July '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 J U L Y P R I N T W E A R 2 5 sity and stitch length for any fill or zigzag underlay is made to create loft and reduce show-through, whereas the look of straight and bean stitching is defined only by length once the number of 'passes' is known. With most stitch types, the measurements needed to reproduce them should be evident to any who has observed them run. THE COMPLEX These measurements have to do with main- taining registration and fighting distortion more than texture or aesthetics. Measuring aspects of aligned objects in examples with 'perfect' registration on the intended gar- ment reveals useful settings for compensa- tion in similar settings. One should mea- sure overlaps between connected elements. When a fill encounters a satin border, how far under that border does the fill extend? When satins meet side-by-side, how far does the second satin overlap the first? When a satin stitch is bordered by run stitches, how far does the satin's width extend beyond the border to account for pull distortion and how far inside the border does it stop to ac- count for push? Complete your measurements by ac- counting for distortion. How much thinner and longer is a satin column on the finished piece than on-screen? For round objects in a sample, how much wider along and shorter perpendicular to the stitch angle is the digi- tized version? Differences between the digi- tal and physical reveal how much distortion to expect in elements with particular stitch settings on a given combination of fabric, thread, and stabilizer. Whether one draws shapes compensated for push and pull or uses automated compensation settings, the resulting stitches need only add or subtract the measured distortion from desired di- mensions to arrive at the same results as the 'perfect' example. When we take our first steps in design cre- ation, we are guided by the tracks of those that have gone before us. In observing their work run, we internalize the complicated interactions that happen in the hoop. In replicat- ing their work in our designs, we connect our choices and technique with those interactions. With repetition, predicting the outcome of our chosen settings becomes second-nature more than measurement. Though it may seem artificial to take notes, calculations, catalog, test, and tweak our work this initial depth of discovery leads to 'muscle memory' in the digitizer's hand that makes the work flow. Borrow from the best, become better, and leave your own legacy to measure. PW Erich Campbell has more than 18 years experience as an award-winning digitizer, e-commerce manager, and industry educator. He empowers decorators to do their best work and achieve a greater success. A current educator and long-time columnist, Erich takes every opportunity to provide value to the industry. Top: In this piece I created as a stock design for the home embroidery market, the flowers and leaves are constructed from satin stitches, and the central vine is a backstitch, which can be seen by the angled, off- set 3-stitch segments. Left: One may want to learn settings to help handle issues with a particular special- ty material like this sheer organza. This design made for home and d├ęcor embroiderers is optimized for the material and method. Right: Watching this piece run reveals the nature of its stitching and pathing. Backstitch is evident in the way it tracks partially back and at an angle off of the main curve of an element, and each flower is built up from the center out in layers to create the textured rosette.

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