When I first started with machine embroidery (read this post), I had no idea I also need special embroidery software for my computer. I quickly learned that embroidery software is a very important part of being able to not only use designs and fonts you purchase online, but also use elements of those designs to create something new. Today I want to tell you about the software that I use and recommend, Embrilliance.
Embrilliance is a software company that has several different programs for embroidery. The two things that drove me to this particular company is that they are one of the only embroidery software programs that is compatible with Mac as well as PC. Also, once you purchase a program, you are allowed to install it on as many computers as you need and have unlimited future installs. Let me tell you why this was important to me.
When I first started, it tried out another program that was cheaper and only came with 2 installs. I had an old PC which I dedicated to only use for embroidery. Then I had a situation where I needed to reformat my computer so I had to re-install the program. This meant that I had now used my 2 installs. Then my PC died completely. Now I am out of installs and can either buy the program AGAIN or switch to something else. That’s when I found Embrilliance. I can use it on my MacBook and I have it installed on 2 computers right now. Also, when I decide to upgrade computers in the future, I don’t have to buy the program again.
Today I want to tell you about the different programs offered by Embrilliance and how to use some of their basic features. The programs I will cover are Essentials, Enthusiast, Thumbnailer, and StitchArtist.
Essentials is the base program that I use and recommend for everyone. It really has everything you need to put together great designs, add names, re-size, and has some editing features. I use this program every time I am working on a project. Since I have an older embroidery machine with a small screen and no color, it is nice to visualize designs on my laptop. I can see all of the steps and assign colors in order to get a good idea of how the design will look. I can combine several designs to make something unique. If I overlap anything, the program can remove hidden stitches to prevent bulk and possible broken needles.
One of the main things I do in Essentials is open the design I purchased online, select the hoop I plan to use (4×4 or 5×7), move it to the top center of the hoop, then add a name under the design. Sometimes I have to resize the design so that a name can fit underneath it and the program lets me do that. For fonts, you can open and use the format that works with your embroidery machine or you can use the BX format which is specific for the Embrilliance platform. BX fonts allow you to install the font in Embrilliance and just use your keyboard to type your lettering. This feature is loads better than having to import each individual letter file then space and align your letters until they look right! Almost all fonts sold online from reputable embroidery designs sites offer their fonts in BX format.
I can go on and on about the features in Essentials but I will save that for future posts. If you are a member of my Facebook Group, you can find some Essential tutorials posted there. I also do Facebook Lives where you can ask your specific Embrilliance questions.
Enthusiast is a software upgrade to Essentials. It allows you a few more editing features that you can not do in Essentials. One of my favorite features is adding a knockdown stitch. This is great for when you are working on a really plush blanket or towel and you don’t want the stitches to sink down into the fabric. Adding a knockdown stitch does exactly as it implies so that it stitches down an outline area around your design first, then your original design stitches on top and shows up a lot better.
Enthusiast also has that ability to select individual stitches. This is very helpful if you only want to use a specific part of another design. You can select just what you want, no matter the color, and then copy and paste it into a new file.
Splitting designs is another cool feature in Enthusiast. It gives you the ability to take any design and split it in half. That way if you are doing a pocket design, you can stitch the bottom half on the pocket itself and the top half above the pocket. Again, I can go on about other features in Enthusiast but we will save that for future posts. Just know its a great add on to get once you have use Essentials and are looking for more editing capabilities.
Thumbnailer is not a program like Essentials or Enthusiast, but a feature you can install in your computer that allows you preview the embroidery design in your file viewing window. This may not sound that important now if you are just starting off, but when you are like me and have collected embroidery designs for the past 7 years, finding a design you want just by the name and not a picture preview of the design is a BIG DEAL.
Now that you have learned about editing software for designs that you purchase online, lets talk about what you need if you want to CREATE your own designs. StitchArtist is a digitizing program. It has an array of features that allows you to create designs that you can then stitch out on your embroidery machine. Be warned, digitizing programs can be EXPENSIVE. I’ve seen some as much as $1500-$2000. After 7 years of doing embroidery, I just recently started looking into digitizing and purchased SitichArtist and here are a few reasons why.
StitchArtist comes in 3 different levels. This really helps with spreading out the costs of the overall program. I decided to jump in and buy Level 1 and 2 at the same time. But you can start with just Level 1 if you want. I decided to go straight to Level 2 because of the feature to import SVG files. I have been working with my Silhouette Cameo for longer than my embroidery machine and have created a ton of SVGs over the years. So I figured, this would be a great place to start digitizing. I still have a ton to learn about the program but am loving it so far. My plan is once I have mastered it, I will considered upgrading to Level 3.
Things to keep in mind about StitchArtist, there is a learning curve. Digitizing is completely different that vector files and creating SVGs. But I am learning and hope to be as efficient as I am in Silhouette Studio Software. Also there is no auto-digitizing feature. You can not import a picture and click a button and it digitizes it for you. However there are special features for SVGs, True Type Fonts, and a Magic Wand for flat clip art images.
If you are interested in trying out any Embrilliance program before you buy it, you can for FREE. Just click here to go to their website, then click the Downloads tab at the top fo the screen, then click the link for the Demo version. This will allow you to try out all of the features that Embrilliance has to offer but will not allow you to save any files you make.
I hope that this post helped you to better understand what Embrilliance is and the difference between the programs that they offer. If you ever have any questions about features or how to do something please feel free to ask in the comments below or email me. You can also always reach my in my Facebook Group.
Disclaimer- I am an affiliate for Embrilliance and make a small commission if you purchase one of their programs using my links. However I purchased Embrilliance with my own money before I became an affiliate and recommend them based on my experience. All opinions are my own and this is not sponsored 🙂
Embrilliance is the registered trademarks of BriTon Leap, Inc. Albuquerque, NM 87122 All Rights Reserved