What is Embrilliance?

By on October 5th, 2021
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What is Embrilliance embroidery software
free machine embroidery designs

If you have been lurking around the embroidery crowd, you’ve probably heard people mention Embrilliance. This was definitely true for me. Long before I knew what it was, I often heard people raving about Embrilliance in machine embroidery Facebook groups.

Soon, I learned that while many people refer to Embrilliance as a specific program, it is actually the name of a company. They make several different pieces of embroidery-related software, each with its own specific purpose allowing you to manage, edit, and create machine embroidery designs.


Embrilliance software was invented by Brian Bailie who actually still owns and operates the company. In the late 1990s, he was a successful sewing machine store owner who recognized various software needs of his embroidery machine customers. So, he decided to write his own software.

The first iteration of his program was called Designer Gallery which he created for the BabyLock company. But, eventually, he wanted to control his own software and distribute it to his own customers. And, thus, the Embrilliance family of products was born! Today Embrilliance continues to lead the way in creating innovative software for the machine embroidery industry.

Why Embrilliance is popular

Embrilliance software is well-regarded in the embroidery world for a few different reasons. First of all, it’s one of the few programs that runs natively on a MAC. Most of the other embroidery programs are PC only and require an emulator to run on a MAC. Another reason why people love it so much is due to the convenience and versatility of BX fonts. Embrilliance  invented BX fonts which are easy to import (even into their free basic software – Express) allowing you to create words, names and monograms. And finally, people love Embrilliance because it’s very simple and easy to learn.

Embrilliance software family

Embrilliance makes a lot of different programs for machine embroidery enthusiasts. Here’s what each one of these applications do.

Embrilliance Thumbnailer

Thumbnailer is an embroidery design previewing tool.  It helps you see the details of all the embroidery designs you own without having to open up each one. You can look at all your designs in one place and add notes, labels and stickers as well as sort them into different folders. Thumbnailer is a really helpful tool for organizing all your embroidery files.

Embrilliance thumbnailer
Thumbnailer by Embrilliance. Photo provided by Larry Pike of Artistic Threadworks and used with his permission.


Express is a free software that allows you to import BX fonts, type out words, names and monograms and then export them as an embroidery file in a bunch of different formats. So, Express is a valuable tool regardless of the type of embroidery machine you own.

working with fonts in Embrilliance Express


This is Embrilliance’s full-featured embroidery design editing program that offers more than just the ability to type out words and monograms (as in Express). Essentials allows you to import more than one embroidery file at a time, adjust stitch density, remove overlapping stitching and mirror images. When you are done making your edits, it also enables you to combine designs into a single file and export it into a format that your embroidery machine can read.

Essentials has all the capabilities of Express. So there is no need to download Express if you own Essentials. As in Express, you can easily import BX fonts and create words, phrases, names and monograms and export them as an embroidery design. An added bonus, however, is that Essentials comes with 12 scalable BX fonts. That means you can save out your completed text-based design at almost any size and any format.

Essentials has similar capabilities to S&S Computing’s SewWhat-Pro.  See my previous post where I compare the two products.

Embrilliance Essentials
Essentials allows you to combine designs with lettering and export the final, converted design.


Enthusiast is often confused with Essentials, however it offers more sophisticated editing capabilities than Embrilliance Essentials. With Enthusiast, you can create basting stitches and knock down stitches and even edit specific stitches including removing jump stitches within an embroidery design.

One reason why people choose Enthusiast is for its ability to split embroidery designs. Splitting a design is necessary if you want to stitch out a design that is too large for your standard embroidery hoop and you plan to stitch it out using a multi-position embroidery hoop.

Want to learn more about the differences between Essentials and Enthusiast? See how they compare.

Embrilliance Stitch Artist

Stitch Artist allows you to create your own embroidery designs from scratch. The beauty of this program is that it is offered in three different levels: 1, 2 and 3 depending on your digitizing needs. Embrilliance makes it easy for you to start at a level and then upgrade your software if you require additional capabilities. And it will never cost you more to upgrade from level to level than buying Stitch Artist 2 or 3 outright.

So what are these different levels of Stitch Artist and what do they allow you to do?

Stitch Artist 1

Although Embrilliance states that Stitch Artist 1 is designed for the “hobbyist digitizer,” it can certainly do quite a lot. You can create many different types of original embroidery designs in this program using a multitude of shape drawing tools. Then you can assign various stoke and fill stitches to these shapes. You can make filled embroidery designs as well as appliqué designs.

Stitch Artist 2

Embrilliance Stitch Artist 2 has all of the capabilities of Stitch Artist 1 while giving you even more digitizing capabilities. You can create a greater variety of shapes and apply and even greater variety of fill stitches to these shapes. One awesome feature of Stitch Artist 2 is that you can import vector drawings and base stitch areas on these vectors shapes.

Stitch Artist 2 also helps the digitizer with digitizing design for 3D designs. 3D embroidered designs are intended to be stitched over foam to create a puffy look. The built-in tools within Stitch Artist 2 help you create designs that cover the extra thickness of foam.

Stitch Artist 3

Stitch Artist 3 is Embrilliance’s most sophisticated digitizing program. It has all the capabilities of Stitch Artist 1 and 2, but allows you to create original files with unlimited shape creation tools and fill stitch areas. In my opinion, the most significant feature in Stitch Artist 3 is it’s ability to create BX fonts. If you want to design and create BX fonts, you will need this level of Stitch Artist.

Other Programs

Embrilliance offers a couple other useful programs.

Alphatricks allows you to map embroidery fonts (not in BX format) to letters on your keyboard. The mapping facilitates the creation of words, phrases, names and monograms by simply typing them out on the keyboard.

The Density Repair Kit allows you to modify the density of machine embroidery designs. An embroidery design with too low of a density will not adequately cover the fabric underneath, whereas an embroidery design with too high of a density will be stiff and thick.

Embrilliance Embroidery Software

Frequently asked questions

What is Embrilliance Express?

Express is a free program by Embrilliance that allows you to import BX fonts, type out words, names and monograms and then export them as an embroidery file in a bunch of different formats.

What is the difference between Essentials and Enthusiast?

Essentials and Enthusiast are easily confused as they both allow you to edit machine embroidery designs. Embrilliance Enthusiast has a few more features than Embrilliance Essentials and is slightly more expensive. For example, Embrilliance Enthusiast allows you to control and edit specific stitches and Embrilliance Essentials doesn’t.

Where to buy Embrilliance software?

You can either buy it directly from the Embrilliance website, or on Amazon. Do not buy very cheap versions off of eBay. These could be pirated versions and are truly not worth messing with.

Does Embrilliance digitize?

Yes. But you do need to purchase Stitch Artist in order to digitize.

What Embrilliance software do I need?

Well, it depends on what you want to do. If you want to digitize, you need to invest in Stitch Artist. But, if you want to just edit existing designs Embrilliance Essentials or Enthusiast are probably the programs you’re looking for. And, if you just want to be able to create words, names, phrases and monograms from BX fonts – Express might be all you need.

How can I learn to use Embrilliance software?

You should watch Embrilliance’s videos on YouTube. Embrilliance has a large collection of free tutorials to help you learn how their software works. For more specific links, see my previous post re: embroidery digitizing lessons.

How much is Embrilliance software?

While it depends on the software you actually purchase, all of the Embrilliance programs are fairly reasonably priced – from about $140 to somewhere under $1000. Also – the programs are stackable so, for example you can start with Stitch Artist 1 and buy an upgrade for Stitch Artist 2 instead of having to pay full price for Stitch Artist 2.

What machines does Embrilliance work with?

You can export machine embroidery designs from Essentials, Enthusiast and Stitch Artist in the following formats.

.CSD, .DST, .DSZ, .EXP, .EXP+, .HUS, .JEF, .PCS, .PCM, .PES, .SEW, .SHV, .TAP, .VIP, .VP3, .XXX

If you want to create fonts in BX format, you will need Stitch Artist 3.

How do I upgrade my Embrilliance software?

You can buy add-ons such as Stitch Artist 1 to 2 upgrade either through the Embrilliance website or on Amazon.

Can you use Embrilliance on iPad?

No. It will not run on a tablet. But you can use it on a MAC natively as well as on a PC.

Is there a free way to use Embrilliance?

Unfortunately, there is no free trial for any of the programs. But, the Express version of Embrilliance that allows you to work with BX fonts is free.

Can Embrilliance Essentials convert embroidery files?

Yes. You can open an embroidery file and save it out as a different embroidery file format.

Ready to get started with Embrilliance?

Head on over to the Embrilliance website to learn more about their family of products where you will find a lot more detailed information about each program and its capabilities.

Happy stitching!



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