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Machine embroidery stitch types and 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.

Embroidery stitch types

There are three main categories of stitches in your software these stitch types can take form in many different ways.
three basic embroidery stitch styles
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 software and they are all based from the three basic stitch types.
Embroidery 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 repetitive pattern.
Programmed  Fills     These unique patterns are based on the run tool, they have 1 start point 1 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.
Enhanced Column Tool  This is like the Column tool its based on the satin style of stitches but allows you to corner or bend the lines, where the column tools is for straight lines.
Fill ToolThis tool was based on the run style of 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. 

Machine embroidery design characteristic

When a customer shows you a 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 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 thread breaks, or worse.
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