The concept about Push and Pull compensation is hard to grasp for the beginners in embroidery digitizing. People with knowledge about fabrics and their types can be fast learners. Unfortunately, for a majority of embroidery digitizers, learning fabrics has never been a part of their training. Many home sewers can distinguish between a knit fabric and woven fabric. Most novice embroiderers lack this knowledge hence they make blunders, in bulk!

Here we’ll discuss three types of fabrics commonly used in the embroidery industry.

Types of Fabric

Woven Fabric

Any fabric formed by weaving two or more threads on a loom is a woven fabric. Common examples of cloths made out of such fabric are denim shirts, pants, and jackets. A tote bag, Carhartt jacket, towels, bathrobes, thin nylon, and napkins are woven on looms. These fabrics are pretty much stable and do not stretch a lot.

Knit Fabrics

Knitted fabrics are made on the principle of knitting by needles. The clothes made out of them are flexible and stretchy. Common examples are socks, caps, sweaters, woolen caps and gloves. Knitted fabrics can stretch a lot and they must be compensated during embroidery digitizing.

Terry Cloth

Working with the terry can be a nightmare and it can be a knit or woven fabric. There are three types of terry, the light, medium and heavyweight terry. The usage of underlay and the pull compensation depends upon the weight of the fabric, design shape and embroidery size.

Push and Pull Compensation

The push and pull compensation is a word you hear a lot in embroidery digitizing. It does not matter in hand embroidery because the embroiderer manages it manually. The machines, however, do not have any understanding of the fabric if it is stretching or not. Hence, it needs controlling during embroidery digitizing.

Push and Pull Compensation

When the needle goes down through the fabric it is known as the stitch penetration point. Upon penetrating the fabric, the needle thread is met by the bobbin thread and as the two connect, they make a pulling effect.

The pull effect is magnified on a long stitch or a stretchy fabric. Managing the effect is known as pull compensation. Every embroiderer requires the exact stitching on fabric, just like the design is visible in the digitized file. This is a reason why every digitizer needs to understand the fabric’s characteristics.

During embroidery digitizing, the digitizer manages the compensation keeping in view the fabric to be used by the embroiderer. When working with shapes, many times the square or the circle do not form perfectly and you’ll notice bunching or pushing around the corners. Most fabrics require compensation to be added, as all types of stitches cause push and pull but it can be mostly seen with the satin stitch.

When stitching over a large area the push and pull effect matters a lot. If you are using long stitches you’ll face more pull inside from the edges. Knit fabrics are commonly known for their pulling, hence, the embroiderer has to keep the production under constant monitoring. Woven fabrics do not present such challenges because they aren’t as stretchy so they shrink less.

The open end of the design, usually the borders experience the push effect on the opposite side of the penetration area. You must work to bring them in by cutting them short, adjusting the push compensation. It does not matter if you are working with letters or specific shapes. It matters with the angles of the shapes.

Factors Determining How Much Compensation to Use

During embroidery digitizing the first question to ponder about is, how stretchy the fabric is? How much underlay is being used and what type is it? What is the width of your segment?

If your column or satin stitch is 2 mm wide, all you need to do is, add about 0.15 mm to the width. If your satin stitch is 5 to 6 mm wide, you might need to add around 0.25 to 0.30 mm depending upon the fabric’s ability to stretch. On very stretchy fabric such as pique, you might need to add as much as 0.40 mm pull compensation. To manage the push compensation, you need to cut back the push proportionally equal to the amount of pull added.

Knit fabrics are more challenging than woven fabrics, they are very stretchy and shrink during embroidery. This is the reason why a lot of emphasis is on compensating the pull during the digitizing process. The extra width put in to manage shrinking is the actual pull compensation you add.

If you are going to sew the same design on a denim shirt and a golf shirt, you will need to design two separate files. Denim is woven while the golf shirt is made from knit fabric. Both fabrics have different push and pull compensation hence you cannot use the same file for them.

Every Machine Demands Different Adjustments

There are many different software and machines being operated in the industry so adjustments have to be made. The latest machines have a very different stitching result than the older machines which complicates digitizing. Adjustments are required on the same design when running it on two different machines. To compensate, adjustments can either be with the underlay or the pull compensation.

Different software have their own modes to measure, some offer choices in percentage, absolute or in column width. Hence, you need to learn how your system works and then manage adjustments to get the exact values you need. Things can be different if you are using your own underlay as the auto option sets standard values. If you are placing a 0.15 mm inset distance for the underlay, it will cause the distance to increase by 0.15 mm from the needle penetration point on auto settings.

Seasoned digitizers have no problem working on any software and fulfilling the requirements of embroiderers. Only the novice and intermediate digitizers can mistake the values causing blunders during the production process.

We at Absolute Digitizing, a leading digitization agency having a team of expert digitizers are capable to handle all intricacies with ease. If you are looking to outsource embroidery digitizing, then you have reached at the right place. Our prices are the lowest in the industry at only $1/1000 stitches. We can provide you flawless designs within 12 – 24 hours. Feel free to contact us for more information.