My Review of Hatch Embroidery Software:
A few years ago, Hatch was introduced to the Home Embroidery market as an unknown software program, Now just a few short years later, it has already developed a reputation as the best software in the industry. You must be wondering… how is that possible in such a short period of time?
Before I answer that question, let me take you back in time. Besides having been trained as a puncher/digitizer at the age of 17, I also ran one of the two factories my family owned between the ages of 23-33. The factory I ran was our multi-head division which consisted of 136 multi-heads, to give you an idea of how much embroidery we did in those days I remember orders coming in for cap panels with 750,000 units all from the same company! Garment orders would usually average in the thousands of pieces, all with the same logos. Those were the days, contract embroidery in North America was booming, and our machines ran 6 days a week, 24 hours a day.
After witnessing the contract embroidery industry change in volume due to off-shore competition, we evolved to digitizing and then finally began transitioning into the home embroidery market 20ish years ago. I’ve got to be honest, it wasn’t an easy transition. The terminology, machines, and software were all different, and to be honest, the thing I noticed most was that the quality of embroidery was VERY different!
What I mean by that is that in the commercial world, we stayed in business for decades because the visual quality of our designs was pleasing. But more importantly, the quick runtime and softness of our work was close to perfect.
It’s quite simple if you want to make money with embroidery, the designs you feed into the machine need to be “production-friendly,” with as few jumps and trims as possible. The designs should also feel like part of the garment when taken out of the hoop. Not like it was stuck in place with a glue gun! I’ve seen that a large majority of the designs being produced and sold in the home industry are many times bulletproof and have way too many unnecessary jumps and trims.
This now leads into answering the initial question, “why is Hatch the best software in the home industry?”. The answer can be given using one-word “Wilcom”!
Who / What is Wilcom?
If you’re not familiar with Wilcom (the creator of Hatch), they have undisputedly been the world leader for developing intuitive and intelligent embroidery software for over 30 years.
I’ve been using Wilcom pretty much since the beginning of my “computerized” transition into the industry almost 30 years ago, and have been involved with Wilcom since the early DOS days. To this day Wilcom’s commercial platform dominates 90% of the embroidery world GLOBALLY!
Why does 90% of the commercial embroiders globally use Wilcom? The answer is their proprietary format called “EMB”.
Now here’s where I’m going to let you in on a ‘secret’ that until now ‘home embroiderers’ were not aware of: When I ran my factory, which had 136 multi-heads, I would digitize my designs using my own ‘Custom Recipes’ which ran best on pique knit fabric. However, not all the orders would be run on pique knit. Often times, a company would give us an order for X number of hats, X number of shirts, X number of jackets, etc., which all required the same design but had different fabric types. So rather than re-digitize a design multiple times or manually adjust stitch settings for each different fabric type, I would instead digitize it once and send that EMB file down to production. The machine supervisor would first find out what material/garment was running, and before loading it on a machine, they would change that design’s specific stitch settings using the “Fabric Assist” tool within the EMB files so it would have the best results on the specific fabric type it would be embroidered on.
Here is an example of what I mean: the first EMB file was changed to a “Thai Silk” setting using less density, underlay, and pull compensation. It has a total of 34,166 stitches. The second is the exact same design, with the click of a button I changed the fabric assist to “Stretchy Terry Cloth” setting, this will provide more density, more underlay with longer stitch lengths and more pull compensation to counteract the knap of the terry cloth, for a total of 43,298 stitches. That is the same design with an incredible difference of 9132 stitches!
The reality is, a digitized design’s properties cannot and should not be applied for all the different applications and fabric types! It simply doesn’t make sense and it’s not the way I ran my factory over two decades ago.
When I came into the home industry, that was one of the things that had shocked me most: People were providing one embroidery file and expecting it to run well on every fabric type! You cannot have the same density, stitch lengths, underlay types, pull compensations for Terry Cloth as you would Silk, Leather, Lycra, or knits. In the commercial world, when we did production, the recipes would change based on the fabric type… it just makes logical sense!
Coming into the home market, I quickly realized that the EMB format was not available, so I used a custom recipe I felt would work best on most fabrics.
Hatch & EMB formats: This Changes Everything!
A lot of home embroiderers feel that the commercial industry always had something over them. They feel like the quality in the commercial industry is, for the most part, better. Most assume that it’s due to the difference between the home and commercial machines. In reality though, that’s not the case, home machines, in theory, create the exact same stitch as a commercial machine does. So if it’s not the machine, it’s the software, and it all comes down to the EMB file!
It is unrealistic and unfair to expect a home embroiderer to know all the variables and properties a design should have for every possible fabric type you’d conceivably embroider… that would take years of experience as a digitizer and in production. Being honest with you, most “professional digitizers” don’t know these specifics either. They don’t need to. Instead, they own Wilcom software, which allows them to change the fabric types within the master EMB file.
So why didn’t the home industry know about this sooner? Well, because until Hatch was released, the only way to manipulate an EMB file as to own Wilcom’s commercial platform, which is very cost prohibitive in comparison.
Now in recent years, other software programs have tried to come out with their own version of fabric assist tools. But I can tell you from experience, they don’t do it nearly as well. Whereas other programs today may have stitch recipes created by computer programmers or embroidery hobbyists… Wilcom’s stitch recipes were carefully crafted decades ago on the wisdom of Schiflli Master Digitizers who spent their entire lives creating embroidery designs… Back when there were a lot more of us left.
Not to mention that yours truly helped contribute toward the custom stitch recipes found in the EMB file format when I was a Wilcom beta tester in the 1990s.
There have been a few times in my life where I can truly say I’ve had a “Gift from God” moment. One of those instances was when Wilcom approached me and asked if I’d be interested in becoming one of Hatch’s selected resellers globally. I say it was a “Gift” because it was something I didn’t ask for, but it was an answer to one of my long-awaited prayers.
Coming from the commercial industry to the home industry, I saw a separation between the two. Even though I knew that 99% of embroiders didn’t have the Wilcom platform, I have always included my native EMB file with all of our embroidery designs downloads. Resizing, changing fabrics, and modifying EMB files in Wilcom is an embroiderer’s fantasy come true!
When I first got the Hatch software and saw how close it was to the commercial program, that it was modular, that it read an wrote the true EMB format, that it used ESA fonts and that it was offered at an incredible price point it blew my mind! All I could say to myself is, “THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!”
If you’ve been to any of my classes, workshops, or global retreats, you’ll quickly see how passionate I am about Hatch, the truth is, I am! When a person purchases Hatch, I honestly feel like I’ve helped them by giving them the tools they need and deserve to get better results and have more fun! From my decades of experience, I can honestly say that no software in the home industry even comes close! It is intuitive and intelligent. The software almost drives itself, and with the automatic stitch generation and filters, it helps ensure that the designs created within the software are production-friendly.
Please keep in mind I’ve learned over 20 digitizing programs and assessed others, our Digitizing Made Easy site supports eleven programs with interactive education. Hatch is not only the best but is sitting right in the sweet spot when it comes to an embroidery software price point, which can be broken into three categories:
- There are a handful of programs that I would consider upper-end programs. Most of them are fairly well built and usually sold and supported by physical dealers stores. Because of all the distribution channels that the program goes through and everyone needs to make a margin off the sale, by the time it gets to the consumer, it is usually much more expensive than Hatch and not close when it comes to quality.
- There are some programs which are within the same price range and are also modular like Hatch. There is one program out there that is popular with home embroiderers today, and I will admit that they had a brilliant idea of being the first to come out with a modular formula (meaning you can buy it in pieces based on your needs). This made it affordable at an entry-level, but by the time you add on all the modules, you’ve paid more than Hatch and have a program that, in my opinion, doesn’t come close to Hatch’s easy to use platform.
- Then there are the “low budget” programs I’ve seen and played with, all I can say is that you pretty much get what you pay for!
Conclusion: Hatch, the Embroidery Software for Everyone!
I’ve become very passionate about spreading the word that Hatch is every “home embroiderer’s dream come true” in the same way that the Wilcom platform is the global standard commercially. For decades there had been a division in quality between the home and commercial industries because of a solution (EMB file formats) that home embroiderers didn’t even know existed. Now that the curtain has been pulled down. I feel like yelling from the rooftops, “look what you’ve been missing,” and here is the solution just for the taking. Now keep in mind, I only shared what I would consider the “Main Feature” that sets Wilcom Hatch apart! This list goes on and on…
Now on the flip side of the coin, any software program is only as good as the education that is available for it. That is where we at Digitizing Made Easy have truly excelled. Even though I had the opportunity to learn the old school ways as a very young man, I have always evolved my techniques based on the most current technology at hand. With the right tools and the right teacher, you will find that what many have told you is too difficult to learn is actually easy if you have the right coach. For that reason, I do suggest you check out our Digitizer’s Dream Course (which is level 1 of is included as a bonus if you purchase Hatch through us).
If you don’t believe me or the testimonials above, I challenge you to try it for yourself and see! Click here to download the free full-featured 30 day trial of Hatch from Embroidery Legacy and we will send you bonus interactive education to get you playing and stitching successfully right away. If you’re looking into purchasing Hatch, be sure to do it through us to receive the amazing exclusive bonuses we provide. Click here to learn more. The opportunity is here, why not try the best?
If you have a review of Hatch please comment it below 🙂 We’d love to hear your opinions!