Comparing Hatch Embroidery to Embird

During a trip to Australia to an Echidna embroidery convention in Melbourne two years ago, I was introduced to the Hatch Embroidery software by John Deer. Even though I have been a dedicated user of Embird for well over 18 years, I was fascinated by the Hatch program.

Now as most of you are aware, I have written extensive tutorials for Embird and it’s add-ons for as many years as I care to remember! I have lived and breathed Embird for many years and my tutorials and lessons would number in the hundreds.  I have also dabbled in other programs, and written quite a number of tutorials for the Brother/Babylock PE Design software. I own and still use the Husqvarna and Bernina Artista software.  So you can see that I love embroidery programs and really enjoy seeing how they work!

As I was following the introduction to Hatch in Melbourne I realised that I really did like this software. The program has been created by Wilcom who are well known for their great software programs. As well as their own commercial digitizing program (Embroidery Studio) they currently create embroidery software for brands such as Bernina and Janome.  They have become the world’s favourite embroidery software for quality, ease-of-use and service.  And now their latest baby has arrived for the home embroiderer – Hatch.

Because of their introductory offer I decided to buy Hatch and try it out.  I had been a little disappointed that Embird weren’t appearing to keep up to date with the changes in the embroidery world. Too many of their updates were just tinkering around the edges instead of giving us something great and new. For a number of years, for instance, I had been asking for a decent stippling to be added to Embird Studio which would be wonderful for those wishing to do their quilt tops combined with embroidery designs. My guess is that I probably asked for this feature about eight years ago. They promised they would but, no, never delivered. And now Embird is starting to look a bit tired. So don’t get me wrong, I still use Embird because I know it so well and I have more to learn in Hatch. 

Another good thing about Hatch is that you can purchase it in four different modules according to the type of embroidery editing/designing that you wish to do. There are upgrades between each module so that you can move up to the next level when you are ready.

The four different levels are:

  • Basics. You can open your designs, convert, change colours, manage design files and save, print and write your design to your machine.
  • Customizer. The next  up which includes all the above as well as the ability create monograms, add lettering, edit or reshape letters, the ability to use True Type Fonts which also includes 60 pre-digitised fonts as well.
  • Creator. Creator is the next level up again and includes all the above as well the ability to use the Multi hooping feature, edit your designs (as in adjust stitches, shapes, add stitches etc) and change the stitching order. Creator also includes auto-digitising as well, which is a great plus for those quick designs.
  • Digitiser. Digitiser also includes all the above as well as the ability manually digitise, it includes multiple fills and shapes and also the ability to create your own appliqué. You can also create your own unique borders and patterns. 

See the handy chart at this link to compare the features of all levels.

I purchased the complete program on the spot as I wanted to be able to use everything.  There is a free 30 Day Trial available  that is the full version, which is a great place to start. It’s fully functional so you can edit an existing design – change colors, edit objects, resize, add lettering etc or digitize your own embroidery designs from scratch.

Another thing I really like about Hatch is that you don’t have to purchase anything other than Customizer (2nd level) if you want to create lettering. Customizer accesses all the True Type Fonts that are installed on your computer and as well has 60 pre-digitised fonts available as well. Think how much Font Engine is alone in Embird and in Hatch it’s all included!

The lettering is really awesome – as is the whole program.

One thing Hatch does not have is a Cross Stitch add on as Embird does, nor does it have a Photo Embroidery program (yet) like Sfumato.

I feel that the program is really great value for money and I am very comfortable using it. It has such lovely features that I did not upgrade from Version 7 Bernina Artista to Version 8 as all the new features in the Bernina upgrade were already in the Hatch program. (The engine of both being made by the same parent company – Wilcom.) I already had the new stuff – why would I pay dearly for it all over again from Bernina?

Oh, and it has automatic stippling – YES!!!!

I also really like the editing side of Hatch. The stitches are clear to see and to edit. Here is an example of what I mean:

I had purchased a design as I liked the lettering shape but when I stitched it the serifs were just too narrow as I was stitching on a fine knit. I needed to adjust the shape and make the swirls wider (wider satin stitch.) In the image below the top design is the original and the bottom is the design after I adjusted it in Hatch. Notice that the letter L is wider in places. It now stitches beautifully.

All I had to do was Select the object, select Reshape and adjust the stitch nodes. Very simple.

This is just one example of how Hatch impresses me.   There are many more examples– too many to list here.

An important thing to mention is the huge amount of support available from Wilcom.  There are free designs and projects to help you learn Hatch, and loads of great videos.  Wilcom is the industry leader, and a very solid company that provides a ton of resources

So I will be writing about Hatch on my Hooplah blog, and doing short lessons if you would like to follow my learning curve!  I will still be writing about Embird as well, for those of you who decide to stay on with Embird.   

I’m  just adding another feather to my bow – here is the link to the Free Trial if you want to come along for the ride!




14 thoughts on “Comparing Hatch Embroidery to Embird”

  1. Hi Carolyn,

    Great blog! Just wanted to mention that at DME we offer great educational and font bonuses when purchasing Hatch through our site, even giving free get started lessons with the trial. With over 170 free videos and paid lessons we are all about getting users past the learning curve.

    We also have 455 optional ESA fonts that load directly into the software giving true object based lettering that joins closest point.

    Many thanks,
    John Deer

  2. I’ve enjoyed your Embird tuts for years…not quite your 18 but over 10! I’ve looked at Hatch but hate to start over…both learning and paying! If I start with the Customizer, do you know how much the upgrade to the Creator is? You mentioned there was an upgrade path. I almost hate to try the 30 day trial because, if I love it, I’ll surely want it!!

    1. I am sorry to say Cathy, that I am sure that you will like it. I still used Embird as well as I am so totally used to it but I love the ease of Hatch as well. I enjoyed the fact that I could use everything in the 30 day free trial.I didnt wait for my trial to end – I had to buy it after about three or four days. But I am a bit of a software-aholic!! The total cost of the program was less than an upgrade to Version 8 of my Bernina software. However I can understand what you’re saying about starting over. Its sort of nerve wracking really but I have enjoyed it a lot. I’m not sure of the upgrade prices, sorry, but I’m sure they’ll be on the Secrets of Embroidery website. I’d love to hear if you do try Hatch.

  3. So good to hear you are back at it! Thought about you a lot. I’m still using embird. Agree with you about the upgrades. Sounds like Hatch is a great software and will hive it a try.

    1. Thanks Jeannine, It is a great program and if you download it you’ll get 30 days free to try it out. I love that every part is able to be tested and I love all the fonts as well. I’d love to know what you think of it. Carolyn.

  4. Great summary Carolyn. I too used to be an Embird user and gave Hatch a try 6 months ago. It took no time at all to learn the new program and I can’t remember the last time that I used my Embird.

    I’ll concur that the videos are amazing and an incredible help especially in those early learning stages.

    I’m on the ride with you !!

  5. Hello. I just want to clarify that Bernina V8 has the cross stich ,quilter, and photo stitch and also comes with corel a $500 dollar program which is why the bernina software is more than Hatch. But these softwares are still lacking a few things that Embird clearly has the win for such as Embird has always let you create your own stitch pattern fills aka carving fill-Hatch/Bernina offer a carving stamp only. Embird splits beautifully for the Brother/Babylock 14×14 hoop with the use of the snowman-Hatch/Bernina do not offer this. Embird 2018 offers inflation of qpplique outlines so that you can cut on your cutting machine and inflate is different from resizing for instance if you try to resize a applique letter such as the B it will not turn out right because of the holes so inflate is a must have. Embird 2018 offers stippling now. Embird actually has alot of the features that hatch and bernina offer plus more. I am a Bernina v8 user but I have had embird forever.

    1. I agree that there are some features in Embird that other programs do not have but also there are some things that Embird does not have – such as the ability to have multiple screens open. I also find that their stippling is still lacking – it isn’t really random like most people like. However I am going to experiment with Embird to see if I can make a better stippling stitch. I appreciate your comments. Isnt it a pity that we couldnt pull apart our software and put all the bits we like into one complete software program?

  6. Hi Carolyn.
    I think I am becoming disenchanted with Embird.

    I have had it nearly six years. True, it is not as initially expensive as others and updates are free; except for the last one, 2018 10.30. However, there have been no super exciting additions.

    Steps in Studio seem to not behave as expected. Then again, there are some Editor oops also. Help files are poor and support is not very good. The learning curve has been tough.

    I happened upon the Hatch software through the Ultimate Stash site and John Deer’s YouTube ads. Sounds like a breath of fresh air. Embird and Hatch appear to be like the Volkswagen Bug, small and ho hum, to a Kia Optima, small but mighty.

    I’m tempted to download the free version but also know I can’t purchase it unless there is a SUPER big special on it. If I try the Hatch software, Embird may become a depressing chore rather than an irritation.

    Well, enough fuss and feathers. Thank for all you do and happy holidays.

    1. I finally did upgrade to Embird 2018 as I had a number of queries about it – so I bit the bullet and upgraded. You make some very valid points. I have since written to Embird and made some suggestions – it will remain to be seen if they take any notice of me. One thing I find most frustrating is the inability to have more than one page open at a time. If you wanted to go between pages/screens you’re out of luck. So I’ve asked if they can that feature. Most software allows more than one screen/page open at a time – especially Hatch.

  7. My wife is the embroiderer. We seem to have lost the registration number For Art8 and cannot therefore load it onto a different computer, and the program on her PC is now suddenly demanding the rego number again. Bernina claims not to have the rego number although I would have registered it, but even though ‘it cannot be retrieved’. Saying that I am disenchanted does not describe my disgust. Her laptop is on its last legs, hence the need to transfer to a new one.
    How complete is Hatch compared to Art8? I need to buy a new program as we seem to have ground to a standstill and a new copy of Art8 is more than I can bear. Please let me know your thoughts.

    1. Hi Frits
      The Bernina Software V8 allows two or three installs before you have to apply for a new registration number due to some unforseen circumstances. Don’t give up on V8 yet. There must be a way to get your installs back. Do you still have the original DVD? If you do have it and have installed it on your new computer/laptop and it will not allow you to register it or cannot find you then I would contact the Bernina Head Office. As I don’t have V8 I am not 100% sure of the protocol around the registration number but I know that you are entitled to your installs for something that you’ve paid for. Don’t just rely on the Bernina website refusing your registration request – take it further. You must contact Bernina Australia and if you don’t get any joy there then I would contact Bernina in Switzerland. I don’t know if you have a Consumers Guarantees Act like we do in New Zealand but you could also follow that line as well – you are entitled to your uses. Let me know how you get on.
      Hatch is very good. There are probably a few features that are in your V8 that are not in Hatch but nothing that has ever bothered me. You would find it very easy to learn as you’ve had Bernina and Hatch has been created by the same company – Wilcom. A lot of the commands are similar and I am sure you would be very comfortable with it. There are plenty of tutorials available as well if you need help. John Deer has plenty of amazing lessons as well. He is a very professional teacher too as he has been involved with embroidery software for many many years. He is the absolute expert.
      But please don’t give up yet. Fight for something that you are entitled to. If it was me I’d be like a dog with a bone – I wouldn’t let it go. Good Luck!

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