Original text by Marina Belova
Embroidery navigation is planning the embroidery sequence from the beginning to the end.
In Russia this is usually described as follows:
- Embroidery process
- Arranging the objects in a sequence from the first to the last
In English-speaking countries this process is called by the following names:
The goal of all this planning is to create an optimal sequence of embroidery elements so as to reduce the production time.
Sequencing starts even before digitizing, with studying of the image that is to become the future embroidery, printed in full size. Mapping your embroidery will allow you to become more productive:
- you spend less time creating designs
- you need to modify them less often
- you reduce the number of stitches and, therefore, limit the production time
Main factors that should be regarded as a foothold when mapping a design:
- The logic of the embroidery path
- Using as few color changes as possible
- Using as few trims as possible
The rational embroidery path is in many ways defined by the start/end points position. The start/end points should be at a minimum distance during color changes and trims, and also between connector stitches. This minimizes the hoop trajectory and the time spent on the embroidery.
It is often necessary that all elements of the same color were embroidered before color change. The reason for this is that every color change can be equaled to 130 stitches. So, by using as little colors as possible, we save time.
Having as few trims as possible is also closely connected with the time saving because every trim is equal to 65 stitches. Therefore, digitizers try to avoid trims with the help of several tricks.
For example, you can substitute a trim for a connector stitch if the distance between two outlines is less than 2 mm. A jump stitch is not visible at such a short distance. That is, if the threads are not contrasting to each other in color. Another way involves hiding a connector stitch of one color behind the objects of another color in case they will be embroidered later.
Unfortunately, you cannot always follow the "minimize everything" motto. The designs differ from each other, and the fabric on which these designs are embroidered are also different. To give you an example, the aforementioned factors are less important for the embroidery on stretchy fabrics or a rounded surface of a cap. In that case, the quality standards are in the foreground – the embroidery should have no defects. The minimization requirements are often sacrificed in favor of quality.
Besides the minimization factors, there are also general recommendations on sequencing. They are:
- Begin the embroidery from the biggest object in the design and move to the smaller ones.
- Begin the embroidery from the center outwards.
Studying the designs digitized by others help a great deal. You can view the designs created by others in a sewing simulator software or during the embroidery. Also: you yourself should embroider, embroider again and then embroider some more.
Edited by Irina