The project

Open Embroidery is a project created by two members of the hackerspace::Electrolab and it’s community. It’s goal is to develop an embroidery set up adaptable to sewing machines sold in any stores as well as a software able to make patterns under a free licence.

We put ourselves some constraints:

  • the sewing machine wouldn’t be modified
  • compatible with a maximum of sewing machines
  • A fabrication cost under 200 €
  • it had to be made by easy access tools (to simplify duplication)
  • un minimum of aestetism
  • an easy an intuitive use of the set-up.
  • A wireless communication

We are now working on the third version of the set-up (after a prototype and two V2 set-ups)
If you whish to learn more about the history of the project -> history

the embroidery set-up is since V2 no far from what you can find in the shops.
It is made of 3 interdependent parts:

  • A special foot equipped of a sensor allowing us to know where the needle is and make the frame move just at the right moment.
  • An XY table allowing the fame holding the fabric to move.
  • An electronic control to pilote the table in sync with the needle.

On the other hand we started from scratch for the sotfware. The few open source software we found were not inspiring and our specific needs for the mechanic had non pre-existing solutions.
We decided not to linger on vectorial drawings tools, it was already well studied be the free community, but to focus on already existing vectorial drawings convertion to embroidery patterns.
It uses as input a vectorial file within SVG format ( very standard and used) offers several tools to customise the pattern, imports and exports in proprietary format and allows the live piloting of the embroidery set-up.