All About Machine Embroidery: Day 3 Machine Embroidery Software

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Day 3 of my month long series, All About Machine Embroidery, will talk about machine embroidery software.


In yesterday’s post, I talked about embroidery machine formats. Each machine reads a specific format or language which allows the designs in the machine to stitch out.

If all you ever plan to do is use the designs and fonts that are loaded onto your machine, then you can skip this post.

However, if you plan to purchase individual designs or design sets {which I will cover later this month}, then the next word you will need to know is:  Software.

What is machine embroidery software? It is a software that is able to read designs that are specially digitized for machine embroidery.

Think graphic design with a sewing twist.

Machine Embroidery: If you are thinking about getting a sewing machine that includes Machine Embroidery then you will want to read All About Machine Embroidery. I have 31 posts that cover every possible thing you could want to know.

This design set by Hatched in Africa is an example of a design set that can be purchased online. The set will list all of the formats {.pes, .art, .dst, .exp, etc.}  It will also list hoop sizes and thread colors.

The next question is this: How do you get this design into your embroidery machine so you can stitch it out?

The answer:  Software

If you purchase this design, it will come on a CD or by instant download to your computer. This does not allow you to load it directly into your machine

Once it is onto your computer, you need software in order to open the design. Without software, you will not be able to see the design; your computer will show a design icon and the design’s name or number. Software allows you to open the design on your computer. It also allows you to alter the design, mirror image, duplicate, and add a monogram or name.

You also need the software in order to export from your computer to your machine.

Machine Embroidery: If you are thinking about getting a sewing machine that includes Machine Embroidery then you will want to read All About Machine Embroidery. I have 31 posts that cover every possible thing you could want to know.

Some machines (like mine) let me hook up my laptop directly or use a usb memory stick. Older machines will read cards. Do not, I repeat, do not, buy an embroidery machine that reads cards – old technology. There are plenty of reasonably priced embroidery machines that have usb ports.

So, how much does software cost? I have some good news and some bad news. Bernina has a FREE software that is compatible with most machines!

 
Unfortunately, it then takes a nice jump to the $500–$2500 range. I recommend starting with the free software and seeing if you need anything beyond that.
 
With the free software you can convert formats, rotate a design, and resize. It will also do a design placement and a slow redraw of the design.
On the high end side, the sky’s the limit. You can basically scan in any design and the software will convert it to whatever format you tell it. It will assign thread colors, hoop sizes, and even make buttonholes.
 
One thing to note:  Most embroidery software is designed for PC’s and a few are MAC compatible. You will want to be sure to ask this question before plunking down your cash – especially if you are a MAC user.
 
Another change I’m starting to see are design sets on memory sticks. With technology, change is imminent.
 
Today’s assignment is to answer this question:  What designs do you see yourself embroidering.
 
Once you know what you want to embroider, then software becomes a snap.
 

Thinking about purchasing an Embroidery Machine? Check out my Embroidery Machine Recommendations.

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