The Nitty Gritty Details of Embroidery Designing

By • 5 years ago with one reply

Embroidery is one of the unique decorative processes that Zazzle offers. We’ve updated the embroidery design tool and user interface and we’re excited to have you revisit creating designs within that category. We’ve spent a lot of time updating the backend and are excited to start promoting it, especially because all things embroidery is all the rage again these days.

With the tool having been updated as part of the refresh, we are now working on getting more designs on the product.

Before we start requesting your new designs, we just want to review the design process for embroidery.

  1. Publishing on embroidered products will require you to have a digital stitch file. If you already have a digital stitch file (.dst or .ofm), you can upload them and publish on all embroidery products at no charge.
  2. If you do not already have a digital stitch file (.dst or .ofm), you can have your artwork digitized through Zazzle. We do not charge you to publish a product, but will charge you a fee to create the digital stitch file. It takes between 24 and 48 hours for this conversion to take place.
  3. Converting artwork to stitch file that the embroidery machines can use is a conversion called digitization and is 99.9% of the time done by a digitization specialist, not the designer of the art. There is a 24-48 hour window that this happens.
  4. Once you convert your art into a digital file, that file is your property. You are welcome to use that same design on multiple products.
  5. The conversion fee varies depending on the size and complexity of your design. Once your image is uploaded, the estimated conversion fee is displayed to you. Within the 24 to 48 hour conversion process, you will be charged the exact cost of the stitch file.
  6. If you use the Zazzle supplied fonts, those do not require any stitch conversion, as we have already done that for you.
  7. We use Isacord Embroidery Thread and have 121 thread colors available.
  8. Aside from the above limitations, it’s the same as publishing other Zazzle products.

Here are a couple design-specific tips for designing on embroidery:

  1. Think in terms of inches, not pixels. Unlike other design types, the size of your design is important to the final product. Files contain sets of X,Y grid coordinates that indicate where to stitch and in what color.  The digitizer determines the type of stitch and the order in which stitches occur. Making your design larger or smaller will impact the x, y grid and will make it a brand new file.
  2. Thin, wispy designs are not good (Make sure everything you design is at least 1/16 of an inch thick.) Unlike printed files, there are limitations when using thread. Since threading has physical limitations, make sure to think of how your design will translate into actual threaded artwork.
  3. No gradients, fading, smudges or transparencies are allowed (for obvious reasons). The designers are using the same thread so gradient designs would simply not work. Make sure your designs are comprised of solid colors.
  4. Make sure to check out the awesome stitch player when it’s finished. It creates a digital file for you to see on how your design will be embroidered.

Now that you know about the design process, and have a couple of tips in your toolbox, you can get started designing here:




To further incentivize you, we will be doing a special pricing of all digital embroidered pricing for the next three months (May 17 to August 17). We hope you guys take advantage of the special pricing and we can’t wait to see all your awesome designs!

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One thought on “The Nitty Gritty Details of Embroidery Designing”

  1. Nice brief article. Earlier this week I was trying to wrap my head around logo digitizing for embroidery. Not an easy task. Requires a lot of practice and if you are in hurry, it should better be left to professionals.

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