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16. Wildcard

We were free to choose what to do in the assignment this week. We needed to design and produce something with a digital fabrication process using a machine that we have not used yet. The class has presented several options that we could choose, and I have decided to do an embroidery fabrication. I decided to make a customized t-shirt using a funny picture. As my daughter likes panda, I have designed a t-shirt with a panda image.


This is a 6-needle embroidery machine Brother PR670E 6 that was used to accomplish this assignment. The machine offers many features that makes easy to make textile production. It is very accurate and enable to produce textiles up to 6 different collors.


There are many softwares that make it possible create designs for embroidery machines. For instance, Ink/Stitch is an open-source design platform based on Inkscape. Although it is a free software, depending of the precision required for the image, it might not be suitable.

Our lab has a license for the software PE-Design 11 which provides quality features to operate the brother machine we are gonna use in this task. Hence, nothing better than make use also of this software to create the file necessary to operate the embroidery machine. The language of the software is Dutch, but using the same version in another language the position of the buttons and menu’s will be the same.


Previously I have used the following panda image, and I decided to make a t-shirt using the same image. However, the color of the t-shirt I have available was black and embroidering this image like it is would not have a good efect in the final production. So, instead of using black sewing thread, I decided to use a white one to fill the black part of the following image.

Download the SVG file of the image


Prep. Software

  1. Import the image in the software using the menu Patronen importeren > uit vectorafbeelding… The software automatically creates one object for each set of lines from the image, and one object for each internal part of the image.

  2. Some of the lines were not necessary to sew, so I have removed them. To remove one object (or a set of objects), select it (or them) and choose the menu Vormen > Niet borduren (lijn), this will automatically remove it (or them) from the file that will be sent to the machine.

  3. For the external line, I have selected the option Drievoudige steek that will make a triple sewing lines and make a little effect in the border of the image.

  4. This is an overview of how the machine will sewing the image.

  5. The software also offers different views of the image that will be sent to the machine. For example, it is possible to see how the machine will operate to create the configurated image (menu tab in the bottom Realistisch voorbeeld.

Download the PES file generated by the software

Prep. Machine

This is the preparation for sewing the textile by the machine.

  1. First, I attach a paper stick inside of the t-shirt in the location where it will be embroidering. This is to make sure the t-shirt will keep stretched during the execution time. To make an execution test, this step can be skipped, but you need to make sure the textile is stretched well during the whole execution.

  2. The paper stick in the position where the image will be embroidered.

  3. Tool used to keep the textile stretched during the embroidery process. It has different sizes depending on how big is the image. I did a small image, so I use the smallest one.


Exec. Test

It is very dangerous to execute the generated job directly in the t-shirt. If something goes wrong, you might lose the t-shirt. So, before executing the job in the t-shirt, I used a temporary textile to embroider the designed image. The sewing thread got lost in the middle of this execution. I immediately stopped the machine, put the sewing thread back and restart the job 10 steps before it got lost to continue the embroidering of the textile example.

Configurations from the machine.

Exec. T-Shirt

Now that I was sure the job result in a good embroidering, it is time to do it in the t-shirt.

This was the resulted embroidering of the panda. There was a little hole in the eyes that the machine could not emphisize because it was too small. For that, the image should be updated increasing the size of the holes in the eyes.

The excess of paper stick added inside of the t-shirt were removed. The excess of sewing threads as well.

This is the new t-shirt I have made to me this week.

Last update: May 18, 2021