I use Husqvarna Embroidery Machines for my work, along with the 6D Software package to edit these patterns. Fiber-wise, I primarily use silk taffeta for my work and the rayon thread made by Sulky. Imagery, like stains and background patterns are applied via an inkjet printer capable of printing fabric 17” wide, with fabric adhered to freezer paper to tolerate printing.
These are the consistencies in my overall methodology of how the silk and embroidery patterns are created and outputted in thread, as well as time requirements for understanding the process:
•When embroidering on silk, my first task is to design the background information to thematically support the stitched work and then print it directly onto the fabric using a wide format inkjet printer.
•For images that are chosen for embroidery patterns, I use Photoshop to clean and correct for color, tone, etc. That image is next imported into the 6D Embroidery Software to convert the image into stitches. The design is further edited and optimized, sometimes at the individual stitch level before being transferred to the machine for output. All digital processing can take between 4-10 hours of work for each pattern. I edit every single layer of stitches to make the cleanest pattern possible.
•During the stitch-out, these embroidery patterns have between 80-150 color/thread changes, and each must be done manually. These machines think a bit like a painter: working in general shapes from light to dark, then going back to focus and refine the details closer to the finish. The stitch-out process for the machine embroidery requires between 4-80 hours to complete thread changes and cutting extraneous threads during its process.
•Once the embroidered patterns are complete, each image is further finished with detailed trimming of extraneous threads and any repair or filling of open areas. Then the work is mounted and inserted into the museum quality frames. Finish work requires 1-3 hours per image.