Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

new to embroidery, old at computer…

jzzzz | Posted in Machine Embroidery on

Hi all,

My question is 2 part. I am a complete newbie to embroidery machines, but am an experienced computer designer. I’d love to know if any of you have advice on what machine might be best for someone who wants to deal almost soley with original designs? I’m extremely familar with most computer graphic programs, can you design for embroidery in an adobe program and convert or do yo specifically have to design in an embroidery program?

So I guess the questions are: a) what’s the best computerized machine for dealing with/importing original designs and b) is specific embroidery software absolutely nec?



  1. sewnfish | | #1

    You will need software specific to embroidery design. IMHO, Bernina Embroidery Software is the best. You can import a very clean graphic and autodigitize it, but results are usually less than satisfactory except for the most simple of designs. The software is relatively easy to learn for someone who has a good computer background. There are other much less expensive programs available but the power of the Bernina software is not matched. I am partial to Bernina sewing and embroidery machines but if you choose another brand the Bernina Embroidery Software will convert to the appropriate format for your machine, with the exception of Viking's SHV format. Kathi

  2. FitnessNut | | #2

    I'll second the vote for the Bernina software. Its expensive, but far more inclusive than all the others available, unless something incredible has appeared in the market since I bought mine last year. Many of the other software packages require additional purchases to accomplish certain tasks. You can work in another programme to develop your image or do it directly in the Bernina software....whatever you are comfortable with.

    In my opinion, the embroidery capabilities of the Bernina machines is far superior to its competitors, but then, that is just my opinion.

    1. jzzzz | | #3

      thanks so much for your help! I was looking at the software options on the viking which looked pretty good, but the proprietary file format is something they don't exactly mention. Thanks!!

      1. sewnfish | | #4

        One of the great advantages to the Bernina software is that it is object-based, rather than stitch-based. This gives you unlimited sizing and reshaping capability, and also produces exceptional quality stitchouts, especially on a Bernina embroidery machine. You can save to nearly all home and professional embroidery formats The only one I know is missing is to write to a floppy for Viking; it can save to the SHV format but doesn't write to floppy. Bernina is the BEST; be sure to consider it when you are looking at embroidery machines. Kathi

      2. marthamom | | #5

        If you have an intensive computer background, the Bernina software should be easy for you to learn.  Without that background, it has a very steep learning curve.  It does do a good job and will save to all formats, except SHV, but  Version 5.0 of the software is coming out this month, so I would suggest you visit a Bernina dealer for a demonstration of it.   I imagine the price will be at least $ 2,000.  Most brands of software will convert designs to all the commonly used formats.   I own both the Artista Designer Plus software and the Viking 3-D Studio.  The Viking brand is more intuitive and easier to use, but I don't own the digitizing part.  The Artista software has been a struggle, but I'm still trying.

        The SHV format is only used by Viking in a few of its machines, so unless you bought one of those older models, it's a non-issue.   The Designer SE (the current top of the line machine) can read all formats, except for the Bernina ART format (that's the truly proprietary format!) and write them, again except for ART - only Bernina's software can do that one.    All the machine brands do beautiful embroidery.  It's really a matter of ease of use, local dealer support and personal preference.  Since your primary interest is producing your own original designs, I'd suggest you shop the software of all the brands in your area.  You sound very capable of judging the abilities of any software program.  Then shop for the machine.  Many people digitize with one brand of software and stitch out their designs on a different brand of machine. 

        Good luck in your exploration of this new hobby.  It is a lot of fun, but addictive!!!

  3. MaryinColorado | | #6

    I went online to http://www.stitches.com  They have lots of programs and software for embroidery.  You won't believe all the choices!  I already have the Husqvarna/Viking Designer 1 so am more limited with which ones will work with my machine.  If you have not purchased yours yet, you will be amazed at all that is available.  I still have not made a decison but have been embroidering for years and never knew these existed. 

    I will probably get Corell DraWings, but need to do more research.

    Hope this helps.  Stitches is also a magazine.  Someone on this forum suggested the website so the credit goes to them.  Unfortunately I forgot who that was, so I send thanks to that person if they see this.  Mary

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More