First - Why even the best digitizing programs don't always give you the best quality embroidery
Before computerised embroidery digitizing existed, every single design was custom drawn by an artist/draftsperson at an enlarged scale. The drawing was created to produce the best result at the size it was going to be embroidered at. Every single design was truly 'Custom Made'.

Push & pull compensation was worked out exactly for that size. Stem widths and stem shapes were modified to compensate for actual distortion and for optical distortion.
You see the amount of compensation required to eliminate distortion depends upon the fabric, the type of backing used, size of embroidery objects, the direction in which stems are filled and the length, angle and density of the stitches.
After the drawing was completed, it then went to the digitizer who would stick the drawing to a very large digitizing board. The design would then be digitized One-Stitch-At-A-Time. Can you imagine how long it would have taken to complete a 25,000 stitch design?

You know those digitizers really understood embroidery. They had to think about every single stitch - why it was necessary and where it should be placed. If a stitch had no useful purpose then it simply was not digitized in the first place.
Why would you waste digitizing time, machine running time and thread on stitches that don't contribute in any way to the finished quality of the embroidery?

So- What has changed since the days of manual digitizing?
Well, there's no doubt that computerisation of embroidery digitizing has brought massive benefits to our industry. The time required to digitize designs is now just a fraction of what it used to be. We have automatic text, special effects, automatic underlay, pull compensation, pattern fills, motif fills, colour blends and more. So now even relatively unskilled personnel can create embroidery designs more quickly and after a much shorter training time.

However, (you've been expecting a 'However' haven't you?) there's also a down-side to computerisation/automation of digitizing. The down-side is that many newcomers to digitising simply don't have the depth of understanding of embroidery stitches because they have never been given the information to begin with. It's not anyone's fault - it's just how our industry has developed and advanced. A newly trained digitiser simply digitizes an outline and 'Hey Presto', travel stitches, underlays, stitch densities, pull compensation, tie-offs and thread trims are all taken care of automatically. The software does it.

For the most part, it all works very well. But you have to remember, that pre-digitized fonts are created for best results within a specific size range. There are limits to how much you can increase or decrease the letter height before you start to notice problems with quality.

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