May '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 M ay Printwear | 69 This sculptural approach may require a bit of advance drawing, but done well, it not only lends the piece a sense of dimension, but it often reduces the overall stitch count. You will lose time in the digitizing process, but the quality and the time reclaimed in production are well worth the effort. Sculptural digitizing also allows you to play with texture. Animals can not only be carved, but also decorated with loose manual stitching to simulate pelt lines in fur. Randomized stitch lengths can add a rougher, natural look to fills on organic subjects, and overlaying straight-stitch runs or motif stitches on fills can add interesting textural elements to otherwise solid areas. Linework Redwork, blackwork, and all manner of open embroideries that primarily utilize lines to develop contour and tone, all fall under the category of linework. While the sculptur- al approach is not useful here, we still have line weight, density, and texture at our fin- gertips to make our design interesting. In most cases, a digitizer will execute line- work because the presented art is already in this style. Any number of engravings, woodcuts, or pen-and-ink pieces may be rendered as linework, but, we have to keep the limits of embroidery in mind when we interpret such pieces. Where many digitiz- ers go wrong with linework is in trying to follow the existing artwork too slavishly. One must remember proper measurement when creating linework. Fine-lined engrav- ings, especially when reduced in size, will often contain shading lines that, though intended to produce a shadow, become solid when rendered with the thickness of embroidery thread. Remember, if two lines are .2mm apart, it makes them equivalent to a 4 point fill density (otherwise known as full coverage with 40 weight thread). I've often been told this simple trick: simply render every other line in such overly tight shading. Howev- continued on page 111 This piece shows the power of the man- ual stitch. By com- pletely controlling stitch length and placement, a great deal of variation was possible in the shad- ing, and the detail work looks anything but mechanical. The short stitches are less reflective and the irregularity gives them a rustic, hand-tooled feel. PW_MAY14.indd 69 4/17/14 9:51 AM

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