Why does a design look good on one fabric or color and not another?
When a design is digitized, it is digitized for a particular size, fabric, and color. A quality digitizer will digitize a design for maximum versatility. However, there will be many situations where a design will need to be edited to be at its best.
Garment style: Different styles of garments have different characteristics. A piqué shirt is riddled with a small waffle-type pattern; a jersey material is smoother but has more stretch to it; fleece is thicker, and the stitching can sink into the fabric; denim is flat and stable; and a towel can eat up the stitches due to the loft of the fibers. Each of these different characteristics affects the way that stitches lay on a garment and ultimately affect the way the finished design works.
Garment color: Different color garments reflect light differently. Tone on tone or threads that are similar to garment color seem to have the most coverage as there is very little contrast in colors. White thread on a dark garment is usually one of the most challenging as there is a tremendous amount of contrast with the lighter color being the thread. Black thread on a white garment also has an enormous amount of contrast but the black thread easily covers the white garment.
Take fabric type into consideration when digitizing. A design done on a piqué fabric with a honeycomb texture would stitch out differently on a smooth jersey. (Image courtesy Hirsch Solutions Inc.)