If you read any forums or follow social media groups, you
undoubtedly have seen some of the blunders (and plenty of frustration) that can
happen during the embroidery process. Much of that can be avoided by doing a
test stitch of the design before applying it to the final product.
Problems happen: Needles get damaged, the stabilizer combination
is not working, bobbin thread is showing, stitches are out of alignment, the fabric shows through, or puckering runs amok. Embroidery is
like baking. There is a “recipe” for each scenario.
Often, we get in a hurry and do not take the time to
adequately test. You have heard the saying, “Measure twice, cut once.” You will
ideally want to test once, stitch once. Here are some reasons why it is so
Whether you are embroidering on a tote bag, a jacket, or a
towel, and it is an item for yourself, a gift, or client order, you really
don’t want to buy another one to replace the item that was ruined during the
Time is Valuable
It doesn't matter if you embroider for fun or
profit. Either way, most of us value our time. It never fails that you sit down late one
evening to stitch a “simple” project, usually a gift needed for an event the
next day, and not only do you have problems, there isn’t time to buy another
blank and re-stitch the piece.
The Fun Factor (or
When it is no longer fun, we have
better things to do with our time. Test stitching helps eliminate the frustration by weeding out
problems in advance.
Designs Can be
Design quality can be lacking although that is generally not
the case if you buy from a reputable source. But because embroidery designs are
digital, they can become corrupted during download. Other times, they have a
quirk, relevant to certain design formats, which probably occurred during the
Sometimes, just downloading the file from the vendor a
second time eliminates a cyber glitch. If that doesn’t work, contact the vendor
to see if there have been any issues with that particular design. Be
considerate. Don’t post rants and technical problems on social media. Call the
vendor or send them an email, or private message. Digitizers may not be aware
of a problem until after the design becomes public. When they do, they almost
always correct them and release them again.
Best Way to Test
Use a similar product. If you are embroidering on towels,
have a similar weight and blend towel on hand to use for testing. Embroider
test stitches on that towel until there is no space left.
Same thing for t-shirts and quilting cottons, they come in a
variety of weights and blends. Keep scrap fabric and a sample t-shirt on stand
Problems will still happen, but with less frequency and
lower frustration levels if we take the time to test the stitching first.