Inkstitch embroidery software!

Inkstitch announced a new release this month.

Inkstitch is free open source software and a member of Fashion Freedom Initiative, just like Seamly2D!

You can download Inkstitch from their website at


…and you can even DIY your own embroidery machine!


Oh, maaaannnn… I have some spare steppers :slight_smile: This is going to keep me busy for a while :slight_smile:

I’ve been doing my own digitizing for years now and have been brushing up on it recently. This is totally wonderful :slight_smile:

I think I’ll stick with my little Bernina Artista 165 :slight_smile:


Some friends make this serious one DIY hack The embroidery module – OpenEmbroidery

But soft is the biggest issue …

Last time I tested Inkstitch it seemed to be " slow " as Inskape. Must test new version. Not convinced by Inskape hack. openembroidery friends work on a dedicated soft to route an SVG, since Inkscape is good enough to make SVG.

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Yes, I had a look at Inkstitch, and it seems a little ?‘clunky’? . Definitely not a smooth ride to first design the svg and then change the lines to columns with equal number of nodes and then add stitch directions all over the show. The idea is there and it does the job, but I have other software that works beautifully, so I’ll stick with that for now :slight_smile:


@Grace What’s your software?

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I have a very old version of Embird & PE Design10

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Same here… but as a Corel Draw user I find Inkscape in general clunky. In Inkstitch it’s very awkward to have to select the language each time in the extension context menu. That should be set by Inscape’s language pref.

Ay my shop we use a Tajima, Brother and Juki AMS machines for embroidery work… since my partner is the one that handles the embroidery end I’m not sure what software other than we have a stand alone program as well as a Corel Draw plugin. For what it’s worth - my partner did comment that Inkstitch does have a few fill options only found on higher end software.


:slight_smile: so it’s not just me. I also prefer Coreldraw to Inkscape & I do a lot of my designs in Corel and then save them as .wmf and import them into the embroidery software for finishing.

One of my other hobbies is digital scrapbooking, so I’m pretty ok with all the popular graphics programs.

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Free software v proprietary software, again (sigh!)


if I could actually still BUY some of the tools I had in the early 1990s before Corel tried to do everything poorly instead of just make a really good Draw program, I would be happy. Of course I would prefer to run it under Windows 2000. :smiley:

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@Fabrice, if the OpenEmbroidery people are your friends please have them contact me. Thanks!

For @everyone else, be aware that the OpenEmbroidery project has lots of promise but as they themselves say on their website:

The sofware is not stable or really usable at the moment

AFAIK Inkstitch is the only FOSS software that can be used today to make professional-quality embroidered badges and other projects. But we’re always open to learning and supporting other projects.

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I get it Susan… thing is a lot of the free software is just not usable / reliable in a commercial environment.

In our case we use Corel because it has the various plugins for embroidery, vinyl / fabric cutting, and the rhinestone machines we have. It makes for a cohesive workflow.

Not to mention I also use an Optitex setup.

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Hi @slspencer , i’m one of the core developer of openembroidery :wink:

With this project we’re working on two things: an opensource software for embroidery pattern design and an opensource plugable hardware for sewing machine

We made this at the electrolab hackerspace in france (near paris, you can come visit us whenever you want ;-))

The project progress slowly (time is a rare resource) but we still working on it.

The software is full opengl for the moment but we planned to add qt gui to avoid shortcut only function and make it simpler to use.

I never used qt so i must learn how to make it clean.

Until now we mostly working on core function (clean database, undo/redo, load and save, core curve and stitch function,…)

Another big deal is the load and save of proprietary formats, we already did’nt work on it except load of pes files that work well. If anyone want to help on this, welcome!

I planned to make some demo videos of the software as is

we need to release a first version of the source code too (for now we released only fully functionals parts of the project (the harware) on the electrolab gitlab:


Hi @3dsman. I love what you are doing, I think it’s amazing that people offer their expertise and time to creating such wonderful products for free.

I think most people can convert a .pes into whichever format their machine uses, most machines will take a .pes file, anyway, and some embroidery machine manufacturers have exclusive rights to their formats and have had other software remove their formats (like Bernina with their .art format), so I’d put that issue on the back burner for now :slight_smile:

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Thank you for your support :slight_smile:

We are two on this project (such a small team) with help from other members of the hackerspace.

When the software source will be released we hope some people will come to increase the developer team size and have some active users (share of pattern, tutorials and tooltips) to make it live.

We didn’t export pes for now, only import.

We’ve seen embroidermodder import/export library but we don’t know it it work well and if it’s a good idea to use it in our software (maintaining such a big library is a big deal and we will not be able to do that).

Another option could be to make our own exporter for 1 or 2 very used format (like pes or dst)

The inkstitch sources cans be a good inspiration to deal with it :thinking:


Hi @3dsman! Thanks for posting. Can we move this discussion about OpenEmbroidery to it’s own thread? OpenEmbroidery software/hardware project - Other FOSS Sewing & Auxiliary Software - Seamly Patterns Forum?

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Hmmm… I think it depends on exactly what type of machine you need. I’m a home hobbyist so I need an serger, sewing machine, embroidery machine, knitting machine, etc. etc. with all the tools, bells and whistles. I only have a serger and an aged Bernina sewing/embroidery machine :slight_smile: oh, and an aged Passap Duomatic knitting machine which I sometimes use. But in an industrial environment, my machines are far too old and small - more suited for home needlework. But for me, they work very well. A friend has recently purchased an entry level Brother dedicated embroidery machine and she’s very happy with it. Bernina, Elna and Pfaff can be quite pricey for entry level, however, once you’ve sewn with them, you understand why while Brother, Janome, Singer are a bit less pricey but still very good, reliable machines. The other brands… I haven’t had anything to do with them, so I can’t pass an opinion :slight_smile:

Sorry for reviving this, though I’ve checked through the models you’ve mentioned, shenazkadri, and from my experience they can handle only the basics. Brother’s and Juki are nice, but as for these Janome’s - I’m just not sure. Though the Jem Gold 660 Elaina suggested is a fine one. At this price range I prefer mechanical to computerized, because they are easy to maintain and troubleshoot in case something went wrong.


Has anyone compared recent versions of Inkstitch to other digitizers? Getting back to embroidery, and temporarily had to switch to a free soft. Any recommendations maybe (for Brother PE770)?

Imo, that’s where lies the difference between hobby and a business. Some of free for use programs are even marked for “non commercial usage”. They’re fine for easier tasks though, like monogramming, but as a small shop owner myself I totally understand your frustration, Douglas.

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