37 free embroidery fonts to download
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Looking for free embroidery fonts to download?
I get it. The built-in fonts on your embroidery machine can get a little old. On my trusty little Bernina, I have five different typefaces to choose from and after 10 years+ of using this machine, I’m kind of done with all of them.
But, buying embroidery fonts can get a bit expensive. If you could find sources for free embroidery fonts, why not take advantage of it?
Fortunately there are a few embroidery digitizers and software companies that offer free embroidery fonts you can download and use to stitch out words, phrases, names and monograms on your embroidery machine.
What are embroidery fonts?
If you are new to machine embroidery, you may not even know what embroidery fonts are.
Embroidery fonts are like fonts that you use on your computer. They come in a set and can be a variety of different styles and cases. They often include upper and lower case letters, numbers or punctuation. When the individual letters are combined, you get words and phrases.
Embroidery fonts are unlike the fonts used on your computer because each letter is a special embroidery file. When you use an embroidery font, you are actually stitching out a design for each letter.
Embroidery fonts built into your embroidery machine
The embroidery fonts built into your embroidery machine are commonly referred to as “built-in fonts,” and almost every machine comes with a few of them.
These are great to work with in a pinch but they do have some limitations.
First, when you create your word or phrase with these fonts, you must do so on your tiny screen on your embroidery machine which can be a bit tedious.
Secondly, if you want to set your type on a curve, or integrate any other types of manipulations, you will definitely want to work with your embroidery font within a software and you cannot do that if you are using the fonts built into your embroidery machine.
Types of embroidery fonts
Embroidery fonts sold in typical embroidery file formats like: PES, DST, EXP, JEF
Many digitizers that offer embroidery fonts offer them in the same file formats as embroidery files. If you want to build a word or a phrase with these individual letters (and you don’t have any embroidery software), you will need to load them into the machine one-by-one and position them in place.
BX fonts were invented by Embrilliance and can only be used within their software. These fonts are are great because they offer a wide variety of features and manipulations that you cannot do with other types of embroidery fonts.
For example, many BX fonts are scalable so you can stitch them out at any size.
BX fonts will not load directly into an embroidery machine. You must use Embrilliance software in order to take advantage of these types of fonts.
ESA fonts are only available for use in Hatch / Wilcom software. They work much like BX fonts in that they can only be used in the software and not loaded directly into an embroidery machine.
Fonts that are not embroidery fonts
TrueType Fonts (TTF)
If you have ever created something in Microsoft Word, or another word processing program like Pages, then you have worked with TrueType fonts before. These fonts are used to add text to a document, and cannot be used for embroidery directly.
Some applications allow you to create embroidery designs from TTF fonts but the results can be varied.
How to download embroidery fonts
Whether you get the fonts for free or pay a little for them, they will more than likely be delivered to you in the form of a ZIP File. The first thing you will need to uncompress the ZIP to get to all of the embroidery files inside.
Your next step will depend on the format of the files and how you want to work with them. If you are just using one letter to create a single initial monogram – you simply find that file and transfer the embroidery design to your machine.
But, if you want to use the font to make a word, name or phrase, you can proceed a couple of different ways.
How to make words and names with your free embroidery fonts
You will probably also want to transform the individual letters into a word, phrase or monogram. The way you do this depends on what format embroidery designs you are working with. If each letter is actually an embroidery design (like a PES, JEF, etc…), then in order to build the word or phrase you need to combine them together one by one using a program like SewWhat-Pro.
If, on the other hand, you are working with BX fonts, you can import the BX font family, type out your word or phrase and then export it as a completed embroidery design. You can see the difference in these processes in my previous post re: how to set up a monogram file.
However you assemble the letters together, ultimately you will want to end up with a word, name, phrase or monogram that is in an embroidery file format that your machine will read.
Why do embroidery digitizers offer free embroidery fonts?
Sounds too good to be true, right? Why would and embroidery digitizer give away free embroidery fonts? There are a few reasons.
The main reason why a company or individual would give away a free font is to build trust and good will to a potential customer. If a digitizer provides you with a free embroidery font set for free and you love the way it stitches out, who do you think you will turn to when you want to buy some new embroidery fonts?
Also, many websites offer free embroidery fonts to get you to sign up to their mailing list. Once you are on their mailing list, they can market their other (paid) embroidery fonts to you.
Why should I care about getting free embroidery fonts? Can’t I just make my own embroidery fonts?
Yes and no. Many digitizing programs tout the ability to convert TTF fonts to embroidery files. However, the results can be a bit spotty. I have better luck converting my TTF fonts (the fonts installed on my computer) into embroidery files using my Bernina Artista digitizing software, that I do with SewWhat-Pro. But, that’s to be expected as Bernina Artista is quite a bit pricier than SewWhat-Pro.
Limitations of free embroidery fonts
I’ve done my fair share of looking for free embroidery fonts. And what I’ve learned is that some embroidery fonts that are touted as free are actually just single letters intended to provide a sample of how the entire letter set will appear. For example, if you look closely at the “free” fonts offered by embroiderydesigns.com, you may get a little excited, but if you look closely, you will see that these are just samples of the full set.
Another limitation of many of the free fonts is that they are actually part of a club. Many digitizers offer memberships to their design collections. And, if you pay a fixed fee you can get “free” access to all of the fonts within the collection. So, technically they are really not free.
One final limitation to free embroidery font sets are the sizes and format they come in. Some are either embroidery files, some are just BX fonts. And most free font sets only come in one size.
Where to find free embroidery fonts to download
There are many sites that offer free machine embroidery designs, however finding sites that offer free embroidery fonts is a little bit harder. Nevertheless, I have found 40 different typefaces here that you can download and use to build words, names, phrases and monograms. Most of the sites listed below offer the fonts in all of the common machine embroidery file formats. In addition, several actually offer BX versions.
Here we go!
1- Freaky font by Five Star Fonts
The Freaky font by Five Star Fonts is a cute, creepy typeface that is perfect for stitching out kids’ names on clothing and accessories. Need to stitch a kid’s name on a Trick-or-treat bag. Freaky font is exactly what you need. It comes in 4 different sizes: 1.05,” 1.25″, 1.40″ and 1.55″ and 10 different formats (including BX).
2 – Teachers Pet by Five Star Fonts
Five Star Fonts also offers another free one in sizes similar to the Freaky font: Teacher’s Pet. Teacher’s Pet reminds me of lettering a teacher would write on a dry erase board with a big, fat marker. It’s fun and kid-friendly: a perfect font for kid gear.
3 – The “Gift” embroidery font by Apex Embroidery
While “Gift” doesn’t necessarily describe the appearance of this typeface, it’s given to you as a gift when you subscribe to the Apex Embroidery newsletter. While this one does not come in BX format, you do get three different sizes when you download the font set.
4- Elegant Script font by My Sew Cute Boutique
If you are looking for something a little more elegant, check out the free elegant script font from My Sew Cute Boutique. It comes in 6 different sizes (1″, 2″, 3″, 4″, 5″ and 6″) as well as all of the common embroidery formats AND BX. An elegant typeface like this one would be perfect for stitching out a baby girl’s name on a tote bag, or even a couple’s last name on a set of towels.
5, 6, 7 – Almost Famous, Textured and Blockish from Embrilliance
Embrilliance offers three different free embroidery fonts in BX format: Almost Fancy, Textured and Blockish. And, they each have a very different character.
Almost Fancy is a casual script.
Blockish is a modern but slightly playful sans serif font.
And, Textured is a bit bolder but still a bit whimsical. The thickness of the letters in the Textured letter set makes is suitable for stitching out names or monograms on towels.
Keep in mind that these three typefaces are in BX format only. They are intended to help you understand the benefits of the BX format and use their software. But, you can still work with them (and any BX font) in the free version of Embrilliance and render out any name, word, phrase or monogram with these fonts.
8 – All the fonts in SewWrite
So, what you can do is to export each letter individually at the same size which would give you 26 individual letters in the format that you need. Once your trial is over, you still have those individual files which you can combine in different ways to spell out any word you want.
Sound painful? Then just pay $40 for the trial and you can use the program to save out any word, monogram or phrase you want in the format you need.
9 – Stacked font from Five Star Fonts
If you need small, friendly-looking letters, this may be your ticket. The stacked font from Five Star Fonts comes in three sizes: 1″, .8″ and .5″ – so you will have smaller letters for smaller items. But, it’s a simple and versatile font – that even comes in BX format.
10 – The Bongo Greek font
Need greek letters with a bit of style? Check out the Bongo Greek font by Apex embroidery. It’s a fun twist on traditional Greek letters, great for personalizing your favorite college gals sweats with the letters of her sorority.
11 – Cheri Alphabet by Bunnycup Embroidery
Looking for chunkier, funkier larger letters? Check out Cheri font set from Bunnycup Embroidery. Each letter is about 2″ high. No BX format in this set, but considering the size and style of these letters, you probably will not be using these letters for long phrases.
12 – Flores alphabet from Bunnycup Embroidery
Here’s another free font set: the Flores font from Bunnycup that’s perfect for children’s clothing and accessories. It’s sweet and girly. Each letter is about 1.2″, so great for stitching out a name, not really appropriate for long phrases or monograms.
13 – Countryside alphabet from Bunnycup Embroidery
Of all the free fonts available on the Bunnycup site, the Countryside font is probably the most versatile. The letters area almost an inch in height which makes them perfect for assembling into a name for a backpack or tote.
14 – Small script BX font from SewDaily
Need a small, casual font suitable for embroidering a name or phrase on a handkerchief? Well this small script, offered for free on the SewDaily site, may be the perfect solution. It sure is small and it’s in BX format only. So bring it into Embrilliance (even the free version) type in your phrase and save out your embroidery design.
15 – Classic Embroidery Font by Redmugs
Here’s a little hidden gem. Redmugs offers a few different free font sets, but by far the most versatile is the classic embroidery set. They only offer a few different formats: PES, JEF and HUS so if you may need to convert the embroidery files to the format you need.
16 – Elaborate iris letters by Embroideres
With 16 colors each – these iris letters by Embroideres are elaborate. A single initial would look great on a set of hand towels. Warning: an ad will come up when you go to this site – just ignore it and it will go away. These are just available in the standard embroidery file formats – which is just fine by me. They are so ornate, I can only imagine using one at a time anyway.
17 – Wooden appliqué letters by Embroideres
Looking for large, friendly-looking appliqué letters that would look great on a banner or pillow for a kids’ room? Check out the wooden letter set on Embroideres. Each one is about 3″ high – a perfect size for an appliqué and stitching out in a 4″ x 4″ embroidery hoop.
18 – Cynthia Font by Cindesembroiderydesigns.com
Here’s an elegant script that is super versatile: the Cynthia Font. It comes with all the upper and lowercase letters so you can use it to put together complete sentences.
19 – Beachtype Font by Cindesembroiderydesigns.com
There are quite a few other free fonts on this site, but, in my opinion, the Beachtype font wins for best character. It’s cute and beachy. Use it to stitch out a name on a beach bag or towel.
20 – Scary Font by GG Designs
Don’t forget this fun little font set when Halloween comes around, because you will want to use this to stitch out a name on a kid’s trick-or-treat bag. GG Designs offers the Scary font in three different sizes and in a bunch of different formats – including BX format!
21 – Anna font from Oma’s Place
Wow – I’m finding more than I expected. The Anna font from Oma’s place is elegant and versatile. And – it comes with BX versions.
22 – RinTin Skin-ny Appliqué Font from Five Star Fonts
Yes – I understand RinTin Skin-ny is an appliqué font as opposed to a traditional embroidery font. But I had to include because it is so useful.
You know those baby nightgowns that have the name appliquéd down the front? Well – this is the perfect font to use if you want to make something like that.
23 – Baby Alphabet by Kreative Kiwi
Letters with babies. Can it get any cuter? There is so much detail on each letter that you may want to just use each letter as a stand along project.
24 – Small Alphabet by Kreative Kiwi
If you like chain stitched letters, Kreative Kiwi has an awesome free option. This letter set would look adorable stitched out around the collar of a t-shirt.
25 – Marker Embroidery Font by Designs by Juju
I can’t actually believe this Marker Font is free because it comes with a ton of different sizes and has a full set of punctuation. Hurry up and grab this one as it may not be free for long!
26- Monogram font by Creative Fabrica
A lovely script font that is suitable for monograms! It appears that the letters are just in one size – but at least a fairly standard monogram option.
27- Letters with heart balloons
Check out these adorable single initials with balloons. If you look through the free collection at Creative Fabrica, you can probably find any letter you need as they are offered individually.
28 – Pretty script fonts in a frame
Ann the Gran has some very pretty script fonts in frame for free. They are branded as Christmas designs but I think these would make for elegant hand towels any time of the year. All the letters are listed separately, so you will need to nose around a bit to find the letter(s) you want.
30 – Bluebonnet letters
Another pretty letter set on Ann the Gran are the Bluebonnet letters. They are so pretty – they make a lovely single initial monogram.
31 – Fun and funky font
This free fun and funky font by Five Star fonts is PERFECTION for kids’ gear.
32- Racing numbers
Yes. I realize that this font set only contains numbers. However, these racing numbers could be very useful.
Let’s say, for example, you want to add a kid’s lucky number to a design. Boom! use the racing number font set.
33 – Autumn Alphabet
If you are looking for a cute fall seasonal design, check out the Autumn Alphabet free font set at Kreative Kiwi. Each letter incorporates fun fall iconography. Spell out a name with this for or stitch a single letter on a small piece of clothing (like a baby onesie) or an accessory.
34- Pirate letter set
And, here’s yet another free letter set from Kreative Kiwi – PIRATES! There is so much detail in each letter that a single initial may be just enough for your project.
35 – Letters with foliage
These gorgeous letters would make quite a statement alone or arranged to form a name or a monogram. Head over to the SWAK website and download this free set.
36 – And if you like a surprise, there’s the Mystery font…
Download the Mystery font from Apex Embroidery. I wish I could show you a picture of what it looks like but it’s a mystery to me.
Hey – what do you have to lose? It’s free, and gives you another option when stitching out a text based design on your embroidery machine.
37 – Zumba Embroidery Font by Apex Embroidery
I am not sure why Apex did not call this their mystery font because the Zumba font is not even pictured. Now there’s a mystery. Hey – but it’s free! Download it and check it out.
Enjoy! And happy stitching!