How do I Choose the Best Embroidery Software?

Christine Hudson

Embroidery software allows for almost any image to be turned into an embroidery design. While some are more complex than others, the basic functions of embroidery software involve importing whichever image you’d like and then turning it into an embroidery design, which may be followed by hand. These designs, however, are most commonly programmed into an embroidery machine. There is a wide variety of software available that ranges in price, ease of use, and features.

Creating basic embroidery designs with embroidery software is relatively simple.
Creating basic embroidery designs with embroidery software is relatively simple.

Many types of embroidery software have pre-loaded, simple designs or graphics which can be used to create unique designs of your own. These can be combined in a number of ways to make creating basic embroidery designs relatively simple. Some software also comes with the ability to link to an online database of designs and graphics, which may create endless possibilities for design. Of course, the ability to load designs of your own is also standard in many types of this software.

Choosing the right embroidery software involves knowledge of the embroidery machine it will be used with.
Choosing the right embroidery software involves knowledge of the embroidery machine it will be used with.

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Using embroidery software does not generally require a high skill level or expertise in embroidery. It does, however, usually require an understanding of the different types of stitch in embroidery and how to use the machine, if you have one. When choosing embroidery software, it may help to read what the software does for you and what skills are needed to use it.

The cost of the embroidery is typically directly related to how it will be used. Professional-grade software may cost thousands, while software intended for personal use is considerably cheaper. It is important to understand what the software will be used for when deciding on which one to get. If certain embroidery software seems to have more features and abilities than you will ever use, then you may be better off with a more basic program.

It is not normally expected that you know exactly how to use the software once you get it. Most will come with tutorials, help menus, and instructions for use. Those software programs that don’t seem to come with many directions may not be worth much, but sometimes it’s possible to find help in books or online. User reviews of the product may be very helpful when deciding if a certain software is right for you as well. These reviews are normally offered by the software company and/or the retailer you purchase the software from, especially when buying online.

A punch needle can be used for embroidery.
A punch needle can be used for embroidery.

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Discussion Comments


That's OK if you never want to produce your own designs. Built-in designs have so many limitations to the imagination!


I think it's definitely important to get the right embroidery machine and correct embroidery machine software for what you want to use it for. As the article said, if you're just doing embroidery as a hobby, there is no need to spend money on a professional machine! But if you're doing it as a business, you should definitely spend extra to get a good quality machine.

I actually have a friend who runs a small embroidery business. She started out using a small machine in her house, but eventually she had to upgrade. Then she was able to expand her business even more, because she could get a lot more done in a day.


@indemnifyme - That's a good suggestion. I believe you can also purchase additional embroidery design software to add more patterns to those sewing machines, if you want more options.

I do think getting a stand alone embroidery machine with embroidery software is a good idea for someone who is into embroidery, but not sewing. If you just want to use if for embroidery, what's the point of paying for all the other features you're not going to use?

Plus, I think embroidery machines are a little smaller than sewing machines. So an embroidery machine might be a good idea if space is a consideration.


I think one good alternative to purchasing embroidery digitizing software is to just buy a regular sewing machine with a lot of deluxe features. A lot of sewing machines are sold with an embroidery function.

My mom has a digital sewing machine that has embroidery capabilities, and it's pretty slick. You choose the pattern you want from the menu, get your fabric and thread all set up, press the button and then the machine pretty much does everything. If you have one of these sewing machines, I don't see any need to purchase any additional software.

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