Machine Embroidery Terms Dictionary
MACHINE EMBROIDERY DEFINITIONS
(Thanks to everyone in the ATW forum who helped with listing key words that needed to be defined. If there are words that I missed, please let me know. I am making a separate abbreviations list and it will be posted as soon as it is available.)
alignment - Using Rulers and Templates to correctly mark the position of your design.
applique outline - Three lines of stitching around the fabric appliqued. 1) Placement 2) tack down 3) cover
auto-digitizing - Turning artwork into embroidery design with software that does the digitizing for you automatically.
basting stithces - Long stitches that go around the edge of your hoop & prevents shifting of material during embroidery.
birds nest - A big wad of thread underneath the fabic caused by machine malfunction.
bitmap - A type of image file. Uses tiny dots or "pixels" to make up the picture.
blank card - Memory card that you can transfer designs onto for (some) embroidery machines.
bobbin thread - Thread used on the bobbin of your embroidery machine. Often sold as a separate thread.
center point - The center of the embroidery design.
clip art - Artwork often use to make embroidery designs when digitizing.
densiity - Distance between the lines of stitches
design - Pattern that stitches out on an embroidery machine.
digitize - To convert something to a digital format. In machine embroidery means to create design from artwork.
digitizer - A person who digitizes
dongle - A security device that must be plugged into computer to allow software to run. Looks like USB flash drive most often.
double curve scissors - Special scissors that are great for trimming around applique in the hoop.
dry cover up - Put under embroidery to prevent fabric from showing through.
embroidery arm - The moving part of your embroidery machine used when stitching out an embroidery design.
embroidery machine - A computer controlled sewing machine that can stitch out patterns automatically.
embroidery Thread - Sewing thread design specially for machine embroidery. Most often polyester or rayon.
fabric glue stick - Used in place of spray adhesive to hold fabric or item in place on stabilizer while stitching is started
File Extention - The three letters after the dot in a file name. (Example .hus .pes .dst) Tells format design was saved into.
fill stitches - Running stitches sewn closely together to fill areas of embroidery with varying patterns and stitch directions.
float - Stabilizer placed under the hoop and fabric (stabilizer is NOT stabilized by using the hoop).
format - What language an emboidery design is written in which determines which machines it will work in.
free standing lace - Style of embroidery design stitched onto water-soluable stabilizer that is then disintegrated leaving a "thread-only" stitch out.
frog stitch - Tongue-in-cheek references to stitches put in the wrong place. You have to "rip" them out... "ribbit-ribbit"
fusible mesh - An open-weave stabilizer that is bonded to fabric with heat.
Heat 'N Gone - A topper that dissolves with the heat of an iron.
hemostat - Clamping device looks like scissors used in surgery but also handy for holding needles to insert into machine.
hole cutting - A technique used in digitizing where area under another area is removed.
hoop - Device used to hold the backer/stabilizer and fabric in the embroidery machine.
process of putting the stabilizer & fabric in the hoop.
hoopless embroidery - Technique of hooping stabilizer and NOT hooping the fabric or project to be embroidered.
in the hoop - A design that stitches out a complete project wihtout un-hooping the fabric.
jump stitch - A stitch that moves the needle from one part of a design to another part. Usually removed after design is finished stitching.
lint brush - Use to get the fuzz from under the needle plate on your machine.
manual digitizing - Turning artwork into embroidery design where the person using the software does the processing.
memory card - Computer card/disk used to hold computerized embroidery designs
monogram - Embroidered design of one or more letters, usually the initials in a name.
no-spray adhesive - Use the blue painters tape. Cheaper and less hazardous than spray glue.
polyester - A type of plastic used for many purposes including manufacturing thread which is most commonly used in embroidery today.
pucker - When fabric around edges of stitch-out pulls funny. Usually hooping issue!
push-pull compensation - Fine-tuing digitizer includes in a design to prevent thread direction from affecting design symetry.
rayon - A type of plastic used for many purposes including manufacturing thread.
reader/writer box - Computer peripheral that writes designs to a memory card to transfer designs to some embroidery machines.
registration - Alignment of all the parts of embroidery design with each other
reverse applique - Design style where applique material is underneath the main fabric and the main fabric is cut instead of the applique fabric
spray adhesive - Used for holding fabric in place when doing applique and in the hoop projects.
stabilizer - A special non-stretch material placed under fabric before embroidery is stitched on that prevents fabric shifting and stretching.
stitch count - The total number of stitches in a design
stitch ripper - Small pointy hand-tool for removing unwanted stitches.
tack down stitch - Line of stitches that hold applique material in place on top of bacground fabric.
tear-away - A type of stabilizer that can be easily torn to remove excess after embroidery is finished stitching.
template (digitizing) - When opening artwork to digitize you use the artwork as a guide or "template" for the design.
template (embroidery) - Print out of your design on paper used to help with determining proper design placement on fabric.
test sew - Stitch-out of design on scrap material to ensure the design is okay before applying to project material.
test stitch - See "Test Sew"
thread - See "Embroidery Thread"
topper - A thin material placed on top of fabric to hold down nap. Usually designed to wash out.
tweezers - Useful for grabbing thread so that you can clip those jumps stitch threads really close
underlay - Initial series of stitches that helps stabilize the fabric before the main body of the design is applied.
unzip - To extract files from a compressed (or "zipped") folder.
vector - A type of image file. Uses mathematical formulae to interpret what an image looks like.
Wahl Peanut - Small size electric clipper used to cut bobbin side of thread from project for removing messed up design.
wash-away - A type of stabilizer that can be removed by rinsing project after design is stitched out.
water soluble stabilizer - A stabilizer that melts when exposed to water.
Wet N' Gone - The brand name of a topper that dissolves with water.
zip file - Compressed folder containing 1 or more individual files.
zip folder - See "zip file"