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Vector conversion vs true digitisation

March 2, 2018

What does that even mean? And more importantly, what does it mean to you, the customer?


Ok.....so lets start at the very beginning, you decide its time to invest in some smart new polo shirts for your company with your logo on. You select the company you want to do this for you and they ask you send over an image of your logo. Now here's where it gets interesting! There are two main routes to go down from this point......vector conversion and true old school digitisation. One is an complex skill, mastered only with time and experience and the other....well its like letting the computer guess for you. Or your car park itself. Or Tesco decide what shopping to send to you based on what you ordered last week. 


Vector conversion is just that. The software takes a vector image and converts it in to "stitches" (essentially a file that when sent to an embroidery machine tells it exactly where to stitch and when to change colour etc etc). Now I'm sure in some cases this works very well. But how does it know? How does it know what fabric you are stitching on to? How does it know that the thickness of a line is going to stitch exactly as it appears on the original image? Because embroidery is a funny old thing and all is never quite as it seems. Your logo on the screen can look perfect, but stitch it up and who knows what its going to turn out like! This is because different fabrics react in different ways. Stitches push and pull the fabric depending on what direction they travel in. Sometimes you need a different type of underlay (small stitches that go down first to hold the fabric in place) or it needs to be in a different direction, Or it needs to be 0.5mm smaller. Or 0.1mm further away from the edge. All very technical you see and even the smallest tweak can make the biggest difference.


Now when it comes to digitisation (the posh word for turning an image into stitches) the best way to do this is using software such as Wilcom (in our opinion the best there is!). This is a specialist software which allows you to essentially "re-draw" the image using various tools. It gives much more flexibility to the user meaning the ball is back in your court and you are much more in control of the outcome. You tell it where to stitch, what underlay to put down, when to change colour, when to tie in and tie off. All your decision. No guess work. All based on the knowledge and experience of the user.


Here at The Embroidery Shed all of our digitisation is done in house using the Wilcom package. This means we have a greater control on the outcome. Every design is sampled and tweaked and resampled until we are 100% happy with how it looks. All before you even get to see it. Many companies outsource this process (hence you are charged for design set ups) but we do it all ourselves to ensure we deliver exactly what you are expecting every time. We can make changes within minutes to ensure we get speedy approval from you the customer, and your orders turned round as quickly as possible.




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