Fine detail embroidery designs are becoming refined, improved and also increasingly popular. They turn out pretty great but they also make the process complex for embroiderers and embroidery digitizers. As long as there is demand for fine detail designs, there is not much you can do, as an embroidery digitizer, other than mastering the art of fine detail embroidery digitizing.

A few years from now, working with lightweight threads was not so common and you rarely needed to know a thing about dealing with them. Things are not the same now and every now and then you have to deal with small letters and complex logos. Therefore, here are our six tips for every embroidery digitizer and embroider to do deal with fine detail embroidery digitizing with confidence and authority:

Higher Stitch Density:

When you are working on fine detail designs, threads used are generally thinner than the standard ones. The standard thread that is mostly used is No.40 thread. Most commonly, a No.60 thread is used when embroiderers are dealing with fine detail designs. When you are dealing with light weight threads, stitch density needs to be adjusted accordingly.

No. 60 thread is approximately 25%-30% thinner than a No.40 thread. This dictates that stitch density will be increased in approximately same proportion. Most of the times, thinner threads will only be used on a portion of the whole design. In this case, only increase the density of that specific portion.

stitch density in embroidery digitizing

Manufacturers often provide stitch density with threads. To avoid the confusion, simply use this density. Apart from the great results, thinner threads will also improve your profits. Mostly embroidery digitizing projects are priced in terms of stitch count. Increasing the density means increasing stitch counts, which lets you bag better profits for the same project.

Underlay Choice:

strong underlay

Designs with thinner threads and small letters can easily sink into the fabric. To avoid this from happening, a strong underlay is therefore used. An underlay is sewn in the color of the fabric. There is no hard and fast rule for the type of underlay you should use while dealing with fine detail designs in embroidery digitizing. Any underlay that can sustain your design on the fabric is good enough. The most common choices with such designs are center walk and edge walk underlay.

Underlay choice in embroidery digitizing is also influenced by the type of fabric that is being used. Consider you are digitizing an embroidery design on a slippery and lofty material like knit. The tendency for fine designs to sink-in is greater with these type of fabrics. So, taking this into account, a wise choice would be a solid and strong underlay. This will form a great foundation for small design resulting in clear and nice sew-out at the end.

Thread Path Considerations:

thread paths in small lettering

While dealing with intricate fine designs in embroidery digitizing, the focus of an embroidery digitizer should be to keep the thread paths simple. Small lettering should be dealt in the most natural way. A letter should be digitized like most people would write that particular letter.

Which part of the letter ‘D’ would you write first?

If you are like most people, your answer is going to be, the tall line on left. Digitizing embroidery designs this way will keep you mindful of the shapes of letters and you will easily spot the point that is nearest to the next letter. By keeping letters close, you will be able to keep the number of trims low as a small stitch moving from one letter to another will largely go unnoticed.

Simple Fonts:

With small lettering, you should always prefer going with simpler fonts in embroidery digitizing. It will not only simplify things for you but will also improve readability of the design. Using a fancy font will not contribute to the aesthetics of the design, as it will only jumble things up in the limited space. Similarly, if you get your hands on a complex designs, with unnecessary curves, you should try to make things simple and subtle by removing such details.

Anything, that halts readability due to its complexity should be replaced with simpler alternatives in embroidery digitizing. Your top most preference should be to keep the letters readable.

Choosing Needles:

machine embroidery needles

Using the same needles with thinner threads as you use with thicker threads is not recommended at all. Bigger needles with thinner threads will damage the fabric by piercing it. Therefore, pair thinner threads with smaller needles which can serve the intended purpose without damaging the fabric. For No.60 thread, a 65/9 needle is generally used.

If you are dealing with special materials like caps, the above statement doesn’t always stand true. Fabric for caps is already thick which is further amplified by the thickness of backing. Smaller leaders, therefore, should not be used in such cases.

Dealing With Different Fabrics:

As embroiderers and digitizers, you do not have much choice with the fabric. It is something that will be told to you by the customer but there are variables that you can control for a smooth sew-out on any fabric. While dealing with slippery and unstable fabrics, one way of going about it is to have a solid underlay that serves as a stable foundation for the design. Another option is to use water soluble toppings in this case.
These tips should be adequate to deal with intricate projects. anyway, it is not possible to master a skill, without testing and getting hands-on experience. Stick with these tips and you will be good to at least take a start. If you would like to add something, do share that with us and our other readers in the comment section.

Stay tuned for similar articles and to know more, see our guide on embroidery digitizing designs. For professional assistance with embroidery digitizing, reach us.