With crafting sales going through the roof this year thanks to the global pandemic, many people are taking up embroidery.
Embroidery is a craft that has been around for hundreds of years and is usually associated with upper class women who would embroider clothes and tokens in their spare time.
Like most things, embroidery has adapted with the times, incorporating technology into the mix and allowing for higher production rates.
Technology has become synonymous with modern-day craft and one way in particular is through the use of computer softwares that can enhance the accuracy and quality of your product designs thus reducing the risk of human error.
So why would you want to use embroidery software? As stated before, the designs are more sleek and accurate, allowing for the measurements and proportions to be calculated rather than messing around with the maths yourself.
And then adding “free” into the mix? It doesn’t get much better than that! Embroidery softwares can be a great source of inspiration as well as providing the tools to create designs.
Whether you are a budding designer or an embroidery professional, downloading embroidery software is key to enhancing your designing skills and working on your craft.
Here I have compiled the top five free embroidery softwares for Mac and PC so you don’t have to worry about researching and paying shell-loads of money.
After the reviews, there is a buyers guide which gives great tips on what to look for when researching embroidery software as well as some extremely helpful FAQs at the end.
Don’t have time to read the full list? Here is our top pick for best free embroidery software for Mac and PC.
Why is this our top choice?
Without a doubt, the top choice has got to be My Editor software by Wings XP.
What is so great about My Editor is its easiness for beginners and the range of tools for experts. There is something for designers at all stages of their designing career whether it be a hobby or a full-time career.
What really makes My Editor stand out is the detail allowed in the designs. Most free softwares are very limited in terms of how intricate a design can be but My Editor has numerous thread designs as well as specific colours meaning you can view results before starting up the sewing machine.
Wings XP is a brand that can be trusted and has been used by both beginner and advanced designers for years and thanks to this free option, embroidery software has been made more accessible to all without compromising on quality.
The regular Wings XP software comes at a cost but My Editor is entirely free. Of course there are limitations compared to their costly options but My Editor still allows for a vast array of colour choices and design inspiration.
It also allows you to resize and rotate until the design is absolutely perfect, meaning that you can ensure the project will be the very best it can be.
The best free embroidery software on the market right now is My Editor, the free offering from Wings XP.
Ideal for more simple designs and allowing for real thread color to be used in their creation, the My Editor software is a great starting point for beginners.
Not only is it simple to install and use, it also features saving options so you can go back to your designs time and time again. As well as saving designs, you can also cut, copy and paste for extra ease meaning it’s simple to move the designs around.
When researching for this article, My Editor was the first choice provided time and time again and it’s easy to see why. The features exceed those given on most free embroidery softwares and its easiness and simplicity means that it isn’t intimidating for those who aren’t familiar with the design feature aspects.
A great inclusion for this software is the Preview3D tool that allows you to view the designs with various stitch designs such as single stitch and multi stitches.
The great thing about this option is that you can view the results on screen before actively attempting it and wasting materials.
Not only is this a financial saving but also an eco-friendly solution as well. It’s a great software for those who are interested in embroidery design as a hobby and even those who are well-versed in using softwares such as this, they will really be able to reap the benefits from its intricate design capabilities.
The second choice in our list goes to TrueSizer. This software actually comes with both free and paid options. Naturally the paid software has more features but the free choice is great and definitely the best option for Mac users.
TrueSizer can be used on mobile devices as well as computers so its adaptability is great for all lifestyles. It can be downloaded onto Apple and Android devices and features options to view and convert files.
TrueSizer was developed by Wilcom, the leading pioneer in embroidery software and it is the best choice for beginners.
Unfortunately, the color options on TrueSizer aren’t as vast on the free version of the software as this can only be accessed when the premium account is open as well as unlimited templates; however, the free version marks a great starting point thanks to its easiness to use for beginners who are getting to grips with how the software works.
The perfect free software for Mac is by far the StitchBuddy software. Like TrueSizer before it, StitchBuddy has both free and paid options with the latter allowing for unlimited designs to be created.
On the free version, you can download up to 1,000 designs which is a huge amount meaning that those who are both beginners and advanced users can really benefit from the features.
It also features the 3D previewing option meaning you can see what the results will look like before starting your project.
StitchBuddy is fantastic for those wanting to improve their embroidery design skills on a Mac and is compatible with various Apple features such as iCloud meaning you can also back-up your designs.
The software lets you resize, rotate, cut, copy and paste. You can also alter individual threads on your designs and even replace the entire color palette.
StitchBuddy is the number one software that Apple users go to for their embroidery design and the results have been amazing with cartoon and realistic designs being created from its free offering.
The Bernina software is very much like the TrueSizer option as it is a free software that also offers a premium service with additional features.
The free software is another great starting point for beginners looking to improve their skills. Created by embroidery machine manufacturers, Bernina, the Artlink 8 software is great because it is adaptable to any machine not just Bernina.
The best feature in the Artlink 8 software is the Artistic View tool which allows you to edit the design and colors in your project.
The Artlink 8 has also been praised for its accuracy and ease of use. You can also print out the design preview so you can see how the color and size will look before actually pursuing the project.
Our last inclusion on the list comes in the form of the SewWhat-Pro is a particular favourite among professionals across the board thanks to its brilliant editing software that allows you to also convert the files.
The downside to this choice is that you get a 30 day free demo before you have to purchase the software.
No purchase is necessary to claim the month free, however, so beginners and professionals can get a feel for the software to see if it suits them or not. SewWhat-Pro has all of the features explained in the previous offerings and more as well as unlimited storage.
SewWhat-Pro is a more advanced software than the previous choices due to the fact that it does have endless features that are synonymous with the ones given on paid softwares.
The month free, however, gives users the chance to see if they want to invest in software or are happy with the features included with free software.
Looking for free embroidery software doesn’t have to be a stressful endeavor. There are so many choices for both free and paid softwares but just because something is free, doesn’t mean that it lacks in quality.
As you may have also noticed, most of the software manufacturers offer both free and paid options. This is great because they appreciate that not everyone has the time or means to splurge on such an expense and no one should miss out.
Besides, looking at the difference between the free software and the paid upgrade, the only difference really tends to be the amount of storage space made available for your designs.
In conclusion, there are several attributes to look out for when looking for a free embroidery software, whether it is suitable for beginners and experts and the adaptability for downloading onto both Apple and Android devices.
Of course, you will get more features and storage space on paid softwares but the quality of free embroidery softwares is not something to ignore. The five choices given in this list all have their individual reason as to why they have made a place.
It goes without saying that easiness to install and use is the most important factor when researching for this article.
Bearing in mind that beginners may not have much experience with embroidery softwares may find all of the deeply technological aspects intimidating and so easiness is crucial to the recommendations.
When researching the softwares, it was important to see who exactly could benefit the most from the features.
When browsing through the options, it was clear that free software is more ideal for beginners than experts as those who use it for full-time work and careers are more likely to use a paid service that provides unlimited features.
Our top pick, My Editor, does boast fantastic features that professionals can and do use.
Due to the intricacies of design software, it’s rare to find embroidery software that can be downloaded for both Apple and Android devices.
With the exception of TrueSizer, no other free software can be downloaded onto both Apple and Android but this only means that the option you do go for is more specialised for your computer and should be easier to use.
Lastly, it is important to mention that like the SewWhat-Pro option, most of the renowned softwares that do require a hefty fee do offer month-long free demos so you can utilise all of the softwares features for free.
It’s important to mention the demos on here because you may be considering paying for your embroidery software but unsure on whether to splash out on the fees.
It’s always best to explore the free options first to see what you get with the basics, particularly if you are just beginning or if it is a hobby but the SewWhat-Pro in particular is a great bridge from the free to paid softwares.
Embroidery software tends to be expensive because of the variety of editing and designing features it contains.
Being able to alter designs by changing the type of stitch and color palette means that the software interface has to be really detailed and intricate.
However, as more and more embroidery softwares are becoming available, cheaper and free options are also on the rise.
These free ones listed in the article are the best of the best and show that you don’t have to spend money to have a quality design.
Digitizing embroidery designs is a lot easier than it sounds.
Simply upload your initial design onto the software and then you are able to edit the project by resizing, altering the color and even amending the thread count in the design to see how it could turn out.
The great thing about the choices made in this article is how easy and accessible to beginners all the softwares.
Luckily, this means that they aren’t intimidating to those who aren’t familiar with the terminology and technology.
One of the most commonly asked questions regarding embroidery software.
Undoubtedly, one of the things I noticed when researching was that the vast majority of embroidery software is catered to Android and Windows devices only.
However, in terms of free embroidery software, TrueSizer and StitchBuddy are the best options if you are an Apple user.