Finding a good local digitizer is not so easy in today’s market. The embroidery digitizing world has changed in the past few years and trying to find a good digitizer that is located here in the US is not really easy. With all of the competition from outside of the US, a digitizer from here cannot make a good living. What to expect from a digitizer for your embroidery designs is a very important question?
First of all, we all expect that the design that we have had digitized will come back to us perfect and the sew out will look just exactly what we had envisioned, but what happens when it does not? First we blame the digitizer for not coming through for us in exactly what we wanted, but did you give the digitizer all of the correct information to make this happen? What is the information that is necessary for the digitizer to give us that great design?
- What fabric is this design going to be sewn on?
- Will you be using this design for any other type of application?
- What format do you want the design to be finished in?
- Will you want to increase or decrease the size of the design from the original size?
- Does he have the liberty to make some modifications to the design to make it sew better such as increase the letter size or choose a different font style?
There can be many other questions, depending on the design and the information that you have given them. When you are looking for that perfect digitizer, look for one that uses the same software that you do and request that you have a copy of the outline or native file. This will allow you to make changes such as resizing or removing lettering from the digitized file. You may have to pay a little more for this privilege, but it is well worth it.
Digitizer must know embroidery production
Make sure that your digitizer knows production so that you have as few trims and color changes as possible. Make sure that he or she sews out the designs before sending them to you. This is a problem with a lot of digitizers, especially with Graphic Artists.. They get their software and think that since they can create any type of graphic art, they can digitize. This is far from the truth. They don‚’t usually know anything about the sewing process and have no idea about push and pull comps, underlay or density.
If you can find a digitizer that digitizes their designs using the same type of embroidery software that you are using, this is the best of both worlds. This makes it easier for you if there is need for a size change or some fabric setting changes. Instead of expecting that your designs are going to be perfect, it would be to your benefit to learn how to edit your designs so that you can get the perfect design that you are looking for.
Every embroiderer should take the time and make the investment in learning how to edit your designs that you receive back from the digitizer. If you have that skill lever, it is going to save you a lot of time and you will be able to make all of your embroidery designs production friendly! Your idea as to what you expect from a digitizer will change. You will not expect all of your designs to be perfect from the digitizer, and you will be more educated and be able to communicate better with your digitizer. This is going to give you a leg up from your competition!
A business plan will give you a clear direction on the steps you intend to take in the running of your embroidery business and help you to stay on track so that your business can grow.
A key element to writing a great, actionable embroidery business plan is to take it piece by piece. You can begin by planning out your day to day actions. A great Simple Working Plan needs to be laid out at the end of every day. Set aside a few minutes to write down the things that need to be done the following day, prioritize them, and you are ready for the next day‚’s work.
When you are in the habit of planning the next day‚’s work, you can move on to planning your week. At the end of every week, set aside some time to lay out your next week‚’s work. This will help you to know if you have spots open for more embroidery work as it comes in.
As the planning progresses and you are able to schedule out a few weeks worth of work, you are then ready to really think about how to plan out your entire embroidery business.
An important part of any business plan is to include how you intend to check your progress along the way. Because there are so many different types of business plans, some you find may already include this, and some may not. In either circumstance, you will want to create for yourself a simple plan or roadmap to help you check your progress and make sure you are staying on track.
This simple embroidery business plan will require you to do some research on your embroidery competition, what is going on in your market and what you can do to stand out from the crowd.
You will also want to write down why you want this embroidery business and what goals you intend to reach as a result. These will be your markers and help you to create a plan that is real and one that you will actually use!
Now, if you are planning on seeking financial assistance, then you will need to progress to a formal business plan. This will take some more research so that you have the right facts and figures to present to the financial institution. Take your time and fill this in as you use your simple business plan.
It does not matter if you are using the
only or if you are writing a formal Embroidery business plan, it is important to remember that you will be making changes to your embroidery business plan and will adjust it as you go, just make sure that you are referring to your plan to help keep you on course and using it to help you make the right decisions.
The Embroidery Coach
Having enough cash to run your embroidery business at times can be a real challenge but this is an area that you must stay on top of at all times. It is so easy to run on a day to day basis and forget how important managing your cash flow is to the overall health of your business.
Number One Way To Manage Cash Flow
The number one way to manage your cash flow is to get at least 50% down for each sale and collect the remainder on delivery or pickup of the finished product. This is the way that all Retail and Small Business accounts should be handled. Make sure you are making a profit on each sale.
Keep An Eye On Automatic Withdrawals
Do you have automatic withdrawals from your bank account? Stay on top of these to make sure that they are accurate and up to date. If the date that they are being withdrawn is causing you issues, ask your supplier to change the date to one that will better work for you. I found some programs on my statement that are no longer useful for me but the money was still coming out every month. If this is happening to you, cancel those programs. This one action alone resulted in $119.00 more per month in my bank account.
Keep Track Of Your Payments
Keep track of when your payments are due. If they are due in 30 days, and you do not have an early payment discount, pay them on the last day that they are due. This will keep you current wit your supplier and yet you can hold onto your cash as long as possible. Make sure that you pay them within the period that they are due to avoid having to borrow from your credit line or payment any interest on that payable.
Offer Early Payment Discounts
If you have contract accounts, make sure that they are current with their payments. If you offer them a small early payments discount, many will take advantage of it and pay early.
Create A Cash Flow Budget
Create a Cash flow budget or Cash Flow Statement that you will use on a daily basis. When you write a business plan you are required to write a Cash Flow Statement and many times it just stays with the business plan and never looked at again. Bad mistake! This Cash Flow Statement should be used and checked at least once per month to see if you are staying on track. If not make some adjustments.
Keeping a close eye on your cash flow or cash outflow will help to give you the cash that you need when an emergency arises or you find a special sale that you can take advantage of. Managing your cash flow can keep you in business much longer than just having a profitable business. A profitable business can go out of business just because they do not have enough cash to run with on a monthly basis.
The Embroidery Coach
The question, Is it important to use Embroidery Underlay Stitching in my Embroidery Designs? is a question that is asked very frequently! Embroidery Underlay Stitching is important to use in all of your embroidery designs!
If you are new to embroidery or new to creating embroidery designs, learning the basic fundamentals of what makes a good quality finished design is extremely important. One of those basic fundamentals is Underlay. Many embroiderers do not use Underlay stitching because they have no idea how to use it or what type of Underlay to use for their particular design, stitch type or fabric style. Instead, they use a heavy density thinking that this will work but this can cause a multitude of problems.
Embroidery Underlay stitching is the most important and most underrated element of creating your designs. Like anything else that is built, you need a good foundation and Underlay Stitching is the foundation of your embroidery design. Many embroiderers are very confused and want to know:
- How can I tell if there is any Underlay Stitching in my design?
- What does it look like?
Underlay Stitches are the stitches that are sewn into your fabric first before the actual topstitching is sewn. If you are working with a design file, the .dst file extension, it is very hard for you to distinguish between the underlay and the topstitching.
Sometimes it will follow the same line as your embroidery and sometimes it will look very strange to you if you are new to embroidery and are not familiar with Underlay. It depends on what type of Underlay stitching the digitizer has chosen.
Embroidery Underlay Stitching has 6 basic functions.
- It attaches the garment to the backing creating a stable surface and smooth platform for the topstitching.
- It helps to reduce the amount of give in the fabric.
- It hides the color of the fabric that will be covered with stitching.
- It helps to reduce the density of the topstitching.
- It stops the fabric from puckering.
- It keeps the stitches from sinking into the fabric.
What are the different types of Embroidery Underlay Stitching?
There are 3 different stitch types that are used in creating underlay in your embroidery design.
- Run stitches
- Zig Zag stitches
- Fill or Tatami Stitches
These 3 different stitch types make up the 5 basic types of Underlay Stitches. These can be applied manually if you are digitizing your own design or they can be applied automatically if you have this capability within your software. Sometimes you cannot get the same effect using the auto functions in your software so you need to know how to apply the different types by hand so that you get the exact effect that you are looking for.
The Basic Embroidery Underlay Stitching Types Are As Follows:
- Contour or Edge walk – This creates a running stitch along the edge of the letter or the segment that you are creating. It is also known as an Edge walk stitch. This type of underlay is used to create a rollover edge for your lettering or object.
- Perpendicular or Center Walk– This underlay runs down through the center of the column. It is also called Center Run underlay. This underlay is used when you have a very narrow letter or column that is less than 1.5 m wide. For that, you will only use 1 line or pass of underlay down thru the center. This underlay is good to use in combination with contour or edge walk when you have a wider column and need a little extra for lift in the center of your column.
- Parallel– This underlay is created using Zig Zag stitches or run stitches. It travels only once down through a column. In some software programs, it is called the Zig Zag underlay. This can be used on a lightweight terry cloth or fleece.
- Zig Zag – This type of underlay is the same as the Parallel except it has twice the number of stitches. It runs down the column and then up the column creating twice the amount of stitches as the Parallel. In some programs, this is known as a Double Zig Zag. This is a better choice for terry cloth and pique. You may want to increase the density of your Zig Zag underlay to give your topstitching a puff or rounded appearance.
- Lattice or Tatami– This underlay is a low-density fill stitch used underneath Complex Fill stitches or Tatami stitches, depending on which embroidery design program you are working in. Lattice is usually used in combination with the Contour or Edge walk underlay. It runs at a 45 or 90-degree angle to the topstitching in a lattice form. It helps to reduce the pulling up of the fabric as it is stitching and to keep your stitches in good registration especially if you are going to add a border. It will help to keep the border in the proper place.
- Full Lattice or Double Tatami Stitches forming a full lattice effect going in both directions. This is a good choice if you are using a heavy contrast thread or fabric color such as a white thread on top of a black garment. This will hide the color of the fabric.
Very few designs or letters, even small ones are acceptable without underlay. Of course, there are always circumstances that change this rule. If you are working on a very lightweight fabric such as a wedding gown and you are using tone on tone, you may not want any underlay in certain areas especially if you are going to be seeing through the stitches. For this type of embroidery, you would not use any underlay at all but you would have to be careful that your stitch length was not too long because it would pull up and your garment would pucker.
I have created an entire program teaching you how to use the Embroidery Underlay Stitching properly. I even show you how to create your own underlay if you do not have the correct type in your embroidery design program. You can find that program at https://TheEmbroideryCoach.com It will teach you everything you need to know to add the right type of embroidery underlay stitching in your embroidery designs.
Be Creative during the slow periods in your embroidery business is a great way to add new materials and do some extra planning that will bring in more sales. These slow periods are good times to develop new sales materials and samples. This is a time to be creative designing your new sales materials to use in marketing your embroidery business.
I embroidered new designs on white felt, cut out the design samples with pinking shears, and glued them onto card stock. I put these samples into 3 ring binders to distribute to my dealer customers during these slow times. I also embroidered all of the lettering styles that we offered onto the white felt using the standard thread colors that we had in stock. I labeled each lettering style the font name and the thread color. The dealers were always very impressed and thrilled to get their new sales materials from us. This was a way to showcase our work to our dealers and it gave them a way to show their customers the quality of work that they were offering.
I also embroidered coasters to give away as samples. I created a design with my logo, added my contact information and embroidered these on white felt. This is an excellent way to showcase your embroidery and a great leave behind when you are visiting a customer. This can be done for wholesale and retail customers alike.
You can also create new samples to give your showroom a fresh new look.
If you do not have any slow periods in your embroidery business, you need to block out some spare time to accomplish these little profitable, sales creating tasks.
The Embroidery Coach