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Machine embroidery
Module: InkStitch
to improve beginner
2019/02/13 ⚒⚒ 2018/06/05
  • Understand the purpose of InkStitch
  • Install InkStitch
  • Run a InkStitch annotated SVG file
See also


  • Understand the purpose of InkStitch
  • Install InkStitch
  • Run a InkStitch annotated SVG file

See also

  • Quality: to improve
  • Difficulty: beginner

1 Introduction

Ink/Stitch is an Inkscape extension for designing machine embroidery patterns and machine embroidery files. Ink/Stitch is in our opinion the best open source and free embroidery digitizing software. It offers good basic functionality and can be used in schools to teach both vector graphics and design. - Daniel K. Schneider 20 July 2018

According to the extension page, “Select objects that you want to apply embroidery properties and using the extension, set the parameters for the desired object(s). Once all desired objects have embroidery properties, use the extension to generate the necessary stitch file.”

According to the project page, “Ink/Stitch aims to be a full-fledged embroidery digitizing platform based entirely on free, open source software. Our goal is to be approachable for hobbyists while also providing the power needed by professional digitizers.”

List of tutorials

You also can use the navigation menu to the right

Print version

Warnings and disclaimers:

  • This page is not associated with the InkStitch project. Please also read the documentation (including tutorials) in the official site. We just made a little tutorial while we were learning and testing this extension.
  • Some screenshots were made from early versions. Since the project took off during late sprint/summer 2018, changes were made to the interface and others may follow. Please take this into account. Over time, we will adapt most of the documentation...

2 Features

As far as we can tell, the Ink/Stitch extension is the first usable open source program that allows creating embroidery files within an open source drawing tool. Summarizing:

  • Ink/Stitch allows creating stitch files from particular SVG drawings, i.e. so-called path. Any SVG object can be translated into a path object.
  • SVG fills can translate to filled stitch areas (i.e. tatami stitches), SVG strokes can translate to zigzag (simple satin) and lines. Finally, there is a mechanism to create satin columns from paths that include two sub-path lines.
  • SVG path objects can be parametrized for all of these four stitch types (filled areas, simple zigzags, complex satin zigzags, or lines). Various underlays can be configured, e.g. satin stitches can have three sorts (a center line, border lines or a zigzag).
  • Most embroidery formats can be imported, reused and adapted using Inkscape's path tool (F2).
  • InkStitch also supports thread color and project management.

As of December 16, 2018 the latest release was 1.21.0. We strongly encourage using the latest version and checking regularly for updates.

See also:

3 Installation

This extension software was tested with Ubuntu 16x and Windows 10 on May 3 2018. We managed to produce embroidery files for both Linux and Windows. Since Ink/Stitch is an extension of the Inkscape drawing program, you will have to install a recent version of this firs. See the next item.

3.1 Inkscape installation

Install Inkscape if needed. This software runs on Windows (all version), MacOS, and Linux. It also is recommended to use the latest stable InkScape version, e.g. in May 2018 it was 0.92.3. So, before installing Ink/Stitch, upgrade your Inkscape first,

Download link (Windows, Mac, some Linux)

3.1.1 Windows

Take the desktop version, not the app store version, i.e. 64-bit-architecture

If you got a high resolution screen, then use the two following strategies:

  • Within Inkscape, use Edit->Preferences->Interface to set icon sizes. I use "large"
  • Also, in the same settings, adjust the zoom correction factor to make the display wysiwyg. I use 147. If you look at a drawing with 1:1 zoom, the dimensions in mm should be correct if you measure it with a ruler.

In addition, for smaller screens (13 to 77 as opposed to 32), you may have to fix InkScape Properties through Windows

  • Right-click on the InkScape shortcut on your desktop, and select Properties
  • Select Compatibility TAB and click on Change high DPI settings. Then, play with the settings. I use the following ones for my little DELL XPS 15 that has a 4K screen.
Fixing DPI resolution of the GUI on Windows 4K laptops

This can help with other programs too.

3.1.2 Ubuntu

Ubuntu users may have to use Inkscape's official Personal Package Archive (PPA). E.g., by default, Ubuntu 16.04LTS distributes an old 0.91 version that lacks the object browser. So, open a terminal and add the repository, then upgrade

sudo add-apt-repository
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt upgrade

3.1.3 Mac

Installation on a Mac is more difficult since it requires installation of the Unix/Linux graphics layer X that Mac no longer supports by default.....

For example, read the instructions for the 0.92 download. As of Jan 2019, version 0.93 is not yet supported.

3.2 First time Ink/Stitch installation

Download the Ink/Stitch extension files

  • Download the latest release
  • De-archive in the personal extension folder of Inkscape. Make sure that the files extract into the extensions folder, e.g. you should see some *.inx files,, plus an inkstitch directory.

Installation under Ubuntu

  • Extract files to ~/.config/inkscape/extensions
cd ~/.config/inkscape/extensions
tar zxf ~/Downloads/inkstitch-v1.0.0-Linux-x86_64.tar.gz

Installation under Win 10

  • Unhide the AppData directory (go to c:\users\__your_home__\, e.g. c:\users\janet
  • Unzip in c:\users\__you__\AppData\Roaming\inkscape\extensions

If this does not work, check where the extension folder is in Inkscape: Edit->Preferences->System. You also can change the directory, e.g. if you have trouble making the AppData directory visible or if Windows Defender makes your life difficult.

Once you installed the extension, restart Inkscape.

If you use a very high level of Windows Defender protection, you may run into trouble and you may have to white list the extension directory.

  • Go to Start > Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection > Virus & threat protection settings > Add or remove exclusions.

Alternatively, lower the protection threshold (and then avoid downloading random bullshit). In the windows Defender Security Center:

  • Set App&Browser control -> Check apps and files to "Warn"
  • Set Virus&threat protection -> Virus & threat protection settings -> Controlled Folder access to "Off"

3.2.1 Installing add-ons (do not forget!)

There are some add-ons, e.g. installing trim/stop commands, color palettes and visualization of embroidery commands that require copying files. Read more in the official manual.

  • Go to Extensions > Embroidery > Install add-ons for Inkscape
  • Click Install
  • Restart Inkscape

3.3 Upgrades

You may have to delete the old extension files first. The download page will tell you so if needed. Go to the extension directory and kill each embroidery* and inkstitch* file. Then, proceed as above. But normally, we repeat, you will not have to do that. Just unzip the archive to extension folder again.

3.4 Mediawiki compatibility

For now, some InkStitch files (e.g. the ones that include previewing information) cannot be imported into a Mediawiki because Mediawikis only allow whitelisted namespace. I filed a request at the wikimedia phabricator but don't know if it may interest a developer.

There are two workarounds:

(1) Fix the SVG file

  • Remove the namespace elements with a text editor from the SVG, i.e. the declaration in the beginning and the section at the end of the metadata

(2) Modify the mediawiki code

  • In file ./includes/upload/UploadBase.php around line 1360, add the namespace, eg.

I will try to have this included in future mediawiki versions - Daniel K. Schneider (talk) 11:22, 14 June 2018 (CEST)

4 Copyright modification

Contents of this page including pictures and SVG files are also available under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

The Inkstitch project can use any element (text fragments, SVG files, pictures) for the project's official docs without giving attribution (just copy and paste).

Facts about "InkStitch"
Difficultybeginner +
Is part of moduleInkStitch +
Is part of syllabusMachine embroidery +
Last important modificationJune 5, 2018 +
Next pageInkStitch - basic use +
ObjectiveUnderstand the purpose of InkStitch +, Install InkStitch + and Run a InkStitch annotated SVG file +
See alsoComputerized embroidery +
Statusto improve +