People ask me for my opinion on what software is the best…and its super hard to give an answer. Super hard. I don’t work for any of the software companies out there, so I do not have any ties or responsibilities to them, but its still a hard answer. People are always asking me “what software should I buy? ” or “should I get the cheapest one?” or “how do I decide which software to buy?”. Those are all tough questions.
So before shopping for software of any kind, you need to make sure that you know as much as you can about embroidery in general. I did a blog earlier on digitizing for beginners and it was all about knowing embroidery, not beginner digitizing. I think that is really important…it doesn’t matter what software you use if you don’t know anything about embroidery, its going to be very difficult for you to digitize anything. No, I am not saying that you can’t do it, of course people can, but I think that you need to understand embroidery before digitizing. Check out my earlier blog and you will see what I mean.
Back to the software and the questions that I get. I really can’t give anyone an answer. The best software out there is the commercial level software – and I have one of them! DG15 is priced way way up there for a reason – and it is one of the best digitizing software out there. But I am not going to answer like that, because most people don’t NEED a commercial level software, and they won’t ever need it, honestly. The price tag is huge, and I won’t recommend anyone to spend $10,000 on software if you don’t need it and won’t need it.
So then I get asked ” what software do you like best?” and the honest answer is I LIKE THEM ALL. Each software has is own merits, some more than others but each of the software that I work on I like. Nobody asks me what software I want. My answer would be WILCOM E3 COMMERCIAL EDITION WITH EVERYTHING ADDED. I have wanted Wilcom for around 15 years…and still don’t have it!! But remember, I am a professional digitizer, and have been for a long time…my wants are different from yours!!
I guess my point is, the software you need is depending on what you are going to do with embroidery. I can’t be used as an example because I do just about everything, and if I don’t do a certain style of embroidery, you can bet that I will be learning it soon!! I make patches for a living, so I digitize every single day and stitch every single day – but patches are weird, and have different rules – so software that works for me, may not be the best for you. So you need to find the right embroidery software for YOU.
Do you add lettering to pre-made designs? then one of the Hatch modules, will work just fine for you. But if you want built in fonts, then you need to have Embird and buy the built in fonts. If you want to use a ton of pre-made fonts that are sold in a group (meaning each letter is a separate file) then you should probably get Embrilliance with the Alpha Tricks module – it makes adding the fonts super easy, and you can use them as regular fonts by typing on the keyboard. But again, for me, thats not what I do, so its not applicable. Do you see what I mean? Some people don’t care about digitizing, they want to add lettering. Some people don’t add lettering, they want to digitizing. Some people want to do a little digitizing, some people want to do more, and learn more. Personally, I can’t buy just a part of a program, I have to buy every module of it – i do everything remember – so I can’t have my work flow limited in any way. I will seriously go crazy. But again, thats just me.
When asked this question, I usually respond with “what do you NEED TO DO WITH EMBROIDERY” if the answer is “i only do appliqué” then you need to find a program with its focus on appliqué and has tools that you can use and learn. If you only do monogramming, then you need software that has a focus on monogramming (btw, Wilcom Hatch has a brilliant module on monogramming, I love it).
I also always suggest that you try the software before buying it. For example, Hatch has a free trial on their software, and the 30 day free trial is fully functional software – meaning you can save and use the designs that you create. BRILLIANT. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. Embird also has a 30 free trial of the software, but it is limited because you can’t save anything or send anything to your machines. Good, but not as good as Hatch on that one. But you can still download the trial of embird and see if you like the program. Heck, download both and see which one you like better. Why not??? You might be surprised at what you figure out – and 30 days is a long enough time to use the software enough, learn enough to make a decision about it.
Now, if you are making your decision based on money, you are going to limit yourself. To me, amazing embroidery software is worth its weight in gold. And I really mean this – I have software that I use every day for my job making patches, but I still bought the full version of Hatch. I didn’t need to, I have programs that are paid for – and I really don’t need 4 embroidery software programs plus a commercial one – but Hatch is awesome and I love how it works. So I bought it. and I use it every day. I try and put things into perspective…does the program make me happy? is it easy to use? is it FUN (yes, fun is a consideration for me, embroidery should be fun)? am I getting the results that I want? am I getting great stitch outs? all of those things I take into consideration, and after two weeks of using the Hatch trial, I had no issue buying the full program. None. I just love it, and it makes digitizing fun! Yay.
I really can’t answer the question for you ” which software do you like best” because I like them all. “which software should I buy” I still can’t answer, because it depends on your level and what you do with embroidery. So please ask “what embroidery software do you want?” I CAN answer that one. WILCOM E3.
WHICH SOFTWARE SHOULD I BUY? is a question that is up to you: do your research, join some groups, do some homework, download the trials, see what the embroidery software can do for you!! After all, embroidery software is supposed to make your embroidery life easier. So if your software isn’t making you happy, why buy it? and if you are using software now and you want to do more, then its time to make a change and look into something different. Keep growing, keep moving up and most of all keep digitizing!!!
I would also advise to check out software for yourself. Try Hatch For free for 30 days. No credit card required, and it is a fully functional version of Hatch in every level – for free!