Machine Embroidery Terminologies you Need to Know!

The embroidery digitizing process may appear to be a simple one or more of an entertaining process. In the reality, that’s only partial truth.

The embroidery digitizing process may appear to be a simple one or more of an entertaining process. In
the reality, that’s only partial truth.
While you may certainly enjoy the process of digitizing the artwork or embroidery design, you will have
to consider various technicalities and variable components including sewing terms, hoop, underlay, and
stitch, etc. which you need to maintain the sanctity and integrity of the original artwork.
Remember, even if you miss out on a single consideration, it may adversely impact the final design.
Thereby, when you are looking for the best embroidery digitizing service, it is of utmost importance to
keep in view all the important components of the trade and make sure you are able to maintain the
overall integrity of the design. And to achieve this, you would have to understand the basics of the
That’s why in this blog we have come up with all major terminologies and basics of embroidery digitizing

Embroidery digitizing terminologies

Here are some of the important terminologies you need to understand for the embroidery digitizing

1. Hoop

Hoop is the set you ring that is meant to hold the fabric during the embroidery digitizing process. Yes,
it’s the same rounded wooden structure that your grandma used when she was making embroidery
manually. The traditional hoops are two round structures that fit into one another. However, for
embroider digitizing, the embroidery machines carry automatic hoops that serve the same purpose of
holding fabric. In this case, however, the hoops are paired with a stabilizer, for increased convenience
and preciseness.

2. Pantograph

The pantograph is the component that’s used to attach the hoop to the embroidery machine. Once
attached, it can be moved horizontally and vertically. It’s an important component of machine
embroidery because in embroidery machines only the hoops attached with pantograph can be moved
and not the needle. So, to be able to have the desired design, you will need to rotate the pantograph
across the fabric.

3. Stabilizer

Stabilizers are components paired with the hoop and responsible to add to the stability of the fabric.
This added component of stability ensures that stitching is complete in a more precise manner and that

you are able to embroidery even complex designs without compromising on the details. Stabilizers come
in various forms and should cover the entire area of the hoop.

4. Digitizing

Digitizing is the process that’s used to transform an artwork/image into a machine-readable format. The
process is completed using specific digitizing software that enables you to define the stitches as the
design work onto the fabric. While some digitizing software does offer the automated digitizing feature,
it’s not recommended due to a lack of accuracy. Thereby, you are better off learning the basics of
digitizing to complete the work manually.

5. Tension

The tension is described as the friction generated due to the thread crossing the machine. In digitizing
software, you have the option to control the tension, as per the desired design. Going with lower
tension will help you to hide any lower stitches at the end of the work.

6. Stitch Density

Stitch density is the count of stitches per inch (SPI). It is simply seen taken as the space between two
consecutive rows of stitches. The higher the stitch density, the greater the intricacy and quality of the
design. However, the right density has to be chosen as per the type of fabric and complexity of the
design. In general, the stitch density is maintained at 0.1mm standard.

7. Bobbin

This might be a little tricky to understand for absolute beginners. However, to put is in simple terms, it is
the spool of the thread beneath the workpiece. It could be wind up manually or alternatively, you can
simply purchase and install a new one.

8. Straight stitch

It’s one of the most common types of the stitch with linear appearance. The straight stitch is widely used
in the embroidery digitizing industry to create outlines, add shading or instill some unique element to
the fabric.

9. Compensation

Compensation refers to the measures taken to counter the pulling impacts of the fabric. In embroidery
machines, the fabric is pulled towards the center of the design, which created thinner digital patterns on
the edges. Thus, it’s important to compensate for the pull distortion to keep up with the integrity of the

10. Stock designs

As can be taken by name, stock designs refer to the standard designed that are pre-installed in
embroidery machines. Alternatively, you can also implement some stock designs into your machine. The
pre-installed designs are created by professional digitizers working with the embroidery machine
manufacturers and can be used to create the first few projects as a means to gain experience. The
number of stock design vary from machine to machine depending upon the type, and price of the

11. Push Distortion

Just as the pull distortion, the push distortion happens when the design is embroidered sideways. The
push distortion leads to wider edges, thus distorting the quality of the design. This is managed by
eliminating the stitch columns from the edges to keep up with the original design.

12. Pathing

Pathing is your navigational guideline to the embroidery machine. This is meant to make the process of
embroidery digitizing more efficient. Here, the digitizers are required to define the most efficient and
logical path for the machine to follow, keeping up with the efficiency, as well as, the integrity of the

13. Cut-away Stabilizer

This refers to the strong and thick material used as the fabric stabilizer. The cut-away stabilizer has to be
cutaway once the process of embroidery is completed.

14. Underlay

Underlay is an important component for the best embroidery digitizing service, that’s used before the
topstitching. The use of underlay is important to understand for digitizers to keep up with the quality
and integrity of the embroidery designs.

15. Lock stitch

The lock stitch is meant to keep the integrity of the design in place. It’s placed at the beginning and the
completion of the design, generally at 1mm of space.

16. Stitch out

Stitch out refers to the creation of a design sample. This helps you to assess the quality and aesthetic of
the design, before the actual process. Stitch out is an important step that needs to be implemented
whenever you are switching to new material.


So, there you have it, everything you need to know about embroidery digitizing process. Remember, we
have just given you an overview of the various terms you will need to understand to master the process

of embroidery digitizing and the more you get used to these terms and their uses, the better you will
become in mastering the trade.

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