Question 1: What are your hours of operations?
Answer 1: Our office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am until 4:00pm Central Time.
Our retail store is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am until 6:00pm, Saturdays from 10:00am until 2:00pm. The store is closed on Sundays.
Question 2: Where are you located?
Answer 2: Our office is located in central west county of St. Louis Missouri, USA. You may use this map to obtain driving directions to our location.
Question 3: How long has Strawberry Stitch Co. been in business?
Answer 3: Strawberry Stitch Co. began operation in 1992.
Question 1: What is the book Digitizing 101 about?
Answer 1: Digitizing 101 - The Basics of Digitizing for Embroidery is a digitizing textbook written to address the educational needs of anyone looking for a deeper understanding of digitizing. It is a thorough training guide that can be used by someone training themself or others. It is the most comprehensive book ever written on the subject of digitizing for embroidery. To read more on the book's specific topics click here.
Question 2: Is Digitizing 101 specific to any one software program?
Answer 2: One of the main missions of Digitizing 101 was not to be software specific and to instruct on the basis of theroy. In this manner, owners of any digitizing program, including the home embroidery users, will benefit from the instruction obtained from this educational source.
Question 3: Will there be more books after Digitizing 101?
Answer 3: Yes, Digitizing 101 is the first in a series of digitizing books to be written by Thomas L. Moore.
Question 1: How do you prefer to receive a request for a quote?
Answer 1: On our home page there is a button for a quote request. This will take you to a form which asks all the pertinent questions we need answers to. This will allow for an accurate quote, and it reduces the need to call the customer to ask these same questions.
Question 2: Is the on-line form the only method to submit a request for a quote?
Answer 2: No, by all means not. We can begin a quote by email, phone or by fax. The on-line method is the most automated and enables the customer to take advantage of some of our best customer service.
Question 3: How long will it take to get a quote returned?
Answer 3: Normally a price quote will only take a half a day from the time we receive the quote form and the preliminary art. If you are in need of a stitch estimate, that may take a day or so.
Question 4: How can I expect to receive the quote?
Answer 4: Your quote will be emailed to the address listed on the quote request form. If you do not have email, then it will be faxed to you.
Question 5: What form of art do you need to complete the quote?
Answer 5: For quoting purposes we can quote from a fax, but we prefer the graphic file or camera ready art that will be used to digitize.
Question 6: Why do you charge for stitch estimates?
Answer 6: By pricing our work on the complexity of the design, we are determining the time requirement to produce the design as the basis for our quote. The stitches in the design have very little to do with our price.
We do recognize that our customer will need the stitch count to quote their work, but this is for their benefit. An accurate stitch count may take us 15 minutes to complete, and we would have eight estimates a day. That's around two hours a day of quoting. A small number of these would actually turn into orders.
By charging for stitch estimates we cover the time we have invested and it weeds out request for unqualified quote request. We've seen the percentage of quotes to orders increase and the number of customers requiring stitch estimates decrease. We've polled our customers and found they have not only become accustomed to determining their own estimates, but they've become very good at it.
Question 1: What form of art do you prefer?
Answer 1: Vector art is the first preference, because it provides the cleanest lines. This allows for the best finished product. Vector files we can accept are Adobe Illustrator (.AI), Corel Draw (.CDR), Encapsulated Post Script (.EPS) or AutoCad (.DXF). It's important that the text are converted to curves though, before it is emailed. If a vector file formats above isn't available, than a .JPG, .GIF, .BMP or .TIF will work. If any of the listed graphic files aren't available, then camera ready art is acceptable.
Question 2: What if one of the vector file formats aren't available?
Answer 2: Then we'll accept whatever you have and have it drawn by our graphic artist. This will provide us the art we need in order to provide the best quality embroidery design possible. In these cases there will be a modest art fee to cover our time and expenses of creating this art.
Question 3: Why do you charge art fees when other digitizing companies don't?
Answer 3: Art fees aren't always required. Art fees are only applied when the art provided is not adequate for the high standard of embroidery design we aim to provide. Most art drawn today is created in a vector/object based program and consequently, the quality art we require could already exists. If for any reason the vector/object art can not be provided, our artist will quickly and professionally create the art needed. Normally the fees for this service are nominal.
Question 4: Why do you need the text converted to curves on a vector map file?
Answer 4: Vector art contains the specifics to the fonts used in the logo. If our system doesn't have the exact font used by the original artist, then our system will replace the font with something close. Unfortunatly, what the computer considers "something close" isn't normally close enough. Converting the text to curves or outlines converts the text to a graphic outline so that it is seen as a graphic image instead of a text description. This step is taken to ensure design integrity and to protect you. Converting the text to curves or outlines is a term your graphic designer will be familiar with and can easily accomplish.
Question 1: What do you charge per thousand stitches?
Answer 1: We price our work based on complexity.
Question 2: Why don't you charge per thousand stitches?
Answer 2: The price per thousand stitches has been a standard in the embroidery industry. The number of stitches certainly have a direct reflextion on an embroiderer's production cost, but it has little effect on a designer's production cost.
Here is why... It would take three computer inputs to produce a 2" fill circle and there would be about 3500 stitches in this object. To create a 4" circle would also require the same number (three) of computer inputs and there would be about 13,500 stitches in this object. A 5mm tall uppercase "A" would require 16 computer inputs and there would be less than 50 stitches to this object. This is not to mention that small lettering usually requires more test runs than a fill area.
Additionally, artistic features such as drop shaddows and shading work require a lot of thought and time, but require very few stitches. For these reasons, embroidery designers should follow the pricing practices of graphic designers and sever the tradition of pricing their work per thousand stitches. This is fair for both the designer and their customers.
Question 1: Can I resize my applique design?
Answer 1: Not without a lot of editing. Our applique designs are digitized very precisely so the tackdown and finish satin stitches just catch the fabric. The tack down is about 3mm wide and the finishing satin stitch is around 4.5mm leaving very little room for error.
If the design is sized down by 30%, then all elements in the design, including the tack down and finishing satin stitch would be reduced. This would make them too thin to catch properly and the results would be unsatisfactory.
What you can do though, is after you have sized the design down, go back and edit the design, increasing the tack down and finishing satin stitch back to their original widths. This follows the technique we would use to digitize. If the proper tack down is 3mm, this would be true whether the design is 3 inches wide or 8 inches wide. The relationship of the edge stitching to the applique fabric remains the same.
Question 2: I was told I could resize my designs 20%, is this true?
Answer 2: It all depends on the nature of the design.
First let me say that hidden behind many design resizings is also a new target fabric. The underlay and pull compensation used for a cap is very different than that used for fleece. If you're changing the target fabric, even no size change at all could require editing.
Designs which consist soley of satin stitches will normally resize very well, even 100% of their original size. This is because there usually aren't critcal registration issues in these type of designs. The restriction would be if the satins became too wide. If this happened your machine may divide the satin column into two columns. Wide columns also snag easily, so if a satin element should get wider than 7mm it should be edited to be a fill stitch.
Now let's take a design where a little dog which was designed to be 5 inches wide. The dog is very cute with eyes looking up at a butterfly. The dots in his eyes are designed using the minimum distance two stitches should be from one another and the design runs well this way. If the size of the design is reduced, the stitches in this element would be less than the minimum and problems are sure to result. In addition, there is a run stitch outline providing the detail in the design. This outline was tested over and over by the designer to sew in registration based on it's original size. If the design is resized too much, this outline will be off. If there weren't an outline in the design, the design could be resized more than if there is an outline.
Question 1: Do you provide .cnd files?
Answer 1: No. Although it can be argued the Melco Condensed file format (.cnd) is revolutionary, I would argue that it was revolutionary. It broke ground for new technology and paved the way for today's object files.
In today's market though, we chose not to offer the .cnd file format at all for quality reasons. This isn't a popular stance for Melco customers who have been sold on the concept the .cnd file will allow them to resize designs with a click. Read the above section and you will see a few reasons why this isn't possible, even with a .cnd file.
Most importantly, the .cnd file does not represent the stitch placement we so painfully tested. Condensed elements determine the placement of stitches over and over again. In fact, if the design is digitized in one version of EDS and then opened in a different version, the stitch placements will be different between the two files. If we perfect a design, we don't want the stitches to change when our customers open the file.
As time has progressed, programs other than Melco products have included the .cnd format in thier software. Sales people and trainers alike boast the benefits of using the .cnd format with their software, but few realize how much the stitches in these designs are different from the design the digitizer created and tested.
Stitch files on the other hand lock in the stitch placement, because a stitch file only contains machine functions. Machine functions are a stitch xy's, color stops and trims. There isn't any code that will change the files information. I was once asked how we could operate a business that didn't provide .cnd files. My answer to this is, "Melco EDS users account for about 30% of the market. What do you think the rest of the market is doing? They are using stitch files. Even the melco machines won't read a .cnd file, the file is automatically converted to a stitch file with a .asd extenstion. You can find them in the EDS\ASD folder."
Our decision was based on years of problem solving customer's designs whos stitches were not placed or tested by us. When we put our name on a design, we wish for the customer to receive the same quality of a design as we tested for them. Additionally, there is newer technology for resizing designs which do not have the complications of the .cnd format.
Question 1: What is .EMBroidery TrueSizer?
Answer 1: .EMBroidery TrueSizer is a program developed to read most commercial and home market embroidery design files.
Question 2: What can .EMBroidery TrueSizer do for me?
Answer 2: .EMBroidery TrueSizer may be used to open or view embroidery design files, print reports, assign thread colors and convert files between the most common embroidery file formats.
Question 3: How much deos .EMBroidery TrueSizer cost?
Answer 3:It might be hard to believe, but this powerful embroidery design file utility is absolutely FREE. All you must do is download the program and install it.
Question 4: Where can I get a copy of .EMBroidery TrueSizer?
Answer 4: You can read more about .EMBroidery TrueSizer and download your copy right here.