Embroidery machine software extends the capabilities of computerized embroidery machines. The right software allows for more flexibility when digitizing, enlarging, rotating or editing your design in other ways. We’ve talked about embroidery machines that will allow you to customize stitches by combining, elongating or shortening them. Embroidery machine software opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
Before buying any software, make sure it is compatible with your computer. You also need to make sure your work can be transferred to your embroidery machine. Some design companies will not allow their designs to be edited or customized in any way. It is especially important to know this information if you plan to use these designs for any commercial purpose.
The following are the basic functions most sewing machine software will allow you to perform:
- Digitizing – Have you ever wanted to draw your own design by hand and somehow translate that to your embroidery machine? The right software will allow you to do just that. Imagine the looks on grandparents’ faces when they open a gift embroidered with an original drawing by their grandchild.
- Resizing – Use the same design to embellish collars and cuffs as you use to decorate larger pockets. You can decide whether to change stitch density based on the look you are going for. Stitch density is simply added or eliminating stitches when resizing to maintain the look of the design.
- Customizing – Customizing can refer to adding other design features to your current design. You can mirror, rotate, distort your design – all with or without changing stitch density. You can also add lettering and change thread colors.
- Stitch Editing – Stitch editing gives detailed control over the way your design looks. You can add and remove stitches or entire parts of your design. Move stitches from one part of your design to another. You can also split designs for use in multiple hoops. All of this can be done with or without altering for stitch density.
- Cross Stitch – One of the first types of hand embroidery I learned was cross stitch. I love the simplicity of cross stitch. Some software will turn your custom design into a cross stitch pattern for use with your machine.
- Monogramming – I grew up in an era when everything was monogrammed. If you received a gift for graduation or to celebrate a promotion, wedding or birth of a child; chances are it was monogrammed. With the right software you can design any number of monogram styles to suit your project.
- Lettering – Lettering differs from monogramming in that it allows for use of full font alphabet to create words, even full sentences, as desired for your project.
- Cataloguing – Cataloguing is an important feature of any embroidery software. It is important to be able to save and keep track of not only your original design, but all of the variations you have created using your software. This will save you a great deal of time when you want to reuse a design created for a previous project. You will spend less time looking for the design or in recreating it if you can’t find the saved design.
If you are new to the world of embroidery software, spend some time researching the different software companies. Visit forums online and local embroidery machine dealers. Remember, many companies will not accept the return of software once it has been opened. It is important to make sure the software you are buying will work with your computer and your embroidery machine. The bottom line is will it do what you want it to do?
Whether you are new to the world of machine embroidery, or you’ve had your machine for a while; extending your machine’s capabilities through embroidery software should also extend the life of your machine as its capabilities grow to meet your needs.