A dream come true for embroidery designers

Vaya Design, Sweden's leading puncher, is one of the world’s first certified Coloreel digitizers. Martin Rappinger, digitizer and cofounder of Vaya, is passionate about digital embroidery design and has been for more than 24 years. He has now specialized in supporting Coloreel customers with more sustainable embroidery designs and colorizations.

Martin’s take if you are thinking about trying Coloreel out?

– Just do it! It’s amazing seeing the Coloreel technology in action. It provides us digitizers with long-awaited shortcuts; no lock stitches, no unnecessary trims and cuts, the instant coloring of the thread, and foremost – the unlimited possibilities of grading and adding other textures and effects, Martin Rappinger says.

How did your journey with Coloreel start?

When Coloreel reached out to Martin Rappinger seven years ago, he had no idea what door he was entering. Coloreel was in need of support on a specific embroidery design but was hesitant to say anything about the technology that was going to be used for the first time.

– Everything was top secret, we got a request of producing a design file with as little information as possible. It was before the technology was official, Martin says.

image of coloreel embroidery

He was suspicious when he finally was able to try the Coloreel technology.

– I was feeling uncertain in the beginning. There are so many factors that would make it impossible, such as the thread and the machine's characteristics. It felt like an unrealistic vision to be able to break through so many obstacles.

During the development of Coloreel’s ground-breaking instant thread coloring technology, many digitizers were doubting Coloreel. Was the vision of the technology just a dream?

– Many of us were skeptical of the innovation, we didn't envision what Coloreel knew would be possible.

How is Coloreel impacting the embroidery industry?

The team behind Coloreel didn’t give up or listened to the no-sayers. And today the Coloreel technology embraces the embroidery industry.

– It is awesome! A dream come true for every digitizer, to unlock the possibilities of our designs, without being limited to the thread stock, the thread cutting, and locking, Martin says.

For a digitizer, the technology enhances a new way of working and designing embroidery.

– It's a new way of thinking. Instead of designing with 15 needles in mind in traditional embroidery, it's just one thread, one needle. No cutting, no different thread tensions, no need to worry about the sequencing of the colors. Traditionally you want to have as few cuts as possible. Using Coloreel you don't have to stop if you need to go back to the color again. It's instant coloring; without the need to stop the machine and risk of miss passing.

Using traditional embroidery, gradients and small details such as thin lines are challenging to reproduce.

– We work with organic materials. The thread doesn't always behave as you would like. Compared to ordinary print designs, you know that what you see on the screen is what you'll get. That's not the case with embroidery, there are many factors that might change the final appearance, how the thread and the material will interact. Coloreel makes it more precise and less worrisome, he says.

How do you create your Coloreel embroidery designs?

During a busy workweek, Martin usually digitizes more than 100 different embroidery designs to clients from a big variety of industries. To add the Coloreel touch, he imports the file to Coloreel Studio. The program helps him quality assure that the colors are matched.

– Coloreel Studio is a very intuitive and easy-to-use software that is free to download. I love the coloring module in Coloreel Studio, such as the smart soft proofing features integrated to support designers and digitizers. After a short introduction from the Coloreel team, you are good to go and start creating your colorful embroidery designs. The support team at Coloreel has got your back, it feels great that they are just a call away as you get the hang of it, he says.

Martin Rappinger walks down memory lane and remembers how his journey with Vaya once began. He had just graduated with a degree in computer and programming. He and his college friend, Mikael Granath, decided to start a business designing websites (keep in mind, we’re talking about 25 years ago, when Internet was a new thing). Then faith leads them into another path, his neighbors popped by to ask for help. As embroidery producers, they needed help digitalizing their embroidery designs.

– We figured, why not?

Vaya got the order, delivered by fax from England to the small town Västerås in Sweden. They digitized the embroidery and sent it in return. By a Floppy Disk (remember those?), with a digital design of the requested horse motif. Ever since Martin has always been curious and in the front run of using new techniques in his profession for more than two decades.

– It's been a long time since something like Coloreel has been developed in the embroidery industry. I know we have only seen the beginning of the era for modern, creative and more sustainable embroidery, Martin says.

What do you dream of embroidering with Coloreel?

When we talk about dreams and visions going forward, he is sure of one thing. He wants to see all possibilities with this new technology and create new, creative and more sustainable embroideries.

– When we got Coloreel installed, I had to try out making paintings such as The Scream by Edvard Munch. I also tried to replicate paintings by Monet using the Coloreel technology. It was so much fun! Just imagine the ability to paint using one thread, and the ability to add gradients and shades. I will keep on elaborating with shades, neon lights and reflections such as the reflections of streetlights in the dark. Martin says and continues. I am sure Coloreel will be standard technology for creative and more sustainable embroideries soon and I am looking forward to follow the #Coloreel journey ahead.

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