Embroidery is an art of thread. Using various colors, techniques and skill, a new word entered into the embroidery world. It is “Master Digitizer”. This is the person who takes the artwork and designs and turns them into embroidered designs. It used to be that these digitizers had to study several years, maybe even a decade or two under a Master Digitizer before they, themselves could be considered a Master Digitizer. Once one became a Master Digitizer, the job was less than easy. An artist would provide the digitizer two types of artwork. One copy would be actual size and the second would be 600% larger than actual size. The digitizer would then plot out how the design would be stitched out. What stitches would be used, when they would be used and the color changes needed for the design. The digitizer always had to keep in mind that they needed to produce for speed. If there were too many thread changes, or the design didn’t flow as it was stitching out, it would slow down production and when you’re talking 10,000 items or more needing to be stitched out, time was very important. Now, remember, when embroidery was first industrialized, computers were not even thought of yet. So all this work was punched on paper rolls. Each dot on the paper caused the needle to penetrate the fabric being stitched on. Some time, it would make several needles drop into fabric when industrial machines were involved. These machines did all the work.
Once computers came on the scene, there were huge changes in the embroidery world. It became easier to tell the embroidery machine how to stitch out a design. Sadly, it still required many years of study and hands on learning. The easy part was that these files were now saved on computers and could be called up at anytime to have the work done. It still required a Master Digitizer who understood techniques and styles, but they could now use an input device to add stitches and if a mistake was made, delete stitches without having to splice and amend paper tape rolls.
As computers pushed further into the embroidery world, embroidery machines didn’t need to be huge monsters either, as time went on and the 1980’s rolled into the 1990’s, home sewing machines were starting to incorporate computer technology in them. Fancy stitches were first on the scene, but before long, full embroidery units were attachable to your home sewing machine and before long, anyone could purchase an embroidery machine and start producing finished product on a small scale. As home embroidery units became more popular, digitizing companies started to develop designs that could be used by these home units and providing even more options for the home embroiderer. Today, not only can you purchase designs, but computers are powerful enough and technology is advanced enough, full digitizing programs are out on the market allowing home design and stitching of just about anything your heart desires.
Full disclosure requires me to admit that I use Floriani Total Control U software for all my digitizing needs. I also use a Viking Diamond embroidery / sewing machine and a Brother 10 needle embroidery machine.
Machines & software images are not an endorsement of products. These images have been obtained by Google Images.©