Essentially a modern embroidery sewing machine is a 2d plotter that uses thread instead of a pen. However, most software for it takes raster images, does a process called autopunching to convert them to stitches.

However logically I should be able to just take a vector image, tell it to fill those parts in and make an embroidery machine file to load.

Absolute necessities:

  • Takes an svg for input
  • Outputs a .pes file for a brother embroidery machine (since this is what I own)
  • Takes the lines that a SVG file gives, and converts it to a clean embroiderable image that looks as close to this as possible. Autopunching and vector conversion is too muddy for my liking.
  • Lets me pick a maximum colour count and/or treats solid colours sensibly.

Nice stuff to have:

  • Gives a list of colours for common brands of threads (Guttmann sukly would be nice)
  • Lets me 'split' a project into multiple parts to get around maximum stitch counts.

2 Answers 2


Currently the best solution for this is inkstitch. It's a rather effective inkscape addon to export embroidery. A lot of the problems with the whole autopuncher thing is the algorithm used is actually rather complex for various shapes especially with things like underlay. Inkstitch is based on a different algorithm that makes the whole autoconvert thing done a bit more generically.

  • Seems to meet a lot of my requirements. Might be a bit before I can get the sewing machine up again and muck with this properly. For now though, have an upvote. I'll pick this as an answer for now (and maybe throw in a bounty if I can get it working for what I need). And yes, that's the problem with the autopunching option. Its overcomplicated in this case Oct 5, 2018 at 5:26
  • Part of the issue is there's a certain conceit in saying that embroideries are like vectors, while they are more like vectors than they are like rasters, they are notably different. It is entirely possible do a kind of auto-convert for them, and give the SVG some extra details as to how you want that to happen, but there's so much more to embroidery than that. But, without delving too deep in theory, your request is pretty spot on for inkstitch's methods.
    – Tatarize
    Oct 5, 2018 at 5:49
  • Well, I was (holy cow, 4 years ago?) looking at making myself a nice little super user patch - 2 colours, fairly clean shapes. The big issue is I've not messed with the sewing machine in a while, and need to dig up the software. This seems pretty close to what I need tho. Oct 5, 2018 at 5:53

Hi this answer is not based on my experience but however I do hope this website may help with your work Convert vector graphics to embroidery files and vise versa.And after further research I also found a wiki regarding Computerized embroidery series this wiki lists down all Free converter tools and other utilities that may help with your work so you can then pick the one that you like best!.(WIKI REF 3.6 Free converter tools and other utilities)Computerized embroidery Wiki

  • Personal experience would probably be necessary I'm afraid. I've worked with PE Design in the past, and the workflow for working on one of these machines makes testing a minor pain. There's also a few things someone who's actually used one of these would know. Oct 28, 2014 at 11:43

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