Every digitizer aspires to deliver flawless designs in the very first go. However, at times, in the sprint to the deadline, a lot of professionals end up overlooking certain elements. These elements generally include unnecessary number of trims, too many color changes, inappropriate compensation and so on.
While these elements are not too prominent during digitizing, they come up as glaring mistakes on the production floor. Such errors not only result in wastage of time and effort, but can also end up irritating your clients to the extent that you could end up losing them altogether. This is why we've come up with a checklist of the top ten mistakes to while digitizing:
1) Planning - A lack of planning or pathing is a sure-shot giveaway of an amateur. What may look great on the screen, would not necessarily work out on the production floor. Therefore, keeping a watchful eye on trims, jumps and lock stitches while pathing is critical.
2) Underlay - When it comes to underlay, the adage 'practice makes perfect' is absolutely befitting. Deciding which underlay works best for which stitch type is something that comes with hit and trial that needs to be figured beforehand. No underlay or using the wrong style will only put you on the short route to disaster.
3) Compensation - Compensation is what separates a seasoned embroidery digitizer from the rest. You need to know how much is too much vs. too less vs. just right. Poor compensation leads to distorted designs and visible underlay. When deciding on compensation, always bear in mind the fabric used, design elements, type of underlay and type of backing.
4) Density - Inappropriate stitch density is another giveaway of lack of experience. Too high and you'll have a thick design on hand, too less and you'll risk fabric show-through. Understand how your design interacts with the fabric to nail this one.
5) Stitch Direction - To lend any design with some visual interest and texture make sure not all your stitches are running in the same direction, this also helps loosen up the tension sewing puts on the fabric.
6) Lock Stitches - When dealing with spandex, sports material, jerseys, jackets and knits, we advice putting in lock stitches so that design does not fall apart once complete.
7) Fills - Knowing your fill types and how they affect a design is key to bringing visual variation to your sew out. Using a combination of fill types is what can put the difference between blah and beautiful.
8) Stitch Type - Always decide on the stitch type you'll be using according to the surface area it needs to cover. For instance, using a satin where you need a fill will result in loopy stitches, and a fill instead of a satin will create a dense, chunky patch.
9) Appropriate Application - As an embroidery digitizer, you should be aware of the application of your design. This means whether it will be registered on a cap, jacket back or left chest. Even if the design and dimensions remain the same, a design
digitized for a jersey will not sew well on a hat, neither one for terry cloth on nylon.
10) Quality Testing - Our advice to every embroidery digitizer out there is to always test run their design before sending it off, no matter how hard they're pressed for time. This is the only opportunity you have to salvage the design and your reputation, while avoiding the above pitfalls before it's too late.