October '20

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A P P A R E L D E C O R A T I N G 6 0 G R A P H I C S P R O O C T O B E R 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M S T I T C H S O L U T I O N S | J E N N I F E R C O X HOW TO GET GREAT DIGITIZING WORKING WITH A DIGITIZING PROFESSIONAL T he expression "garbage in, garbage out" applies when it comes to em- broidery. Excellent embroidery is possible only when the digitizing that is used to create it is excellent. When you run a design created with average digitiz- ing, you create average embroidery, no matter how good your technical embroi- dery skills are. Excellent digitizing, on the other hand, leads to the production of ex- quisite embroidery. Here are some guidelines to help you request and ultimately get awesome digitizing from your digitizing profes- sional. Use them to get the high-quali- ty digitizing that you need so that you or your embroidery professional can create top-quality embroidery for your customers. Talk to your customer and gain as much information as possible about how the design will be used. This helps avoid or reduce any editing charges. NOT ALL EQUAL Some people believe that all digitizing is created equally. It is not. When the commercial embroidery industry was getting started, all the digitizing was cre- ated by an exclusive handful of highly trained digitizing artists. These artisans created the designs to run the embroi- dery machines by programming each individual stitch, building each layer of a design from the underlayers to the top layer, creating dimension, texture, and depth in the design. Designs were expensive. They ran flawlessly. They did not contain extra stitches. They were supple. They did not cause garments to ripple, pucker, or curl. These designs were valued as the works of art that they were; they were amazing. Flash forward to the digitizers of to- day. The digitizing software currently available is impressive in what it can do all on its own. Images are scanned or loaded into the computer and then with a few clicks of the mouse, the design is converted to an embroidery-ready sew file. But according to Jay Fishman, own- er of Wicked Stitch of the East Inc. and a professional digitizing company with over 25 years of experience, "Software doth not a digitizer make." While the majority of the design might be more than adequate, it may still need some input from the digitizer to be able to create top-quality, produc- tion-friendly embroidery. It is at this point that your digitizer proves their worth. Always ask your customer if they have ever ordered embroidered goods before. This matters for a few reasons. It is help- ful to get a copy of the digitized file if they have one. In fact, if it is digitized well, you can save them the cost of hav- ing the design re-digitized. The customer decided they did not like their art, so an edit charge was applied. Original digitizing based on original artwork. (All images courtesy Jay Fishman, Wicked Stitch of the East)

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