What is the Best Embroidery Digitizing Software

What is the Best Embroidery Digitizing Software

What is the Best Embroidery Digitizing Software for Me?

Being the world’s most awarded embroidery digitizer, one question I get asked time & time again is “what is the best embroidery digitizing software?” & “which embroidery digitizing software programs are easy to use?”.

One thing I’ve learned speaking in my early years of being an embroidery educator while trying to remain unbiased and non-software specific is that most of the main stream embroidery digitizing software available in today’s market all have majority of the basic tools required to create any embroidery design & therefore can all accomplish (for the most part) the same results. This still holds true today, although some software programs do require more leg work with the manual inputting of ‘stitch settings’ while others I would consider ‘more advanced’ as they help automate the process & speed things up for you. For this reason, please note that:

All digitizing software are not created equal and there are many angles to consider when you are in the market of buying a program.

Embroidery Software Brands

Personal Preferences:

As with anything in life, not everyone is going to like the same software bands. Some people swear by Floriani while others are in love with Hatch. Determining your background will probably in some way impact your decision more than anything else. If you have a production or machine background, some programs I’ve used make more sense in relating your artwork directly to stitches and you’d probably feel more comfortable right off the get go. Another type of software will be programmed leaning more towards the graphics industry and if you’ve been trained as a graphic artist you will right away catch on quicker.

Do Your Research:

For this reason, the beauty of today’s day & age is that technology now allows us to try before we buy. I would highly suggest you download a free trial for any software brand you’re seriously looking into.

This will help determine whether the software is a good fit for you or not. Please note however that you make sure you do this only through REPUTABLE online sources. If you’re looking for a starting point, I highly suggest you try the 30-day free trial of Hatch.

Another great way of doing some research is to go online and simply ask what others think about a given software brand. There are countless embroidery-based Facebook groups, blogs & other useful tools online today where you can post questions & get honest customer feedback.

Reputable Brands:

Another big thing to consider is the reputation of the company and more importantly what level of support and training they offer. I’ve always said,

Any software program is only as good as the support & education that comes with it”.

The last thing you what to do is purchase software because the price point was cheap or on sale and then all you get is this manual that wasn’t even translated properly from its original language! When learning to digitize, the training you get after purchasing your software is crucial. This is one of the largest issues I’ve found in the home embroidery industry (not so much the commercial). People often buy software and are then left to figure it out on their own or they take classes from an unqualified instructor who knows little more than they do.

If you do discover a software brand that you fall in love with but doesn’t have great education to help you master it, I highly suggest taking a look at my interactive online classes taught in what I’d consider some of the industry’s top software brands (which are all reputable).

Start Where You Need to Start

The last thing I’ll suggest is that you try not to get up-sold on the highest levels of software unless you really feel you can utilize the added features. If you’re brand new to embroidery, you may not yet need full blown digitizing software, or the highest level of digitizing software. With the modular based programs available today, you can always start off small and upgrade to the next level if you feel the options are something you’ll actually use.

My Personal Suggestion?

Any brands which I teach lessons for on my website I would consider a reputable brand. Although I’ve sold some of these brands in the past, if I had to pick a favorite I’d pick Hatch. Why?

Because as the world leader in embroidery software, Wilcom has put 3 decades of innovation and experience into their new Hatch embroidery software. Hatch’s new platform has an extremely easy to use interface, which is extremely powerful & is available at a great price. It’s also modular, so you can add as you grow. So if you’re looking, download the free 30-day Hatch trial through Digitizing Made Easy and receive 4 exclusive interactive video lessons free. Dare to compare it to any other software out there… You’ll love it!

By | 2019-02-04T01:37:59+00:00 June 25th, 2018|Embroidery Software|18 Comments

About the Author:


  1. Mary Anne Buist July 6, 2018 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    John – I have both PED10 and Hatch – I may have asked this before but wondering where I should start with your lessons – Most likely lesson 1? thanks. i have been digitizing for a while but don’t have my own website yet and would like to hone in on my skills – and perhaps sells some designs at some point. I see many free videos but am thinking the lessons are the way to go. thanks.

    • Embroidery Legacy February 4, 2019 at 8:44 pm - Reply

      Hi Mary, the a great place to start is with Level 1 of the Digitizer’s Dream Course. It’s taught in both Hatch & PE Designs. Checkout the course here & let me know if you have any questions, always happy to help 🙂 https://digitizingmadeeasy.com/e-classroom/digitizing/

  2. Dodo0769 March 8, 2019 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    So I am very new to embroidery! In fact, I JUST got my machine (Pe770) and have not been able to make anything as of yet. I called Brother Customer Service and only became MORE confused! I will give you my background and then ask a couple of questions. I can sea, but only straight lines! Lol! I do not make garments, but can make curtains, quilts, and other things. I also hand sew, crossstitch, and am good at garters, headbands, etc! I am a photographer, first! I have been photographing portraits for several years. I am well-versed in Photoshop and Lightroom to edit my portraits and add graphics. At Christmas, I received the PE770 and ALSO the Cricut Explore Air II. So I’ve been making my designs in Photoshop and then uploading them to Cricut and then making t-shirts and such. I am HOPING to do the same with Brother. I understand I need to be able to convert my jpeg, tiff, png, and svg’s to PES and I need a special program to do that! Question 1. What would be the best program for me considering my background and need? 2. What thoughts/ideas might you have for me so I can incorporate all of my talents into one project? TIA!

    • Embroidery Legacy March 13, 2019 at 2:34 pm - Reply

      First off, congrats on your new machine! We love the Brother brand here at Embroidery Legacy.

      You certainly do have a unique past & yes you’re correct. You would need a digitizing program to take jpeg or other image based files & convert them into stitch files (such as PES) to run on your embroidery machine. To answer your questions:

      1. I would highly suggest you give Hatch a try, it is created by Wilcom the world leader in commercial embroidery software. It can change jpgs or other such image based files into the PES embroidery format easily. Plus if you download it through us, I include a bunch of free lessons that will help get you past the learning curve. Here’s a link to learn more: https://digitizingmadeeasy.com/hatch-best-embroidery-software/

      2. This is a tough one, you’re a creative person so I would think that the first step would be turning some of the pictures you’ve taken into embroidery designs with your embroidery software (give it a try with Hatch). You could then use these designs on your quilts or something similar… I’m sure you’ll find a new world of creative avenues to go after once you’ve mastered the basics of the software 🙂

      Hope that helps & happy stitching!

  3. Amanda March 26, 2019 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Do you recommend Hatch for digitizing a logo? We own a franchise and our home office has requested that all embroidery be done to certain specs. We’re trying to save a few bucks in the long run by not having to purchase corporate shirts and other merchandise and instead embroidering it ourselves. I have a brother PE650. I have embroidered a wide variety of items, but never digitized on my own. I have a couple other small businesses that would like me to digitize their logo to do their embroidery as well.

    • Embroidery Legacy March 27, 2019 at 1:08 pm - Reply

      Hi Amanda, yes I would certainly recommend Hatch for digitizing logos. Especially if you’ll be stitching it out on a wide variety of items. To be honest almost every software program out there could create a logo but what sets Hatch apart is it’s ease of use and how intelligent the software is. Being created by Wilcom, the world leader in commercial embroidery software, Hatch automatically adjusts things like density, underlay & stitch count for you based off the stitch type being used & the fabric type selected. This will take a lot of the guess work out of creating logos for you.

      I would highly recommend you download the free 30 day trial & compare it to the other brands out there… You’ll see the difference first hand! Plus if you download the trial through us I’ll provide you with 4 video lessons to help get you started 🙂 https://dev.wilcomfont.com/hatch-best-embroidery-software/

  4. Saundra D Bauman March 30, 2019 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    I’ve several brothers machines and love embroidery sewing and quilting. 2 years ago I was determined to be able to do my own designs and bought the Embrid Embroidery/Digitizing packages. The software is impossible to just use. I have watched many videos but nothing seems to trigger the aha moment when the software makes sense to use. It was big expense that I believe to be a waste since I still can’t use it could you help me or should I try something else?

    • Embroidery Legacy March 30, 2019 at 1:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Saundra, although we do teach our Digitizer’s Dream course in 11 of the industry’s leading software brands, unfortunately we don’t teach it directly in the Embird software. If we don’t teach in a specific software brand, it’s because we don’t feel comfortable putting our name behind it. Mind you, many others like that software & I’m not saying it’s bad. It’s just not one of the brands we support.

      If you’d like to try something else, I would recommend downloading the free 30-day trial of Hatch through us & just comparing it what you’re currently using. It’s incredibly user friendly & takes a lot of the guess work out of digitizing. We also provide 4 bonus lessons when you download the trial through us: https://digitizingmadeeasy.com/hatch-best-embroidery-software/

  5. Linda Chase April 22, 2019 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    I used to have a babylock allure and using PED played with digitizing with marginal success. I just got an Aurora 440 that doesn’t have more than sizing software. My budget is limited and I don’t have time for major learning. I want a simple program that I can use to digitize simple clip art for Bernina .art . Suggestions?

    • Embroidery Legacy April 24, 2019 at 2:00 pm - Reply

      Hi Linda,

      Hi Linda, I would definitely try Hatch if you own a Bernina. Hatch is made by Wilcom (so is the Bernina software) but has considerably more tools built in (like ESA fonts) as it is not proprietary towards only 1 machine brand. Another perk is that although the software has more bells and whistles, it is more affordable as it is not sold primary through physical resellers. Hatch will export files into EXP format for your Bernina machine too.

      I would highly suggest you try downloading the 30 day free trial through out site & compare it to any other free program trials out there (always try before you buy). We’ll also provide you with some introductory training videos to help get you started. Let me know if you have any questions & happy stitching! https://digitizingmadeeasy.com/hatch-embroidery-free-trial/

  6. John April 25, 2019 at 11:10 am - Reply

    What would you recommend for the ricoma em 1010 embroidery machine. I have bought the digitizing software dsc gold. It is very limited on fonts and the auto digitizing part of the software doesn’t always do the best job. What would you recommend?

    • Embroidery Legacy May 7, 2019 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Hi John,

      I believe Ricoma now support & endorse Hatch just as we do. If you’re looking for additional fonts, ESA fonts technology is a game changer. They do things NO other fonts in the home embroidery industry can do. Regarding auto-digitizing, I’ll level with you: Manual digitizing will always be your best bet. Any program (even Hatch) has it’s limitations with auto-digitizing. Now this isn’t to say that Hatch will do a bad job, but rather that if you want the best results, you’re better off doing it by hand. Now if you are going to try Hatch, be sure to download the free trial or purchase it through our site as we’ll provide you with a ton of exclusive bonuses including extra ESA fonts 🙂 Hope that helps!

  7. Sandy June 3, 2019 at 12:00 am - Reply

    John- I have a Bernina E16 and use my Bernina software I used for my single needle machine. I haven’t been very happy with learning to actually digitize my own design and send most of my logos out. What do you think Hatch can offer me to enable me to better learn these skills? Thanks!

    • Embroidery Legacy June 3, 2019 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      Hey Sandy,

      Bernina is a great software program because it’s also created by Wilcom. However, there are a few major differences… Although I’m not 100% why, the Bernina software lacks some of the more advanced features presents in Hatch (such as ESA fonts and some of the automated tools that help make digitizing quicker & easier).

      That being said, I would download the 30 day free trial of Hatch so you can play & see for yourself what sets it apart: https://www.digitizingmadeeasy.com/hatch-best-embroidery-software/

      The beautiful thing about Hatch is the incredible amount of support & education I’ll provide you with. This is what’ll allow you to truly excel past the learning curve. Even with the free trial, I’ll send you 4 training videos to help get you started & give you access to our Facebook group community to help answer any questions you may have. Hope that helps!

  8. Linda Turner August 14, 2019 at 5:50 am - Reply

    I have used the Janome Digitizer for many years and the last update I installed was Digitizer MBX V5.I understand this is no longer supported and has been changed but not sure to what. I am having to update my computer and may have to change my digitizing software. I have THOUSANDS of designs stored under this software. What do you recommend I do? I will say I have loved the Janome Digitizer but I don’t do my own digitizing very often. Thank you ;for your response.

    • Embroidery Legacy August 16, 2019 at 1:08 pm - Reply

      Hey Linda,

      Wilcom (the makers of Hatch) were the developer for the MBX 5 software so the Hatch platform is very similar. All your .JAN files will open in Hatch and can be edited with the same ease as your MBX. In my opinion, it would be an easy transition plus you’ll get some new features in the Hatch software. Try downloading the free trial of Hatch through our site first to be sure you like it. If you then do decide on Hatch, remember to choose us as your official re-seller and receive our exclusive bonuses by using our re-seller code “DEER19” 🙂

  9. avengers cosplay August 17, 2019 at 7:20 am - Reply

    Awesome blog you have here but I was wondering if you
    knew of any forums that cover the same topics discussed here?
    I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get comments from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Leave A Comment