Thursday, 18 April 2013

Embroidery Digitizing - Lettering

Let’s talk about embroidery digitizing and lettering. All embroidery software, from the most basic home program to the most costly commercial software, has some type of lettering function. The user friendliness of the software means that quality has improved greatly over time and it has become difficult to differentiate between low and high cost digitizing embroidery software.

If you are planning on embroidering logos, offering a custom embroidery digitizing service, done by hand, will produce a better result than keyboard lettering. Keyboard fonts simply cannot adjust for every single design or fabric situation and individual letters need to be edited for pull compensation and fabric.

If you’re not too familiar with an embroidery digitizer yet you might find you tend to crutch on the font lettering. Try to avoid doing this as much as possible. Take a look at designs with lettering that sews really well and notice how the letters join and corner. This will help you to gain a better understanding of how lettering should really look and will apply to hand digitizing.

If you do wish to use keyboard lettering, make sure to familiarize yourself with the lettering and what it can do as well as the recommended sizes for each font. Keep in mind that certain lettering styles will work better at smaller sizes. If you wish to edit the keyboard fonts extensively, rather digitize the letters by hand. Some fonts will be okay at smaller sizes (such as block type fonts) but fabric really needs to be considered as to whether the fonts will sew cleanly or not.

Unfortunately there is no way to assure that the design will work 100% perfectly since customers will sew onto multiple fabrics. However, ¼ ‘’ standard font size for basic lettering tends to work well with embroidery digitizing. You will need a different version for fabrics like terry and fleece to account for materials that incorporate more density.

There are same designs and fabrics that will allow for block lettering as small as .16’’ such as twill and nylons. But fabrics like knits are somewhat unforgiving and will tend to sawtooth easier. The rule of thumb with fabrics and lettering is that it should be dense enough for coverage and smooth edges but not so dense that is causes knots, bunching and crowded spacing.

If you want to branch out from using keyboard fonts, you will need to understand the dynamics of embroidery digitizing lettering as well as densities, column widths, underlays and pull compensation too.