Many people break open the box for their brand new embroidery machine, excited to start making their own custom designs and are surprised to find that this is not an included feature! Yes, embroidery software rarely comes with the machine and it can cost thousands of dollars to buy the best embroidery software, but there are cheap embroidery software options out there.
Though you should keep in mind that the learning curve on these may be a little steeper, and they may not be as user friendly as the pricey stuff. However, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials out there if you’re ready to learn. Here are a few programs to consider.
Cheap Embroidery Software Options
Brother Stitch Express – $139
While there are lots of free embroidery digitizing software and affordable embroidery digitizing software out there, Stitch Express has a feature they don’t – Auto Digitize! If this is a feature you’re interested in, Stitch Express is one of the cheapest ways to get it at $139.
When it comes to embroidery software pricing, that’s a steal. Competitors that offer this feature can run you $1,000 or more depending on which company is providing the software, and some of them are not even any easier to use.
This software has mixed reviews, because a lot of people seem confused about how to use it, but if you’re patient you can digitize logos and other designs well enough and save a bundle over a pricier software. Click here to see this software’s features.
Embrilliance – $169 (For Level 1)
Embrilliance is an easy to use and affordable embroidery software package that comes in “levels”. You can start with the base level, which is level 1 for basic digitizing and upgrade all the way to “level 3” when you’re ready. Level 2, however, offers the best compromise between price and available features I think. (Click here to see Embrilliance Level 1 features.)
It is a bit confusing (and annoying) to have a software package where you need to buy it in pieces, but it is a good way to save money if you are not going to use all of the features, or if you want to see if you even like embroidery digitizing to start with!
All in all, Embrilliance is a decent program, and there are tutorials available for it to help you learn how to digitize.
Embird – $149
Embird is an affordable embroidery software program. However, it’s not the easiest software out there to use. But if you’ve got more time than money – it’s a good pick.
Thanks to its affordable price there are plenty of tutorials online to help you learn. So, once you get over the learning curve – it can be a great software choice. Click here to see its features.
PS. There are also some free embroidery software programs out there, but the learning curve can be steep. If you’re willing to learn though, it’s definitely an option. Just don’t expect the user-friendliness of something like Hatch. Free embroidery programs leave a LOT to be desired and the time spent may or may not be worth the savings.
How many designs will you be digitizing? Will you be doing it infrequently? Will it be for customers where you can bake the price into the work you’re doing? If digitizing images is more of a means to an ends for you and you’re not really passionate about learning to do it, then outsourcing that work could be worth it. Especially if you are running an embroidery business and your time could be better spent elsewhere.
It’s a lot more affordable than you think to get designs professionally digitized, and you can find a lot of people who will do this for you on online.
Barb, our resident quilter and embroidery aficionado, weaves a thread of creativity through our collection. Serving as the curator of machine embroidery content, Barb infuses each design with a touch of her artistic expertise. The free embroidery patterns you discover on our site often bear the mark of Barb’s craftsmanship. Let’s get crafting!