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
Pathing or mapping out your embroidery design ? When a customer comes approaches you with a design or logo for you to digitize you first need to know the quality of the artwork, the clarity of the artwork will make your job easier to digitize it. I recommend that you get the file as artwork or as a clean bitmap file. See examples below
HIGH QUALITY IMAGE
POOR QUALITY IMAGE
If I was digitizing these two images , I would charge the more for a poor quality image as I would need to clean it up or prep the art work either in Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator to prepare the artwork. Some people try to digitize these images but when you need to zoom in the file distorts so its hard to determine the details.
What material are you going to be sewing on, leather , cotton,
What application are you using , hats, jackets, left chest etc Is there any special things to consider, applique, chenille etc
What is the final size of the design
When digitizing a new embroidery design you want to remember that you want it to sew out smoothly and in a timely fashion, too many trims, colors or jumps will result in a design machine operators will dread.
Plan for the design to be sew from the center out
Plan to hide stitches to reduce the amount of trims
Plan the layout to reduce the amount of jumps.
Planning Stages Now you should be ready to plan your attack , selecting a recipe is a good base but knowing the material your sewing on is key, I like using some base underlay throughout the design as a good foundation. If the fabric is a stretch fabric I will use to layers one at a 90 degrees to the first , the I then will pick the first color, usually I pick the color with the most amount of components this way I can hide my run stitch with the following layers. Don't be afraid to use the run stitches, a run stitch can be used to keep the machine moving when digitizing a design so the head doesn't need to stop and trim or jump to the next segment in the design. The less amount of jumps, trims the more efficient your machine embroidery designs will sew out.
Sew out directions
This design should sew out fast with only 3 trims throughout and only 5 color changes with no repeats is should be smooth , Now if I spent more time on the design I could clean it up and reduce the amount of jumps. Mind you will need to add some underlay and compensation but these steps can be applied to any design.
Author: Frank Prokator
It is very important for you to have a clear understanding of the different artwork type, quality of the artwork, and how to edit the artwork prior to bringing it into your embroidery digitizing software. It is also very important on educating your customer to provide you with the right type of artwork that you can work with. Why should you care, well a high quality image can save you hours and make your life easier than a low quality image.
In the above image you can see some clear difference in the types of artwork, the preferred type of artwork is Vector as its been digitized for printing. This type of file show at the top of the image allows you to edit the artwork shapes. This means you do not need to redraw the design, you may need to simplify it, by slicing portions or removing aspects that will nor sew up. The next best thing is camera ready artwork for printing, usually high resolution jpeg like 300 dpi will also make your life digitizing design easy, with jpgs you have to draw all the shapes. The least although common art raster/bitmap files, this may include website artwork or low resolution jpg files. These will test your patients as when zooming in to draw the lines the image becomes fuzzy and hard to see the lines clearly leaving the design up to interpretation.
VECTOR FILE PROS
Vector files have been digitized for printing
Vector shapes are all defined and coordinated by color
Vector shapes can be sized with out distorting
Vector shapes can be converted to stitches
Vector shapes can be edited in your DGML programs
VECTOR FILE CONS
Vector files may contain too much information
Vector files require special programs like Corel Draw or Adobe
Limited Vector files support
Customer may not have the files in this format
Raster images are readily available
Raster images can be edited with basic programs
Raster images are easy to load into your software
Raster images distort when sizing them.
Raster file are hard to edit
So when speaking with customers its in your best interest if you have the means of opening the files to get them in a vector file. I prefer Corel Draw but Adobe Illustrator has some advantages , some PDF files also have embedded vector shape information in the file, which can be very helpful when working with files. I would normally open up a PDF in Adobe, save it as an EPS file and open it up in Corel for editing.
However, quite a few of your customers will provide you with a low quality file that will challenge your skills as an artist, when you need to digitize the file. Often the file will be small like 3 or 4 inches in width which is fine but generally when digitizing you need to zoom in and this is where the file distorts and becomes blurry, thus making your job at digitizing the image harder. Can it be done? Yes it can, there is some guess work and some trial and error but generally it can be done. Take a look at the example below.
When working with Raster/Bitmap Files you may want to magnify the files and use an average of the different points to place your lines, When doing this you may need to average out the points and smooth out your lines.
IMPORTING VECTOR FILES
In Tajima DGML by Pulse Version 14 you have several ways of importing files into your digitizing program.
1. File New
2. Choose Import Vector , click okay
In your embroidery digitizing software in a new window go to your artwork tool bar and click the icon that says import artwork. This method allows you to open, for more details in your software go to HELP .. Importing Vector files. This out lines the steps and rules.
All the levels have the Draw Fusion tool ( If you have Corel Draw installed X4-X6) you can convert files to stitches or bring them in as artwork files.
For individuals with the Illustrator extreme levels you can also copy and paste vector files from Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator right into your program. ( This method works best for me but it has some draw backs for high resolutions designs). CTRL C (copy) CTRL V (paste) standard windows commands.
Because Vector files have already created an outline of the shape, if they are prepped for embroidery you can just high light the art segment , right click and convert the segment to stitches.
1. Copy and paste a vector file into your software
2. Select the segment
3. Right Click and go to Convert segment to
4. Choose the appropriate stitch type.
NOTE : depending on your level you may not have all the tools illustrated in the picture, this screen shot is for Tajima Maestro users.
3. Select the file and click open
In the embroidery industry vector files can be a power tool to help you digitize machine embroidery designs, some customers may actually have a vector file like a PDF file that if you have Adobe Illustrator you often can convert the PDF to Illustrator file. By opening it and saving it as such, allowing you to work with the native outline file. We will not be covering how to use these program, there are many videos on the web for Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator , but editing the artwork or drawing the design in those programs can often be easier than in Tajima DGML for some users. Its a tool you should have in your tool box.
In this blog we would like to take a few minutes in helping you understand the settings that we have turned on in our software, so you can either match your settings to ours for replicating or getting the same results and or knowing how your software works or for converting purposes.
Density 63.5 SPI
Thread chart Gunold Poly
Units of measure Inches
Units of density (SPI)
Embroidery settings Inches
Absolute density Checked
Right Click to complete segments Checked
Manual start/stop Checked
Default draw mode Quick Draw
In your embroidery digitzing software and depending on what unit measurements your used to here is a chart that can convert between the units.
In Tajima DGML by Pulse V14 embroidery digitizng software the properties bar, statistic bar and status bar are all optional, these were standard in previous version and if you want to use them you must turn them on, they are OFF by default. Lets take a look..
The default screen "With out the properties bar"
With the Properties bar
1. Open a new document .. File New
2. Goto "VIEW"
3. Make sure the "Properties Bar, Status bar, and Statistics Bar are checked"
Lets take a look at the units and understand the different options.
Lets take a look at the different settings for units.
Units of Measurement This setting changes your ruler around the edge of your work area, you can have it in either Millimeters or Inches. It will also affect your text height, and any other measurement setting. ( we use Inches )
Embroidery Settings Units of Measurement This setting changes your ruler around the edge of your work area, you can have it in either Millimeters or Inches. It will also affect your text height, and any other measurement setting. ( we use Inches )
Units of Density This what units you use for adjusting the density, there is no right or wrong as long as you understand how it works. ( .4 mm = 4pts = 63.5 spi we use SPI )
Absolute Density This is a setting of how you work with the density in your digitizing software , we have this option checked as it shows you what your density is, If you do not use this your density will show 0.0 as the density and you will then add more using +10 or subtracting -10 from the starting point of 0.0 equals 63.5 SPI with it checked WYSIWYG ( What you see is what you get).
Author: Frank Prokator
When you first install Tajima Pulse version 14 you will notice the environment has been changed quite drastically from previous versions in this Blog we will take a look at the new tools and help you turn on some features that will make your life easier.
New Start screen
This start screen is the new landing page for the software, this cannot be turned off or by passed in any way. We will show you some areas that you can access or use.
You will notice that some of the tools bars have changed and that you may be wondering what some of the tools are.
We will show you the difference between the tools, Not all levels have all the tools. Please contact your distributor for clarification on your level. These blogs will illustrate the Maestro tool level.
File Open Toolbar
All the levels should have this toolbar, some icons have been removed or change to suit Tajima DGML by Pulse Version 14
Text Toolbar , these tools work the same on all the levels that support lettering.
Depending on your level the tools allows you to edit, manipulate parts of the design, depending on the embroidery design.
Stitch Select Tool , Is an old tool for editing the individual stitch points within a embroidery design.
Artwork Toolbar , for working with , importing artwork, tracing artwork and using Draw Fusion
Artwork Tools , In previous version Tajima embroidery software you had to right click to access these tools they were in the digitizing software now they just have icons to make them easier to access then using the right click.
Transformation Toolbar, This toolbar is new but you formerly could access the tools via the mouse right click.
Machine Output This option for those of you that have your Tajima machine hooked up via LAN or Serial can output embroidery designs from your software to the machine without floppies or flash drives, Please contact your distributor for information.
Digitizing Tool bars Please note only Creator, Illustrator Extreme and Maestro levels will have some of these digitizing and editing tools, Some tools are optional for some levels contact your distributor for information on what level you have and features.
Work Space Toolbar This toolbar is standard in all the levels in Tajima embroidery digiotzing software,
Author: Frank Prokaror