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The insider’s advice on the process of hiring an Embroidery Digitizer

The insider’s guide to how an Embroidery Digitizer can improve your Embroidery Business. The process of hiring an embroidery Digitizer.

In general, when people are looking for a digitizer, they have a design in mind and want it digitized as soon as possible, done perfectly and within a budget.These three things are not compatible, you must decide: do you want a good result, or a quick job done cheaply.

If you go for good quality design, you should have it digitized by an experienced digitizer who is also experienced embroiderer. How else would a digitizer know in detail what you need? If it’s your first time to use the service of a specific Digitizer, ask for a reference or a portfolio. Digitizers can be found by recommendation, by a Google search or in embroidery groups on Facebook. Pinterest is also a good idea, use keywords and follow hashtags.

What people are forgetting is that when hiring a Digitizer, the Client has duties as well as rights.

Client’s duties:

  • Provide a clear high-resolution image of your artwork, JPEG or PNG format. If you have a vector format it is better.
  • If you don’t have a photo of an artwork and you require the Digitizer to do the artwork too, you must have an agreement at the start in that regard. You’ll be charged more because that takes extra time, effort and talent.
  • State the type of fabric you will embroider the design on.
  • Give the size and orientation of the hoop you use for embroidering that specific design.
  • Give the dimensions of the design itself, that should be a close approximation.
  • Specify the date/time you want it ready
  • Specify the machine format you need.
  • Discuss all the details before awarding the job. If the Digitizer did the artwork, you must approve it before the digitizing process.
  • Sign an agreement that you won’t sell the digitized file to any 3rd party.
  • Negotiate a price you are both happy with before the work starts.
  • Pay the agreed fee as soon as you got the file. Best if you pay by PayPal, it’s instant.
  • Very important that you have enough embroidery knowledge for getting the results the Digitizer got when embroidering the same design and you saw in the photo that was sent to you.
  • If you are a beginner, should be no problem, only you must tell the Digitizer that you need more detailed advice /instructions.

Digitizer’s duties:

  • Handle the artwork strictly confidential, do not publish it in any media.
  • Sign an agreement of non-disclosure of the artwork and sign for the exclusivity of the digitized file (not to be sold to any 3rd party)
  • Accept the negotiated price before the work starts.
  • Upon agreement of the artwork (if done by the Digitizer), do the digitizing process and present the software’s 3D image to the Client.
  • Upon agreement to the software’s image, sew it out and present a close-up photo of the embroidery.
  • Do corrections to the design if needed, before the deadline.
  • Do revisions (within reason)
  • Respect the deadline.
  • Upon the design’s approval, supply the design file in the machine format the Client needs.
  • Include to the Zip file a photo of the design and a worksheet with instructions, colors and color changes, number of stitches.

Good communication is crucial, the Customer and the Designer should answer each other’s questions as soon as possible.  It’s in the interest of both parties to keep communicating at every phase of the digitizing process.

A few more thoughts: A good design has to not only sew out beautifully but also have the less possible jump stitches and color changes, that will save you time up to 25% in some cases.. A good Digitizer is not always expensive, a bad Digitizer is not always cheap. The best Digitizers are human too, they make mistakes but they admit it and do the required correction(s). A pleasant tone is desirable from both the Client and the Digitizer. A good work relationship starts with the first pleasant experience. Having a long-term work relationship with the same Designer will help the Client’s Business grow.

Happy stitching!

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Single needle vs multi needle pros & cons by embroidery machine technician.

Can’t make up your mind whether to buy a single needle or a multi needle embroidery machine? Single needle vs multi needle. Pros and cons brought to you by embroidery machine technician.

Single needle machines :

Pros:

Price. If your budget is limited, single needle machines are affordable. Of course there are some single needle machines just as expensive as the multi needle ones but that’s not typical.

Size. If you choose to work at home, you might have just a small space to fit the machine into. These machines are smaller and take up less space than the multi needle ones, you can fit them on a table top.

Simplicity. They are much easier to learn the ins and outs of embroidery, more suitable for absolute beginners. Easier to do day-to-day maintenance and the service or repairs performed by a technician are cheaper.

Cons:

Productivity. Having just one needle you have to manually change threads depending on how many colors the design has. That’s a lot of non-productive time, if you are embroidering for a living you should keep this in mind.

Life span: Single needle machines are intended for home use, not suitable for large quantity of work. For a hobbyist embroiderer, it will serve many years though.

Hoop size. Usually for single needle machines the biggest hoop is 5″ x 7″, with a few exceptions. Some of them have a 4″ x 4″ hoop only.

Multi needle machines:

Pros:

Free arm: You can embroider with ease on a wider range of items.

Hoop size. Multi needle machines have bigger hoops , talking now about flat hoops only. From 4″ x 4″ or 17″ x 16″, even bigger with some commercial machines.

Cap frame system (optional accessory) makes a lot of difference when it comes to cap embroidery.

Tubular frame (optional accessory) can also be used on them, useful when embroidering on sleeves or trousers legs.

Productivity: Due to the number of needles, you have much less work to do since the color change happens automatically, based on your color choices.

Life span: Multi needle machines (especially Industrial machines) are heavy build machines intended for industrial quantities.

Cons:

Price. They are costly, price starting at $6 000 it can reach $16 000 or even more depending on brand, optional accessories and capabilities.

Cost of maintenance, service and repairs. It is expensive since it is best to be serviced by an authorized mechanic. Machine parts are expensive too. The good news is that they very seldom need repairs.

Size: Multi needle machines take up a lot of space, they need their own specially made shock absorbent stand. The stand is optional but advisable, it extends the machine’s life.

Complexity: It’s not easy to learn to work with them. Also harder to do the daily maintenance tasks like cleaning and oiling or the weekly/monthly tasks like deeper cleaning and oiling hard-to-reach places.

Level of noise: High level of noise, due to the robust build. The shock absorbent stand also functions like a rezonance amplifier, like the body of a guitar. It can’t be reduced in any other way than reducing the number of stitches/minute. At the lowest setting (600 st/min) it is bearable but still louder than the single needle machines. You can hear the noise in this video of mine:

That’s in a nutshell my honest review of both single needle and multi needle machines. Hope I made it easier for you to decide which machine will be your next machine. Thanks for reading, Happy stitching!

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Solving thread nesting problem. Follow a Machine Technician’s advice.

Thread nesting mostly happens due to operator error.

1)- Switch off and unplug your machine.

2)- Check if your needle is bent or dull, if it is then replace it. Plug in your machine and switch it on, do a stitch check. Your problem might end here. If it doesn’t, go to step 3.

First and foremost I recommend the use of thread net. Cover your spool with thread net while embroidering, no matter if your spool is placed horizontally or vertically on your spool holder. We all know that the embroidery thread is silky and slippery, it unravels while stored, so what is keeping it from unraveling while embroidering? Very often it slips (unravels) too fast and comes out from between the tension discs. In 80% of the cases this is what is wrong, the loose thread results in thread nesting. Sometimes the opposite happens: the thread gets tangled around the spool holder pin, it can’t go further and becomes tight then gets caught, bending and breaking the needle. Try this first, it is the easiest and more than likely the only thing you have to do for solving thread nesting problem. Only if this solution doesn’t work take the following steps:

3)-Remove the upper thread from the entire path.

4)-Clean the thread path with special attention to the tension disk.

5)-Re-thread the upper thread, making sure you follow the path correctly. All this time you must have the foot up and the needle in the highest position. You might have the problem solved at this stage, plug in and switch on the machine and check. If the problem persists, go to step 6 but make sure to have your machine switched off and unplugged every time you do adjustments.

6)- Remove the bobbin and bobbin case, clean the bobbin area and check the bobbin case for possible thread caught under the tension spring. Make sure the foot is up and the needle is in the highest position while doing this.

7)-Place the bobbin and case back, pay attention to the correct bobbin orientation.plug in and switch on the machine. Start sewing, check for nesting. Should be ok but if the problem is not gone then you have to go to step 8.

8)- This should be used only if nothing else works. Adjust the upper tension, tighten just a slight bit at a time. After every tightening check the seam again. Keep in mind, don’t mess with the tension unless is absolutely necessary!

Is your problem solved? Leave a comment! Questions also welcome, I’ll answer ASAP.

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