Embroidery Letters might seem simple to digitize, but their shape, size, and intricacy can get you in trouble.

So, before digitizing the embroidery letters, you need to consider many aspects, including whether the letters can be digitized or not.

In this article, we will discuss some important considerations before digitizing letters for machine embroidery.

Letter Shapes:

Always consider the shape & column width of the embroidery letters if you need to add show-through in your block letters.  Learn more about what is show or see through?

Block Letters: Block letters are the simplest in which each letter is separate, bold, and easy to digitize.

Letter’s Reference Height:

The reference height refers to the maximum height of the letters, regardless of whether they are in upper or lower case

How to measure a letter’s Height?

Place the letters along a standard baseline to measure the height of the letter during embroidery digitizing.

You can use E or H to measure the height of the font because they sit on the baseline and do not extend above the standard height.

Lowercase letters such as y or g generally fall below the baseline.

However, the minimum height of the letters between point A to point B is 0.20 mm.

Letter spacing and width:

The width of the letter varies according to the shape and size of the design.

However, if your design contains both upper-case and lower-case letters, try to make a good balance of spacing around individual letters for accurate results.

Letter Join Type:

Always consider the letter join type according to your artwork and the size that you want to embroider.

Following are the two basic joining methods.

  • Bottom Join BJ: Letters are join along with the baseline; you can use it while digitizing for towels and terry cloths so that the inner joins will hidden in the pile of fabric.
  • Closest Join CJ: Letters are join at the closest point, and it is use while digitizing script letters.

Letter sequencing:

The digitizing sequence of each embroidery letter depends on the artwork and how you are joining them.

For best results, use the closest join method, which helps you to minimize jumps and trims

Reshaping and Modification:

You can reshape and modify embroidery letters according to the size.

Let’s say if any letter’s height falls below 0.20 mm, it can be resize slightly higher, depending on the artwork.

However, tiny letters can be digitize with a run stitch, but we don’t recommend this, as it lowers the quality of embroidered letters.

Letters Stitches:

Most letters are digitized with a satin stitch, but the satin stitch has limitations (can’t embroider below 1.5 mm and not over 10 mm) in how small you can get.

Short letters have less room you have for each stitch, so as a result, the letters become uneven and rough after embroidery.

A simple run stitch is the best alternative for tiny letters.

Underlay for Embroidery Letters:

Most embroidery lettering is typically 15mm or less in height, although the software comes with fonts that are suitable for small and large lettering.

Column of the letters usually lies between 2.5 – 3mm at average sizes, and for such columns, it is best to use a single Center RunEdge Run underlay, or both.

Some embroidery digitizing software automatically chooses a suitable underlay according to the design, but you can change this from Object Properties if needed.

Few rules of thumb for lettering underlay:

To ensure optimal results, it is best to avoid using an underlay for lettering with a height of less than 5 mm.

  • We recommend to use center-run underlay for letters between 6mm to 10mm.
  • Always use edge-run underlay for letters larger than
  • You can use a second layer of underlay for giant letters, specifically when digitizing for jacket backs.

3D Puff Letters for Machine Embroidery:

3D puff letters are popular for simple one-colored logos on caps but can also be used in decorative machine embroidery.

Digitizing for 3D puff lettering might be tricky for you, but if you follow some basic rules, then it can be simple.

Basic Rules for digitizing 3D puff letters

  • The stitch spacing for 3D puff letters must be set at 16 mm.
  • 3D puff lettering is always done with satin stitches.
  • There will be no underlay used in 3D puff letters.
  • The size of 3D puff letters shouldn’t exceed 5”; otherwise, the final result might be compromised.

Push and Pull Compensation for Embroidery Letters:

Push & pull compensation is equally important for embroidery letters because even a small distortion can make your letters shoddy.

 For embroidery letters, we suggest you set the pull compensation to 0.2 – 0.3 mm.

Learn more on what is Push and Pull Compensation in Embroidery Digitizing?  

Stitch Density for Embroidery Letters:

Usually, embroidery letters are digitized with satin & tatami stitches.

The average stitch density for embroidery letters typically lies between 0.4 and 0.45 mm. 

However, lowering the density can make your embroidery letters denser, which can cause design distortion.


By carefully considering letter size, font choice, stitch type, density, and push-and-pull compensation, you can ensure that your digitized embroidery letters come to life flawlessly.

Remember, patience, practice, and attention to detail are key ingredients for success. Now, go forth and digitize the embroidery letters effortlessly!