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Artwork Introduction - Digitizing series

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 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 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/Bitmap Pros

  • Raster images are readily available
  • Raster images can be edited with basic programs
  • Raster images are easy to load into your software

Raster/Bitmap Cons

  • 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.


In Tajima DGML by Pulse Version 14 you have several ways of importing files into your digitizing program.

Option 1

1. File New

2. Choose Import Vector , click okay


Option 2

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.


Option 3

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.

Option 4

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.

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