Tuesday, February 20, 2018

What is an ITH embroidery file?

The community of enthusiastic embroiderers is steadily increasing ... and repeatedly appears in the forums the question "What is actually an ITH embroidery file?" on.

What is an ITH embroidery file?

ITH is an abbreviation and means "in the hoop" - which means in German as much as "in the hoop". However, the translation alone does not bring greater clarity.

ITH embroidery files are real sewing projects, which are manufactured in the hoop. These can be small pouches, simple stuffed animals, pillows or unusual coasters. But you can also make keyfobs, bookmarks and many other niceties made of cloth, leather, oilcloth or even cork from these files.

How are they made?

Usually you get with an ITH file also a pretty detailed illustrated instructions, because you could not embroider these files without instructions.
The whole thing works in a kind of "building process". An ITH file is divided into quite a few sequences, often starting with the first contours embroidered only on the fleece. Gradually (by default) you put on small pieces of cloth, which are usually attached in the next embroidery step on the previous fabric. Depending on what an ITH embroidery file is, you'll soon have a pretty, embroidered picture on the visible outside. No complicated clamping and positioning is necessary for ITH projects.

... and the hoop stays in the machine the whole time?
With ITH files, it is imperative that you remove the frame and the embroidery from the holder over and over again during the entire process. So you can then hang up your cut fabric pieces. Whether on the front or back, or even to cut back overhanging edges of application fabrics is not crucial in these steps.

Then, after these operations, you put the frame back into the holder of the embroidery arm and the next stick sequence is worked.

This is how it progresses step by step - until the ITH project is finished.

Are there any special features to embroider in this way?

Many ITH projects have a small turnaround as you will have to turn them over after completion. This opening you should after turning (and previously smooth ironing) either by hand - or possibly also with the sewing machine - to close. But there are also ITH projects that manage without any turnarounds and closing vents. With these ITH files, you glue / staple fabrics to the back of the clamped embroidery, giving you a clean reverse side. Gluing is usually done with spray time adhesive, or by attachment with painter's crepe strip. The stapling is usually done with a stapling frame. If something is stapled in an ITH file, the stapling frame is usually already included as a sequence in the file.

... then I can only do smaller sewing projects with ITH embroidery files?

No, not at all - Larger ITH projects can be Cuddly toys for which the items are each ITH embroidered. In the following, you then add the items by hand to the cuddly toy together. Thus, really big sewing projects can also be produced in ITH.

As a result, you get attractive sewing projects that you can create completely in the hoop - without much knowledge about sewing, cutting, seam allowances ect.

For example, this is especially handy for those who may not be so talented in sewing. But also bloody beginners, who are not really into "complicated" sewing projects, can achieve great results with ITH embroidery files. Likewise those who want to sell small handicrafts - because ITH-made projects always look accurate and equal.

However, ITH embroidery does not mean that things are easier to make than using a pattern and the sewing machine. Usually, an ITH project takes longer and also requires high attention. You have to stick to the embroidery machine all the way through the process, as the frame has to be removed and retracted again and again. Continuously, you have to re-lay the pieces of fabric and concentrate on the thing. It all costs his time.

So if you think, for example, a bag in ITH-Stickweise go very fast, which will be a little disappointed. Experienced seamstresses are certainly faster with cutting and sewing on the sewing machine. But nevertheless ITH makes embroidering really fun - and there are always great results.
If you have never embroidered an ITH-Projekt , give it a try - and you'll soon be infected by this cute virus ... ☺

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