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general rules of thumb for digitizing...and how to spot a bad design.

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Old September 27th, 2016, 05:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
digidana digidana is offline
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Default general rules of thumb for digitizing...and how to spot a bad design.

ok...and pet peeves.

run fill stitches at an angle. not left and right, or up and down. if you run with the direction of the nape of the fabric it can stretch the fabric and cause puckering and throw off registration.

no satin stitches under 1.3 mm wide...including lettering. less than that and its thread-break city. if lettering comes out less than 1.3 mm wide. pull comp can be used to make it wider. but don't go so wide that it fills in the e's and a's.

my general rule of thumb. if a stitch area is less than 1.3 mm wide, its a running stitch. take the time to zoom in and measure the stitch widths with the pull comp to make sure they aren't under 1.3 mm. between 1.3 mm wide and 6 mm wide, its a satin. over 6 mm wide and its a fill. (tho this rule gets broken from time-to-time depending on the situation). as the width of a satin stitch goes up....so should the density and amount of underlay.

less than a 2-2.5ish mm satin stitch only needs a single line underlay. more than that and you're jacking up the stitch count unnecessarily.

caps...digitize from the center out and from the bottom up. a cap design will stitch fine on a shirt....a shirt design will not always stitch right on a cap.

underlay is important. and so is pull comp (whether you compensate manually or automatic). not all underlay has to be generated automatically. if you have, say, a checkered flag, consider laying down an underlay in the first color, either manually, or using a fill stitch with a very light density, that covers the entire flag area first, and not just under each check. the underlay will help hold the entire area stable and help with registration.

not everything you see in a design should be digitized. you have GOT to know what works and what does not. and tell your customer up front what can't be done so they aren't disappointed and give options. text too small? can you make it work in all upper case instead of caps and lower case? can it be stacked on two lines, etc.

think about pathing. the sewing order is important, but pathing from one stitch group to the next is just as important. nothing is more irritating than a design with 15 unnecessary trims.

registration. when you outline a fill with a running stitch, end the fill stitch a bit short of the running stitch outline in the direction the stitches are running. if you digitize a running stitch perfect circle, the fill stitch should look more like an oval.

1-click, autodigitizing is terrible. don't use it. even the best software can't THINK.

give your design depth and character. can a large area of fill be done instead with several sections of satins to give it life? no? how about several sections of fill stitches running different directions? light will catch the stitch groups differently and bring it to life. (skubler...the email i sent you is a perfect example of this). it takes a lot more time, but is worth it in the end.

https://s15.postimg.org/5n169gzob/image.jpg

this design would be boring with one solid block of grey fill, and one solid block of white fill.

lettering. vertical stitching letters, like I, M, N, V, W (etc) will stitch looking taller than letters that are horizontal on top and bottom like a B, C, D, E, O (etc) unless you compensate for it. the edges of the satin stitch will sink into the fabric making the horizontal letters look shorter. if you don't compensate with pull comp, do it manually. without pull comp i generally make the BCDEO (etc.) 6-8% larger. on lettering that is horizontal on top like FPRT i enlarge vertically about 3-4% then make 'flush top' with the BCDEO letters. on letters with a horizontal bottom like JLU, i bump it up 3-4% and make "flush bottom" with the BCDEO letters.

small serif fonts. NOT two stitch groups like this:

| |
| |
------------
_________

do it as one stitch group...like this:

| |
__| |__
| |


if you (the embroiderer) are having consistent registration problems, thread breaks or having to send designs back for edits....you need to find a new digitizer. they will probably be more expensive, but they are worth it. the best embroiderer can't make a poorly digitized design stitch well or look good.

what did i miss? i'll probably come up with more later...its early.
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Old September 27th, 2016, 05:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
digidana digidana is offline
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Default Re: general rules of thumb for digitizing...and how to spot a bad design.

whoops! that was long...and the small serif example didn't come out right. should NOT be digitized like this:

...|.....|
...|.....|
_________
_________

SHOULD be like this:
.....|.....|
___|.....|___
|...............|
|...............|
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Old September 27th, 2016, 10:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
Robert Young Robert Young is offline
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Default Re: general rules of thumb for digitizing...and how to spot a bad design.

If I could give this post more than 1 like I would ! TEXTBOOK PERFECT.... not one thing to disagree with.. and if anyone does (those #)$((@($) lol I have sewn samples to prove you are correct.

I never do fill stitches left to right or up and down mainly because if lettering is being sewn on top... the lettering will lose either the x or the y axis. and zipper into the fill.

i WISH I could get clients to stick to 1.3mm wide satins... but we tend to go to .7 and hope they have thinner 60wt? lol (or 75wt)

I always advise (more lately than ever before) for a client or distributor to actually LOOK at the design on screen at the size you want it embroidered.. most times if they do... they instantly recognize.. oh yeah, this or that wont work in thread... you are correct I have not seen 1mm tall lettering work.. ha. etc.

auto digitizing? sorry, a bit of vomit just came up. yuck. people that sell that should have to watch it sew and then see if they would be proud to show it.

lettering ! perfect... EVERYONE in our industry should learn this. why does the pdf have all the letters different sizes? well Virginia, there IS a Santa Clause
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Old September 27th, 2016, 02:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
digidana digidana is offline
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Default Re: general rules of thumb for digitizing...and how to spot a bad design.

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Originally Posted by Robert Young View Post
If I could give this post more than 1 like I would ! TEXTBOOK PERFECT.... not one thing to disagree with..

i WISH I could get clients to stick to 1.3mm wide satins... but we tend to go to .7 and hope they have thinner 60wt? lol (or 75wt)

I always advise (more lately than ever before) for a client or distributor to actually LOOK at the design on screen at the size you want it embroidered..
hahaha...thanks for the laugh! i was hoping it all made sense...i started writing it at about 3:30am in a unisom stupor.

i always stick with the 1.3 mm rule. and if there are "iffy" areas, i will pull it in at actual size to make sure i can make it all work or see what won't.

i thought of another rule...no "turn fill" (meaning a fill stitch that turns like a satin) that makes tight turns. No S's or O's it will always pucker and stitches will be too tight on the inside.
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Old September 27th, 2016, 05:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
jgardog jgardog is offline
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Default Re: general rules of thumb for digitizing...and how to spot a bad design.

What a great post!! I don't quite follow the small serif part though. I'm relatively new to this.
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Old September 28th, 2016, 09:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
digidana digidana is offline
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Default Re: general rules of thumb for digitizing...and how to spot a bad design.

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What a great post!! I don't quite follow the small serif part though. I'm relatively new to this.
thanks! maybe this will help...

on a capital letter I with serifs for a small font, instead of making the tiny serif one stitch group, the vertical part of the I another stitch group, and the bottom serif a stitch group...make it all one stitch group with just the serif portions a wider satin than the "stalk". that way the serifs are actually wider than the stalk instead of more narrow and probably causing thread breaks. make sense?
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Old September 29th, 2016, 05:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
minimalist minimalist is offline
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Default Re: general rules of thumb for digitizing...and how to spot a bad design.

Here comes the dissenter. I regularly use horizontal and vertical fill. Why? I have run into issues with skipped stitches when using an angle. My take is that the thread twist varies from cone to cone and when it goes through the path it will twist before entering the first tension plates. The pop when the thread enters the tension assembly will cause the loop not to form thereby causing a skipped stitch. The tech that was at my shop blamed it on the thread. Put in another spool from the same manufacturer and no issues. Vertical or horizontal helped eliminate most of the problems described above.

I like to use horizontal fills on caps. It covers the seam and follows the path of least registration issues.

I've had to digitize block lettering in the past so that the elements will not be sewn on one part and then going back to reach that same point by the machine. The elements are stacked so that the letter sews from the top to the bottom on loose weave beanie hats. I've got the step density ridiculously high to avoid gaps.

Details? Lose some or you're going to need a twelve step program.
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Old October 5th, 2016, 11:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
Robert Young Robert Young is offline
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Default Re: general rules of thumb for digitizing...and how to spot a bad design.

Minimalist... thank you for your comments... there is no school for what we do.. so everything each of us says is important. your reasoning sounds very reasonable and no one can doubt your ability... thank you.
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Old October 14th, 2016, 05:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
minimalist minimalist is offline
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Default Re: general rules of thumb for digitizing...and how to spot a bad design.

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Minimalist... thank you for your comments... there is no school for what we do.. so everything each of us says is important. your reasoning sounds very reasonable and no one can doubt your ability... thank you.
Thanks for the compliment. I've done commercial sewing for over 20 years and embroidery for 5 years. Half the battle is tricking the machine to do something right.
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Old November 12th, 2016, 05:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
digidana digidana is offline
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Default Re: general rules of thumb for digitizing...and how to spot a bad design.

bump for Dave F...
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