How to Prepare Artwork for Quality Embroidery Digitizing


The digitizer should analyze the artwork to see if it should be edited for embroidery. The final size of the design must be considered. Not all logos that were designed for print media such as a business card can work well for embroidery. Many designs need to be modified or simplified. Sometimes we have to use only design names and small images Some elements such as outlining may need to be eliminated and small text may be will be converted into larger fonts and rearranged.

Pathing in Digitizing

After the artwork has been modified in a graphics program, the file is opened in an embroidery program where it is used as a template for creating a stitch file (computer file consisting of different stitch types). First, the digitizer must decide how the “pathing” in the logo will run. The pathing is the sequence of stitches in a design from start to finish. Pathing can affect how an embroidered design will “lie” when it is finished. If a design isn’t embroidered in the correct sequence, you may have unwanted gaps of fabric or uneven text. The pathing will also affect how long the design will run on the machine during the embroidery process. Although you may not care what the running time is, a shorter, smoother design will cost you less.

Assigning Embroidery Stitch Types

Next, the digitizer assigns stitch types to each section of the design based on what stitches will best represent the artwork. The digitizer starts by adding the underlay stitches. Although you can’t see underlay stitches in a finished logo, having the correct underlay stitches is essential to creating a great looking logo. Underlay helps stabilize the fabric to the backing (another essential element in embroidery), lay down the nap of the fabric so that the remaining stitches have a smooth surface to embroider on and add density to the design. Not using the correct underlay can cause the stitches to sink into the fabric or allow the shirt fabric to show through the design. Although there are only three basic stitch types: run, satin and fill stitches, there are variations of these stitch types. For example, fill stitches are used to cover large areas; but, the digitizer must decide what type of fill stitch to use, the direction of the fill and where the fill should start and stop in the design. When making these decisions the digitizer must consider what type of fabric the logo will be embroidered on and make appropriate adjustments. Stitches will sink into fabrics such as polar fleece and lay on the surface of denser fabrics such as nylon. A logo that was originally digitized for denim, a fabric that allows stitches to lay on the surface, won’t look as good when embroidered on a pique knit where the stitches sink into the fabric.

The Push and Pull of Embroidery

Another important aspect of embroidery is the “push and pull”. A design may move while being embroidered. This will cause some stitches to shrift. This shifting can occur when using bulky fabrics, long stitches, large areas of thread and a tight bobbin thread. A digitizer must account for the possible effects of push and pull.


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