If you have ever purchased any custom logo embroidered apparel, you have probably paid some kind of logo or design set-up charge. It has been called any number of things like a digitizing fee or tape charge, but they all essentially mean the same thing.
So what is that set-up charge in custom embroidery? Embroidery is essentially done by a sewing machine with all of the elements one expects-like a needle, bobbin and thread. But unlike standard sewing machines which essentially sewing in straight lines, an embroidery machine can sew patterns. Therefore, someone or something has to tell the embroidery machine where and when to sew a stitch in order to create a pattern like a logo.
The set-up or digitizing process represents a real cost for companies that do embroidery. It requires a very expensive piece of software and a highly trained person to do it right. That is why embroidery companies charge a set-up fee.
Good embroidery starts with good digitizing. The best companies hire people who are highly skilled and experienced to get the best possible setup of a logo for embroidery.
The good news is that once a logo has gone through this set-up or digitizing process, that file can be used over and over again on future orders without having to incur the cost again.
But if a logo changes in any way, the set-up process has to be done again to create the new file.
So while the set-up charge is not complicated, it is a necessary part of the custom embroidery process and something you should understand before making any purchases.