The Steep Learning Curve Of Digitizing Embroidery Designs
So you have your own embroidery machine and you want to use your own picture or pattern. Now what? How do you get your design digitized for your use?
The answer to that will depend on many things. Are you planning on embroidering as a hobby or will you be embroidering as a business? Is the program something you will use often, or will it sit unused on your hard drive for weeks or even months at a time? How much money do you have to spend? How much time do you have to spend? Remember, like any software, you can’t return embroidery digitizing software once you have the package open.
If you are embroidering as a hobby or even if you have your own business, you may decide to contract out to digitize your embroidery pattern. After all, digitizing programs can be expensive. Not to mention, how difficult it is to learn all the ins and outs of the program and the steps to digitize a pattern.
Most digitizing programs promise ‘auto-digitizing’ features. This is great in theory. However, if your graphic isn’t clean enough then you may spend a lot of time frustrated with your project. Many times, even if you have a clean graphic, you can’t just input the graphic and expect everything to turn out exactly how you planned it. Most likely, you’ll wind up wanting to go in and change something about how your design turned out.
Quite honestly, unless you know exactly what you’re doing, or what stitch type you need where, you may end up totally frustrated at the end of the day. Your best bet is to learn everything you can about digital embroidery. You need to know about registration, compensation, stitch angles, underlay, stitch types, fill patterns, tie-offs, in and out points, and so much more. If you don’t know these important points, not only will you end up frustrated, you may end up blaming yourself for the poor designs being generated by the digitizing software.
Before you spend your hard earned money on digitizing software, ask about classes in your area. Ask about digitizing classes in your area, or tutorials and training videos online. You will need the help and pointers. Be sure you fully understand all of the capabilities of the software you are considering. Make sure it is the right fit for your needs. Don’t be pressured into buying something that isn’t a good fit. Don’t be lulled into all the hype on the package or in a high pressure sales pitch and think that all you need to do is install the program, import the graphic and you’ll be ready to go.
Embroidery digitizing can be rewarding and fun, but it is an art form. Like any art form, be it playing the clarinet or painting a picture, practice is the best way for you to get more proficient at what you want to do.