If you reading this blog post, you are likely a novice embroiderer with a small home-based embroidery machine.
Contrary to what you would expect, there are few technical essentials that require adherence while operating computerized embroidery machine.

Also read:  11 Things You Should Check Before Buying An Embroidery Machine

Obviously, the process is now easy and smooth. Still, it takes more than merely importing the design file and turning on the machine button. Pretty much like a printer!

I too wish it was this simple but it is not and there are essentials to operate computerized embroidery machine.

The sooner you get yourself familiar with them, the better it is!

Before the introduction starts getting lame and you are caught by some ‘internet distraction cake’, here are 4 essentials of operating computerized embroidery machine:

1. Saving Digitized File In Machine Format:

learning how to operate computerized embroidery machine

If you are just starting out as an embroider, it is recommended to outsource your embroidery digitizing. Firstly, you will not have the resources to digitize in-house when you are just starting out. Secondly, you won’t have the technical expertise to digitize on your own or evaluate the work of an in-house digitizer.

Look out for a decent embroidery digitizing service and discuss long-term collaboration with them.

Also Read: 5 Tips to Outsource a Quality Digitizing Service

If you are already working with  digitizing services provider, here is how you can get the best from them.

Ensure that digitized files are done right as it will impact the output of your embroidery. Once you receive the digitized files they are still not stitch-ready. The thing that makes the process complex is that the digitizing software format and machine format are not mutually compatible.

This means that the format in which the files are sent to you by the embroidery digitizer needs to be converted to a format, which can be read by your machine.

2. Dictate Embroidery Machine with Manual Input:

manually operating embroidery machine

When an embroidery digitizer creates the stitch file, he is including a lot of details that the machine reads on its own. Details like stitch density, type of stitch, push and pull compensation are already incurred while the digitized file is being prepared.

Embroidery process consists of various variants that are different for every machine and arrangement.

The computerized embroidery machine operator primarily needs to define orientation and needles which need to be used. Each needle is sequentially numbered and threaded with a different color.

The machine software will tell the operator about different colors that are to be used in each segment of the design. In parallel, the machine also provides a numbered list of different segments in a design.
Now, the operator has the schedule of segments along with the color that is needed for each segment.

The job of the operator here is to manually assign each segment of the design a particular needle and hence, a particular color.

3. Framing The Fabric For Embroidery:

framing the fabric with hoop in machine embroidery

Like hand embroidery, computerized embroidery also requires a hoop for proper framing of the embroidered space. The purpose of the hoop is to stabilize the fabric so it does not move when the needle is pierced through it.

The position of stitches is decided by the coordinates on the panto-graph. So, it is important to keep the fabric stable in a way that it remains aligned with panto-graph from start to the end of sew-out.

Often, the stabilization provided by the hoop is not adequate. To avoid-in hoop movement of the fabric, use stabilizers. Choose stabilizers wisely as any stabilizer will not work with every fabric and design. Frame the stabilizer with the fabric inside the hoop.

For more details see: Important Guidelines For Choosing Embroidery Stabilizers

4. Knowing The  Embroidery Process:

Embroidery machine

Once, everything is in order, you can now start the machine and wait for the sewing process to be complete. Do make sure that threads are correctly threaded, embroidering platform is clean and the machine has gone through weekly maintenance.

Such small things are easy to ignore. Before the sew-out, make sure that small bits of the process, are ready and in place. Therefore, always remember to check such small things as they do play a part in determining the overall quality of your work.

Computerized embroidery machine uses the conventional lock stitch. Normally, it has multiple heads structured with multiple needles.

A single head typically has 15 needles, each mounted with a different color. A single head is responsible for embroidering a single design.This means that a design with as much as 15 different colors can be easily embroidered in a single go by only employing one head.

If, occasionally,  a 16th color is required, re-thread an existing needle. Stopping the process and restarting it again after re-threading slows down the process. Consequently, such complex designs bring the production rates down for embroiderers.

Continue Getting Better Every day…….

It is inevitable to go off these absolute basics of operating a computerized embroidery, but they are not adequate. To completely grasp the working, at least once go through the user manual of the machine. Apart from this, attend trainings and workshops that are designed for teaching the embroiderers. There are plenty of online as well as hands on training sessions availabale. Do your research and decide what sits best with you.

Alongside, it is important to understand that getting adept with the embroidery process takes time.  It is a gradual process. You can’t just gulp all the information available, expecting to digest it and becoming a great embroider next morning.

There are various variables of the process. Like stabilizers, thread choice, needles that will work great with a particular fabric or design.

It does not matter if you are making mistakes. The only important thing is that you are learning and remaining mindful of the process as well as related variables. Let us know in comments if you found this article useful and have anything else to add.

Reach us for professional assistance with digitizing embroidery designs. Our team of professional embroidery digitizers has got all the experience and skills on their hands that you will ever need.