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In the embroidery industry there are thousands of digitizers that still make basic mistakes when making designs. Issues from a poorly digitized design could be unnecessary trims, unnecessary jumps, too many color changes and not enough compensation, to dense, and the list goes on.
- Lack of Planning
This is usually seen on new digitizers as they are able to draw the design and on-screen it looks okay, but when they so it out your machine your machine jumps unnecessary and there are too many trims. Making the sew out slower than it needs be. You will also likely to have simulated thread breaks caused by lack of lock stitches and or trimming on small letters.
- No Underlay or wrong style for application
This is one of the hardest things to learn is which underlay works best for the stitch types, the wrong underlay or no underlay can distort the design and cause issues while embroidering it, specially on different fabric types.
- Improper Pull Compensation
You need to understand Pull Compensation and you need to know how much is enough vs too much or too little, a poorly digitized design may have underlay sticking out as the compensation was not right for the design, or there are too much underlay and the designs is distorting. Below is a chart to gauge one aspect of the compensation factor, elasticity. The other factors include, type of backing, type of underlay and design characteristics.
- Improper Density
This is another giveaway of a new digitizer, producing designs that are “ bullet proof “ meaning that the density is too high (often when using layers of thread you can reduce the density by 1/3 to compensate for the different layers), or too little density and the underlay or garment will show through. The other factor is the fabric , towels need underlay to hold the nap down and bit more density than the standard to prevent the gaps where strands can poke through.
- Stitch Direction
This is one issue that is up to the designer, but I don’t usually like plain, flat designs where the fill type is the same throughout the design. Using different stitch angles gives the design character, and often will make the design look more attractive than all the stitches going the same way.
- No Lock Stitches
Generally putting lock stitches is optional on some materials however some will require it to make sure it doesn’t unravel, I like it on jackets, knits and jersey material and especially on sports apparel or spandex. Having lock stitches will help prevent the stitches from unraveling.
- Fill Types
A problem with many digitizers they do not know how the fill types affect the design, years ago Pulse used to provide a book with a pattern of the different types of fills, this would give you a visual on what the end result would look like. Too many digitizers use the same old patterns for all their designs. I recommend choosing the fill type suited to the design.
8 Stitch Lengths
This can impact underlay when it sticks out from the sides of letters, or might be a cause to higher densities, and or coverage. Small letters you see this a lot, if a letter is 4 mm high and the stitch length is defaulted to .12″ (3 mm) than the default settings is not going to work. .05″ will drop the stitch length to 1.2 mm this will allow the underlay to conform to the smaller text sizes, not compensating for this the underlay will not cover the design, stick out or cause other distortion issues.
- Wrong stitch type for width
This is something you should as a digitizer have an idea, you will see issue like a satin stitch being too large causing loopy stitches, needless trims, gaps in the design, or too dense for the area. We did cover some of these terms in the blog for Stitch types, but general Fills .04″ to Infinite, Satin 03″ to 40″, Steil 03″ to .20″ runs stitches don’t have limitations – its one stitch after another except on program fills and they are used like a fill. But you can adjust them to reduce the size.
- Wrong application for design
This is one that people often get wrong, ie a left chest design doesn’t always work for caps as it pushes the design or distorts the design on the hat, hats generally require a design to sew out from the center to the left and center to the right to push in equal directions, other comparisons you would not want a design designed for knit fabrics used on nylon as you often see the design pucker.