Modern embroidery digitizing has revolutionized the world of fabric and design by making it simple, quick and fun. Not only developed countries, but developing nations have also benefited from this development. Take for instance the example of the Indian traditional 'chikankari embroidery'. This article will deal with the transformation that embroidery digitizing has brought in this field. It is not about pushing the old traditions under the carpet but morphing them into something modern, time saving and convenient.
Before delving into chikankari's modern embroidery digitized form let's get back to the hindsight and enlighten the readers about its origin.
Chikankari embroidery is the most relished Indian hand embroidery done by expert embroiderers. The process earlier was long and tedious as it was 100% done manually without involving any machinery or computers. The process required an artist to firstly draw various intricate, traditional and floral patterns on a piece of paper. These patterns or designs were then copied to the fabric.digitizing for embroidery It was more of an individual labor which could not meet the bulk production needs of the manufacturer and the growing demand of this type of embroidered fabric. So the Results were the increasing costs of the final fabric and low production outcome.
Now let's move on to the second part which will explain the marvels of embroidery digitizing. Since the cost of hand embroidered fabric was extremely high and supply was low, the designers along with the engineers started working on an idea to get this kind of decorative needlework done by machines in order to get more production in lesser time. These guys came up with a small embroidery machine initially which is also known as free motion sewing machine. This machine was somewhat similar to a home sewing machine.
The patterns were drawn on the fabric and put into a small hoop and embroidery was done by the machine operator by moving the fabric under the needle. This was still not fully productive to meet the growing demand of Chikankari embroidery industry which was growing rapidly. Since this was a money making industry by then with an extreme demand from women of all ages, more and more research and development was done on to make something more productive.
With the advancement of technology then came bigger computerized embroidery machines which were automated and can give out bulk production with as high as 1,000 stitches per minute with no compromise in quality of the embroidery done. These machines are multi heads and can do the same embroidery on more than 50 fabrics at the same time thus increasing productivity and reducing the turnaround time. These machines however require some computerized format design input. Embroidery digitizing softwares are used to make these computerized format patterns. This revolution helped making the Chikankari embroidery affordable for almost every income group buyer.
Now the question comes how this digitizing is done and how it reduced costs and increased productivity. The process starts with the same technique.
Firstly a pattern is designed on a piece of paper and then it is scanned for use in computer. The digitizer traces the design on his digitizing software through clicks of mouse and use of keyboard. These are professional people who have knowledge to operate the digitizing software. These softwares even tell the number of stitches of the final design and also show how it will look on the fabric. This design from software is then transferred into the machine via some floppy or USB disk and you are ready for your bulk output.