Machine embroidery has become increasingly popular over the years, adding intricate patterns and designs to fabric with precision and ease. But have you ever wondered how those beautiful designs are created? This is where embroidery digitizing comes into play. In this blog post, we will explore what embroidery digitizing is and how it works. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of the entire process and its importance in the world of machine embroidery.

The Basics of Embroidery Digitizing

What is Embroidery Digitizing?

Embroidery digitizing is the process of converting artwork or designs into a digital format that can be read and interpreted by an embroidery machine. It involves creating stitch data, specifying the stitching order, and mapping out the colors to be used. This digital file, often referred to as a “digitized design”, is then loaded into the embroidery machine, which replicates the design by stitching it onto fabric.

Tools and Software Used in Embroidery Digitizing

To digitize a design, professional embroiderers use specialized software such as Wilcom, Pulse, or Embird. These software programs provide a range of tools and features that allow the digitizer to manipulate the design, adjust stitch types, resize elements, and assign thread colors. In addition to the software, a digitizer also needs a computer, a digitizing tablet or mouse, and a reliable internet connection.

The Process of Embroidery Digitizing

Preparing the Artwork

The first step in embroidery digitizing is preparing the artwork or design that will be digitized. This may involve scanning a physical drawing, tracing a digital image, or creating a new design from scratch using vector graphics software.

The quality of the artwork plays a crucial role in the final digitized design, so it is essential to ensure that the design is clear, well-defined, and suitable for embroidery.

Digitizing the Design

Once the artwork is ready, the digitizer imports it into the embroidery digitizing software. Using various tools and techniques, the digitizer begins to recreate the design in a way that can be understood by the embroidery machine.

This process involves manually assigning stitch types, determining stitch directions, adjusting densities, and setting the stitching order. The digitizer must also take into account the type of fabric and the size of the final embroidery design to ensure that the stitch settings are appropriate.

Finalizing the Design

After digitizing the design, the digitizer will review and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a high-quality result. They will check for issues such as uneven stitches, unnecessary jumps, or gaps in the design. Once satisfied, the design is saved in a compatible file format, such as .DST or .PES, ready to be loaded into the embroidery machine.

The Importance of Embroidery Digitizing

Precision and Consistency

Embroidery digitizing allows for precise and consistent replication of designs. Each stitch is calculated and planned, resulting in a design that is faithful to the original artwork. This level of accuracy would be almost impossible to achieve manually, making embroidery digitizing an invaluable tool for creating intricate and complex designs.

Time Efficiency

By using embroidery digitizing, embroiderers can save a significant amount of time. Once the design has been digitized, it can be easily reproduced at any time with just a few clicks. This is particularly beneficial for businesses that require mass production of embroidered items. Without digitizing, each design would have to be manually stitched, costing both time and resources.

Versatility and Customization

Embroidery digitizing allows for effortless customization and versatility. Designs can be resized, modified, and adjusted to suit specific requirements. Text can be added or edited, colors can be changed, and elements can be rearranged. This level of flexibility enables embroiderers to cater to individual customer preferences and create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.

What software is used for embroidery digitizing?

Specialized software is used for converting a graphic or design into a digital embroidery file that can be read and executed by an embroidery machine. And there are several popular embroidery digitizing software options available in the market. Some of the commonly used ones include:

Wilcom EmbroideryStudio: Wilcom is a well-known and highly regarded software in the embroidery industry. It offers a wide range of features for digitizing, lettering, monogramming, and more. It is known for its precision and advanced tools.

Hatch by Wilcom: Hatch is a more user-friendly and affordable version of Wilcom’s software, designed for both beginners and professionals. It provides a range of digitizing and editing tools.

Embird: Embird is a versatile embroidery software that includes modules for digitizing, editing, and managing embroidery designs. It’s known for its user-friendly interface and affordability.

Bernina ArtLink: This is a free embroidery digitizing software offered by Bernina, a well-known sewing machine manufacturer. While it may not have as many advanced features as some paid software, it’s a good option for beginners and hobbyists.

SewArt: SewArt is a basic digitizing software that is easy to use and budget-friendly. It’s suitable for simple digitizing tasks and doesn’t have as many advanced features as some other software options.

PE-Design by Brother: PE-Design is Brother’s proprietary embroidery software, compatible with their embroidery machines. It offers a range of digitizing and editing features.

Dakota Collectibles’ Embroidery Design Conversion Tool: This software is designed specifically for converting existing embroidery designs from one format to another, making it useful for those who work with a variety of embroidery machines.

Janome Digitizer: Janome’s digitizing software is designed for their embroidery machines and offers a variety of digitizing and editing tools.


Embroidery digitizing is an essential process in the world of machine embroidery. It transforms artwork or designs into digital data that can be interpreted by embroidery machines. This process ensures precision, consistency, and time efficiency.

Without embroidery digitizing, the art of machine embroidery would not be as accessible, versatile, or consistent. So, the next time you admire a beautifully embroidered design, take a moment to appreciate the artistry behind the digitizing process that made it possible.

If you are not expert in embroidery digitizing, simply outsource your design to embroidery digitzing services.