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Ink/Stitch: An open source machine embroidery design platform based on Inkscape

Background and Philosophy

by @lexelby, an Ink/Stitch programmer

I received a really wonderful christmas gift for a geeky programmer hacker: an embroidery machine. It’s pretty much a CNC thread-bot… I just had to figure out how to design programs for it. The problem is, all free embroidery design software seemed to be terrible, especially when you add in the requirement of being able to run in Linux, my OS of choice.

I started off hacking on inkscape-embroidery. It had some of the basic capabilities I needed, and I saw a lot of potential. I love the idea of using an existing, ultra-powerful SVG editor as the basis for an embroidery design suite.

Things took off from there. I continued adding features as I needed them, and by this point, very little if any of the original code remains.

The goal of Ink/Stitch is to provide a powerful embroidery digitizing platform for everyone completely free. I want to open up the field of embroidery design, making it approachable even for those who can’t spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on software. And I want folks like me, who love to combine code with art, to have an open, extensible, and approachable platform to hack on.