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Finished artwork of an embroidery design to be digitized. Usually six times larger than the finished design size, based on the art-to-stitching ratio historically used in the schiffli industry.
Chain Stitch:
Stitch that resembles a chain link, formed with one thread fed from the bottom side of the fabric. Done on a manual or computerized machine with a hook that functions like a needle.
Form of embroidery in which a loop (moss) stitch is formed on the top side of the fabric. Uses heavy yarns of wool, cotton or acrylic. Created by a chain stitch machine that has been adjusted to form this stitch type. Also known as loop piling.
Column Stitch:
Formed by closely placed zigzag stitches. Often used to form borders. Also known as steil stitch. See Satin Stitch.
Complex Fill:
Refers to a digitizing capability that allows areas to be designated as void at the same time the designs edges, or perimeter points, are defined. The design can thus be digitized as one fill area, instead of being broken down into multiple sections.
Condensed Format:
Method of digitizing in which a design is saved in a skeletal form. A proportionate number of stitches may later be placed between defined points after a scale has been designated. With a machine that can read condensed format, the scale, density and stitch lengths in a design may be changed. See Expanded Format.
A technique that employs a single cord thats laid down on fabric and attached with transparent zigzag stitches. These are relatively simple, low-stitch-count designs featuring lots of swirls and curves. Different widths of cording are available to provide a wide range of looks. A special attachment is required for the embroidery machine.
Cover Stitching:
Using two needles to overlap threads underneath, covering the over-edged seams with smooth-seamed layers of threads.
Regular bean stitch movements forming xs in rows or within a box shape to form geometric designs. Creates a handmade appearance.
Crystal Heat Transfers:
Metallic studs or crystals strategically placed to form a design. While this can be done by hand, most of the time that method is too time-consuming to be cost effective. Ready-made transfers are available, and custom transfers can also be ordered from some companies. New to the embroidery industry are both stitch designs and appliqués that have accompanying transfers specifically calculated to fit and enhance the embroidery.
Depressed imprint created by a machine pressing a dye into the surface of fabric or material. Popular in leather decoration.
Number of stitches in a specific area. Determines the total thread coverage in a design.
Design Library/Catalog:
A computer program that catalogs a collection of digitized designs kept by embroidery shops and allows an embroiderer to access the design by subject, stitch count, number of colors or icon.
Digital Imaging:
Also called direct-to-garment printing from an inkjet printer. A scanned image or computer-generated image can be used, with the process being similar to printing paper in a standard printer. The latest advance in this technique is the ability to print on dark colors and black, something that had been impossible either in dye sublimation or digital imaging, and had been possible only through screen printing.
Modern term for punching, reflecting the computerized method of converting artwork into a series of commands to be read by an embroidery machines computer. See Punching.
Digitizing Tablet:
A computer-aided design device used by digitizers to plot needle penetrations for embroidery designs. Typically, a pencil drawing of the design is enlarged and then taped to this tablet. The digitizer then uses a device known as a puck to indicate stitch types, shapes, underlay and actual needle penetrations.
Double Needle:
Two rows of parallel stitching at the sleeve and/or bottom hem for a cleaner, more finished look.
Double Stitched:
The finish on a sleeve and/or bottom hem that uses two needles to create parallel rows of visible stitching. It gives the garment a cleaner, more finished look and adds durability.

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