A person who creates a design is known as an “embroidery digitizer” or “puncher”. The digitizer, or puncher, users digitizing software to create their embroidery design. The digitizer creates the design in the native file format for the digitizing software. These are ‘Object Based’ design and allow the digitizer to easily reshape and edit the design later.
Applique : French term meaning applying, usually by sewing, one piece of fabric to the surface of another. A cut piece of material stitched to another adding dimension, texture and reducing stitch count.
Backer/Stabilizer : Materials, generally non-woven textiles, which are placed inside or under the item to be embroidered. The backing provides support and stability to the garment which will allow better results to the finished embroidered product. Backings come primarily in two types: cutaway and tear-away. With cutaway, the excess backing is cut with a pair of scissors. With tear-away, the excess is simply torn away after the item is embroidered. Additional types which are dissolved either by water or heat also exist. For all of these the terms backing and stabilizer are often used interchangeably.
Bobbin : A bobbin is a small spool of threads inside of the rotary hook housing. The bobbin thread actually forms the stitches on the underside of the garment. The bobbin on an embroidery machine works in the same manner and for the same purpose as on a standard sewing machine.
Digitize : The computerized technique of turning a design image into an embroidery program. Special software is used to create plotting commands for the embroidery machine. The commands are transferred to the machines logic head by a designated embroidery “language.”
Fill Stitch : Fill stitches are a series of running stitches sewn closely together to form broad areas of embroidery with varying patterns and stitch directions.
Hoop : A clamping device used to hold the backer and fabric in place in the machine.
Running Stitch : A running stitch is one line of stitches which goes from point A to point B. A running stitch is often used for fine details, outlining, and underlay.
Satin Stitch : Also known as the zig-zag stitch by which a line, border or edge is produced by thread being alternately stitched to either side of a baseline. Satin stitches are generally limited to a maximum of 1/2″ in stitch length before some alternate technique such as split stitching or fill stitching must be used.
Underlay : A stabilizing pattern of embroidery which, if used, precedes the main body of satin or fill stitching. It consists of one or a combination of running stitches for centering, edging, paralleling or zigzagging the design area.