Creating the perfect Embroidery file

Created by Jake Adams, Modified on Fri, 12 Jan 2024 at 10:39 PM by Jake Adams

In this article you will learn about the most common issue with embroidery digitization and how to avoid creating bad embroidery files. 

1. Flat Embroidery

A technique where stitches are embroidered flat on the surface.

4. 3D Puff Embroidery

A technique where the embroidery is raised. Used mostly for big shapes.

2. Thread Colours

A selection of our most common thread colours available.

5. Satin Stitch Outline

A long, straight embroidery stitch. Used to outline an object or to cap a 3D puff design.

3. Tatami Fill

Rows of run stitches. Used to fill large areas.

6. Run Stitch

A single line stitch. Used for small details.

What is digitization?

The process of digitization involves transforming your design file into a compatible format suitable for embroidery. A different digitized file is necessary for each specific embroidery design. You can reuse these digitized files for subsequent orders of the identical embroidery design.

The most common issues with embroidery...

Text Size and Line Thickness

Ensure legibility by avoiding very small letters and thin lines in embroidery.

Maintain a text height of at least 0.25'' and a thickness of at least 0.05''. For regular satin stitch, the recommended line thickness is 0.05''. Thinner lines will be executed using the run stitch technique (a single line of stitches).

To measure text in Illustrator, utilize the measuring tool or convert font point size to inches via:

File > Preferences > Units > General > Inches

0.25'' is roughly equivalent to 36pt, but font variations may impact this. Simple fonts like Arial, Helvetica, and Myriad Pro are recommended.

Distressed or Textured Graphics

Embroidery may lose details with distressed or textured graphics, limiting use to flat embroidery. Extremely thin sections may be run stitched.

Negative Space Objects

Avoid issues with negative space by filling it with another colour. Distinguish this from a transparent background.


Standard embroidery only supports solid shapes and colours, making gradients incompatible. Replace gradients with solid colours.

Solid Backgrounds

Large background graphics may exceed the maximum embroidery size. Remove backgrounds or reduce graphic size by up to 50%.

Photographic Images

Embroidering photographic images directly isn't possible. Recreate them with solid shapes and colours.

3D Puff

For 3D puff, use bold shapes and text. Fonts like calligraphy may not be suitable due to minimum thickness requirements.

Side Embroidery

The side embroidery area is smaller than the front. Keep text lines to 10 characters or less for optimal results.

Thread Colours

We 20 colours to choose from on our standard range of colours, we allow for up to 6 colours per embroidery design.

You can also choose to have fewer colours; for example, if your design is all black, choose the thread colour 'Black' first, and then 'None' for the rest.

The colours used can be changed, even after your design has been digitized. The digitized file does not determine the colour of thread used; that's decided when fulfilling your order.

Please be aware that it's unlikely the thread colours will match exactly with what you designed in mind - threads are dyed before they can be embroidered on fabric!

For more information on available threads, please contact us.

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