Learning to Digitize – Before you Start

I often see questions from people who love to do machine embroidery about learning to digitize: What software should I use? How should I learn to use Embrilliance (or whatever software you choose)? How can I convert a graphic file (like a JPG) into an embroidery file (like a PES)?

Those are great questions. The problem is that digitizing for machine embroidery is a lot more complicated than converting a graphic file from a JPG to a TIF, for example. You can’t just run a conversion program and expect an embroidery file to come out looking great.

There are so  many things to learn about embroidery, about what makes a great design for machine embroidery, and about what types of designs will embroider well onto whatever your chosen fabric is.

Here’s a great place to start. Purchase the book Anatomy of a Design by Lindee Goodall. This is an e-book, and can be purchased from her site. I did a search today (8/29/2016) and found the book here, on Lindee’s web site. It’s well worth the price, and is a wealth of knowledge of what you need to know before you even start to learn software.

You’ll learn a lot of things, including:

  • Stitch types
  • Stitch properties
  • Stitch length
  • Stitch density
  • Shortening, angle, and pattern
  • Underlay
  • Tie-offs
  • Compensation
  • Color sequences

You need to understand this kind of information before you can digitize well. Once you understand the principles, then learning the software to achieve good results is not only easier, but more productive. You’ll be creating good quality designs.

If you have PE Design software, Oleen’s Embroidery has a great series of YouTube videos here…check it out!

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