Small letters on the background of a graph paper. Characters smaller than 4 mm are unaesthetic and unreadable.
What is the smallest type to perform with the use of a computerized embroidery technique? In the computer embroidery production process, on the biggest problem is embroidering of small details, especially small letters.
In the case of graphics small elements can be simplified or completely removed, and the message will remain unchanged and clear for the recipient. During the embroidering of letters, simplifications are unacceptable for obvious reasons – the removal of any element can change a letter into an unrecognizable character. What are the reasons of limitations in the embroidering of very small details and how to deal with them?
Letters of the inscription “WE’RE SPEEDEE” have only 3 mm of height and they are almost unreadable
The key role of threads and underlay
The basic limitation in embroidering of micro-details is the thickness of threads and a space needed for each puncture of a needle with thread in the fabric. Another barrier results from properties of the underlay. Each fabric consists of a perpendicular system of warp and weft, which form a thick mesh. If we look at the fabric closely, it turns out the weave’s thickness has a significant impact on the “resolution” of the embroidery. Capabilities of an embroidery machine are much greater than properties of the material. Double puncture of a needle with thread within the same eye will cause the effect of a thread leaving almost the same point. In our workshop, we try to overcome similar effects by using underlays with possibly the densest weave and sticking to their bottoms special layers, which strengthen and stiffen the surface designed for the embroidery.
Big letters on a contrasting background look the best at any patch. Characters in the WOODSTOCK inscription have a height of 17 mm. A smaller inscription “Festival Poland” – 6 mm
Sizes in practice
Our experience shows that fully readable letters (e.g. Arial font), made with the use of computerized embroidery technique, should have a minimum height of 5 mm. By using such a size or larger size, inscriptions become readable, and the entire embroidery looks aesthetically. Inscriptions consisting of letter with the height of 3 mm are completely unreadable. The situation is additionally complicated in the case of serif fonts, where the recommended minimum height of each letter is 8 mm. Unusual and complicated fonts will look impressively only when letters will exceed 10 mm.
The achievement of a desired effect
Embroidered surfaces, consisting of several or a few dozen rows of threads, gain a very interesting structure – impossible to achieve in case of embroidering the smallest elements consisting of individual threads.
Visualization of a minimum size
The thickness of threads is similar to the thickness of the mark carried out by a normal pen. Check what size of letters you will be able to write on a piece of paper. Remember – even if you will manage to write and read micro-letters with a height of 3-4 mm, the inscription embroidered on the basis of these letters will be neither aesthetic nor readable for other people.