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The Ins and Outs of High-Volume Embroidery

(April 2007) posted on Mon Apr 02, 2007

This article discusses the equipment and accessories involved in the process and describes the floor plans that will help you optimize the embroidery workflow.


By Sherry Higgins

click an image below to view slideshow

To digitize, you don't have to be an artist, but you must have good artwork. In the beginning, start with the easier designs and build up to more difficult decorations. Your abilities will grow as you experiment and learn what works and what doesn't. You should have between six months and one year of real-world embroidery sewing experience before attempting to digitize your designs. In the meantime, you can outsource work to a professional digitizer—or hire one.

Most manufacturers include digitizing software with the purchase of embroidery machines, but you also can purchase software separately. Most, if not all, digitizing packages include lettering and editing functions, but some have more bells and whistles. Use the software that came with your machine(s), and don't buy any additional software until you know what you need and want.

Training to use digitizing software typically takes about four days in smaller class sizes of four to ten people and is usually included with the purchase of the software. Lettering and editing are taught first because the user must learn how to import, manipulate, and add text to stock designs and to have them sew properly before they learn to digitize. In addition, they must learn how the machine works and how good and bad designs sew on the machines. A good digitizer knows how to maximize the efficiency of every design. The digitizer's goal is to have the design run efficiently, with as few trims and machine movements as possible. After all, efficiency equals profitability.

The embroidery workflow

High-volume embroidery shops require fast production and optimal efficiency. When considering the layout and configuration of your shop, make sure it provides for a clear workflow to make every job and transition a smooth one and to create efficient production and reduce downtime. Let's start with the single-head layout.


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