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Don't Shoot the Digitizer
You're anxiously pacing the floor while glaring at the clock. Time is of the essence! You have to deliver two dozen embroidered shirts to a hot new client by 4:30pm and it's already 1:00pm. Miss the deadline and you lose the customer. Everything is ready. The shirts are stacked on the hooping table, the machine is threaded, and the backing is cut and ready to go. The only thing left is to get the finished logo back from the digitizer. You check your email every two minutes, but there is nothing there other than more useless "spam". As you pace a little more frantically, a blood vessel in your forehead begins to throb. Profane thoughts begin to flood your mind. Suddenly you're overcome with an uncontrollable desire to pickup the phone and call that "slow-as-a-turtle" embroidery digitizers and scream at him. Better yet, maybe you could reach through the phone and strangle him with his mouse cord. Just as you reach the height of your anxiety, ready to cross the line into insanity, a distant electronic chime penetrates the hail of spinning out-of-control thoughts in your brain. What was that sound? The realization hits and you quickly regain your composure. Email, it's email! You run to the computer and sure enough, there is the file, ready for download. "Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you" you shout.
Quickly, you download the design and prepare to sew it. Reason would dictate that you run a sew-out first, but the clock says no. So you take a chance. This particular embroidery digitizers is supposed to be one of the best, so there is very little chance that the design won't sew properly. Hurriedly, you hoop the first shirt and place it on the machine. You set up the color sequence, give everything one last cursory glance and hit start. The sewing process begins. You watch for the first hundred stitches or so, until you are confident things are going well. Then you turn away to focus on hooping the next shirt, as well as a few administrative details. You begin to relax as you realize that you will make the deadline after all.
When the machine finally completes the first run, you rush over with another shirt in hand, ready to make the swap. You quickly remove the finished shirt, and replace it with the next one, a broad smile on your face as you admire your efficiency. You hit the start button, then reach over and pick up the finished shirt to admire your work. Your smiling face slowly changes into a blank look of shock. Then it rapidly transitions to red and finally a deep crimson, as anger replaces confusion. "That @#$% digitizer!" you scream. "This looks like &*?@, it's puckered and the outlines don't line up." Rage overwhelms you as you realize that you won't meet the deadline, because the embroidery has registration problems, obviously the fault of the embroidery digitizers. You march over to the phone ready to call the puncher and chew him out. STOP!

How do you know that the registration problems in the design were caused by poor digitizing? It's so easy to blame the embroidery digitizers for sewing problems, but in many cases he/she is not to blame. In reality, there are three areas of the embroidery process that can cause quality and registration problems: hooping, machine setup, digitizing. Sewing quality issues can easily be caused by any one of the three as well as a combination of the three. Some times it is the digitizing, but not always. You have to do some troubleshooting to determine the real cause or causes.

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