Apparel Science

Estimate the stitch amount of an embroidery design

Generally the usage of thread per design and colour of a digitized pattern is to be seen on the plot. If there are no details available it is also possible to estimate the thread´s approximate usage.

Embroidery machines work with stitch type 301, the lock-stitch. With the optimal adjustments of all the parameters it should amount to a shared proportion of 2/3 needle thread and 1/3 bobbin thread. On average the thread usage can be calculated as seen below:


per 1.000 stitches                 needle thread                      4,6 m             bobbin thread         2,3 m


No of stitch possible with a thread of ticket no. 40


1.000 m spool          approx. 200.000  stitches*

5.000 m spool         approx. 1 million stitches*

*Taken from an average stitch length of 4 mm


The thread usage depends on following parameters and varies accordingly:


      Thread tension

      Stitch length

      Fabric thickness

      Number of stitches or machine running time

      Ticket number


How to  estimate the stitch amount of an embroidery design, even before having digitized the pattern?


The estimate value of per square centimeter embroidered surface for embroidery ticket 40 (tex 27) is 150 stitches. Depending on richness of detail you can use a lower or higher value.


For calculating the embroidered surface, you need the dimensions of the design (length x width) and an estimation of how many percent of that surface is covered by the embroidery stitches.




   80 x 80 mm

Size: 8 x 8 cm = 64 cm²


There from 80 % embroidered (visual estimation)


64 cm² x 0,8 = 51,2 cm²


51.2 cm² x 150 stitches/cm² = 7680 stitches


How to calculate emb. Thread consumption ??

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