If you think that machine embroidery files feature only one type of stitch, you are still lagging behind in technology. The single stitch is the basic foundation for machine appliqués unlike the complex knot
sand loops involved in hand-stitching. When working with a machine only the face of a material can be worked on but the distance and direction of the needle are easier to control. Machine designs might seem to be limited but it is possible to craft various combinations of single stitches faster and repetitively. Find out the 3 most prominent combinations of embroidery designs by machines
1. Straight stitch
This is a combination of repeated single stitches. The length of stitches is varied to achieve different effects such as tight stitches which are short; smooth stitches; and longer stitches. The passes can also be varied to create thinner or thicker lines. A straight stitch is basically composed of same-length stitches but digital software can change the lengths automatically in order to track smaller curves. The process involves manual shading, color drawing, outlining, and detailed work.
2. Fill stitch
Commonly known as the Tatami or Seeding stitch, it is made up of straight stitches lines which are closely packed to cover the surface fully. The density of these stitches varies depending on various effects and applications. The designs resemble a type of weave whereby the stitch penetrations alternate in lines. No wonder they are called Tatami stitches which means woven mats in Japanese. The fill stitch is applicable where a big design area needs coverage. They are flatter and less glossy than satin stitches but do not have the limitations that come with satin stitches. They nullify the effects of rippled textures associated with overlapping satin stitches. To alter a fill stitch, the spacing and alignment of stitch length and penetrations can be changed. Such effects are used to bring different textures. Embroidery files with fill stitches reveal enhanced contours which are achieved by technical software that creates curved lines in the fills.
3. Satin stitch
It is also referred to as the column stitch. Machine made texts are normally designed in satin fabric and are characterized by a shiny glory. These stitches are tracked forwards and backward in tight areas while they alternate between straight stitches and angle stitches so that they form a zigzag pattern. Every stitch is vertical to the edge of the embroidery area. The result is a shiny finish with long, unbroken threads on straight passes. The satin stitch is most appropriate for narrow designs such as strokes in texts and borders. Satin fabric is used in sculpturally-oriented machines because of its glossy sheen and the ability to show the light and shadows. However, the application of satin is limited because an embroidery machine cannot execute more than 12mm of satin width. It would slow down and the longer stitches loosen easily.
Today digital software facilitates production of automated patterns of applique designs, something that could not have been achieved in the analog era. As explained above, single stitches can be brought together to build sophisticated elements. Knowing the different types of stitches is a powerful secret you can use to create complex and quick embroidery designs.