Sewing Fields and Embroidery Digitizing Limitations

Consider this – you have a perfectly digitized design and you’re ready to go forth with the production. However, your embroiderer tells you that the design isn’t suitable for the hoop size or sewing field on the machine and that nothing can be done until the digitizer makes some changes. One of the first thoughts to enter the mind is that you’re stuck with an amateur. But that’s not always true. Even the most experienced digitizers can have trouble figuring out the sewing field and digitize for the correct hoop size.

What is the difference between a Hoop Size and Sewing Field?

In order to understand the difference between hoop size and sewing field, it’s important to understand what the two terms mean.

frame - embroidery digitizing, embroider digitizer

Hoop Size

A hoop is a frame that holds the fabric in place for the machine to sew on the embroidery. Hooping a garment is necessary to keep it taut, as the stitching action tends to wrinkle up the fabric and ultimately distort the embroidery. The size of a hoop depends on the size of the embroidery and should always be conveyed to the embroidery digitizing professional, unless he/she is also the appointed embroiderer. Hoops are available in square as well as rectangular shapes and come in sizes varying from the standard 6”x6” to 12”x8” and much more.

Sewing Field

The sewing field is the area programmed into a machine’s software, beyond which it is not allowed to sew. This sewing area is mostly smaller than where its pantograph can reach and varies immensely from machine to machine. The only exceptions to this limitation are commercial use machines such as Tajima, whose pantograph can continue sewing even beyond the prescribed sewing field.

Now that you understand what these two terms mean, it becomes quite clear how a digitizer can fail to deliver a design that sews within the hoop, as there’s no way of guessing what the sewing field will be even if they know the size of the hoop.

There are many downsides to not clearly stating the sewing field or type of commercial machine you’re about to use for the stitch out. Firstly, the digitizer could create a design that is too large for the field programmed into the machine, which can lead to partial registration. On the other hand, even if the machine is a Tajima and continues sewing outside the field, the needle could end up hitting the hoop, resulting in needle damage, dysfunction and even complete breakdown of the machine. In such a scenario the digitizer will either have to decrease the size of the design or break down the design into smaller sections.

All of the above make it extremely important to notify your embroidery digitizing professional regarding the hoop size as well as sewing field of the machine right at the beginning, so that he/she can make provisions in advance and avoid any blame games later.

At, we offer expert embroidery digitizing services for picture-perfect registration and smooth production runs for all your design needs. With over 8 years of professional expertise, you can count on us for impeccably digitized artwork at the most competitive rates, delivered on time, each time.

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