There are many terms used in the language of embroidery. This article will touch on a few of them and hopefully help you understand machine embroidery.
Digitizing is the process of taking any form of artwork and transforming it into a language that the sewing machine will understand and stitch it out. Digitizing is a complex process which uses the machines running, satin and fills stitches to create an embroidery design. It requires many steps from starting with a simple clip art to a stitched out design. Digitizing software is needed for this process.
Conversion software converts a design from one format to another so that it can be read by a different machine than it was digitized for. For example; bernina designs are in art format, in order for a baby Lock machine to read the design, it needs to be in pes format. Conversion software is needed to change the design form art format to pes format.
Some embroidery sewing machines are "embroidery only" machines. These sewing machines are solely devoted to doing machine embroidery. They do not do the work of a regular sewing machine. Other embroidery sewing machines, the higher end of the market, offer sewing machines that can do any and everything. They usually have a removable embroidery unit so the machine will meet any sewing need.
Hooping is putting the fabric into an embroidery sewing machine hoop. Stabilizing and tightness are very important. Unlike hand embroidery, the fabric MUST stay in the same position while the sewing machine embroiders the design. If the fabric moves, the design will not stitch out correctly. The border not lining up with the rest of the design is a common tell tale that the fabric moved.
Embroidery sewing machines use a darning foot that is not actually down on the fabric and there is no feed dog under the fabric to hold it in place.
The stabilizer "stiffens" the fabric to hold it taut as the embroidery sewing machine does its work, working in conjunction with proper hooping.
Customizing or editing allows you to edit and manipulate a design. Merging two designs is an example of customizing. Software is required.
A converter allows you to read from various card formats and save on to a blank card in the format you need for your machine to read the card.
These are just a few of the most common terms heard in an embroidery shop. There are many other details and steps but this is a good start to helping you understand embroidery language.