header picture on why digital patterns are blurry and unreadable

Are Your Digital And PDF Patterns Crystal Clear or Blurry?

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While searching for antique and vintage patterns, I notice a significant difference in the clarity of the patterns and oftentimes blurry when printed. Have you noticed this too and wondered why?  There are several reasons for a blurry (or pixilated) printout which I summarize below and give you a few examples.

  1. Low-resolution file image or file.
  2. Original scanned patterns must of high quality (high resolution) if the patterns are to be useable. Scanning is easy; reproducing a high-quality digital pattern takes time and passion to reproduce the best possible vintage pattern with the aid of special software.
  3. Re-scanning or editing a scanned image or file. Do you remember what happens when you copy a copied document over and over again? It becomes so blurry or pixelated that it’s difficult to actually read it! Well, in a similar way, your digital file changes every time you edit or make a change to the image or file you create a whole new file (image).
  4. Digital files do not degrade over time, i.e., lose file (image) quality, editing and making a change will
  5. If you use photo editing software, always save your raw file because making adjustments does change the quality of the file (image).

Patterns in pdf format are essentially pictures (images). If the patterns are scanned, they are still pictures (images), typically in .jpg format.

For those that know of other reasons for blurry images, please share with the rest of us!


Example #1  Babykin Sweater, Size 2, 1918 by Fleishman Knit and Crochet Manual

This babykin sweater pattern clipping was in a knitting and crochet manual published in 1918. Click both pictures to see the difference in picture and reading clarity. The same image to the right is a digital reproduction of the same pattern using special software to provide a crisp with crystal clear writing knitting pattern. Check for yourself!

original Baby Sweater pattern; click the picture to test print pattern
digital reproduction of Baby Sweater, 1918; click on image to test print free PDF pattern





Example 2 is a vintage newspaper from 1957. How do you reproduce the Breton Hat from a newspaper article without retyping it word for word?
                Original publication the “Breton Hat” in Australia’s Women Weekly, 1957. 
                Note: The NLA link is no longer working.


Digital reproduction of Breton Hat by Vintage Projects (vintageprojects.space)

digital reproduction of 1957 Breton Hat pattern; click on picture for free PDF file


Example #3: Kimono Top, Size 34-36, 1922

the original scanned pattern of Kimono Top; click on the picture to  test print for clarity and quality of the pattern


digital reproduction of Kimono Top by Vintage Projects










Now, do you see the difference in the quality & clarity of a reproduced digital pattern versus the different types of scanned images?


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