In order to use computer graphics for embroidery, the artwork must be transformed into a special embroidery format so that it can be created in thread. To achieve this, the artwork is transformed from a standard image format such as JPEG, GIF or WMF to a special file format designed for embroidery machines, which contain information on sewing order, stitch lengths and colors.
With an Automatic Digitizing program such as Buzz-2-Stitches, you rely on the software to read in your graphics file and create your embroidery stitch file, mostly on it’s own. The key to success is having graphics that are easy for your auto-digitizing software to recognize so that the software can do the work for you.
In general, if you see a fuzzy garbled image, you’ll get the same junk (or worse) out. But don’t worry, once you understand the factors that impact how well the software can process your graphics (and how to improve them) you will be on your way to easy auto digitizing with Buzz-2-Stitches.
This article discusses which graphics might and might not work for auto-digitizing. Create or select your graphics following these guidelines to ensure that it will be successful as an embroidery design.
The first thing you need to consider, is the type of graphics format you have available to you. Graphics files are generally classified as raster (bitmaps) or vector. Within each category, there are numerous file types which are just different ways of storing the graphic information. The Buzz-2-Stiches program automates the process of creating an embroidery design from a computer graphic. To do this, your design is generated from a standard graphic format such as JPEG, GIF, PNG or WMF to the specific format required by your embroidery machine. (Click here for the complete list of formats supported by Buzz-2-Stitches)
Embroidery machine formats are very different from graphic formats because they contain instructions on sewing stitches, stitch sequences and thread colors. The process of auto-digitizing translates the pixels of the graphic into a physical work of art with all the beauty and limitations that thread imposes.
NOTE: Because your design will be recreated in actual threads, some graphics just won't work. Computer graphics and cameras do all sorts of things that are impossible with a needle and thread. For example, you can't stitch a transparency or a subtle shade gradation. Other graphics may be too complex, too detailed, or contain lines what are too thin. Therefore, it's helpful to know what to look for when selecting your graphic.
Once you know what graphics format you can use, you need to look at the resolution of the graphic. Resolution refers to the number of dots per inch and it is critical to your design creation. Your image should be around 300 dots per inch (DPI) and no less than 150 DPI. If your graphic doesn't list DPI, just look for the number of pixel in the graphic and do the math. A four inch square graphic at 300 DPI would be about 1200 x 1200 pixels (or dots).
Your embroidery won't look any better if you use a graphic with a higher DPI. In fact it might look worse since graphics that are too large are automatically scaled down by Buzz-2-Stitches which may cause a loss of details. Graphics that are too low resolution are scaled up which causes fuzzy details and blurred or jagged edges.
To find out the size of the graphic, hover the cursor over the top of the graphic in the Buzz-2-Stitches Choose Input Graphics Files dialog. The graphic information is shown in a pop-up window.
Finding the DPI
Below is an example of two graphics of the same design. When opened in Buzz-2-Stitches, you will notice that the graphic with 300 DPI has sharp, crisp lines which will create a better embroidery design.
See what happened when we created an embroidery design using the above two graphics. The settings in Buzz-2-Stitches were identical, only the resolution (or DPI) of the graphic changed.
This fuzzy image doesn't produce a good result because the auto-digitizing software can't make out any clean details.
So when you request a graphic from a customer, search for clip art or creating the graphic yourself, you will need to find a file type supported by Buzz-2-Stitches and an appropriate DPI.