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What is Embroidery Digitization?

Digitizing is the process that converts your image file into a workable embroidery file. The common misconception in the industry by the end customer is that their artwork is already digitized (unless it has been digitized for embroidery). In the age of the PC the word digitizing has come to mean many things. It is the hopes of this article to clear up what digitizing means to the embroidery field.


Modern day embroidery is done by stitching machines that must have a proper embroidery format to complete the task. Many types of formats are accepted by embroidery digitization artist. There are therefore to many to mention within this article but for the sake of explaining we can narrow this down into two groups: Bitmap & Vector art types.


Bitmap Artwork is very common through out the Internet. The definition of bitmap is: "The method of storing information that maps an image pixel, bit by bit". This can be a bit confusing. Bitmap image are simply 10-1000's of pixels (dots) used to create an image (digital cameras typically use a bitmap format). With the use of pixels there are limitations. Size & resolutions being one of the major drawbacks. When working with websites, graphics are often made for one size and one size only. Bitmaps work great for this and are typically smaller in byte size then any other form of artwork which can be used on websites. However it is not common place to use bitmaps in print work as they cannot be resized with any efficiency. Jpeg is a common format for bitmap artwork.


Vector Artwork is a much more recent technology. The definition of vector artwork is: "Artwork that uses a mathematical language to describe color, shape, and placement information of the individual components of an image". This is confusing as well, but fairly simple to understand. Vector uses math to create its images. Therefore it can resized to any sizes (smaller or larger) without losing its quality. This makes vector the perfect medium for print work as one original piece of artwork can be used for business cards as well as billboards. EPS is a common format for vector artwork.


Vector artwork is much more preferred in the embroidery image as it can typically be imported into the digitizers software. This is not to say bitmap cannot be accepted or that the digitizers job is done once receiving vector artwork. All artwork whether bitmap or vector must be manually converted into a stitch file. A stitch file actually contains the stitch patterns and thread colors for the sew out. You see an image must be manually worked up to threads. This process is called digitizing. This is why you will often see a one time price for artwork digitization. It is suggested you have your digitization done by the same company you will be getting your contract embroidery done at.


Matthew Hurst of Nu Emage contract embroidery


Source: www.articlesbase.com