Original text by: Marina Belova
One would think that evaluating of tension of the thread is such an old chestnut. But no, last week it came as a revelation to me. It is strange that such an essential information is practically non-existent on the internet, whereas manuals only contain the instructions on how to do the most basic things. And it is such a shame, really.
So, everybody knows (including me) that after the embroidery has been completed, the backside of a perfect satin-stitch column should look like this: 1/3+1/3+1/3 (upper + under + upper). If the column is divided differently, it means that you need to adjust your upper thread tension or the under-thread tension on your bobbin case.
I shall be honest with you, I don't see this ideal picture often, certainly not all the time. Velles 15 is notorious for getting the thread tension wrong, of which I've written many times, and was supported by the others. But there is a problem with the dial itself, which is pretty crude and, consequently, lacks the possibilities the Velles 19 dial has. But no matter how the dial was made, you have to adjust it all the time.
The question is, how do you do it? Sometimes it's quite difficult a task to adjust it properly.
As it happens, you have to act wisely.
First of all, I'll show you the most typical occasion which happens all the time when I use my Velles 15, and which has always puzzled me. These are my real works, not the test pieces:
As it turns out, this irregular outcome of the bobbin thread is a mark that something is wrong with a bobbin case. Is it either bent or damaged.
To check this just lay the bobbin case with the bobbin inside onto the table or any other flat surface with bobbin facing down. Then pull at the thread, holding the case slightly and allowing the bobbin to uncoil freely. It the thread is not uncoiled smoothly, but jerkily, it is the sign that the bobbin case has been damaged, so that it is not round anymore. Most likely, it was dropped on the floor in the past. I have dropped it, of course, even more that once, but I never thought about the consequences.
To cut the long story short, you must have a spare bobbin case. Sometimes the jerking like that cannot be corrected in any other way.
And now I'll tell you about two of the most typical examples.
a. The under-thread is just barely visible on the underside or not visible at all:
In this case you will have to find time to run your machine through all those tension tests at least once to find out what happens with every one of your needles. Here you can also see the perfectly emblematic old photo of the old I-test from the times when I already had huge problems with a bobbin case.
It turned out, to my surprise, that there are two ways of adjustment in this situation (this nuance of evaluation of the test results is hardly mentioned at all):
• If such is the situation with all or nearly all of your needles, loosen the under-thread tension.
• But if this happens only with 2 or 3 needles, tighten the upper thread on them.
b. The under-thread on the underside is more than 1/3 column wide):
Again, run your machine through all the tests using every needle and see. And again you can get two different results:
• If such is the result produced by all the needles, tighten the under-thread tension.
• If you get it only with 2 or 3, loosen the upper thread.
That is basically all. I didn't know that it was so easy and used to regard thread tension tests with disdain. One should love their embroidery machine and care about it, so that it could reciprocate and minimize the number of unpleasant moment in the course of embroidery.
We have so much yet to learn.
P.S. A thought just popped in my head: what about single-thread embroidery machines that don't have a lot of needles, which can help you to compare their performance and understand what tension needs to be adjusted? How do you adjust the tension there?
Some of my readers suggest buying a special device that helps to adjust upper and under-thread tension. And what do you think?
In some areas of leisure you will find niche markets, I have found one being able to make custom carpets for custom cars and sport fishing boats. So if you live near the water this is something you may want to offer, or if you have any car clubs in your areas. First you need to make a sample and bring it to car shows etc, or display it at your local dealers.
Hi have done mats like the like the item Below, this was actually done for a young kids room.. As it was not going to be exposed to elements I was able to use some applique in the embroidery design.
I have made over 20 specialized customer carpet sets for sport boats , custom cars and some other client that like items on carpets. I am also trying to break into the yacht market and embroider on carpets and seat covers.
This is a niche market and I don't normally have standard pricing as you have to run your embroidery machine a lot slower it will take you twice as long to sew the designs, you will also go through more needles as once your done the job the needle are basically garbage, I would also recommend cleaning your embroidery machine between jobs the carpets give a fine dust that will get into the bobbin area when sewing. I have a small compressor right by the machine for blowing of the parts and lubricating. Most of my sets of carpets for a car go $250 to $400 and only quote on carpets for the trunk, I did one custom van and I had 5 carpets to do and I charge the customer $1200 for the job.
When embroidering on carpets, you should be aware that conventional hoops will not be able hoop a carpet & that your embroidery machines arms will not support the weight on its own. I would recommend if you have a table raise it up to support the carpet. I use large clamps metal clamps to clamp it to the bottom sides of the embroidery machine arms, I found if you clamp it to the top it will stress the needle too much.
I also recommend the following tips for sewing on carpets.
Use a 80/12 Titanium needle with a sharp point as regular needles will get dull from punching through the carpet backing.
All designs must be digitized for carpets as there are special requirements for the embroidery designs .
Slow your machine down to a minimum of 400 rpm
If its a Plush carpet please use topping this will prevent the presser foot from catching the nap of the carpet and or pulling out a strand or fiber of the carpet.
Shave the outer edge of the carpet to prevent the nap from folding over the designs makes it look cleaner I use a Peggy stitch eraser
If you want to sew you will either need to have the embroidery design made for carpets, keep in mind that you may run into problems if the embroidery design is not made properly.
I purchased a used Merro embroidery machine to make custom carpets to fit the application and allows you to purchase bulk carpet for the application, If you have to purchase carpets that are customer made for the vehicle you will have to get in contact with the vendor.
Another options is to sew through the rubber backing however doing this requires a great deal of patients and often frustrate you more than not however it can be done, If you consider attempting this you will need to use 110 needle and 40 weight polyester thread and slow your machine down. In addition between carpets check for needle damage and clean the needles blow of the dust from the embroidery machine. You also will need a industrial sewing machine for this option.
Remember anything is possible however there is a learning curve when venturing into new areas.
Original text by: Marina Belova
I have once written a guide to all sorts of embroidery stabilizers (fusible interfacing materials) for manual embroidery. As we all know, the market is full of such auxiliary materials, which can be helpful to an embroiderer. Nevertheless, in these days I often think that not all of them are useful for me in my day-to-day work.
In the past I used to buy a lot of stabilizers of various brands, to see if they could be really helpful. I liked some of them and disliked the others; there were also certain products that I didn't know how and where to use even after having read the manual. In the course of time, after I gained some experience, it turned out that 3 or 4 types of stabilizer were sufficient for me to make a good embroidery. They really are enough for everything I embroider lately.
I'll show you what stabilizers I use for all routine projects and all types of fabric. I must specify though that the projects I do are rather simple: standard promotional designs on knitwear, terry cloth, occasionally caps, also ordinary materials like diagonal, coarse calico, two-thread cloth, sometimes the materials used in interior design, fore example silks and velvets of varying quality.
So, here's my basic embroidery stabilizer kit:
1. Heavy-weight cutaway stabilizer (I wouldn't call it tearaway, like most of the sellers, because it doesn't tear that good), made in China. Density circa 60 g/m2. This stabilizer has a strongly pronounced fiber orientation, which isn't always good. Works fine for knitwear. Here it is:
2. Medium weight cutaway stabilizer (some consider it tearaway) made in China or Turkey, density 35-40 g/m2. In my kit there is a cutaway stabilizer of 2 different brands, with and without fiber orientation (the last is my personal favorite). I use them for medium-level projects and ordinary textiles.
Photo: an example of a stabilizer with single fiber orientation:
And this is the one without any orientation:
3. A tearaway paper-like stabilizer, density circa 60 g/m2. It resembles recycled paper because it looks just as specked and non-uniform. I also have a punched-out variation of this paper, which also tears away easily. As it turned out, it comes in very handy when embroidering a design on terry cloth. But this paper-like stabilizer (and not only this one), as experience has shown, may be replaced by ordinary printing paper, which I sometimes do when it fits the size of design.
I rarely use other types of stabilizers, and usually as supplementary ones.
4. Thin water soluble film — a stabilizer topping for pile textiles, prevents the problem with pile piercing through the stitches. Nevertheless, I rarely use this film, too, but instead replace it with a stretch wrap or a plastic bag. I tested all the these materials in order to find a substitution for the expensive water soluble stabilizers, as I have already written.
Water soluble stabilizers are used for lace and cutwork.
There are also other types of auxiliary materials I use from time to time:
Temporary spray adhesive
Paper adhesive tape
Double-sided adhesive tape
And that's all there is to it. I don't keep a large variety of stabilizers. No spunbond, no heat away backing, no sticky backing paper-like filmoplast or other sticky embroidery stabilizers — I don't buy or use any of those. And even if I did buy some of them in the past, it was only for the purpose of examining them, because all these stabilizers can be replaced by their less expensive analogs. You can' have them all. Besides, if you embroidered on velvet using filmoplast as a stabilizer, it would turn out a real disaster, because filmoplast has a habit of taking the pile out, and it peels off easily, too. You have to be extremely careful with the projects that require a great number of stitches. Double-sided adhesive tape also tends to peel off the fabric.
Sometimes I think that everything new that pops up on the market is made with one goal in sight, and that is to induce customers to buy more and more materials. This happens because stabilizers become more and more differentiated, and not because they work better. It seems to me that the resulting embroidery is not always in connection with the price of a stabilizer and the innovations used in its making. What it depends upon is the quality of the design and the accuracy of hooping. Generally speaking, the resulting embroidery will be in strong connection with your experience in design making as well as handling different types of fabric and the embroidery machine.
Remember the general rule: the thinner the fabric, the thicker the stabilizer, however strange it might seem. You will get very soft lace using thermogaze, but it leaves residue which does not come off easily.
What stabilizers do you use in your work?
You need the following equipment for embroidery designs like this
In the embroidery industry many of us have a closed view of what we can offer, with a little bit of imagination, some troubleshooting and some creativity you can give your designs the illusion of blends and extraordinary detail. I am know master but Tajima Japan has this figured out. Each year they send out a Christmas card that they embroidered on paper no less , but with an image in the back ground and stitches on top.. The machine embroidery design below was made with the color change sequin option and two contrasting colors of sequins.
The above machine embroidery design was made by printing the image on the paper, printing the water spray with green, yellow and red run stitches, covered up by a white satin stitch random on both sides at a lower density of around 30 spi. The monument was down in a satin stitch and high lighted with a run stitch on top to make it appear like it has a shadow. Most shows either had a ink jet printer they can print heat transfers with and sew an embroidery design on top. this is an effective way to create blends with out the time of sewing out multiple layers. Their is one not you need to mark the image at some point where you can line up the first needle so the sew out aligns with the design.
Introduction to blending
In multimedia designs another technique is to use different embroidery thread types or different colors of embroidery thread to simulate a blend.
When doing blends its important to understand density as you need to lighten the density of the layers , as you want the stitches to lightly overlap so when sewn out they blend together.
Now before you get to worried its not all the hard.. lets take a look at the elements of the design and the properties.
Please note the images will look very different as the first design was made in Tajima Pulse version 13 and this one was made in Tajima Pulse version 14 , the stitch engine changes the way the stitches look. It took me a long time to get used to it.
So the this layer is made up of different satin stitches using a pattern fill and a density of 20 spi
This layer is made up of satin stitch with a density of 20 spi , tatami pattern , jagged on the first side with a randomness of 60 , this staggers the stitches and randomize the edge.
The last layer.
This layer adds the details density is 25 the fill is Tatami 50 and jagged on the first size randomness of 60 .
To understand fills you really need to sew out the different patterns and different density to appreciate what they look like.
Every technique will teach you the basics, you need to practice on sample embroidery designs to understand how they can be applied. One thing to keep in mind is that all the layers should equal no more than 55-75 spi
When I worked for a few different companies as embroiders they often asked why they cannot make small letters look good when other shops can. I explained to them that there using the wrong needle for the application. To make small letters look good you should be using a 65/9 needle and 60 wt embroidery thread, the needle is about 30 % smaller than the 75/11 needle and the thread is half the thickness of 40 wt .. making it ideal for fine detail and small letters. In future blogs we will cover this, however you can blend to thickness of threads in the same embroidery design repeating patterns and using a compliment color to get shading effect.
Aurhor: Frank Prokator
"Hoja" showcases a technique used for irregular mix of colors, achieved by overlapping Fill Patterns with different levels of Density and Jagged Edges, and some Running Stitches. With 118 sections and 4 colors, this simple design took a little over an hour to complete.
General Design Details
We digitized “Hoja” manually, using the 006.bmp file as artwork. We tried to keep the overall size to approximately 90 x 126 mm
(3½” wide by 5” tall). To create the leaf veins we basically used Satin Stitch columns and some Running Stitch Paths in color 4 (dark brown).
Just three Area
Fill sections in color 1 (light brown) make up the overall base layers for the leaf, over which we digitized some Running Stitches and Areas in color 2 (khaki) to add some shading effects and highlights. Finally, we created some Areas in color 3 (medium brown) for the stem, also adding some irregularity to the mix of colors. The picture shows the sequence we followed to digitize this design, which does not necessarily reflect the final sewing sequence, rearranging it upon design completion.
Effects for irregular mix of colors
To achieve the effects desired for an irregular mix of colors, we first created the Area Fill sections that will constitute the base color. We
then digitized over these sections other Area Fills with Jagged Edges and less Density than the base one, also adding a few Running Stitch Paths to give some highlights to the definition lines. Much of this effect would be lost if inadequate colors were to be used. Best results are obtained when using varying shades of a same color for the leaf layers, rather than different colors.
This picture shows the sections that create the irregular mix of colors on the right portion of the leaf. Section 2 (light brown), the base layer for that area
Section 2 (light brown), the base layer for that area of the design, was digitized as a Area Fill section with regular Density (5 lines/mm).
On top of this you will find sections 28 and 29 (medium brown), which are also Area Fill sections, although with a considerably lower Density (1.67 lines/mm) than that of the base layer, and they also have Jagged Edges on, with a 40% setting.
The Running Stitch Path in the khaki color (section 7) adds the highlights along the edges of that area.
The sections above described have been created with these parameters:
For the Path section we set the stitch type to Running Stitches, with a single pass and a Stitch Length of 1.7 mm.
Notice the results achieved after applying the described settings to this geometry of sections.
This chart shows the Pantone values for the colors we suggest for this machine embroidery design:
In the embroidery industry digitizing for caps is unique, you should plan your designs to sew out from the center, a cap embroidery design will also work on left chest with out any issues but not usually the same way around.
Here are the standard rules that would apply to the machine embroidery design:
Sew from center out.
Sew from bottom up.
Sew each element completely.
Lets take a look at the image and go through the process for digitizing this design for caps.
1. On the artwork draw a reference line in the center
2. In a new document in your embroidery digitizing software go to Image choose your design.
3. Following the rules above you start at the Brim of the hat which would be the Varsity Softball.
If possible you should try and find a font that is matches the design letters.
From my knowledge of the fonts this appears to look similar to Brush Script New font.
So I drew my line the length of the Varsity Softball and it very close to the original, but it needs some tweaking. The V S and f do not see to line up with the embroidery design. I would turn my beads on, and using my select tool grab the kerning bead illustrated in photo below.
I would then pull down the letter so it matches up with the design below,
Next step I would go to the properties by right clicking and going to properties and go to text tab and choose sew sequence.
The default sew sequence for all text is from the left , you will need to choose to sew from center.. Optional you can also go to the text tab , general and change the trim distance to .05" so it will trim between the a V when sewing from center to the left.
Now we can digitize the main part of the embroidery design , I would to the black inner area first from the center to the right..
To do this you will need the satin tool, do each letter at a time and simplify it.
Once you are done digitizing the right side letters I would do the border stitch around the edge so it does distort when sewing out the other side of the cap. Using the Steil tool if you have it set the width to .06" and on the edge of the satin stitch place your points for the steil.. Remember what you see on screen is NOT what sew up, all stitches shrink usually the direction of the stitches.
Once you have the right side done, then you can start at the reference line and digitize the inner design using a satin stitch and go toward the left side and then repeat adding your steil border.
Now that you have a properly stitched machine embroidery design you can either choose a recipe for caps or you can add your own underlay and compensation.
Author: Frank Prokator
In the embroidery industry whether you are new or be in the industry for a while. You will be asked to make some embroidery design that might make you wonder how to do that. 3D Puff embroidery design is one topic that I find I get asked about all the time. How do I make my designs stick off the hat .. Well its actually not that difficult, and you only need some basic tools, including the run tool, satin tool and possibly the fill tool.
If you need to just make some text using Foam Pulse has a couple of fonts that are designed to be used with foam.
Now if you want to punch or digitize your own embroidery design, as that font may not be suited all you need to do is use your RUN tool and your SATIN tool and manually cap all open ends on the machine embroidery designs. Lets take a look at a sample design I made for a friend this past week.
NINJA TURTLE EMBROIDERY DESIGN
Lets take a quick look at the different layers on how it was made,
Layer 1 This first layer is very simple, just a base for the background where the text is going using a complex fill tool.
Layer 2 Custom lettering for the WHITE text for the designs as the font slants in different directions however a
standard font could be used.
Layer 3 Is the 3D Foam , So what you need to do is embroidery digitizing program a stop on your embroidery machine so it stops when it finishes
the white layer, this allows you time to put the foam on. I recommend taping it in place.
Zooming in on one of the cap ends.
Layer 4 Black layer is the border stitch.. there is 2 reasons for doing this last, it will often hide aspects of the foam sticking out and or to make it pop.
his might be a bit challenging but if you break it down and look at 1 section at a time its not that difficult.
Below is a final sew out of the hat. I used a 39 THIRTY New Era Full Back cap for this.. Note when you offer 3D foam to your clients make sure you increase your price but 50% I charge $30 for a design like this, the stitch count was 21576 because of the high density to cover the foam
Author: Frank Profocator
Used Sierra Embroidery Office 11.41.embroidery digitizing software.
Some sections allow the addition of an automatic outline over them, producing stitches on the section's external silhouette.
Follow these steps to add an Automatic Outline to a section:
1 Select a section to which you will apply an outline.
To do so, click on the “Select Object” tool and then over the section of interest.
"Select Object” tool
2. Click on the “Border” tab under the Creation tool selected (Column or Area). Now click on the image button located on the “Line Fill” section, and choose any of the available border options.
In the example a Zig-zag border type has been selected.
3. The chosen border will be automatically applied, following the section's external silhouette.
In this blog we are going to introduce you to the basic digitizing tools, where they can be used and options you may have for the different tools depending on your level.
Enhanced Column Tool This embroidery digitizing tool is very similar to the Satin tool except it the main difference between this tool is you place the angle lines by your nodes, where as a satin tool you choose where you want your angle lines. I first learned to digitize using this embroidery tool. This has the same range as a Satin Stitch .03 to .42 inch. See example on how to use below.
Uses; borders, shapes, text
Column Tool This tool is very similar to the Satin tool except it can only do straight sections, rectangles between .03 to .42 inch. It follows the same rules as Satin stitches. The main difference is the angle lines are defined by the placement on the nodes. You can use this tool to bend right angle around corners. See example above ,
Limitations it only uses straight lines no curves, some text and simple column stitches
Manual Tool This tool is very unique in how it works, this tool where ever you click it places a point, it can be useful but you have to remember what your machine will do if you place too large of a stitch, I recommend stitch lengths between .02 and .15 of inch maximum.
Uses; decorative stitches, fancy manual fills, manual underlay. placement stitches..
Run Tool This tool is very different then the manual tool although they can be used for the same uses, the approach is very different. Stitches are placed by specified distance, the stitches are even. All you need to do is draw your line and it will add the stitches accordingly.
Uses; decorative stitches, fancy manual fills, manual underlay. placement stitches..
Complex Fill Tool This should be a tool you should become practiced at as you will use it in about seventy percent of your designs, it works in a wide range of sizes from .03 to infinite,. Great for filling in large areas, uniform stitches to cover and area. Draw your shape and complete the segment and it will fill the shape in , then you can select your fill pattern, density etc.
Uses; Large text, text with borders, large areas, decorative patterns,
Note With in the fill their are quite a few patterns, and options depending on your level, including the use of carved patterns, program fills and standard patterns.
Steil Tool This tool is available in Tajima Illustrator Extreme and higher, this tool is a tight zig zag stitch, this can be used with some options like add border to fills on some levels, its great as a borders as the thickness is consistent. Its also can be changed on the fly.
This tool works like a run tool , you draw your line and set the width and your done.
Uses; borders, lines, out line shapes, applique, and more.
Satin Tool This tool you draw the shape then close the shape and then place your angle lines. It can be very useful using this tool when digitizing text I use this tool, and use it fifty percent within designs. The stitch range is around .03 to .42 inch.
The satin tool operates very differently , you place your out side shape and when you complete the segment it will prompt you for your start and stop points, and your angle lines then you can generate the stitches.
Note: when you get above .38 in stitches will get loopy and you may want to convert them to a fill stitch.
Uses; Text, borders, design elements
In the pictures below you will see some embroidery design elements based on these basic digitizing tools, with these tools and the Tajima Illustrator Extreme level you can punch 85% of the designs used in most shops. The higher levels have some additional tools and processes for speeding up the digitizing process including specialized digitizing tools for chenille, sequins, and boring, cording etc.
In the embroidery design below you will see the original image on the left and the digitized file on the right , we have pointed
out several of the different stitch types used. This machine embroidery design and similar can be made with the basic digitizing tools and the text tools we covered in other blogs.
In the design below you can see that the steil tool was used to make a border around the design in a uniform circle this is perfect for the steil tool as it set to a width you choose, where the satin tool can very the width at any point allows you to customize the shape. The circle text tool was used to make circular text. The run tool added some fine detail to the clubs and ball.
In this second design below you will see that the run tool was used as a primary stitch to add detail to the design. The fill tool was used to cover larger areas, and the steil tool was used around the tongue and the satin tool was used for the shapes as the width various. This design was made as a using a continuous pattern, their is only 1 trim in the whole design, 1 color and about 7769 stitches. It was made to illustrate smooth running embroidery designs.
Both the embroidery designs illustrated were digitizing in Tajima DGML by Pulse software using the basic digitizing tools. The key to using these tools is to be able to Path your machine embroidery design ( PLAN IT ) Choose the right stitch that will create the element you want to make the image come to life.
In the apparel decoration we have a wide range of methods to decorate garments with in this blog we are going to give you some insights on changing it up and spice to your designs. We have some general tips on how you can incorporate other decorating methods into your embroidery and still make the embroidery design look great.
Threads and impact
In the apparel decoration shop we normally only use 1 set of needles and 1 type of thread, some shops may have a variety, but we can change that. Standard embroidery thread is great for 75% of the logo out their but their are some specialty threads and circumstances that you may want to have alternates on hand.
Ever wonder why some shops can embroider very small text and you struggle with it , well its all in the thread, if your using a standard needle and standard thread it is very difficult to make your letters defined. Here is an example of text sew at 5 mm that looks clean as it was double the size.
The trick is in the needle and thread size.. we used a 60 wt thread which is half the thickness of standard 40 wt thread and we used a 65/9 needle this makes a world of difference for small lettering.
Large text you will need to make some modification to make it look good, one way is you can change the fill pattern to smooth instead of a satin stitch, in your software it will tell you how large fonts can be used prior to having to change the pattern of the design.
Tip "Applique Made Easy"
In some larger shops you may have access to an Io line cutter that can cut twill or fabric and used in the applique process. However us smaller shops do not have this equipment. But if you need to stand out and make unique designs here is a tip that easy to do and you may have the font already.
What You Need
•Non-Stick Embroidery Machine Needle
•Appliquй Sew File with Satin Stitch
•Heat seal (materials without a carrier)
•Heat Printing Pillow
1. Make a design with a placement stitch and satin stitch border .
2. Hoop your fabric and sew out the placement stitch .
3 Cut a section of heat transfer material 2" larger than your design. Remove carrier if using a CAD-CUT material.
4. Lightly coat the back side of the heat transfer material panel with spray adhesive.
5. Position material panel over the placement stitch, ensuring all areas of stitch are covered.
6. Sew satin stitch around the heat transfer material panel with machine speed between 500-700.
7. Rip-away excess heat transfer material and weed out any cavities.
8. Heat press the garment once embroidered and removed from the hoop this is a great looking easy applique design which can be used in a wide range of garments and works with a wide range of heat transfer vinyls.
Ink transfers and Embroidery
This technique doesn't need to be hard, Treat it like an applique put a mark in the image of the center point, either use transfer paper or a digital printer to print the background image and then when you line up the embroidery center the needle on the center point of the design. This will allow you to create a illusion that it was all done at the same time. See the image below. ( Samples )
Applique backgrounds and Embroidery
This applique was machine embroidery design for carpet, as when you digitize for carpets you have to use fills as if you use a satin stitch it will often break the needle. However having to stitch out a design this large with a complex fill I use applique as much as possible. So for the center part of this design I filled the black area in with Black Leather. To give it a standout texture.
The methods on this may be out side of the box but they are used in some embroidery shops that want to stand out from the competition.
Compensation is one subject that is often over looked when your learning the software whether you want to just make text or simple designs or to digitize corporate logos. In this blog we will take a look at compensation and the factors to be aware of.
In embroidery choosing the right backing for the application is key to designs that look sharp and clean,. Here is an example of how elasticity of the fabric changes when using different backing types.
In the above example two pieces of cutaway seems to be the magic number, of course you would also have underlay but the distortion is clear on the fabric by just changing the backing. Here is a chart that can help you understand the elasticity in different fabrics, general rule if the fabric is stretchy you will need to use cut away backing types.
Loose knit fabrics
Fine knit fabrics
Knit golf shirts
Lightweight woven silks
Wool / acrylic sweaters
Bathing suits / Lycra / spandex
Thin leather & suede
Cotton / polyester
Nylon satin jackets
Thick Leather & suede
Water Soluble Stabilizer
Towels and Bath robes
Badges and Patches
Hard to hoop items
Cut away Pre-cut sheets
Caps and hats
hoop tech frames
Canvas , do not require backing
Carpets, do not require backing
Heavy Denim, do not require backing its optional
Spandex, recommend cutaway with spray adhesive
Satin , recommend cutaway with spray adhesive
Organza, recommend cutaway with spray adhesive
Used Sierra Embroidery Office 11.40 embroidery digitizing software.
There's a direct way of hiding one or more colors from the working window. Once you disable a color, all the sections that have this color, will be hidden on the working window. This document will show you how to disable one or more colors.
Follow these steps:
1. The capture below shows a design that uses four thread colors. The color bar shows that the four colors used have a little white dot inside their corresponding color box.
2. To hide a color, right click over it on the color bar. On the capture below we have hidden colors 2 and 3. A cross over them indicate that such colors have been disabled (hidden). Right click over any cross to enable the color again and show the corresponding sections on the working window.
In the capture below we see the result of having hidden colors 1, 2 and 3.
3. Right click over each hidden color to see it again on also the corresponding sections on the screen.
The artwork tools are essential when digitizing, you need to know what types of files you can work with, the various methods of bringing them in, and some general terminology.
This tool is a free hand draw tool , it can be used with various modes, Quick draw, Bezier which is similar to Corel or Arc mode.
Square and Circle Tools
These tools are straight forward they let you adjust the vector shape both in the horizontal and vertical dimensions. These tools are very handy for even and true shapes.
Import Artwork Tool
This tools allows you to import vector files, however there is a long list of rules for importing vector files. See conditions below.
Supported Artwork Formats
Adobe Illustrator (AI) File size is limited. Use files less than 2MB in size.
Encapsulated Post Script (EPS) Text is interpreted as "Saved as Curves".
No support for embedded clip art, gradient fillings,transparencies and compound path objects.Support Adobe Illustrator up to and including Version 8.0 files. However, some color information may be omitted in AI Version 8.0 files.There is no support for AI Version 9.0 files. Save files as Version 7.0 or Version 8.0 instead.
CorelDRAW (CDR) Corel Presentation Exchange (CMX) Support, CorelDRAW Version 5 files. When exporting files in AI format from CorelDRAW, turn off ’Simulate Complex Filled Curves’ for the file to output correctly. Export files as AI Version 7.0.
Enhanced Windows Metafile (EMF) Windows Meta file (WMF) There is currently no text support. However, converting text to curves is supported.
Hewlett-Packard (HPGL) Currently supports basic drawing (Pen Up / Down,Plot Absolute / Relative), text (Label - LB, Symbol - SM) and configuration commands (DF, IN, IP, SC). Please see any HPGL Reference Manual for details.
Auto Cad (DXF) Currently support the following DXF entities: point, line, poly-line, circle, arc, trace, curves, and solid.Text entries are not supported.
Importing Artwork Work Around
There are two alternate methods of bringing in artwork or vector files. You can use the Draw Fusion option of importing a vector file, I would recommend bring it in as artwork instead of the tools in Draw Fusion as its limiting for digitizing levels. The second options is the copy and paste method, while its not great for exact matches like applique, its faster and easier than all the other options.
Auto Trace Tool
This function allows you to bring in a image and convert it to a vector shape, please note , this tool will only work on high resolution images as it detects the edge of the shape, however its not perfect and use it with a grain of salt.
Load an image, click on the auto trace tool, select the mode you want, and the tolerance min-max then select the first color. This will trace the outline of the shape.
AUTO TRACE TOOL
Press enter and equals to convert the segment into a stitch type, or right click to convert it to artwork.
NOTE: Depending on your level you may not have all these options. I have the Maestro level version 14 with the multi media pack.
NOTE: When you zoom in on the artwork you will notice that its not aligned, I would normally at this stage change the min max and try again. The better the artwork the easier its is to grab the edge. I like to draw it manually.
True Type Path Tool
This tool allows you to type in text and choose the true type font from your systems font list. Please note that when using this tool I recommend you convert it to art segment and slice it up and convert it to stitches.
The slice tool allows you to break letters up into sections to make the shape simplified. The nice thing about this tool as a vector you can easily edit the shape. Watch the videos on this tool, very powerful for matching true type fonts for logos.
DRAW FUSION TOOL
When digitizing it is very important to be able to work with a wide variety of file types and you should have the ability to bring in vector files. Vector files if designed fore embroidery can cut your work down as all you generally need to do is convert the different segments into stitches. The outline area already made in the vector format. In version 14 all the levels have the ability to use the automation in the Draw Fusion but only Tajima Illustrator Extreme and higher gives you some advanced options which we will take a look at and why.. You should have either Tajima Version 14 and Tajima Illustrator Extreme or a level for punching with the Draw Fusion to get the most out of this sections. Version 14 works with Corel X4 or X5 ..(X6 is not supported) I am using version 14.1.15367 and Corel X5,
Step for creating a Draw Fusion Guide
1. Start your embroidery digitizing software
2. Start a new Blank Document
3. Click on the draw fusion Button
4. It will open a new tab in your software , Please note when your in Draw Fusion tab all the tools will change to those that are found in Corel , You can prep the artwork prior to switching it to Tajima Pulse.
5. Go to File ... Import high light your file and open it up
6. I choose the business card logo , on the right by double clicking. It will open in the Corel Draw Portion of the program, If you need to make any adjustments you can use the Corel Draw tools. Then you can go to the next step when all the edits are done.
7. Next you will need to un-group the design.
8. Then you will need to break it apart.. ( You always want the file in the simplest form for conversion)
9. Once its broken apart then you can switch it to Tajima Pulse Version 14. I like bringing it as artwork as with illustrator extreme you will have may more choices than using the draw fusion tools. The tools only give you three choices but in Tajima Illustrator Extreme or Maestro you will have 8-15 choices or more.
10. Go to File and choose Switch and set your options. In the screen below if you let draw fusion control the choices, you can see that you really only have 4 options. Convert fill shapes to Complex fill , Convert outlines to Run, Covert thick lines to Steil and then you can define what a thick line is .. Or .. at the top you can tell to convert everything to artwork.
11. Now you can see its brought the artwork into Tajima Pulse Version 14 Once converted you need to verify that the artwork is prepped for embroidery, Now you can modify it for embroidery, and convert each segment to which type of stitch you want. Very powerful tool used in this manner.
There are some additional artwork tools that also have short cuts to them. See image below of the definitions.
Combine CTRL L
Breakup CTRL K
Connect shapes SHIFT O
Mastering these short cuts will help you when your working with artwork and or digitizing. We also have a short cut reference sheet in the appendix. You may want to print it out have have it laminated.
This is most often a problem. When you try to open a file in PES format BROTHER PE-DESIGN NEXT you get message "unexpected format". .This problem is related to a large number of embroidery formats that are supported by the company and its Brother embroidery machines (currently 9). Or in error if you convert file in some converting software (Embird, Buzz Tools....etc).
For fix this problem, you need using import DST, HUS, JEF, EXP, VIP, VP3, XXX, PEC formats.
1 Open the PE-DESIGN NEXT embroidery editing software. In tab "Home" click Import Patterns. Choose "from File".
2. Choose disc and folder contained your embroidery design, which you want import.. Choose embroidery design. Click Import button.
3. Close Import dialog.
4. Click Home button . Click Save As and enter name and version (default 9) of PES format
Note: Some patterns imported from embroidery cards cannot be exported. Divided embroidery designs and embroidery designs for the jumbo frame or multi-position hoop will be exported as a single file, and will not be split into sections.
There are also option to space on the whole word instead of one letter at a time. This can be done by two methods.
When you need to double space an entire word or make reduce the space on the entire word you can use the option for text editing.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The spacing can be used linear environment this allows you to use negative numbers to make the text closer together or a positive number to make the text further away.
I often use this method of kerning to get the approximate distance and resort to kerning by grabbing the nodes to get precise placement.
Sometimes when using these tools it will cause the letters to jump out of place depending on the font so it takes some practice when using the tools.
In some words you may need to make minor adjustments on editing the spacing , on your keyboard you will have the following symbols , <> Less than and Greater than signs, You can use these to push a letter closer or further apart.
NOTE: With the monogram fonts this is the only method of spacing the letters so getting used to it will help you with your monogram fonts.
To space a letter by 1 position put your cursor in the top text box in between the two letters you want a bit more space, than click on your greater than " > " on your key board to add the spaces you need.
This takes a bit of practice, so watch the video and then practice how to use this tool. It can be very useful in your arsenal for editing and matching text.
The kerning of fonts above with the greater or less than symbols also will work on your monogram fonts as there are no kerning beads associated with monogram fonts.
Used Sierra Embroidery Office 11.40
See how to change the type of vector used with just a few clicks. You can choose among the options: "Only Body", "Only Outline", or both.
Follow these steps:
1. If you want just the BODY, click on the vector to select it; on the "Vector" ribbon, "Format" group, click on the “Vectors Only Body” tool.
2. If you want just the OUTLINE click on the vector to select it; on the "Vector" ribbon, "Format" group, click on the “Vectors Only Outline” to create just the edge. Click on “Thickness” to enter the desired outline width value or choose one of the existing predefined ones.
3.If you want BOTH BODY and OUTLINE, click on the vector to select it; on the "Vector" ribbon, "Format" group, click on the “Vectors outline + body” tool to create a filled outlined vector.
Click on “Thickness” to enter the desired outline width value or choose one of the existing predefined ones.
See that you can toggle between the three modes just by clicking on the desired one on the format box.
Are you new to the industry do you out source your embroidery digitizing, How do you know which digitizers are good? Well this can be a challenge at the best of times, whether you learn to digitize or out source it you will still be a part of the equation. You need to provide them with the tools to make the machine embroidery design custom to your needs. You need to provide them with the size, number of colors, the fabric or application you plan to embroider it on and more.
Scan the artwork in at 300 dpi
finished size of the design
number of colors
the application whether its going on caps or flat
the material type .
Most digitizing companies will quote the job prior to digitizing it or explain their rates up front so their should be no surprises. The rate varies from $1 to $15 per 1000 stitches depending on the companies policies and abilities. In today's market its very competitive market so show around.
Its also good to have a few good digitizing companies in your play book as some digitizers specialize in one or two methods,.. Some specialize in making embroidery patches, chenille, corporate logos, jacket backs and more. My specialty was motorcycles I like digitizing these embroidery designs. but some companies do photo realistic work.
In the above artwork the design was for a jacket back for a zoom keeper of the tiger, he wanted a very good interpretation of what the tiger looked like, the only problem with this design is its costly, like $80-100 to have it digitized.
The best way to find a good digitizing company is to check with your peers, or send out the same design to several embroidery digitizers to evaluate the ability to meet your criteria. I would choose a design that had several different elements in the design possibly including small lettering and several colors, you will be amazed that the results you get back.
Now that you have found a few digitizers evaluate their ordering system, is it easy to order, is it down in a fair time. are they easy to understand. these are all factors in finding a digitizer that is suited for you.
Another decent design for a jacket back from a 2nd company.
This design is okay but not great so , but would be okay for a left chest.
You need to know what to expect when you get something digitized , it also needs to sew out smoothly and be editable by you, some companies only supply the stitch format so any edits you need to go back to them for work to be done. You should find someone that uses your software and willing to provide it in an outline format like PXF for Tajima Pulse users, Most digitizing companies only provide the DST or stitch file.
Used Sierra Embroidery Software version 11.
Using the Ruler to measure distances and angles
This tool allows measuring the distance, angle and coordinate differences between two points on the work window, no matter what scale you are visualizing a machine embroidery design.
Next we will show an example of how to use the measure tool:
Load a embroidery design. On the “View” ribbon; “Tools” group, click on the “Measure” tool.
The mouse cursor will turn into a little ruler.
1º Click the mouse left button on the first point, marked as (1) and without releasing it, move the mouse to the second point (2).
During this movement, the system presents information about the distance and angle of the reference traced on the work window.
2º In the capture below, the measurement made over the object, has a value of 80 mm. and an angle of 35 degrees from the horizontal.
To exit the Measure mode, press the ESC key.
When learning to use your embroidery digitizing software and or digitizing you will need to know how to work with files and file types when re-sizing etc. Embroidery Files In newer versions for Tajima DGML you can open various types of file format list below ; PXF, POF, PED, KWK, PSF, PCH, EMD, DST, TBF, TCF, EMB, ART, PEC , PES, DSB, DAT SEW, JEF, CND, EXP, PCM, PCS, CSD, PUM, ARC, PAT, T15, XXX, HUS , SHV, VIP , VP3, DSZ.
Tajima Pulse embroidery formats
There are only three formats that you should be working with as your primary formats, POF (Pulse Outline Format) PXF (Pulse Unified Format) DST ( stitch file ) The other embroidery formats are secondary formats, and while you can open them your limited on editing them as they are stitch files.
Tajima Pulse PXF format
Not all file types contain the same amount of information and when you make your own files you should be saving them to your hard drive as PXF. This format is exclusively a Tajima Pulse format. This format allows you to access both the Outline and Stitch files associated with a embroidery design, at the same time. This embroidery format gives you the most control and you don't loose any thing.
When working with stitch files you should be aware of certain attributes and rules that apply to this format. When resizing it doesn't adjust the density, or stitch count of the design, which will make for a poor sew out if resizing more than 10%. Files that are considered stitch files include. DST, EMB, PCH, PES, PSF, SEW, When working with any stitch file your best to convert it to an outline and then re size it as an outline and then save it back to a stitch file to sew it out
When working with outline files you can edit and re size and the number of stitches in the design will adjust with the changes. Outline files are extremely flexible and allow the user to easily make changes including the stitch patterns and control settings like underlay. Outline formats include POF, PED, KWK and CND.
NOTE: When converting a stitch file to an out line it will give you greater control however it will not be the same as an a true outline file, I personally recommend that you save all your designs as a PXF and only output it to DST for the machine file.
Advantages of PXF Files
There are many advantages to working with PXF files as seen below;
1. Full editing control, re sizing , or manipulating
2. Remembers color sequence, underlay settings,
3. Flexibility, remembers the fonts used and density
4. Saves time,
5. Eliminates guess work
Differences Between Stitch Files and Outline Files
Converting files to an outline
In Tajima DGML version 11 or newer when you open the file you can open the file as a stitch segment , or you can convert the stitch file to an outline format which will allow you to edit it.
Steps on converting the files go to file open Select a stitch file At the bottom of the open window see Fig A Choose convert stitches to outline. Then open the file.
Viewing Stitch Files vs Outline files
Here is some visual ques of the difference between a stitch file and the outline file. You will notice the stitch file doesn't show any angle lines, or start stop commands that are showing up in the outline file . This means the stitch file is all one group and the outline is individual segments.
Re-sizing Stitch Files vs Outline Files
When you re size a stitch file see the difference compared to an outline file , the original file size for the design was 1364 stitches. After re sizing both files by 50% the stitch file went down to 1330 stitches and the outline file went down to 962 stitches. The stitch should not look so dense on the outline file.
Sequence view for both stitch files and outline files;
Steps for converting a stitch file to outline file
To convert a file when opening it follow steps below.
1. Go to File ...
2. Choose Open
3. Select the DST file
4. At the bottom of the open screen see Fig 1
5. Select Convert segments to Outline
6. Then open the file.
Outline File Editing
When editing an outline file make sure its a true outline file and not a stitch file converted to an outline. Editing a true outline file will make your life as a digitizer so much easier. It addition it take 85% off of labor to edit a PXF vs a DST file when changing the design. POF files and PXF file also save all the color information no more guess work.
NOTE: Do yourself a favor an save all your work as a PXF file it will make your life much easier when editing a design.
NOTE: If you do not do digitizing in house , when asking for files in PXF some digitizers will try to pull the wool over your eyes when sending you a PXF file it will be a stitch file saved as a PXF file, I see this all the time. I have a video on how to recognize the difference between a stitch file, a stitch file converted to an outline and a true outline like a POF or PXF
Managing your files.
I don't know about how many designs you have, but I know I have embroidery designs from several different digitizes, some stock embroidery designs from various vendors, and logos for my customers. It can be a daunting task to keep a handle on them. In years gone by we would store the design on floppies, I still keep the sew files on a floppy in a file folder with the sheet but I also keep the master copy on my computer, save in the PXF format. So if I need to edit I can very easily. I also have the ability to look up what font I used and what underlay is on the design.
On my digitizing computer I use Librarian. I would recommend that every one take notes on how to use Librarian, as it will once you learn it save you time hunting for that design. This is one of the most lost functions of the software not used.
Librarian is a database, much like a database that you store your contacts in or accounting information in. Databases allow you to access more information in a faster pace, allows you to catalog the designs and search by various strings. I think its the most neglected tools.If you are a larger shop you may want to invest in librarian server which allows you to store the designs on a server and access them on any system with DGML with the appropriate licenses. This option also allows you to pull designs down from librarian server to the embroidery machine when using the bar code option.
NOTE The built in version of librarian when set up for the first time comes with 1000 stock designs for use in your embroidery designs. These design can be access by searches or by the categories.
You have the ability to browse by picture, name or list of the designs, or you can get very specific and search for the embroidery design you want. You can organize your customer into groups, save favorites or even have different databases. You have the ability to import or I call it Mass load embroidery designs , and depending on your level you can export the designs too. It can be a very powerful tool is its given the chance.
In the file Open window you have the ability to type in the name or data type and view the files in that type, for customer that have embroidery and chenille its a great way to organize your designs. If you just want to browse all you have to do it just click open and it will open all your designs in alphabetic order
Librarian allows you in basic to view, search and store lots of information about the embroidery design. You can store color information of all outline files in addition it records the size and options.This single version is free in all the levels of the software. In addition their is no limit to the size of the database, the only limitation is that is a single version.
Searching tool this is where this program excels, you can search by name or part of a name, by customer, by description, production or stock design, or special fields like chenille. You can also use wild cards while searching designs. On the properties tab , you can search by size, creation date or last used, several different.
When you go to the properties of any design that you have saved there it will have a lot of useful information available at your fingertips
Information like , Designer ID, Customer, Size , Stitch count, number of colors, number of trims, number of stops, Type of file, description, creation date, edit the groups that the design is assigned to.
The import function allows you to do a mass load of files from a CD or from a directory. There are pro's and con's to this method.
- ability to import files in sequence.
- you cannot edit the information until after you have added them to librarian.
- depending on the speed of your computer it is a slow process
Librarian (Mass Load)
In this screen you will need to select type of file and any rules for and then click add...
High light the directory names and click on Create Link Then you can select your category or you can make a new category.
Then click OK and click finish then it will load all the files in the directory.
In the videos we will also show you how to setup and use librarian and how to access and search your designs. And how to use this tool as well as the rest of the software.
If you take the time to learn librarian it will allow you to search and or browse all your designs easily. In addition it stores quite a bit of information about the design you would not normally have access too.
When learning to digitize you need a good understanding of some of the basic tools including the select tool, understanding the beads and how to use them. Will help you when working with text to match a embroidery design.
Text Tool bar and Digitizing
When digitizing embroidery designs its very important to understand the different text tools and how to manipulate them , in this blog we will look at the tools, and options for kerning individual letters , this is required for matching your customer designs.
Each of the above tools have a different use,
Text Tool : This tool is great for text in multiple lines, text on straight or curved lines, and name stacking
Vertical Tool : This tools is used for making stair case letters up or down.
Arc Tool : This tool allows you to put text in an arc formation
Circle Tool : This tool allows you to put text in and complete circle
Monogram tool: Used for monograms only
Line angle tool : Used for making straight line text.
Work space setup
You will need to familiarize your self with your work space to take advantage of some tools for embroidery digitizing. There are some buttons you should have features turned on.. The beads in version allow you to see the kerning points how you move them varies depending on how you set up your software. Here is how to check if your Beads are turned on they should be depress or yellow.
When learning to digitize you need to know how to space and manipulate the text on the base line or within vertical or horizontal positions. This section we will review some terms and tools you will need to understand how to use them, The videos will also demonstrate using these tools.
Kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result. Kerning adjusts the space between individual letter forms, while tracking(letter-spacing) adjusts spacing uniformly over a range of characters.
Horizontal Kerning Beads
Using the horizontal Kerning bead allows you to slide the text left or right, You need to have your beads turned on for these to show up, See image below of this bead and example of it being moved, to make it easier to see Tajima Pulse has change the outline to PINK when moving or adjusting the kerning.
Vertical Kerning Beads
Using the vertical kerning beads give you a few more options, when you click on this bead a pink box will circle the letter with nodes on the corner and arm at the top with a circle. This is very similar to using the power edit feature in some levels of the software.
Skew or Slanting Letters
To the right by grabbing the top right most node you can skew a letter left or right. This will enable you to move in real time instead of guessing the slant or italicize the letter. This also know and skew, slant or italicize. The node should be pink in your software. Zoom in to make it easier to see.
Vertical Height Adjustments
To the left we show you how to adjust the height of a letter using the kerning tools, if you grab the top node on the box click and drag it up this will make the letter taller, if you need to make it proportional you need to use another tool. The node should be pink in your software , zoom in to make it easier to see.
To the right you should see which node to grab to adjust the letter in proportion this means equally tall and wide as the original.The node should be pink in your embroidery digitizing software , zoom in to make it easier to see.
Horizontal Width Adjustments
To the right you will see how to grab the node to make your letters wider, or stretched without adjusting the height. Grab the pink node on the right side of the letter and move it to the left to make the letter thinner, or to the right to make the letter fatter.
Vertical Kerning Adjustments
To the left you will see how to grab the node to make your letters wider, or stretched without adjusting the height. Grab the small ring in the center of the letter this will allow you to move the letter lower or higher on the axis. Its great for working with script letters to get the letters to align. But it also can be used when making the first letter larger and re-positioning it on the line.
Rotate Kerning Tool
To the right you will see how to grab the top node on the stick pointing up and rotate the letter, you can rotate the letters upside down if you need to mirror text or match an angle, I use this in 5% of designs for editing text.
Next blog we will look at the advanced tools for text. when using them to digitize lettering
Stitch Types & Limitations
When your learning to digitize it is very important that you understand what the different stitch types and when they should be used. Depending on your level it will depend on what tools you have.
There are three main categories of stitches in your embroidery digitizing software these stitch types can take form in many different ways.
The three stitch types includes the run style stitch, satin style stitch and the fill style stitch. Lets take a closer look at them and when to use them.
Run Stitches A run stitch should be used when you need a thin line, either as a traveling stitch, underlay or decorative stitch. These do not have any push or pull on the fabric, but they can sink into some fabrics and you may need to use a bean or two ply stitch to get a desired result. Stitch length should be between .03 to .15
Satin Stitch The satin stitch is the main style of stitches for most fonts, it works best in situations where the stitch is not uniform, and works best between .03 to .35 inches thick,depending on your machine you may be able to get up to .42 inch or .51 inch but it will often be loopy.
Fill Stitch The fill stitch come in many shapes and patterns but it can be used to fill any area where a satin doesn't work, great on areas .10 to infinite..However on large fills you may want to look at applique. You can use it in smaller applications but tends to distort at smaller sizes. Fills are great for blends.
There are some other stitch type you will see in your embroidery digitizng software and they are all based from the three basic stitch types.
Manual Tool This tool is very similar to the run tool except for a value for the stitch length you can place your stitches randomly as needed, however watch your stitch length.
Steil Stitch This is very similar to a satin except its a zigzag and only one line , so the thickness is uniform. recommend for borders where its even and works best between .03 to .20 This tool is based on the run tool it a repetitive pattern.
Programmed Fills These unique patterns are based on the run tool, they have 1 start point1 except point and they have to start and end in a repetitive pattern.
Column Tool Is based on a Satin stitch where you draw the outline and it adds the stitches depending on the density.
Column Tool This is like the Column tool its based on the satin style of stitches butallows you to corner or bend the lines, where the column tools is for straight lines.
Fill Tool This tool was based on the run style of embroidery stitches however its now its own stitch type , there are hundreds of patterns made by changing the stitch type and creative effects, including the carved style of stitches, similar tools may include cascade fill, cross stitch fill,
The rules for these tools are not set in stone, you can manipulate them to suit your needs in the advance blogs we will be covering blending, shadows, wave fills etc. These are all based on the basic tools.
Embroidery Design Characteristic
When a customer shows you a machine embroidery designs you first should be able to recognize what stitches you will need to use, you should also be able to see what is in the for ground and background. This is generically called pathing. Pathing is basically mapping the design, it allows you to hide some stitches and be able to reduce the amount of trims as the stitches are not trimming or jumping. A good digitizer is able to path a embroidery design prior to digitizing it. Any embroidery will tell that they can recognize a poorly digitized design as it causes their machine to clunk and has unnecessary trims, or too many trims which can cause simulated embroidery thread breaks, or worse.
Next blog we will cover how to use the basic tools.
Author: Frank Prokator
In this blog we will look at preparing the fabric for your designs, and understanding why you should use a particular type of underlay in building a foundation for the machine embroidery design.
There are many names for the basic types of underlay in Pulse products you have several types, including Contour, Parallel , Perpendicular, Zig Zag, Lattice , Full Lattice and Center run.
When no underlay is applied, the embroidery thread making up the satin column lays flat on the fabric. This not only makes the embroidery look flat, but it allows the grain or nap of the fabric to peek through. Many new designers would increase density to block out the fabric peeking through, but it would be more effective to apply the proper underlay. Tip set the contour to .02 inches on the inset to make sure it doesn't stick out on corners. Never use by itself on a fill.
My favorite for text , I use the parallel underlay on any column stitch or steil stitch when ever possible, I find it gives the columns a good foundation prior to the stitching, its like a zig zag stitch but not as dense. I use it on knits and many of the stretchy type materials, including golf shirts, t-shirts, sweats, and hats and knitted caps.
The perpendicular underlay puts a column of lines down the center of the column and is often with each line just off center. I have used this with towels when I want to raise the text up a bit in addition to using zig zag. Advantages of this it will help push the column apart as the stitching goes in opposite direction of the satin stitch.
Zig Zag Underlay
Zig zag underlay provides additional loft than what can be achieved by Perpendicular or Contour. These two underlay types are especially effective at lifting the top stitches on fabrics such as pique, terry cloth and fleece. Due to their lofting characteristics, they are also used to give life to embroidery design aspects such as leaves or muscle tone to animals. Zigzag underlay is often used in addition to center run underlay where the center run is securing the fabric and the zigzag is creating the loft. This combination is the most under-used of the underlays, but when used at the appropriate time can set your design apart from others. Best used on satin stitches,
It can best be described as a light density fill, normally running perpendicular to the top stitch. The fill underlay anchors the target fabric to the backing and is the best way to reduce the push and pull factor so common to fill embroidery areas. It also lifts the top stitches up and allows a much less dense fill to be applied. This is the best way to prevent your designs from suffering from "bullet proof" fill areas. First placing a Contour underlay and then a lattice underlay has proven to be the best combination for medium to large fill areas.
Center Run ( New Version 14 only)
In Tajima DLML version 14 there is a new underlay option called center run it places a stitch right in the center of the column. This is very useful on small text as it helps keep it conformed to the space provided, and doesn't usually cause to much bulk for theses small letters.
Automatic underlay can be applied with a recipe or style when using the embroidery digitizing software or you can apply it by going to properties and adding the type of underlay you want. You can also adjust the inset, density, the stitch length and angle of the embroidery stitches, number of lines, drop stitch or angle of the underlay. It can be very useful.
I use manual underlay when working with fills that have steil borders and or when the garment has a lot of stretch too it. Typically Automatic underlay goes under each segment, however there are times when you want the underlay to go under both segments all at once. This will eliminate the two parts pull apart, the easiest way to make this is to use the complex fill tool draw a shape around all the segments and cover them completely, see comparison below;
Above you will see both the manual and the automatic have both a lattice and a parallel underlay applied, the Automatic the two underlays do not overlap where as the manual you can place the underlay underneath the parallel which will prevent the two from separating. I use this method quite a bit when digitizing.
Terminology for Underlay Settings
Angle The angle of the underlay
Connection End The type of end used , option include, Sharp, Square Chiseled and Zig Zag. You can change the connection end to adjust either the appearance or how the design sews out.
Density The density of the underlay how thick the underlay stitches will be, normally around 10.5 spi
Drop run stitch Is a setting to ensure the proper placement of the run stitches, setting include None,
At Anchor, Chord gap.
At Anchor Drops the run stitch and penetrates it at the anchor points
- None forces the run to stitches to follow the stitch length
- Chord Gap places the stitches fit to the top portion of the curve smoothly by shortening stitches at the top of the curve
Inset The distance the underlay stitches are placed from the edge of the top stitching.
Inset A The outside inset
Inset B The inside inset
Max Chord gap The Max Chord Gap is the maximum gap between two points on a bezier curve.
Min Stitch length The minimum stitch is usually set to .02 normally you do not want to go under this however sometimes you want this stitch higher.
Override Some setting in the underlay they use a particular pattern, there are times when this is not suited for the application
Repeats This is a setting when you want the underlay to repeat Sometimes it better to go over the same spot
Sequence The sewing order of which underlay goes down first sometimes you want a perpendicular to go down before doing a parallel stitch to give some extra support.
Stitch Length The length of each stitch on the underlay, the shorter is ideal when working with smaller sizes, but does increase the stitch count
3D Foam When applying underlay to use with foam you have to remember that you do not want to suppress the foam, if you feel the need to add underlay use a contour underlay with a short stitch length. Make sure the design is made for puff..
Leather With leather you do not want the underlay to punch a hole where the designs is going to go through this can cause the material to rip , With leather reduce the density of the underlay, and rotate the underlay to a 45 deg of the top stitch pattern.
Small Lettering I recommend using either the center walk on small letters or punching the underlay manually, watch the stitch lengths, and use a smaller needle and thread.
Large Lettering I using parallel or a lattice to compensate for the amount of stitches going down, recommend cutaway to support large letters in large hoops.
Fabric / Backing / Underlay / Compensation Notes
Broadcloth / Cutaway / Parallel / Percent 110
Burlap / Cutaway / Perpendicular / Percent 110
Canvas / Cutaway / Perpendicular / Absolute .01"
Chamois / Cutaway / Parallel / Percent 110
Chartreuse / Cutaway / Perpendicular / Percent 110
Chiffon / Water-soluble / Perpendicular / Percent 110
Cloth Diapers / Tearaway / Parallel / Percent 110
Corduroy / Cutaway / Perpendicular/zigzag / Percent 110
Denim / Cutaway / Parallel / Percent 110
F aux Fur / Cutaway / Perpendicular / Percent 110 Use 505 spray on backing
F aux Suede / Cutaway / Perpendicular / Percent 110 Use 505 spray on backing
F aux Leather / Cutaway / Perpendicular / Percent 110 Use 505 spray on backing
Felt / Tearaway / Parallel / Percent 110
Flannel / Tearaway / Parallel / Absolute .01"
Fleece / Cutaway; / Perpendicular/zigzag / Absolute .01"
Jersey Knit / Cutaway / Perpendicular / Absolute .01" No stretch cutaway
Leather / Cutaway / Perpendicular / Percent 110 Use 505 spray on backing
Linen / Tearaway / Parallel / Percent 110
Micro Pique / Cutaway / Parallel / Absolute .01" No show backing
Microfiber / Cutaway / Perpendicular / Absolute .01"
Neoprene / Cutaway / Perpendicular / Percent 110 Use 505 spray on backing
Nylon / Cutaway / Perpendicular / Percent 110
Organza / Water-soluble / Perpendicular / Percent 110
Pique / Cutaway / Perpendicular / Absolute .01" .
Satin / Cutaway / Perpendicular/parallel / Absolute .01" no show backing
Silk / Cutaway / Perpendicular/parallel / Absolute .01" no show backing
Spandex / Cutaway / Perpendicular/parallel / Absolute .02"
Sweater / Knits / Cutaway / Perpendicular/parallel / Absolute .02"
Sweatshirts / Tearaway / Perpendicular/parallel / Absolute .02" Cutaway can be used
T-Shirts / Cutaway / Perpendicular/parallel / Absolute .02"
Towels / Tearaway / Perpendicular/zigzag / Absolute .01" Topping can be used
Velor /Cutaway / Perpendicular/parallel / Absolute .01"
Velvet / Tearaway / Perpendicular/parallel / Absolute .02"
Wool / Cutaway / Perpendicular/parallel / Absolute .02"
NOTES 1 On most machine embroidery designs you can get away with a 75/11 needle, however if you find yourself needing small detail and or small text invest in some small needles like 60/8 or 65/9 needle and some 60 weight thread this will allow your small designs or designs that have a lot of detail to be crisp without bulking up the design. Small fonts in your software have underlay built in, you will need to 2 sheets of cutaway to helps support the text.
NOTES 2 If you plan on using the recipes in your software please note they are general notes, the design the type of backing, manufactures and shirt type can all impact the design. Its your job as an embroider to learn when you need to change the backing, and to troubleshoot your choices.
NOTES 3 Make sure you use the smallest hoop that will fit the embroidery design.
Author: Frank Prokator
For this article we using Sierra Embroidery Office 11.41. and our Bixie machine embroidery design
The texture we wanted for the dog body was achieved by digitizing Flexible Fill Areas with Variable Density (number 1-3) over Fill Patterns
(number PTM - 0168) in low Density (1.3-1.5) with Jagged Edges (10-20%). Just as important was to choose the proper color for the fabric.
Since the overall area is stitched with low-density objects, we are allowing the fabric to set the background tone for us. We add a three-dimensional impression digitizing Fill Patterns with Jagged Edges in low Density, in a different color than the fabric. We then digitize Flexible Fills over these Fill Patterns in a color slightly different than the fabric color (just a notch darker) to achieve the
texture effects we were looking for.
Notice how the Directions or stitching angles of the Flexible Fills were created to flow with the body and face, while the Directions in the Fill Patterns were placed to keep parallel angles along the shapes.
On the main menu, make selections that will enhance your object. For our example, we used 1 color and selected a preset blend pattern (highlighted.) The blend style is denoted on the graph to the right of the preset blend we choose.
Important Information about Variable Density Under the Basic Styles tab,scroll to view and select the preset blend desired. The color mapping on the Custom Style tab shows the number of thread colors you will use (1 Color Style) as well as the way you want the blend to appear (VD1 006).
MPORTANT: Notice the Density Percent on the left side of the graph. It is important that the density be much lower than you would normally use, because it will be multiplied by the number on the left side of the screen. For example, if using a 2.50 lines/mm and the top red line is at 250%, your density will now be 6.25 lines/mm. Likewise, the blue line at the bottom of the graph denotes 50%. Therefore, when stitched at 50%, 2.50 lines/mm will become 1.25 lines/mm.
You can also customize the density lines by clicking the CUSTOM tab then placing the mouse on one of the dots and dragging to a new position! Repeat this process to set the properties for both ends of the wrench. INFO: Variable Density is the function that allows you to create Color Blending and Fill Gradation effects.
In the embroidery industry you will be asked to embroider onto a wide range of fabrics, understanding the different fabric characteristics will help you understand how to compensate for them, In this blog we will introduce you to some fabric types, information that can help you embroider on them.
Distortion Distortion happens when the garment doesn't have enough compensation of the right type of backing. The image to the right is distorting as its moving around and has no underlay or compensation allowing it to sink into the garment instead of siting on the top.
Elasticity This term is used to describe how much stretch a fabric has, distortion, shrinkage, and uneven sew outs. In the image under distortion this could be caused by the elastic nature of the fabric Its critical that the design have the appropriate amount of backing, underlay and pull comp.
Nap Nap is often used when working with towels or terry cloth items. Typically you will want to use topping when sewing on garments like this as you run the risk of the nap or the loops catching a presser foot.
Pull This term is how much things pull apart, normally we would adjust this by adding more pull compensation to the machine embroidery design but the fabric can also pull the fabric if not secured or if the wrong type of backing, or wrong type of underlay is used.
Push Happens when it gathers up the material and starts moving it in the direction of the pattern, with out the proper hooping and underlay this can pucker parts of the design or push the fabric so the design has moved out of the intended location.
Pull this occurs when stitching on most designs they shrink toward the center very noticeable on text, its a must that you add some kind of compensation to adjust for this.
Sinking This is seen on fabrics like fleece, or velour or velvet where the fabric is thick the embroidery can sink into.
Recipes and guidelines
Before I get started their is no magic chart that will take the guess work out of compensating for the different fabrics, as the fabric varies on how the garment is made, quality of the garment and blend types, thus making it difficult for (1) recipe to work for all the variations of garments.
In short , when you digitizing and compensating for the fabric your doing a balancing act of conditioning the fabric to support the stitches you are putting on. Lets take a look at this stitch out as we change the backing..
Now almost every design you need to add underlay, backing , pull compensation and sometimes topping. Lets take a look at the effects of underlay on a stitch out knowing the effects and affects of underlay will help you choose which is best for your machine embroidery design.
With no underlay the a distorts, with 1 layer of underlay its still distorting, 2 round of underlay looks decent, and three rounds of underlay and the underlay is sticking out causing distortion.
When choosing the compensation and underlay its best to gauge the stretch or the elasticity of the fabric. Here is a chart that can help you understand the different fabrics.
Push and Pull
This is often hard to explain, but you will encounter both push and pull on machine embroidery designs.
Push is the affect of putting embroidery stitches down that over powers the fabric and support, thus when your stitching a fill it can distort the shape, often types a circle will come out round unless its compensated for the push effect , please note push and pull go hand in hand, often you can correct the push by adjusting the pull ..
RULE for Push and Pull
The embroidery design will pull towards the center with the direction of the stitches, and the push will be in opposite direction of the stitches when filling an area. This will often distort fills and or shapes when stitching, Compensation is key to avoiding any problems with the push or pull.
There are two many fabric types to make a chart for them all however your embroidery digitizing software has some built in recipes which have been tested as a baseline or starting point to set up a design with compensation. You may need to add compensation to the design in addition to the recipe.
When working with a few fabrics you will need to deal with special circumstances.
Fleece With Micro Fleece, or Fleece products you may need to build up your design, this fabric will often appear that the design is sinking into the fabric, I recommend cutaway on the back, solvy and underlay to prevent the design from looking like it sank. In addition you can heat press it after the embroidery to bring it back.
Nylon This type of fabric , Nylon, Satin and similar fine materials you will want to get a no-stretch backing preferably a no show backing cutaway to structure the backing. These fabrics tend to pucker. I would also watch how dense the corners are on designs with satin stitches as they will pucker in these places.
Leather It is very important to take care in embroidering on leather, never embroider on used garments the leather will not be able to adsorb the stitches as often its too thin. When embroidering on leather, I recommend a fusible backing, or adhesive spray on cutaway backing and apply it to the leather itself. this will help support the design. When ever possible try to avoid large fills on leather as tears are possible recommend applique method of adhering designs to leather.
Towels Most towels are easy to sew on, I recommend that you use solvy on top and tearaway on the back of the fabric. In addition I recommend zig zag underlay to hold the nap down while the stitches are going on, I would also increase the density to 75 spi to avoid any of the strands sticking up through.
Jersey When embroidering a jersey polo you will likely find that the whole design sags a bit on the jersey. I recommend that you use sports no show , light cutaway to support the fabric. If you tearaway the design will distort and regular cutaway will show through the shirt.
Odd items Often you will encounter odd shape items that are hard to hoop, like backpacks, hockey bags, and even some overalls that are difficult to hoop. There are a few different options for hooping these materials. Magnetic hoops will hoop these items with out the stress of them popping the hoop off during the embroidering process, another options it the hoop tech clamping systems.
Loose knit fabrics
Fine knit fabrics
Knit golf shirts
Lightweight woven silks
Wool / acrylic sweaters
Bathing suits / Lycra / spandex
Thin leather & suede
Cotton / polyester
Nylon satin jackets
Thick Leather & suede
Water Soluble Stabilizer
Towels and Bath robes
Badges and Patches
Hard to hoop items
Cut away Pre-cut sheets
Caps and hats
hoop tech frames
Canvas , do not require backing
Carpets, do not require backing
Heavy Denim, do not require backing its optional
Spandex, recommend cutaway with spray adhesive
Satin , recommend cutaway with spray adhesive
Organza, recommend cutaway with spray adhesive
Author: Frank Prokator
There are several ways to estimate stitch count, you can look at the design and guess, or you can place a grid over the embroidery design and calculate the areas and stitch types.
Grid Estimating Technique
Below you will find a grid system composed of Ѕ” X Ѕ” blocks, along with a 5” linear ruler. (The ruler will be used for runs and satins.) Obtain a clear acetate sheet used for overhead projector presentations (8 Ѕ” X 11”), available from most Office Supply Stores and print out the measuring tool, so you can apply it as per the instructions of this article. Use a separate ruler to measure the blocks and verify that they are truly Ѕ” X Ѕ”. It’s possible that the grid sheet was inadvertently re-sized during printing or downloading.
Most of the various grids found online use the same size blocks. However, they tend to differ when it comes to assigning fill stitch coverage values to those blocks. Thus, it’s important to understand that different software systems may come up with different coverage values such as density.
The worldwide standard for density is 4.0 pts which is equivalent to 63.5 spi (stitches per inch). Theoretically this is the master density setting for all systems, but not necessarily. Plus, there are various auto-compensation functions which change the density based on user-inputs such as fabric type. Therefore, it’s important that you run a quick test of your own.
I found that on the Tajima DG/ML by Pulse Microsystems software the value for a Ѕ” X Ѕ” square is approximately 300 stitches, using embroidery fill pattern 1 (the default). Realize too, that different fill patterns will give different stitch counts. Using this concept you can continue your calculations with the end result looking like this:
FILL STITCHES (Density of 63.5 spi)
1” Square Area = 1000 stitches 200 stitches for underlay = 1200
Ѕ” Square Area = 300 stitches 150 stitches for underlay = 450
ј” Square Area = 100 stitches 100 stitches for underlay = 200
The graphic above is a ZOOMED IN view of a 1” long satin column with a density setting of 63.5 spi that I created. If you count the endpoints on either side of the column they add up to 64 per side – which adds up to 128 stitches total, as it takes two needle penetrations to make a stitch. (Said another way, a column of stitches is made up of two parts, the stitch and the return.) To be conservative, I use 150 stitches per linear inch in my estimates, rather than 128. You may feel more comfortable going as high as 200 stitches. You should end up with the following results:
SATIN STITCHES (Density of 63.5 spi )
1 Linear Inch = 150 stitches 50 stitches for underlay 200 stitches
Ѕ Linear Inch = 75 stitches 25 stitches for underlay 100 stitches
Run stitch estimation uses the same concepts as satin's. Set up a straight run segment that is five to six inches long. Measure the number of stitches that make up the segment. You should find that 1 linear inch has approximately 12 stitches, depending upon the run stitch length setting, in this case 3 mm.
It can be hard to predict what run stitch length setting will be used on any given design, plus runs can be tricky as it may be necessary to double-back in some places, I use a conservative number of 20 stitches per linear inch.
1 Linear Inch = 20 stitches
Depending on the amount of color changes I will add 200 stitches per color change.
Please note that if you go over and it turns out to be less you may be able to refund the customer the difference or give them a discount, but do not ask them for more money cause your guess work was out. They won't like this too much.
I would practice with this until you get a feel for machine embroidery designs.
Author: Frank Profokator
Прочитал такой как мне показалось унылый пост Марины Беловой который обозначен как Комплекс мер по выживанию. Поскольку эти вопросы волнуют наверное многих работающих в этой сфере, попытаюсь дать свое видение. И тут я добавлю слово дилемы . А не проблемы..
И дилема эта проста , что лучше красить машины или рисовать картины.. Да да именно так это и звучит. Раскрою чуть ниже.
Занимаюсь машинной вышивкой более 15 лет и каждый раз не перестаюсь удивляться немного идеалистичному представлению о машинной вышивке многих начинающих. Традиционно многие думают, что машинная вышивка это это такой полный творческих идей и постоянное креативное состояние.. Увы разочарую вышивальный бизнес это просто работа, такая же как и все остальное.. Ничем не отличающееся от остальных видов деятельности..
И если вы хотите зарабатывать деньги, выкиньте глупости из головы.. Вы должны думать только о прибыли и производительности.
1. Миф -людям нравятся сложные и интересные работы. Я обязательно достигну больших высот, если освою все тонкости программного обеспечения.. и буду делать шедевры.. Практика - на шедеврах не заработаешь. Есть мало желающих покупать дизайны под 50000 и более стежков с 15-20 сменами ниток (строго по палитре) и вышивать их 2 и более часов подряд..
Увы большиство людей любят простую вышивку - в 3-5 простых цветов без тонкостей оттенков, теней, переходов (черный, белый, зеленый...).
Вышивая слоника и надписью "я люблю тебя" - можно заработать больше чем, на шикарных похожих на настоящие орхидеях.
2. Понимание - вышивальный бизнес, это онлайн бизнес. Т.е 24 часа. И в Новый Год и в свой день рожденье вы должны быть готовы к падениям сервера, отказов по IPN. диспутами с платежной системой, хостингом и покупателями. Быть готовым всегда быть на связи, вне зависимости от суммы покупки и времени дня и ночи...
3. Дигитайзить и творить вы будете меньше - теперь вам нужно знать что такое фтп, egate, разбираться в тонкостях настройки сервера...работы различных протоколов.
4. Реализм - цены на дизайны машинной вышивки непрерывно падают... Их слишком много... Я начинал в 98 и вначале были файлы по 25-40 долларов.. Сейчас реальность, такова что мы непрерывно идем к 1-2 долларам.. А может и ниже. Это при том что стоиммость программного обьеспечения , практически неизменна.. А разходы растут.