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I am a screen printer looking to buy an embroidery machine and I wasn't quite sure how difficult digitizing is going to be. I am pretty good with designing logos in illustrator and I was sure if I would have to outsource all of my digitizing or not. Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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Digitizing for embroidery- and graphic design for tshirts- are two entirely different creatures. They require different types of programs with different functionality.

It is also not something you learn to do overnight. You don't sit down, digitize, and embroider---just like that. At least not producing anything of any quality.

My advice---you will want to either buy your designs while you learn or outsource the digitizing for custom designs. I've been embroidering for almost 2 years and only paid for digitizing 6 designs, and my personal library consists of over 3500 designs now. I outsourced because I wanted 6 VERY specific designs.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
:rolleyes:


 

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If you are using a PC, corel has a program that works with corelDraw. Basically you copy paste into in and it digitizes it for you and you adjust density, stitch type ect. Its really easy and works well for a lot of designs. If you send out a design to have it digitized it only cost you about $15, and that still less than you pay for one screen.
 

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Corel along with other inexpensive digitizing software are an Auto-Digitizing Program. Unless you have experience digitizing IMO these programs will hurt you more than they will help you. I use Corel DraWings X3 Pro and Pulse DG ML daily, with my knowledge I can use the Corel and manipulate it to sew out the way that I want the design to, I learned this over the course of a year. Without a good knowledge of the Pulse and how to properly digitize the Corel would be very very inferior and poor in quality.

If need be IMO you are much better off using a quality outsourced digitizer, save your $$ to purchase or purchase a quality digitizing program like Pulse Microsystems DG ML, Wilcom or another that allows you to digitize and edit. Then WATCH the professionally digitized items sew and take notes.

Take the time and attend the provided training that comes with your software, if they do not provide training don' buy it IMO.

As has been stated digitizing IS NOT a drawing/photo/graphic arts program for printing. It is an art-form unto itself that takes knowledge of fabrics, backings, underlays, toppings to create successful quality embroidery.

Above all it takes dedication to master. ;)
 

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Start by paying someone to digitize. You will learn quick by watching there sew outs. Also just practice and see what works and what does not. Just do NOT expect it to be something that you will learn overnight, but you will be able to do basic logos pretty easy.
 

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No offense to Brian, but Bob is right on this one. Auto digitizing will not give you professional results and should only be used on very basic stuff. A good digitizer will bring you more business and help you grow.
And a good digitizer can make the design sew faster...by mapping out the whole process.
 

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Thanks this helps alot. I was looking into a getting a used swf 15 needle single head. My only other concern was that it almost seems too easy to be true. From what I have read if you get you outsource you designs all you have to do is load the shirt and let the machine do the work. Is there anything else that I should worry about during the production process. It just seems so easy compared to the screen printing process.

Thanks
Jethro
 

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Thanks this helps alot. I was looking into a getting a used swf 15 needle single head. My only other concern was that it almost seems too easy to be true. From what I have read if you get you outsource you designs all you have to do is load the shirt and let the machine do the work. Is there anything else that I should worry about during the production process. It just seems so easy compared to the screen printing process.

Thanks
Jethro
Less messy than screen printing but not necessarily easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What do you think makes it so difficult? Is it getting the settings right? Do threads break alot or something?


Thanks
 

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Its not that tough. Jump in and see what you can do, ask the forum about what isn't working the way you want it to, and before long you'll be great at it. P.S. for the paying jobs at first buy it done so you can watch the way it's put together, learn everything you can as you go. :)
 

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I agree with start off outsourcing your jobs less headaches. I have auto digitizing software from Embroidery Office and I wish I hadn't bought it.

I outsource all my logos and have turned out fabulous results compared to what I was doing.

If its something simple letters or monograms that are already preload in my software I will use it .
 

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I agree with start off outsourcing your jobs less headaches. I have auto digitizing software from Embroidery Office and I wish I hadn't bought it.

I outsource all my logos and have turned out fabulous results compared to what I was doing.

If its something simple letters or monograms that are already preload in my software I will use it .
I hope you're not relying on the auto digitizing tools only, which have their place, but it's not even 25% of what you can do with the other tools you have in your software. I'm sure you can get classes in Tampa if you'd ever like to learn what else you can do with your software.
 

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It's not quite that easy to just load the shirt and let it sew, you also need to learn what stabalizer to use with different materials, using the wrong backing will ruin a shirt. Get a reference book until you gain experiance with stabalizers.
 

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Don't depend on auto digitizing for good designs
Even if you outsourced all of your digitizing you still need to have the ability to edit designs
I'm a Pulse user and can't advise on any other software. Pulse is very good and has many levels.
Being able to do your own names and simple lettering is important.
 

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If embroidery were that easy....everyone would be either a digitizer or an embroiderer! LOL Digitizing is a skill that is definitely learned over time, and the learning curve is steep. You literally have to immerse yourself in the craft, practice a lot, and study, study, study. I've been digitizing full time for about 4 years now and there are still so many things I want to know!

But digitizing is just one part. You really can't consider yourself an embroiderer until you understand fabrics, stabilizers, pull compensation, density, the various types of threads, the different types and sizes of needles, thread tensions....shall I go on??? I guess it boils down to how good you want to be. I think you could probably load the machine and get it to stitch something, but stitching something you will be able to sell is an entirely different matter - and even more importantly - troubleshooting when something goes wrong will be an enormous frustration to you if you don't spend the necessary time learning the things mentioned above.

Now that I've said all of this, it definitely CAN be done - but don't go in blind. Honestly, I feel sorry for people who go to these weekend seminars thinking they will come out a digitizer. The reality is that it just isn't going to happen.
 

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As others have said, you will be better off $$-wise by outsourcing your digitizing in the beginning. You will send out better quality, thus almost guaranteeing return business.

With that being said--your digitized design is only ONE piece of the puzzle. Someone else mentioned threads, backing, TOPPING, knowing the fabric you are stitching on, pull & density, hooping your blank.....the list DOES go on. These are ALL parts of puzzle to embroidering a quality piece of work.

Please take ALL of these into consideration when you begin your process.

I embroider...I don't digitize. Because I choose to be the end process as opposed to the designing. I leave the digitizing up to those who do it, and do it WELL. They are Masters of Their Craft. Most of them, if not all----that's how they make their money. Digitizing and selling their designs. I buy my designs to be used as I see fit (following their TOA), and pay them for THEIR work.;)
 
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