When I first started digitizing we would draft the design out on paper 6:1 to make a technical drawing then, using a magnetic board called a digitizing table, we would plot the design using a cursor or ‘puck’. This was a slow and unforgiving process and required a significant level of skill and experience.
Later on, on-screen digitizing revolutionized the process making it much more accessible and quicker, allowing a more creative and less clinical approach to embroidery digitizing.
Then came the ‘auto digitizing’ revolution, which to an old school drafter like me was met with some skepticism. But even an old school skeptic cannot fail to be impressed by Wilcom’s Instant Smart Design in e4. Import a bitmap and, quite literally, with one click the image is converted into an embroidery design. The technology has moved on in leaps and bounds. The devil is in the detail, as they say, and by golly this process has been refined to encompass almost all of those decision making skills and attention to detail used in the manual digitizing process.
Whether you use Instant Smart Design to create production designs, estimate stitch counts or make design mock ups for quotes, it’s an invaluable tool for any digitizers to have at their disposal.
Create and edit vector graphics directly in Wilcom designs
The Vector Drawing Tools are very useful in the Wilcom software. They are an option I have always recommended, so it’s a real bonus that they are now included as standard.
So why do I rate Drawing Tools so highly? Well in an ideal world artwork would always be supplied with an image at a decent resolution and suitable to immediately start digitizing. However, we don’t live in an ideal world and even after a lot of advice and coaching I still occasionally get supplied with bitmap graphics that are just too poor to work with. Using a tracing program to vectorize the bitmap can sometimes be a time saver but if you need to recreate the artwork from scratch then Vector Drawing Tools are always my saver.
So think of Drawing Tools as digitizing without stitch information. In Wilcom software, defining curves and creating shapes is easy for a novice; reshaping and applying colours and outlines adds a whole new level of editing control that gives a ‘full palette’ of vector drawing tools all in the same application window. Couldn’t be easier.
The AutoShaping Tools complement the Vector Drawing Tools beautifully. Used to edit stitch and/or embroidery objects, the Autoshaping Tools can be applied to simplify and combine objects to reduce the complexity of the design. Having advanced editing tools like these means that you have the capability to use automation within the software to save time but you can still refine the outputs to ensure you achieve the quality you desire – a win/win from my perspective.
Draw with stitches
I just love the freehand tool, for the artist in me it feels like the most natural way to digitize even after over 20 years of plotting nodes using a cursor or a mouse.
This fluid drawing tool allows you to create lines and closed objects using a range of stitch and fill types: it quite literally allows you to draw with stitches – simply amazing. This tool gives the creative types amongst us the ability to both design and digitize: creating expressive and beautiful embroidery designs that were previously not possible.
Foolproof embroidery personalized for retail shops
I saw the Kiosk Mode in action at a recent trade show in the UK, and I must say I was pretty impressed. It has been the holy grail of those businesses wanting to offer embroidery personalization in a retail environment; allowing customers or staff with basic training to create and stitch embroidery designs in a ‘foolproof’ and profitable way. The Kiosk Mode in EmbroideryStudio e4 is the simplest and most surefire system I have seen that offers embroidery personalization in a retail environment…don’t believe me? Give it a try!
Create and output bling designs for stones, rhinestones, beads and sparkles
If you already offer rhinestones in your embroidery and print business it makes perfect sense to use the integrated Bling Element now included as standard in Wilcom EmbroideryStudio Designing e4.
This is a specialist decoration method which warrants specialist tools. Wilcoms Bling Element supports stones of different sizes, shapes and colours; users can place individual, lines and filled areas of stones to create designs that are suitable for transfer and direct application methods.
All in all, with the inclusion of these elements as standard in e4, you are now getting significantly more bang for your buck or, if you prefer, more Bling for your kerching!
Gillian Suggett is a well respected industry expert with many years of experience. She is also the owner of St Mawgan Embroidery Co
in the UK.
EmbroideryStudio e4 makes the world's favourite digitizing software even better. It is the embroidery software choice for professional digitizers, custom embroidery shops, industry trainers and educators and apparel decorators, who are serious about commercial embroidery.
Contact your local Wilcom distributor now and have a chat about how EmbroideryStudio e4 can make your business more efficient and productive!