many color shifts, improper compensation, etc.

While these items aren’t too prominent during scanning, they show up as glaring errors on the shop floor. Such mistakes not only result in a waste of time and effort, but can also end up irritating your customers to the point of losing them altogether. That is why we have created a checklist of the top ten mistakes when digitizing:

1) Planning: The lack of planning or route is a clear indication of an amateur. What may look good on screen won’t necessarily work on the shop floor. So keeping a keen eye out for trims, skips, and locking stitches while routing is critical.

2) Underlay – When it comes to underlaying, the adage “practice makes perfect” is perfectly appropriate. Deciding which foundation works best for which type of stitch is something that comes with the hit and test that needs to be calculated beforehand. Not wearing a foundation or wearing the wrong style will only put you on the short path to disaster.

3) Compensation: Compensation is what separates an experienced embroidery digitizer from the rest. You need to know how much is too much vs. too less vs. just good. Poor compensation leads to distorted designs and visible underlays. When deciding on compensation, always take into account the fabric used, the design elements, the type of subfloor and the type of backing.

4) Density – Improper stitch density is another indication of inexperience. Too high and you’ll have a chunky design on hand, too low and you’ll risk the fabric showing through. Understand how your design interacts with the fabric to nail it down.

5) Stitch Direction – To give any design some visual interest and texture, make sure not all stitches are going in the same direction, this also helps loosen the tension that the stitching puts on the fabric.

6) Locking Stitches – When it comes to spandex, athletic gear, jerseys, jackets and knits, we recommend using locking stitches so the design doesn’t come undone once it’s finished.

7) Fills – Knowing your fill types and how they affect a design is key to achieving visual variation in your sewing. Using a combination of fill types is what can make the difference between blah and beautiful.

8) Stitch Type – Always decide the type of stitch to use based on the surface area you need to cover. For example, using a satin where you need a fill will result in looped stitches, and a fill instead of a satin will create a thick, dense patch.

9) Proper Application: As an embroidery digitizer, you need to know the application of your design. This means whether it will register on a cap, on the back of a jacket, or on the left side of the chest. Even if the design and dimensions remain the same, a design
digitized for a jersey will not sew well on a hat, nor will one for nylon terry cloth.

10) Quality Testing – Our advice to all embroidery digitizers is to always test your design before submitting it, no matter how pressed for time. This is the only chance you have to save the design and your reputation, while avoiding the pitfalls before it’s too late.

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