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Digitizing for Embroidery

What is Digitizing


We get a lot of questions from new customers about what is digitizing, and why am I being charged for this. They  usually ask "Can't you just take my image file and load it into your machine." Believe me, I wish it were that easy. Your image file you send us, is usually in a JPG  (pronounced "Jay-Peg"), or other bitmap format, that may look good on your computer screen, or printed out on your inkjet printer. The problem is that all embroidery machines, commercial or home, cannot read or understand these files. They require a set of special commands such as thread color change, move the fabric to a certain location to sew out stitches, tie-in-tie-off the thread to make sure that it does not pull out of the fabric, distance between stitches and many other commands. A JPG image file does not have these special commands. A human, we call them Digitizers, has to use a special program, in some cases costing more than the embroidery machine itself, to convert your JPG image file into those embroidery machine commands. This is called "Digitizing", and this takes years of experience and skill to perform these tasks to product high quality machine readable files. All embroidery shops, not just ours, have to go through this digitizing process.

Ann's Embroidery & Quilting offers in house digitizing for customers with fast turnaround, and take your creativity to new heights. We use the industry standard digitizing software, Wilcom. Wilcom was the first computerized software introduced in the early 80's, to generate the highest quality stitches and lettering. Unlike some other shops who utilize foreign digitizers, and long turn-a-round times, we use an in-house digitizer with over 15 years experience. This allows for fast turn around times and quick changes to your design if needed.

Normal cost for digitizing standard artwork is $4 per 1000 stitches. This service can include art work prep and design if needed at a higher cost. If the artwork is complex, or requires special techniques, the cost will be higher. The artwork you supply must meet certain guidelines listed below.

  •    No Web Art
  •    No Business Cards
  •    No Sewed Out Designs
  •    No Fax's
  •    Must be Flat, no curved surfaces
  •    No cell phone pictures
  •    At least 300 DPI and at or near the size needed
  •    Acceptable graphic formats: PNG, JPG, TIF, ai, cdr etc.
  •    No copyrighted material without proper release from image owner
  •    We will not reproduce logos from professional sports teams, colleges, car companies, or images from Disney, Harley-Davidson, etc.
Remember that just because it can be printed, it is no sign that it can be digitized and sewn out. There are physical limits of size and detail.

Open the door to endless possibilities at Ann's Embroidery and Quilting!