It may have something to do with the stitch software rather than Photoshop.
When you indexed the 2-color png, did you choose 'No Dither'?
No reason to export jpeg if what you need is png. Jpeg will add more colors. When exporting png I usually use File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy).
It looks like the edges are anti-aliasing and therefore adding more colors.
The edges would be smoother if your artwork could be vector, and if the stitching software can open EPS files.
I did managed to get everything to work but it took several iterations and I'm still not 100% certain that I'm doing this correctly. Here's my workflow.
- For color reduction:
- Pallet: Local (Selective)
- Colors: 2
- Forced: None
- Transparence: Unchecked
- Matte: None
- Dither: None
- For Resizing the image from larger size to smaller size
- Image>Image Size
- For exporting the image
- I have to adjust/guess at the Image size but I think I found the workflow that gets me there but here's what was confusing to me (novice user). I had already resized the image to 2 inch height at 1000 PPI (to maintain resolution around the edges of the letters which is critical in the stitch software) but when I exported it the image was 21 inches tall. I played around with the image size in the export box and finally discovered that at height of 144 PX will get me very close to a 2" tall image. I'd still like to understand why the image size exported differently.
- For color reduction:
You should resize/resample first, as that will create more edge colours.
Then index the file to reduce colours.
In my limited experience, embroidery providers usually ask for vector art (Illustrator), not raster (Photoshop).
If 144px = 2 inch print/output size, then the image is being assumed as 72ppi. PNG does not have a resolution or a “print size” metadata value as sometimes found in JPG… Which is another good reason to use vector over raster (if the embroidery software accepts vector files such as .ai / .eps / .pdf)
When exporting for web, the resolution automatically changes to 72 ppi, which is probably why the change in dimensions.
I concur with Stephen A Marsh -- In my few experiences with embroidery providers they want vector art. That's why I suggested vector in my second post. The edges would be smooth and it would be much easier to control the dimensions and number of colors. Adobe Illustrator would be ideal for this job.
I have access through my CC account to illustrator but I have never used it. So are you saying that Illustrator can take the original JPEG file and export this in a different way that would work better for me (I'm the embroider). If so, I need to learn that method because the embroidery software that I use is too basic to get these details correct.
Can you suggest where I need to start with Illustrator?
Noted on the workflow. I'll give that a try.
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Illustrator can not take the original jpeg file and export in a different way.
I'm suggesting that your client give you a vector file of the artwork, not a jpeg. You can open the vector file in Illustrator and assign exactly the 2 colors you need. Then save the file as EPS. That way you will get perfectly smooth edges and get just the colors you want at the size you need.
If the client cannot give you a vector file, I would recreate the artwork in Illustrator. For someone experienced in Illustrator it would be quick and easy to do. Since you haven't used Illustrator before, it will take some practice. If you're up against a deadline, it would not be practical.
If you do have time to spend with Illustrator, mainly you need to get comfortable using the Pen tool. There are lots of tutorials on the web, books, and classes.