February '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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D igitizing is a term often associ- ated with embroidery designs, but it has a much broader meaning. Digitizing is the conversion of data to a digital form for use in a computer. This applies to embroidery where an image is converted to code that an embroidery machine processes for comple- tion of a design. Without a digitized file, the embroidery machine won't have a clue how to stitch the desired design on the garment. If you don't have a digitized file, you don't have anything to run on the machine. Digitizing also occurs when an image is scanned and then converted to a vector through a program such as Adobe Illus- trator or CorelDRAW. Therefore, people who are capable of digitiz- ing artwork for graphics, are capable of digitizing artwork for embroidery. While the process of forming shapes is rela- tively the same in both graphic and embroidery digitizing, that is where the similarities end. Embroidery digitizing has many variables that must be considered with each and ev- ery design. Two very important variables are the size of the design and the material that is being embroidered. SIZE Knowing the size of a design is a critical part of the embroidery process. Unlike print, embroidery has dimension and tex- ture which requires careful planning and attention to both detail and limitations. There are three primary stitch types (with Ed Levy is the director of software products at Hirsch International and owner of Digitize4u, an embroidery and digitizing operation. A 23-year industry veteran, Levy has owned screen printing, embroidery, and digitizing businesses. In 2001, Levy began consulting and founded EmbForum, a profes- sional Tajima DG/ML by Pulse software users group. Digitizing 101 B Y E D L E V Y 60 || P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 The material you are stitch- ing on will affect the way you digitize any given design. Be sure to take into account the stretch, thickness and texture of your substrate to ensure a proper finished product. (All images courtesy Hirsch International) ‚óŹ Beginner

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