Are you new to the embroidery digitizing world and afraid of investing your bucks in costly software? Worry not; we are here to provide you with the list of the best free embroidery software for digitizing, as we know selecting the right software is the most crucial point while ramping up in the embroidery journey.
After spending years of research in embroidery, we reached the point that the free embroidery software is enough to provide you with basic tools and instructions while learning to digitize. You can easily install these programs on your computer or tablet to create a unique design from scratch or edit an existing design as per your preferences.
Before delving into the topic, let’s explore what embroidery software actually is and how many of its types are there. Armed with this knowledge, you can feel equipped to make an informed decision based on your individual needs. So let’s get started!
What is Embroidery Software?
Embroidery software is a program containing instructions to create a unique design or convert an existing embroidery design into embroidery machine-compatible file formats like Tajima (DST), Inbro, EMB, PAT, Datastitch (STX), REF, ART, etc. These stitching files actually tell the machine to draw the intended design over a variety of fabrics like clothing, tablecloths, pillows, towels, curtains, and other soft furnishings.
To perform editing and designing, these software comes embellished with myriads of object tools like a direct stitch, circle, thread color changer, line, frame, satin columns, or fill areas. Users are free to create these objects either through technical drawings or can translate these from vector drawings.
Types of FREE Embroidery Software
Acquiring knowledge on the diverse range of embroidery software is crucial to distinguish the optimal cost-effective options. This is owing to the fact that not all individuals necessitate exorbitant and intricate digitizing programs, which can be an uphill task for novices to comprehend. So let’s discuss the types:
Free Thumbnail Viewers
Commonly, machine embroidery designs downloaded from the internet are saved in embroidery file formats such as JEF, PES, DST, and the like. However, in the unfortunate scenario that your computer fails to recognize any of these formats, a generic icon will be displayed in place of the original design. In such a scenario, free embroidery thumbnail software (i.e., Embrilliance Thumbnailer) comes to rescue you, as it provides instructions to your computer to display the image of the actual design instead of a non-descriptive icon.
Free File Converters
Embroidery file conversion software (e.g. My Editor) helps convert the embroidery file format of one machine (.Jef for Janome) to another (.pes for Brother) when the formats are incompatible with your device. However, it’s important to note that these converters are not capable of converting image file formats like .jpg, .svg, or .png into embroidery file formats.
Free Editing and Customization Software
Editing and customization program (e.g. Embrid) for embroidery provides the users with the facility to make changes and enhance the look of the pre-digitized designs imported to the software. This may include resizing the stitch while keeping the density constant, adding knockdown stitch and embroidery basting boxes to the designs, changing thread color, splitting larger designs into smaller pieces, and a lot more.
The majority of customization software available also has the capability to incorporate text into the design, allowing users to create a personalized name or monogram. You can utilize some built-in embroidery fonts and special computer fonts like .ttf, depending on the software.
Free Embroidery Digitizing Software
Digitization for embroidery is the process of crafting unique and novel embroidery designs either by importing from an image file (.png, .jpg, etc.) as starting point or creating a design from scratch as per your needs. The Digitize Embroidery Software free stands as the most sophisticated form of machine embroidery program available, which can be further categorized into 2 distinct types as mentioned below:
a. Auto-Digitizing Software
The auto-digitizing software requires users to upload an image file (.jpg, .png, etc.) or a vector file (like .svg) and minimal input to create a new design. The process is straightforward and automated, requiring only a few clicks, with the software handling the rest of the work. However, it’s important to note that the quality of the designs produced by this software may be somewhat lower. There are currently no free programs available for auto-digitizing of embroidery.
b. Manual Digitizing Software
Manual digitizing software is much more professional and advanced, requiring users’ time and expertise to create a design from scratch. Here the users provide all the instructions to the software about what type of stitches are required. This type of software comes with a relatively high price tag and entails a challenging learning process. Fortunately, there’re a handful of free programs at your disposal that can assist you in crafting manual digitized designs.
10 Best FREE Embroidery Digitizing Software for Windows and Mac
Now let’s get a deep dive into the 10 best free embroidery software for digitizing that you can install on your Windows or Mac PC to use for professional and personal embroidery projects. Some of these are not totally free, but these do provide a free trial that may be enough to fit your needs.
1. Embird Embroidery Digitizing Software for PC
Embird is a reasonably priced embroidery digitizing software built on a modular principle. It’s the primary hub to which tons of add-on modules (also called plug-ins) are coupled. These modules (digitizing, iconizing cross stitch, etc.) extend the basic software’s functionality.
Embrid allows file conversions to bridge between other file formats and the world of machine Embroidery. Additionally, this software supports more than 70 embroidery file formats for industrial and home embroidery machines and is compatible with Windows 11 or earlier versions and MacOS X or previous.
Embrid embroidery software comes with a basic package that includes various features. However, additional modules are available for users who want to expand their options.
These modules are:
You don’t need to purchase all these add-ons at once; rather, you can buy the one according to your need with a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, if you want to use Embrid as free embroidery digitizing software, then you’re advised to register for a 30-day free trial to access there all modules with some limited functionality that is more than enough to meet the needs of beginner embroiderers.
2. Ink/Stitch Free Embroidery Software for Digitizing
Ink/Stitch is a cross-platform supported web extension based on the vector graphics software Inkscape. It’s a full-fledged, free embroidery digitizing software for creating unique designs with its open-source drawing toolkit.
Ink/stitch software can convert SVG files to stitch file formats and also provides the option to customize SVG path objects and create satin columns from the path. Furthermore, this free embroidery program makes use of Inkscape’s path tool to import arrays of embroidery formats, reuse, and adapt them in addition to managing thread colors.
In short, it’s an amazing software with tons of capabilities to meet the power needs of hobbyists as well as professional digitizers.
3. Hatch Embroidery Software
Hatch is a full fledge embroidery digitizing software coupled with creative tools and automation for creating impressive embroidery designs. The premium version of software comes with 4 modules with 2 purchase options (one-time payment / monthly subscription).
These modules are listed below:
It’s an amazing user-friendly software compatible with Windows and Mac devices. If you want to use it as free embroidery software, then you’re welcome to download a 30-day free trial version to access all Hatch modules without putting the burden on your wallet.
4. SophieSew Digitizing Embroidery Software Free
When it comes to free embroidery digitizing software, SophieSew takes the lead, owing to its object-oriented design approach. It means that you can start designing from simple objects like curves or images and then assemble them to larger running stitches, ultimately resulting in a fine, stunning design. It’s a manual digitizing software that permits individuals to create simple to complex embroidery designs from scratch as well as customize existing designs.
SophieSew features tons of essential embroidery tools that are all operated to create the direct stitch, line object, curved column, outline, embroidery frame object, and much more. Similarly, it gives users the flexibility to copy, cut, delete, rotate, resize, position, and duplicate individual design elements to straightforwardly to multiple combinations of finished designs. This free embroidery software for Windows is also embellished with viewing and analyzing tools in a dedicated visual section to analyze complex 3D designs, as well as a thread color changer.
5. SewArt Digitizing Software
SewArt is an inexpensive embroidery digitizer for computer devices (Windows & Mac). It’s a dedicated auto-digitizing program but also provides some manual controls to create designs of one’s choice. It’s a stand-alone premium digitizing program without additional manuals. Its strength as a digitizer enhances by its ability to convert raster and vector image file formats (JPG, PNG . SVG, etc.) into embroidery machine-compatible files.
This software comes with a 30-day free trial for beginners. If you wish to find free embroidery software, the demo (no purchase) version could be a great choice. To use this program on Mac, you need to install an additional Emulator. The other programs that function hand in hand with sewArt are SewWhat-Pro and SewWrite, which allow editing and conversion of embroidery files along with the capability of lettering and monogramming.
6. Bernina ArtLink
Bernina ArtLink is a high-end and comprehensive, free embroidery software for digitizing that doesn’t need any additional module to perform its functionalities. Thanks to the new updated version of Bernina Artlink, users can quickly reformate designs and download them from their PC to their Bernina embroidery machine.
If you don’t own a Bernina embroidery machine, then worry not, as this software also supports other brands. This digitizing embroidery software comes with additional tools to edit designs, preview color combinations, or print an embroidery preview in its original size. However, it does have some drawbacks, such as the lack of support for picture digitizing and file conversion.
7. Brother Embroidery Software
Brother PE-design software is a universal digitizing program that can do any digitizing task that you can just imagine. This complete embroidery design program suits all skill levels with its 35 + advanced features and 190+ built-in pre-digitized fonts. Utilizing its built-in 145 applique designs, 77 built-in borders, and 77 integrated accent designs, users can easily create eye-catchy lettering and monograms.
This software is compatible with different embroidery machine brands and offers various tools to customize, create, and preview designs. However, some users complained that it’s difficult to find and install this software, so the only safe option is to purchase the original version from trusted dealers or sign up for its 30-day trial to access all its features.
8. Wilcom TrueSizer
TrueSizer is a freemium embroidery digitizing software it gives free access to a limited number of features. In order to use the advanced features, you either need to purchase a premium package or sign up for 14 days free trial.
This software assists in viewing and editing designs contained in embroidery file formats. For viewing design, it offers various modes such as TrueView, Needle Point, and Show Stitches. Embellished with 50+ pre-build templates, this software is best suited for beginner to pro embroiderers allowing them to work on more than one design simultaneously.
Wilcom TrueSizer has 2 versions (web-based and Desktop) for the convenience of potential users. One of the drawbacks of this embroidery software is that it doesn’t permit creating multiple color schemas, displaying designs in the hoop, matching threads to color schemes, and changing design colors.
9. My Editor
My Editor is another free embroidery software for editing and digitizing with very basic capabilities. It’s a good place to start due to its innovative, user-friendly interface. With many improved tools for managing and creating designs, this software has an option for viewing, modifying, and saving files.
Now working with NGS files and 3D previewing of embroidery designs is a breeze, thanks to this amazing digitizer. My Editor can be helpful for all such users who fancy making simple changes to their designs or view designs with the actual thread color and add additional information to them.
10. Stitch Era Universal
Stitch Era Universal is arguably a powerful embroidery software that contains a huge set of tools for auto-digitizing, stitch editing, manual digitizing, and interactive digitizing. This software has an advanced user interface to make your job faster, more comfortable, and easier. This is the only digitizing program for PC that is available at a flat fee and a subscription.
To enhance its functionality, 3 different premium modules are available that are mentioned below:
However, you can take advantage of its 7-day free demo version to taste it as free embroidery software.
In a nutshell, the world of embroidery digitizing has become more accessible and affordable with the availability of free embroidery software. We’ve mentioned the top 10 software options; some are free, while others are premium but offer a free trial, each with unique features to create stunning embroidery designs. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, these options can assist you in experimenting with digitizing and embroidery without breaking the bank. We can’t recommend one as all are excellent at bringing life to your ideas. However, the ball is in your court to explore each of these to find the one that best fits your needs and start digitizing your embroidery designs today.