April '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 2 P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 2 0 2 2 P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 2 0 EMBROIDERY Erich's Embellishments rials, textural experimentation, or strange customer requests, digitizing in-house al- lows you to personally engage in construc- tive play with your embroidery in ways that expand your abilities and business. GETTING INTO OUTSOURCING There are three things to remember when outsourcing digitizing: • You must clearly communicate all important information. This includes finished size requirements, garment material, color, style, and any special instructions. • Work with a digitizer that is willing to provide 'working files' if possible. Resiz- ing of stitch files can work, but only with software that processes stitches well, otherwise your details and density will suffer, and even minor edits are almost impossible with expanded stitch files. • Cheaper isn't always better. Pay for qual- ity up front or pay in ruined garments and/or production delays after the fact. Look for a digitizer who provides a bal- ance of cost and proven quality. The best digitizers will also be good commu- nicators and ask pertinent questions. STOCK DESIGNS If you are working business-to-business, you may rarely use stock designs as logo work is almost always custom. They are more prevalent in the world of gift embroidery with some applicability to schools, outdoor embroidery, and team sports. When choosing stock designs, be sure to pay close attention to the finished size. If you procure a design that's overly large for your application, most stock is provided in a stitch file and those may not resize well, even with software that processes stitches. Finely detailed designs are particularly troublesome with resizing, but the key to any resizing is to make note of the smallest If your software has the ability to create custom keyboard-ready fonts, you can digitize typefaces for selective, corporate clients that meet with their style guide requirements. If your shop can quickly drop names, titles, and divisions, you become the natural choice for these brand-conscious buyers. Success comes in all shop sizes. Profit is determined by how much you lay out and bring in on a given job and how much throughput you can manage. Know your success condition, the segment you want to serve, and how you can best utilize your production methods to create profitable products. Single-needle machines can do more than you've been told. That said, they are extremely limited for production. They must be 'babied' somewhat to achieve results similar to a commercial machine, can't handle the bulk of large garments, have small design areas, and hoops that don't hold as well as their prosumer or industrial counterparts.

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