Most of the people (digitizers and the embroiders) think that underlay stitch is a waste of thread and thus adds up more stitches to the designs, which mean it is going to take more time to be stitched. They think that underlay stitch does’nt really make a different to the embroidered design. In our opinion, underlay is one of the most important stitches that helps to retain the shape of the object when stitched out, and it is the base for any embroidery design we create or stitch. Since most of the people are not aware about the importance of the underlay stitch in a design, they say it is useless, on the other hand, we think it is all what makes the difference in our digitized designs.
What is Underlay Stitch
Understanding the importance of the overlay stitch is not too hard. Simply consider it as the foundation of your design. Take the example of a building whose foundations are not strong, or it has some flaws in the foundation, do you think it will stand for a long time? Your answer would be “NO”, even if you do not have an engineering background, you were still able to answer the question correctly. Why? You know the reason very well, if something has been built on weak foundation, it will eventually fall. Same can be applied for underlay stitches, they are the base for the top stitches, and should be there to support the design stability. If someone does not want to use the underlay stitches, just to save time, he/she is actually compromising the quality of the embroidered design.
When Underlay is not Needed:
Most stitches require underlay stitches except for running stitches, or when you are creating a light design and mixing threads to be creative. You also dont need to use underlay when working on red work design or layers of fill stitches.
There is not just one type of underlay, there are multiple ways to use underlay stitches in the design according to the requirements. Let us further explore these types and have a better understanding about this:
Satin Stitches (Large Letters):
Hatch normally sets up the underlay automatically. But lets discuss about setting it up manually. We all understand that small letters will contain low number of underlay stitches, while the larger letters will need more underlay stitches. This is pretty much basic, since no one wants to end up with a blob of threads while stitching the small letters.
For large letters, you need to use edge underlay and the zig-zag underlay. The Edge underlay defines the outer line of the letter and the zig-zag overlay is the one that fills the inside of the letter. For maintaining the quality of stitches it is primary your job as the digitizer to use proper hoops and stabilizers, so your designs are stitched according to the quality needed.
Satin Stitches (Small Letters):
Stitching small letters is very tricky. Same as with all other embroidery designs, small is harder to do than the large designs. When you are working with a small letter, knowing the recommended smallest size for that letter is very important. If you make a letter smaller than the recommended size, it might not be the thing you needed. For smaller letters, we have use one type of underlay “center underlay”. Since for smaller letters it stitches right through the center of the satin stitch. Small foundation for a small letter, right! Adding anything else would be too much for the letter and it would not look right.
We think this information should be enough for the time being. Go ahead and try out yourself using the underlay stitches and compare the difference in quality of the designs you created with and without the underlay stitches. You will definitely be able to identify the difference and would go Woohoo!
We will be discussing more types of underlay stitches in our upcoming topics and provide further details. Until then enjoy and increase the quality of your designs with underlay stitches.