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  • Embroidery in photo

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  • Your little needle replacement helper

    Original text by Marina Belova 
    I consider it to be a common knowledge that one should turn a replacement needle 0–5° to the right.  That’s what every embroidery machine manual says. 

    A long time ago Vera Osinina asked me about a device that helps to position new needles. I was quite a bit surprised then, so I only shrugged and said that such a contrivance was unknown to me, and that I didn’t know where to find one. 
    But the cat always comes out of the bag, sooner or later. The answer came from a wonderful Melco Bravo website. They offer a cylindrical-shaped orientation magnet – you can buy it here. You need to attach its butt perpendicular to the long groove, to see at what angle and in what direction the needle is positioned.  
    You've set the right angle if the magnet is turned approximately 1 minute on a clock face, or 6 degrees. Genius lies in simplicity, as they say. 
    Of course, there is no need here to order a magnet from the U.S., at an astronomical price.  I guess a simple magnet instead of a brand one, will do for me
    There was a long argument about the diameter: I insisted upon buying a thin cylinder, as my American colleagues use, and my husband stood for a thicker one as more visible. 5 mm cylinders were purchased eventually. We tried the magnets and saw that they worked: the positioning of the groove was no longer the problem. One only needs to get used to it so that it doesn't hamper the replacement. I checked all my needles only to find out that all of them were set higgledy-piggledy – one of them was even turned let; that was immediately fixed. Small wonder that my threads kept breaking. 


    The magnet turned out to be a real helper to those whose eyesight and eye estimation leave something to be desired. 
     

    Color in machine embroidery. Basics

    Original text by Marina Belova 
    I wonder if anyone will ever argue that blending thread colors in machine embroidery is slightly different from blending printing colors or paints? But then again, even in painting, there have long been attempts to prove I.Newton’s classic theory of colors wrong. For those who are interested, there’s a book by Michael Wilcox called Blue and Yellow Don’t Make Green – go and read it.
    But let’s get back to the topic. All guides, books, and other information materials on color formation in machine embroidery are nevertheless based on Newton’s classic color wheel. For the sheer reason that you have nothing except them and your own experience to rely upon. Besides, choosing a right color with the help of the color wheel is much better than without it. Especially for the neophytes.
    That’s why I will take the liberty of touching on the subject of color in a machine embroidery design.
    Colors can be divided into 2 groups:
    Chromatic – the colors of the spectrum. Achromatic – white, black and all shades of gray. Let’s look at the canonical 12-part color wheel made of chromatic colors:

    It’s basis is formed by just 3 colors: yellow, red and blue (marked “I” in the photo). These are called primary colors, as they cannot be obtained by mixing other colors together.
    Secondary colors result from the intemingling of the two primary colors. In the photo, they are marked “II”. These are orange, green and purple.
    Tertiary colors are made by mixing two of the secondary colors (marked “III” in the photo). These are yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green.
    Also, there are such concepts as:
    Color hue – a property of color that defines its tone; we usually have separate names for them (lilac, magenta, etc.).
    Lightness – the shade of lightness/darkness. To get a shade you add some white or black to your source color. A mixture of color with white is called tint, and a mixture of color with black is shade.
    Saturation is the degree of intensity and purity of the color.
    Color temperature is connected to the idea of colors being “cool” or “warm”. On the basis of this idea, all colors are divided into warm, cool and neutral.
    There are several ways of creating harmonious color schemes, containing 2–4 colors, with the help of the wheel. For example:
    Mono – includes one color in different values. In this case, we only add shades and tints.

    Complementary – mixing of 2 (contrasting) colors on the opposite sides of the diagonal.

    Triadic – mixing of 3 colors that are located at the corners of the equilateral triangle:

    Mixing 3 analogous colors: Analogous colors are those that follow each other on the color wheel.

    Split-complementary: mixing 3 colors – two analogous and one contrasting.

    Mixing 4 colors: 3 analogous and 1 contrasting.

    Tetrad: mixing 4 colors arranged into two complementary pairs.

    Besides the ones above, there are other color harmonies that can be found in books and on the Web. The only thing left is to do is to practice, and don’t forget that the threads cannot blend together like paints. Also, the stitch types, stitch angles, textures selected will make their not so small impact on the end result.
    I’m curious if any software has algorithms helping to choose threads automatically, on the basis of the existing thread color palette, but using the methods described above?

    What is digitizing in machine embroidery?

    Original text by Marina Belova 
    There are numerous names people give the process of transforming an image into a design. Just as with naming software, everyone is saying whatever he or she can think of: 
    punching  digitizing programming for machine embroidery  embroidery file creation  planning a stitching sequence  pattern creation  design development  design creation  So what is this process, whatever the name you use for it? Does it mean converting analog data into numeric one? Transforming a regular image into a file an embroidery machine understands, with the help of special tools? A complex technical process that includes a row of steps, based on the profound knowledge of theory? A creative process that requires artistic training and a great talent? All of this is unclear and boring. Too hard to understand, too. 
    Whatever highfalutin definitions others give this process, I like John Deer's one the most: "All that you need to do is to look at the image and apply stitches to it. You merely choose an appropriate stitch type and direction and use various gimmicks and tricks." These words inspire hope. A hope that everyone with basic digitizing knowledge can create a machine embroidery design. There is only one thing left to decide: where to obtain the knowledge and from whom? One needs to remember that gaining skills requires practice and time. 
    This knowledge should help you answer these questions: 
    How to give consideration to all of the input parameters of the image before digitizing?  What types of stitches to apply?  How to make an efficient embroidery sequence?  What tricks to use so that the embroidery is by all definitions a work of quality?
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