How Does Computerized Embroidery Work?

Embroidery is part of the art and design that we see every day on fabrics and caps. In modern times, most of this embroidery is done on computers. This is as opposed to the past days when the process was largely manual. As an embroidery, you should take the time to understand how computerized embroidery works since you may have to move into it as you scale.

Suggestion for you: Cheap embroidery machine – Should I buy it?

Computerized embroidery involves a number of steps as outlined below:

  • Create an embroidery design
  • Save the file in a format that the machine can work with
  • Start the stitching
  1. Create an embroidery design

embroidery-patternsCreating an embroidery design will require you to make use of your creativity to come up with an appropriate design. It is important to note that this is not just a creative job but involves some technical work. You will need to consider the fabric on which the design will be embroidered. The machine you are using must also be taken into account when creating an embroidery design. How many needles can it accommodate? And how many colors can you afford to include in your embroidery design? If you fail to consider your machine, you may end up with a design that looks odd and unintended. In addition, the design should be able to be accommodated on the computer and should be of a size that the embroidery machine can handle.


The artwork will then need to be interpreted in stitches. This will depend on you as the artist. Alternatively, you can hire an experienced operator to do this for you. There are certain rules and conventions for the interpretation of stitches, but this is mostly just creative work, especially with complex designs. The process involves working with shapes. The software will then fill the x andy values of the shape.

  1. Save the file in a Format that the Machine Can Work With

Once a design is made and completed, you will need to save the design in a format that the machine can work with, for example, MB format. Different embroidery software have different native file formats, and you should take the time to learn the one used with your software. In the software’s native format, the design is easier to edit if the need emerges in future.

Once this is done, you can transfer the file to the embroidery machine. This needs to be done when the file is already saved in the native format of the software. The information can be fed to the machine via a USB cable.

  1. Start the Stitching



The software uses numbers to show which colors will be stitched in what order. The machine has a number of needles and each has a number assigned to it. Each needle also has a thread with a different color. To show the machine how you would like the stitching to be done, you need to fill the number of the needle to be used at each stage, in this way showing the preferred stitching schedule.

Then you need to frame or hoop the fabric you intend to embroider on. Framing will help your fabric to stay steady and not keep moving when the stitching is in progress. It will also help the fabric to get into a form that can be slotted into the embroidery machine and be moved about accurately.

Embroidery machines are able to create stitches through a mechanism involving the top thread and the bobbin thread. The bobbin thread is located at the bottom of the material being stitched and gets the thread from the top thread, in this way creating a loop. Once you have completed the framing, you should start the embroidery machine running and let it run till the stitching is complete.

This process is not exactly manual. Once you feed the needle numbers in the software, dictating the order of the stitching, you can allow the machine to run within a specified field. The machine will not work anywhere outside this field and will stick to this order till the stitching is complete.

As the operator, you should monitor the progress of the designing. The computer will direct the embroidery arm of the machine, and will only stop once you make the order. Some machines have only one needle, and this means one color needs to be completed before the machine can start on the next. You will, therefore, have to monitor closely so that you can know when to switch the needles. Normally, the computer will stop once the machine is done stitching one color, and the operator has to switch the colors for it to continue. If your designs have too many colors, you should get a machine with more needles to increase your level of productivity.

4. The Embroidery Designs

Embroidery and sewing machines usually come with built-in embroidery designs. More advanced embroidery machines have USB slots for the transfer of designs. Others will even allow you to download embroidery designs from the internet, and send them to your machine. Such designs are usually sold on the internet.

The embroidery can also make their own designs and digitize them using computer software. Once digitized, the design can be saved in the file format that the machine and software can understand. Then this design can be edited and reshaped quite easily if the need emerges. This can be done using embroidery programs. The design can be stretched and altered in many ways. The design of the embroidery must also be in a size that the embroidery machine can handle. Machines with larger embroidery spaces can handle larger designs, but the design will get messed up if it is too large for a certain machine.

When purchasing an embroidery machine, it is important to consider the size of the embroidery you intend to work on. This is because different sizes of machines are used for different sizes of design. In addition, you should consider the format in which you can save the designs. Machines with more formats available for saving the designs will offer you less trouble when working. Using a machine which is compatible with common formats is also advantageous.


  1. Aminu Abubakar
    • ismail abdulwahab
  2. Abuul Isaac Tiv-ver