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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been an embroiderer for many years now, but I had a contract customer recently question me on my choice to use connection stitches between lettering on fonts. He used to own his own embroidery company, and he didn't like the look of those small stitches between letters. Of course I explained that time is money, and having a lot of trims not only costs time, but also invites threading issues.

I asked him if he'd ever had a customer complain about the connection stitches, and he said "no". I asked him if he ever did a time comparison between a design that had the connection stitches, and the exact design with trims and jumps instead - again he said "no".

I can perfectly understand removing them if they compromise the overall quality of the design, but our method of digitizing has always been to remove as many trims as possible to save time and hopefully machine down-time.

I'm curious if anyone uses a rule of thumb for an appropriate length for these connection stitches, or if we're one of the few companies who uses them. I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to avoid as many trims as possible. Am I way off base here? I certainly don't want to be compromising quality either.
 

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Between using closest point connect fonts, and a Sharpie to hide the connecting stitch when the color allows the amount of connecting stitches visible can be greatly minimized. But some customers are just hyper picky. Mark up the price for the hyper picky ones and hide the cost instead of adding it as a line item charge. :)
 

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From a production stand point, connect whenever possible, and if it doesn't look possible, make it possible.
Not only does a trim add time, but you'll have more chances of thread breaks during the "uncertainty" of the 7-10 stitches following a trim, while the top thread hooks up with the bobbin thread, not to mention you standing there by the tension knobs for another 15-20 stitches until you see for yourself the tension is ok.
The less you have of these trim-resume cycles, the longer your needle bar is pounding the needle plate, which is when you really make money.
 

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Sandy,
Guess I'm in the minority here, but I rarely use connecting stitches. And I absolutely hate to see them from other embroidery shops (no offense meant-just a thing of mine). I do use them if the lettering is so small you can't see them or, like John, you can hide them with a sharpie, but otherwise, I won't do it. I've gotten lots of business from people who don't know the difference until they see the difference. Yes, I am fussy, so I'd never give a customer what I , personally , wouldn't wear. On the other side, I don't have a big shop(just 3 heads so my orders are rarely over 75 or so), so I prefer to take my time and do things my way. If I had employees, major overhead, orders in the hundreds, etc, it might be different, but , like I said, I have gotten many comments when a customer sees the difference. Don't worry what the rest of us do, do what makes you happy. That's why we all work for ourselves:)
 

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Another thing to consider is the overall runtime of the design. If you are hooping 12 cap backs or full size jackets and adding extra trims gives or takes away time for keeping up with productivity, Take the best path. If you have the oportunity to alter artwork to be more efficient so that you can charge less and meet a deadline and keep quality, Discus with the client or "sell" them on it. Like Daniel said, Make it possible.
 

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I guess it really depends on the design and where it will be as well. Consider a left breast logo on a polo with a lot of trims. Every trim is a tie off against the skin of the person wearing it. Guess what, those things make the design scratchy.

We like the look of a machine trim better than a hand trim but we try to hide the jumps whenever possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The "itchy" factor is another reason I do connection stitches. When we first opened years ago, we did children's clothing exclusively....and you talk about picky...those 4 and 5 year olds will fall in love with beautiful embroidery and then turn on a dime if they put it on and it scratches. We make it standard practice to put a super soft iron-on backing behind any stitching done for kids, and eliminate as many trims (and subsequent knots) as possible.

Don't get me wrong. We are very picky about our work, and many reasons people use us (and have become loyal to us) is because they were unhappy with their former embroiderer. We won't compromise quality, but if we can tweak a design to make it run more productively, we'll do it every time!
 

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Alternatively, you can put tie-ins/tie-offs on either side of the connection and then snip them while the next design is sewing out. This is what I tend to do. I agree with the whole run time and itchy issues and hand trimming after ensuring the design won't unravel works for me.
 
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