Best Free Digitizing Software for Embroidery

If you are new to embroidery, you may not want to invest in a premium embroidery software tool, which can be pretty costly. Free embroidery software allows you to get familiar with the features and figure out what you actually need for the type of embroidery that you do. 

And when it comes to choosing embroidery software, your choice should always be determined by your purpose. In this post, we are going to explore some of the best free digitizing software for embroidery. Let’s dive in!

How to choose the right embroidery digitizing software

If you are a DIY enthusiast or doing embroidery just as a hobby, you may not need something complex. You might be just fine with the built-in software that comes with your embroidery machine. But the problem is, not all embroidery machines have built-in software. 

However, because you are reading this article, you are probably a professional quilter or digitizer. And your profession requires custom embroidered patches and custom stitching. Here are a few things to consider when choosing digitizing software for embroidery:

  • To begin with, make sure you have a clear idea about your requirements. The features of the software you choose should meet your needs. Depending on the tool, you can use it either to scan the images or download them.
  • Next, make sure the tool is compatible with the operating system that you are using. Do a little bit of research and choose a software program that works with multiple operating systems.
  • Also, read some product reviews. They will give you some valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the software program.
  • And finally, be sure to choose embroidery software that is easy to use, particularly if you are just getting started. Remember, your needs determine the type of embroidery software program to use.

8 best free digitizing software for embroidery

Down below, we are going to discuss some free embroidery software tools with a wide range of functionalities. Whether you are a newbie or need an advanced tool for your project, you will come across a suitable one on this list.

1. Dime Embroidery Toolshed

Go with this tool if you need a free tool for basic template printing, design resizing, thread color changes, and file format conversion. This free customization software has plenty of features that may be enough for your project. 

You can purchase add-ons if your project requires them. The software is available in versions for Windows and MAC. The features include resize designs, Rotate and Mirror, Junk Stitch Filter, and Adjustable Viewing Grid.

2. Inkscape and Ink/Stitch

Inkscape and Ink - Stitch_

While Inkscape is a free tool, it is sophisticated enough for a complex embroidery project. The tool has already gained a reputation as a rival of Adobe Illustrator, a premium design tool. 

Ink/Stitch is a part or extension of the Inkscape embroidery digitizing software package. With this extension, you can create embroidery designs from scratch. It is another excellent digitising software for embroidery machines. 

One of the limitations of the tool is that it has a limited number of fonts. Despite this limitation, it is one of the best free tools for embroidery digitizing and splitting embroidery designs. And if you are using MAC, this is probably the best option for you. 

For novices, this software has a pretty big learning curve. There are YouTube videos that you may find useful. 

3. SophieSew Embroidery Digitizing Software

There was a time when SophieSew was considered among the best free digitising software for embroidery. However, the tool has not been updated since 2013, due to the health problems of the developer. The website is also inactive now. 

But you can still download this embroidery machine software from third-party platforms. The software is manual, and allows you to make your designs and edit them. Pre-existing designs can also be edited with this embroidery design maker.

If you do not have enough graphic design experience, chances are that you will not like SophieSew. There are YouTube videos, but following the instructions may not be easy for a novice designer. 

4. 2stitch Organizer

official website picture of 2stitch_Organizer

This is another versatile embroidery software that comes with pretty sophisticated features. With this tool, you can organize the embroidery design folders and view their properties. There is a notes section that allows you to add extradesign information and tag the information. 

If you are using a small embroidery machine, you are going to love this software. It can be used to filter out large designs when you search by hoop sizes. You can easily find where the file is saved on your computer, so you can move or delete the file as needed. 

5. My Editor

This software has only the basic functionalities, so it is a good option for you if you are just getting started with embroidery design. 

With this tool, you can rotate the design, change colors, and convert a file to a different format. You can also print your design’s template. Thanks to this feature, it is super easy to center a design or line it up. 

When you install the program, read the prompts carefully. Otherwise, you may end up selecting the wrong stipulation and converting a file to a format that you do not want. 

6. Embrilliance Express

Embrilliance Express_

Embrilliance Express is one of the best embroidery digitizing software tools. It is available in several modules. Stitch Artist 3 is a complex module, while Embrilliance Essentials is a basic module. The paid version has a demo, which you can try before you buy. 

For .bx fonts, this free software works very well. You do not have to import the letters one by one. Rather, you can just type them on your keyboard. You are going to love this software if your project requires lettering regularly. 

7. StitchBuddy

If you are using an iPad, iPhone, or Apple computer, consider using the free machine embroidery software of StitchBuddy. 

The program is an easy-to-use embroidery template maker. It can be used for viewing, file conversion, and editing. The functionalities include printing templates and designs, editing existing designs, and merging designs. 

Unless your project requires saving more than 1,000 stitches, you can use StitchBuddy HD for free. 

8. Bernina Artlink 8

Bernina has a rich set of embroidery features with its full embroidery software package. This free version is a teacher of that package. 

This basic editing software is a good option if you are using a Bernina embroidery machine. Artlink comes with features such as basic resizing, mirroring, and rotation. This tool allows you to change thread colors, combine embroidery, and convert the file formats of your design. 

Free trial options

Apart from these free digitizing software for embroidery, there are some other options that are not free, but come with free trials. As long as the trial period lasts, you can use them for free. Such tools include mySewnet, Hatch 3 Embroidery Software, SewWhat-Pro and SewArt, and EmbroideryWare. 

mySewnet can be used wirelessly with Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff and other compatible machines. EmbroideryWare is also a full-featured embroidery digitizing software known for its versatility. SewWhat-Pro is an auto-digitizing software designed for beginners.

These four are among the best digitizing software tools, and they all come with 30-day free trials. 


Wrapping up

Learning how to digitize embroidery designs usually takes a pretty good deal of time–regardless of the tool you are using. The effort can be frustrating for some. That’s why it’s good to start with a free tool. 

Choose a tool you feel like, and then try to use the tool for your project. If you find something that can not be easily done with the tool you are using, use another free tool. Soon you will figure out which tool you want to use.