Open Source Machine Embroidery


Gear Threads Is The Mr X Stitch Machine Embroidery Column - Presented By Urban Threads!

 So usually this column features nifty art in machine embroidered form. Today brings something a bit more behind-the-scenes, but if you’re as into shaking up the machine embroidery world as we are, this’ll be relevant to your interests.

Software developers Jonathan Greig and Josh Varga just launched a Kickstarter for Embroidermodder 2, a cross-platform program to create and edit embroidery designs. What makes this different from other machine embroidery programs on the market is that Embroidermodder is open source. For some users, this may not mean much — you’d use it for day-to-day tasks much like any other program (and part of the goal is to create a cost-effective option for this). But for those of a programming persuasion, open source software would allow anyone with the skills to tweak and dabble with the software, creating new features like a mad embroidery scientist.

Embroidermodder features
Click for a biggie to read about the program’s features.

Between them, Greig and Varga have experience with computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM), embroidery formats, and operating and programming for various computer numerical control (CNC) equipment. Grieg says he fell into machine embroidery when asked if he could use his technical skills to solve a stitchy problem. He found an early version of the program, modified it to suit his needs, shared it with Varga (one of the original creators of Embroidermodder), and next thing he knew he was part of the project. Now, if enough backers are on board, the two plan to take Embroidermodder from a side project to an accessible tool for working with machine embroidery.

3D rendering
3D rendering of a design helps users visualize what it will look like stitched.

In an industry that’s so proprietary, open-source software is a step in an exciting direction, laying the groundwork for machine embroiderers to get creatively involved on a new level and approach their craft not only as consumers of machines, software, and design files — but also, if they’re so inclined, as producers of whatever they’d like those things to become.

Possible future developments? Android and iOS versions, and maybe someday even an open source embroidery machine, like this amazing embroidery machine made of a sewing machine and Legos.


Check out Embroidermodder’s Kickstarter page to learn more about the project!

See Also


Urban Threads - Unique and Awesome Machine Embroidery DesignsGear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at


View Comment (1)
  • *quietly screams to self while backing the hell out of this kickstarter*

    it makes me immensely happy that the little dot in the intersection part of the “programmers” and “digital embroidery enthusiast” venn diagram is getting bigger <3

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