Life Before the Embroidery Digitizer
Imagine how the world would be without digitizers for embroidery or the manufacturing process by which a routine is made for a sewing machine to follow. Every piece of work would be unique from every other. The embroidery digitizer has made it possible to repeat the same exact product time and again without hand sewing designs to a pattern. For many years, few pieces of clothing even had designs on them because it was a difficult task to achieve.
Life Before Digitizing
One thing that is different today than when digitizing was just an idea in someone's mind is there are fewer people who have the hand stitching talents to manually make emblems and designs. The use of patterns to hand mark on material where the stitches should go was not so much a talent as was the actual work.
Even when a design was done many times over, every stitch had to be meticulously accomplished to make a design that was acceptable to the employer and the end user. Of course, the time required to complete any involved design was much longer than could be expected today, and no matter how skilled the crafter, the stitch lengths were prone to variation and error. The people who did that work were real artists, and those with the best abilities were highly sought after.
From the purchaser's standpoint, getting a personalized emblem on clothing was an expense that few people would pay. Many of the embroidered items seen were done by a family member whose skills and time available to do the work were limited.
Free Motion Embroidery
The invention of the zigzag sewing machine brought embroidery to a new level. Again, this was based primarily on how adept a person was at doing things manually. It was limited in much of the designs that could be accomplished, but the person who could skillfully maneuver the material while the sewing machine was running did very good work.
Often designs were, and still are, a combination of sewing machine work and some basic hand stitching for the minor details. Designs made in this way are fraught with error and the lack of continuity. As sewing machines evolved and were capable of more stitch variations, it became faster for the skilled artist to produce designs that were nearly identical each time.
Early Punch Tape Design
Commercially, it was impossible to expect a sewing machine operator to continually do the work with enough accuracy to make the customers happy, and it took too long even for a good operator to complete involved designs. That is why the punch tape came into being. While it was slow to do a layout, once completed, the design could be reproduced many times.
The one thing that is clear is that digitizers for embroidery have made the process faster and allowed for fewer mistakes than the old methods. There is still a need for artistic and skillful people to do the work of the Custom Embroidery Designs, but the results are much more controlled because of the modern processes.
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