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The Dos and Don'ts of Digitising in Embroidery

As technology continues to evolve, digital tools are used in more and more applications. For example, embroidery digitising is a relatively new concept. Technology now allows us to create artwork in a digital format, which is then used in tandem with industrial embroidery machines to form the needle's path and make the design a reality.

With most modern embroidery machines, such as Brother embroidery machines, digital technology is built-in, offering apps and software that allow you to select and preview your design. Using this embroidery method also ensures your stitch is high-quality and leaves you with a precise, professional finish.

At Stocks Sewing Machines, we are experts in embroidery, and if you follow our dos and don'ts of digitising in embroidery, you can be sure to love the final product.


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DO Consider The Garment You're Designing

Before you begin the digitising and designing process, it is crucial to consider the garment you are working with. For example, the technique used to digitise a t-shirt would differ from that used to digitise a hat pattern. Flat garments such as shirts have smoother surfaces, so the digitising process should consider this. With a cap, the curved surface means that a different digitised design is required.

The type of fabric is also a factor to consider when digitising embroidery, as different techniques are suited to different materials. For example, Stretchy fabrics such as knitwear require a lower density design to minimise the risk of puckering. Different fabrics also require other digitising considerations as what looks good on one fabric may not look as good on another.

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DO Work Out a Suitable Sequencing Pattern When Digitising

It's important to consider your embroidery machine's sequence when replicating the design. The standard sequence followed by most designs is to start with a placement stitch to identify where the stitching can begin. This is followed by underlay stitching, which is needed to secure a fabric design from pulling and puckering. The final step in the sequence is topstitching, which creates the overall finished look.

When digitising embroidery, each of these steps should be incorporated into the design process to ensure that the stitch is of high quality. It is also essential to consider the specific details within your design, as smaller details should be sequenced to stitch last for the cleanest finish.

DO Consider The Stitching Angle

The stitching angle in embroidery is usually varied, with the most successful strategies using different stitch angles throughout the design. To create an aesthetically pleasing textural piece, it is essential to consider the stitching angles in the digitising process, making sure you use multiple angles.

As a default, digitising programmes use a 45- degree angle for stitches. Using this basic angle can produce a design that looks one dimensional. For this reason, it is beneficial to play around with stitch angles when digitising your embroidery design. Thread direction also plays a part in this, as changing the thread direction multiple times helps to minimise pulling issues.

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DON'T Rush Into Digitising

Before starting any digital embroidery project, conducting research and devising an initial plan is crucial. The foundations of your plan should consider the type of fabric you are using, what you want your design to look like visually, and the colours you plan to use. A simple plan can be developed with steps detailing your complete design and the types of stitching sequence required with these factors in mind.

Having a set plan minimises the risk of mistakes as through research, potential issues can be identified and prevented. Furthermore, if any errors arise through the digitising process, having a pre-empted plan with set stages also makes it easier to find the root of the problem and recover quickly.

DON'T Add Too Many Jump Stitches

A jump stitch is not part of the overall design, it's the stitch an embroidery machine makes when it finishes stitching one object out and needs to move over to another object. When the needle moves, the thread is pulled along, which can cause the design to look messy. Therefore, the stitching sequence must be considered when digitising embroidery to minimise the number of jump stitches.

The digitised stitch sequence should not include steps in which one part of the design is stitched, and then the next stitch is on the opposite side of the design as this will cause large jump stitches. When digitising embroidery, your sequence should work logically and from one side to the other overall to avoid numerous jump stitches.

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DON'T Rely on Auto Digitising

As a beginner at digitising embroidery, it can be easy to rely on auto digitising. Auto digitising is ideal for simple designs, and so for starting, this is an excellent method to use. However, auto digitising is not the best procedure for more complex designs or an overall higher-quality finish. It is much easier for mistakes to be made when relying on an auto digitising programme, and in most cases, these mistakes are not apparent until the piece is finished.

It is best to learn digitising methods rather than relying on auto digitising to avoid mistakes and save resources. In the long run, having more in-depth knowledge and skill of digitising embroidery will help you achieve quality, complex designs.

At Stocks Sewing Machines, we offer a range of machines, including ZSK embroidery machines, which allow you to digitise embroidery. If you follow our top tips and tricks, you can be sure that your project will be a great success, and digitising embroidery can become a handy skill. Contact us today for more information on digitising embroidery or if you would like to know more about our machines. We are also industrial sewing machine suppliers in the UK, with a large selection of sewing machines available for purchase.