If you want to take your embroidery a step further, or grow your embroidery business in terms of sales and productivity you will need to have great embroidery design software. Embroidery software is how embroidery businesses digitize, customize, organize and create the complex files associated with embroidery machines.
In this article...
When I was searching the internet for embroidery software, I found a lot of confusion in a tonne of embroidery software reviews! So I thought I’d help break down what the options are so you can choose the right embroidery software.
- Create your own font
- Multiple lines of lettering easily
- Aligns letters in the proper order
- Easy to learn
- Suitable for common embroidery hoops
- Plenty of fonts and frames to get started with
- Cutting file formats
- Best embroidery skills training
- Create your own embroidery designs
Top 3 Embroidery Software
his is a letter lover’s absolute dream and offers digitizing images to their best embroidery design file.
You can use this software by itself; you don’t need to purchase any other Embrilliance software to go with it.
Your license or this program lets you run it on as many computers you own, even on Mac and Windows so you can use it across all of the house computers – there are no limits to the number of installations!
Best for Beginners
The Brother Initial Stitch Embroidery Lettering and Monogramming Software is my choice for beginners who are learning to use embroidery software.
This basic program has really simple and clear instructions of how you can resize, reshape, center flip and align your design. It’s not over complicated with a modest 25 lettering fonts, 5 monogramming fonts and 27 frames to add around your best embroidery patterns.
There will always be a learning curve when trying something new, but this software tries to make it as easy as possible to get to grips with.
It comes with guides which help you select the right stitch type a and the right stabilizer for your project. You can also preview your amazing designs before you embroider and play around with color changes before you start, making this a perfect software for beginners.
Best for Business
If you are looking to start or expand your embroidery business the Embriliance StitchArtist Level 2: Digitizing Embroidery Software is a fantastic choice for you to grow your skills as a company.
Embriliance StitchArtist Level 2: Digitizing Embroidery Software, offers you a much wider range of the best embroidery stitch types and digitizing tools which means you can create virtually any design.
Embrilliance has a YouTube channel full of resources for you to follow to get to grips with this incredible and comprehensive software.
Now On To The Reviews..
This is a letter lover’s absolute dream! You can use this software by itself; you don’t need to purchase any other Embrilliance software to go with it.
The Embrilliance AlphaTricks Software for Mac and PC will prevent any of those sequence or layout problems when it comes to lettering and sizing again.
It makes creating embroidery designs fun. This software has been created to help you organize your fonts. It can be a nightmare dragging a letter up one by one, then having to resize them all keeping them positioned correctly.
You can map every individual letter embroidery design to fonts you can type with and adding a font is as easy as drag-and-drop. This software lets you map, circle, re-shape, re-size, spiral, change color and more of letters. Once this is done you can then use the fonts on any other Embrilliance embroidery program to complete your design.
If your font digitizer doesn’t have BX embroidery files for their fonts, simply ask them to get them made. It’s free to them, and it makes life so much easier for you, their customer.
Best for Beginners
The Brother Initial Stitch is my choice for beginners who are learning to use embroidery software and their Brother embroidery machine.
It has really simple and clear instructions of how you can resize, reshape, center flip and align your design.
Even if you’ve never used embroidery software before, Initial Stitch Embroidery Lettering and Monogramming Software is easy to learn and use.
Design custom lettering and monogramming for 4×4 and 5×7 hoops, resize and save design files, and merge your own designs with the built-in lettering and monograms.
Built into the Brother embroidery software are 25 lettering fonts, 5 monogramming fonts and 27 decorative frames to further personalize your designs.
Easy to use editing tools include resize, reshape, center, flip and align tools. Built-in recipes help guide you in selecting the right stitch properties for your fabric and the right stabilizer type for your project.
This embroidery machine software also allows you to preview your designs on a range of background colors, or on your own imported fabric.
Initial Stitch is compatible with most brands of home embroidery machines, with the ability to import and save designs in file formats for Brother software and most popular brands of embroidery machines. Initial Stitch is PC compatible for Windows 7/8.1/10.
This embroidery machine software is sold as a prepaid download. An internet connection is required to redeem the included activation code and download the best embroidery software, instruction manual and installation guide onto your computer.
- Compatible with most embroidery machines including a Brother embroidery machine
- Not compatible with Mac
Best for Business
If you are looking to start or expand your embroidery business the Embriliance StitchArtist Level 2: Digitizing Embroidery Software is one of the best embroidery software for you to grow your skills as a company.
Designed for those who want to create more sophisticated embroidery designs and logos, StitchArtist Level 2 enables production and skills training.
The embroidery machine software with a more complete set of auto digitizing tools and a wider selection of embroidery stitch types and properties, allowing you to create virtually any design.
With level 2, you can use satin stitches to their fullest extent with stitch inclination control and import vector art and cutting file formats to create embroidery objects.
It will allow the user to learn a wide cross-section of stitch types and properties, and have enough freedom to create virtually any design.
If you are looking to use satins to their fullest extent, this is where you need to look. You can create lines, manual running stitch, fill stitch, satin border, satin column, applique, stipple, motif fill, cross stitch, fringes and a lot more.
Stand alone or combine the different Embrilliance Programs for the best in embroidery creation and editing.
It runs natively on Mac and PC, and has extensive instructional resources available via the official Embrilliance YouTube channel. If you already own StitchArtist Level 1, you need to purchase StitchArtist Upgrade Level 1 to Level 2 rather than this complete version.
- Free, downloadable updates and disk-free installers available
- Complex to learn
Embrilliance Essentials Software believes that every embroiderer needs basic tools to make embroidery designs their own. These tools should be fast to learn and fun to use; which is what they say Embrilliance Essentials is.
Embrilliance Essentials includes 14 great scalable, object based embroidery fonts. You can use your digitizing software immediately!
Once you complete your purchase, you will be automatically emailed an invoice containing the serial number you need to activate your program.
With this digitizing software, you can merge designs, resize designs (recalculate stitches), remove overlapping stitches, colorize, print templates, add lettering. Those tools should be fast to learn and shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.
It’s suitable for both Mac OS and Windows operating systems. It comes with free downloadable updates and there it is disk free installation.
You can use this software to resize existing embroidery stitch files with an automatic stitch recalculation feature. It will save your embroidery stitch designs in your machine format and save your appliques for cutting machines like ScanNCut and Silhouette.
This digitizing software makes it easy to overlap existing embroidery designs and to automatically remove underlying stitching.
- Overlap designs
- Suitable for both Mac OS and Windows
- Does not convert JPG or other graphics to embroidery designs
The Embrilliance Thumbnailer provides an easy way for you to view embroidery designs and electronic cutting files on your Mac and PC.
Your best embroidery software designs when viewed on a computer are called thumbnails, and now viewing it is easier than ever.
This embroidery machine software reads embroidery designs and creates thumbnails for you so you can see exactly what the design looks like.
You control the design formats you want to see using an easy preference pane. The Windows version of Thumbnailer even works with .svg and cutting files: .fcm (Brother Scan ‘n Cut), .studio (Silhouette Studio) and .scut4 (Sizzix eClips).
If you’ve been downloading or buying embroidery designs, you need the Thumbnailer. It’s simple to use, you can view your designs on your computer.
The designs are drawn with a realized 3D view. You control the best embroidery software design formats you want to see using a preference pane.
This program is the world’s first like it, as it contains the world’s first mac and PC identical embroidery products released at the same time. It was the first software that supported Mac OS X, Windows XP(32bit SP2), Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10 (32&64 bit).
- Only requires 100mb of disk space on your computer
- Cannot edit the designs
Janome Artistic Digitizer Software will help you create and embellish any project easily with this robust embroidery sewing and crafting software.
You can achieve professional quality results quickly and easily without needing to be an expert – you have everything you need to create original amazing designs in this comprehensive package.
You can add personal touches, choose from a plentiful selection of auto digitizing options, advanced features for editing, crystal work, quilting motifs and more.
It is both Windows and Mac compatible, you can add depth, dimension and drama to any projects to create more interesting stitching down a piece of yarn to create a unique look and texture.
You can select use any of your pre-bought fonts for this – from your own system fonts to any open type fonts you have bought already to create unique looks on your items.
This design software comes with 60 tutorial videos which are directly available in the software which cover everything from your basics to complex amazing designs.
- Freedom to explore your creativity
Embroidery Software FAQ
What Is The Best Embroidery Digitizing Software?
The best embroidery digitizing software is something that will allow you to edit dozens of file types, and create amazing designs for virtually any embroidery and sewing machines so you can use it across the board.
In my experience, the best embroidery design software comes from Embrilliance, who offer unique format font types with thousands of choices. It allows you to create your own designs in their embroidery software packages that can be embroidered right away.
It also has a large online community on social media and YouTube so you can connect and share skills with other Embrilliance embroidery software users and those who will review other products by the company such as Embrilliance Enthusiast Embroidery Software.
What Is The Easiest Embroidery Software To Use?
While no embroidery software is going to be super easy to navigate the first time, there are some features that can help make a software easier than another.
The best embroidery machine software programs come with lots of instructions! Most embroidery software comes with a host of videos included to help you learn how to get the most from your products.
Embrilliance is one of the most popular embroidery software companies. Although their software always has a slight learning curve – it doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of features to get used to.
Their software program has many automated features and a full array of learning resources with it.
Your embroidery machine will most likely come with free software built in with machine embroidery designs ready for you to play around with.
How Do I Turn An Image Into An Embroidery Design?
To digitize a logo, a designer traces a logo with auto digitizing software. They determine where and how stitches will be applied, then create a digitized file.
Each embroidery digitizing software program uses a slightly different technique, but the general outcome is the same: a series of points and data about how to apply the stitches in a language that the embroidery machine speaks.
Digitized file types are simply instructions for embroidery machines to follow. Major embroidery machine manufacturers have their own proprietary file types.
Things to Consider When Buying an Embroidery Digitizing Software:
All digitizing embroidery software is not the same, and there are many angles to consider when you are buying an embroidery program.
By determining your background can in some way, impact your decision into which software is best for you. If you have a production or machine background, some programs will make more sense in relating your artwork directly to stitches, and you’d probably feel more comfortable right off the get-go.
Another type of software will be programmed leaning more towards the graphics industry, and if you have a graphic artist background, you will catch on quicker.
What will you use the software for? If you are using it to play around at home, you may not need a high end of overly complicated software with added and unnecessary bells and whistles.
If you are considering taking your embroidery to the next level and want to start an embroidery business then a software that would have many features may be helpful for you so you can develop your skills as you learn.
Consider what features would be helpful for you now, and in any future projects. If you never use monogramming, software that focuses on lettering and fonts is probably going to be useless.
However, if you spend more time writing and lettering but get muddled up with the sizing, monogramming features are going to be imperative for you.
How do I turn a picture into an embroidery design?
Converting an image like a JPG into a file for embroidery like a PES, DS, JEF is a bit more complex than simply hitting a convert button.
You can find free embroidery software online to help you before making the plunge into buying embroidery design software.
An embroidery file differs from both pixel-based graphics and vector-based graphics in several ways. An embroidery file must contain the following information in order for the embroidery machine to stitch it out:
- Different areas of color
- Stitch type (satin vs. fill stitch) and fill pattern in and around the areas of colors.
- Stitch angle
- Start point and end point of stitching in each element.
- Stitch density
- Stitch order
You will need to ensure that your software programs allow you to do this. Something like Embrilliance AlphaTricks focuses solely on fonts and monogramming so there would be no option to edit an image.
The first step you want to take is to remove the background of your image (if it has one), which can be done through a design software like photoshop.
Open your embroidery software, and open the image in the embroidery software. Reduce the colors of the image to help compromise the flat areas of color making it easier to embroider and less thread color change.
Move over to the stitch mode, and start defining different stitch areas based upon colors you have defined. Then save your design as an embroidery file based upon your machine’s requirements.
Some software works on a vector base which is a different file format. You may have different options to help you reduce the colors and then convert the file into a graphics file format.
You can save the embroidery file in extensions > (software e..g Brother) > Embroider and choose the embroidery file format you want.
Do you need to buy software specific to your embroidery machine brand?
Although in most cases you don’t need specific machine embroidery software, sometimes the added bonuses come from having both your machine and software in the same brand. Wireless connectivity can be an incentive for one.
However, when it comes to the designing and digitizing fonts and images for embroidery there aren’t any huge advantages of buying specific software to match your branded machine.
It’s important to note that although you might not need specific software, every embroidery machine has a file format that it reads, for example Brother embroidery machines read PES files, so when you convert a picture into an embroidery file you will want to save it into a format that your machine will read.
Double check with the manufacturer of each to confirm this before you make a purchase.
Ok, there you have a list of my favorite embroidery softwares that I found whilst I was looking for my embroidery editing software.
There might seem like there’s a lot to get your head around, but once you start doing the research and understanding you’ll pick it up in no time.
Tell me about your experiences with embroidery software, or if you have a different best machine embroidery software I’ve skipped, do tell me what it is – I’d love to know in the comments below!
If you have a different project in mind, I also wrote about what the best quilt design software could mean for you. Check it out! I also have this best online embroidery classes article that can help you learn different hand embroidery techniques.