May '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 26 of 70

2 2 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 1 9 2 2 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 1 9 EMBROIDERY Erich's Embellishments E r i c h C a m p b e l l Digitizing 101 MANUAL STITCH The most basic building block of embroi- dery, manual stitches are digitized as all embroidery once was: By defining the be- ginning and end of each and every stitch with only length and angle as defining characteristics. It is now used frequently in artistic digitizing, particularly in creat- ing organic lines or textures like animal fur or designs that mimic handmade work. Manual stitches provide maximum control, making them a powerful, albeit slow and difficult, tool. Any stitches you can see can be reproduced manually, no matter the soft- ware you are using or the software that was used to make the original. The catch is that automated stitch types are likely the only way to make digitizing commercially viable for most markets, making manual stitch- ing best as an accent rather than a primary mode of creating design elements. STRAIGHT STITCH This is a line of repeated single stitches usu- ally used for lines or details under .8mm in thickness. Beyond being able to set the length, shape, direction, and sequence of each straight (or running) stitch segment, you can alter a segment's texture by vary- ing stitch length. Long stitches reflect more light, appearing brighter and smoother than the pebbly, tight look of short straight stitches. By increasing the number of 'pass- es' made over a line of stitching, we can also create thicker straight-stitch lines. Straight stitches are usually uniform in set length, but software may shorten stitch length au- tomatically to track tight curves. Straight stitches are used for small de- tails, shading, outlining, and single-color designs. Worked in dark threads on a light S titch 'types' refer to automated stitch arrangements that our modern software can use to fill the shapes we define. We are spoiled in that we don't necessarily have to build our designs stitch by stitch unless it suits us. For beginners, even these tools can't make it immediately intuitive to visualize art in stitches. By investigating the four most essential examples of stitch types our software offers and common ways each is used, we can at least establish guidelines to get new digitizers beyond daunting design analysis and into the process of punching. This detail shot shows how simple satin and low-density fill stitches can be arranged to create a great deal of surface variation.

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