To Resize or Not To Resize

That is the question! Can a 7″x7″ embroidery design, be reduced to a 2″x 3″ embroidery design for example??

For basic resizing in all our Janome embroidery machines, designs can be reduced or increased by 20%. The machines don’t have an internal stitch processor to add or take away stitches. At 20% resizing, the integrity of the design is maintained; 20% larger won’t have any gaps and 20% smaller won’t be too dense.

Digitizer software lets you increase and decrease the size of your design at infinity as long as it fits into your hoop, because our software has a very powerful stitch processor that can add and take away stitches. But there is the question of integrity. For example a design digitized 2″x 2″ is tiny and won’t have many details or colour changes. If you were to increase that same design to 7″x 7″, the stitch count would increase proportionately but it may look a little ‘flat’ because there isn’t enough detail. The software can increase the stitch count but not add that extra detail.

small car

This antique car’s original size is 2.4″ x 2″ and 6,719 stitches.

large carThis version has been increased to 8″ x 6.5″ and 32,932 stitches.

It looks okay but for the size of the design there is not enough detail. There should be lines on the tires, shading on the body to give it more dimension and maybe even more detail on the grill.

The opposite would true for a larger design and trying to make it smaller. Say, you want it for a patch on a child coat.  The design is digitized 7″x 7″ with a lot of detail. The software will remove stitches, but there will still be the same no. of colour changes with the same amount of detail.

Wolf 7x7This original design is 7″x 7″ with 77,291 stitches and            12 colour changes.

2.75 x 2.6 wolfThis design is only 2.75″ x 2.6″, 46,178 stitches and still has     12 colour changes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Some of the colour changes will only be a couple of stitches, especially the shading of the wolf’s fur.

Maybe this design shouldn’t be resized!

The examples I’ve used are extreme, as it is totally possible to increase or decrease a design that is less detailed and get amazing results. This is just food for thought because the more you know the better you embroider!

A little trick , I have used many times with the resizing tool on my embroidery machine,  is to enable me to rotate a design in the hoop! Some designs can’t be rotated because it ‘hits the wall’ of the screen while rotating. By decreasing the size of the design to 80%, most designs can then be easily rotated. Once the design is in place, resize back up to 100%.

Happy Embroidering, Linda P.

About LindaP

Educational Consultant for Janome Canada Ltd.
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4 Responses to To Resize or Not To Resize

  1. Judy says:

    I have a mb4s janome would like to do large fonts and design. At least 8/9 high and 8/10 wide. How do I change sittings for this and what kind of hoop to use. I’m very new with this and don’t anything other than the manual which isn’t much help.
    Thanks Judy


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Judy

      You have a certain # of fonts built into the JANOME MB4S. These can be used as a small, medium or large size: select which you require before inputting the alphabet.
      In the editing mode on the MB4S you can enlarge any font by up to 20%. Not larger as the stitch count is generally not recalculated in an editing program.
      If you are requiring very large fonts and designs as you mention, you would need a digitizing software program which would come with many more fonts to choose from and would allow you to make larger sizing (working within the parameters for each font type). A digitizing program recalculates the total # of stitches and hence resizing is possible on most designs and fonts.
      Please speak to your local Janome authorized dealer for more information about the various software programs that we have available for our Janome embroidery customers or visit this link:

      Hope this helps you.



  2. Jerry Buckner says:

    I have a 10001 embroidery machine. I need to decrease the size of a design and do not know how to do it.
    Please help me.


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Jerry,

      Please can you contact your local Janome Dealer who will be able to show you the icon on your edit screen in embroidery mode where this may be done. It will only allow you a maximum decrease of 20%. A bigger decrease may only be done in embroidery software.
      Alternatively, your instruction manual does have the information about how to do this.



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