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EMBROIDERY Q & A: Tips and Tricks to Save You Time, Money, and Maybe Even Your Sanity

(April 2008) posted on Tue Apr 22, 2008

Stuck on a stitch? Dealing with a daunting design? The advice presented here can help you overcome some of the challenges you may face in the production of embroidered goods.

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By Malcolm Eckel, Sherry Higgins

Another way to prevent buildup is the proper use of underlay. A netting underlay works well for simple fill areas. A cross-hatch underlay provides great stability for the top stitching and is a favorite underlay for fill areas for many embroiderers. If the fill area is a very complex shape, or if it has lots of void areas, the netting underlay may sometimes be too haphazard to provide good results. If this is the case, then you should choose a packing or full packing underlay. Both create an underlay that is perpendicular to the top stitching. The full packing also does an edge walk. Using proper underlay and sewing your fills in one direction will alleviate your challenge with this issue.


Q: I am running a design that is lettering only. It is three words, and these words contain 23 letters. I’m trimming between all the letters, which is really slowing down my production. Do you have any suggestions?

A: Excessive trimming can really slow down your production, thus cutting into your profits. If you are only running one or two items, the production value of the design is not that much of an issue. Production value becomes more and more important as the orders get larger. For example, when doing font lettering, it’s best to reduce the kerning and make the letters close enough to each other where trimming between each letter becomes unnecessary, leaving only the trims between each word. In this case, you reduce the number of trims from 23 to three. The machine takes about seven seconds to stop, trim, and then get back up to full running speed. Eliminate 20 trims and multiply that by seven and you’ll save about 140 seconds. That’s more than two minutes per design! While not that big of a deal when running one design, this reduction over the course of 200 pieces represents more than seven and a half hours of run time. That’s a big difference.


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