If you want to add a striking look to your table linens, fashion, and other home decor apparel and accessories with pretty cutwork machine embroidery, let’s combine traditional machine embroidery digitizing with freestanding lace for a beautiful effect.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to digitize your own cutwork machine embroidery design, including the basic considerations of the cutwork design for the machine embroidery process.

Table of Contents:

What are Cutwork Machine Embroidery Designs?

Sewing fabric with freestanding embroidery is known as cutwork. Cutwork machine embroidery designs can be stitched on top of the fabric, or they can be half on the fabric and half freestanding, depending on your design and the finished project’s appearance.

Cutwork machine embroidery designs are intricate and delicate designs created using a combination of embroidery stitches and precise cutting. The technique involves stitching a design onto a fabric, typically with a water-soluble stabilizer, and then cutting away specific areas of the fabric to create openwork or lace-like patterns.

Why are Cutwork Embroidery Designs Used?

Cutwork machine embroidery designs are used for several reasons, as they offer unique and distinctive looks that make them desirable for various projects.

Cutwork machine embroidery designs can be used to create intricate lace, decorative motifs, or even personalized monograms on various fabric items such as clothing, linens, and accessories.

The technique adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to machine embroidery projects, showcasing the craftsmanship and attention to detail in the final result.

Cutwork embroidery can be applied to various fabric items, including garments, home decor, accessories, etc. It offers versatility in terms of design choices and application possibilities, allowing for the personalization and customization of various items.

How to Digitize Cutwork Machine Embroidery Design?

Cutwork embroidery digitizing is almost the same as applique embroidery digitizing.

However, you must first choose a border style that complements your work because the quantity and nature of the cutwork components vary.

Let’s Start Cutwork Embroidery Digitizing:

Set Up Project:

To start digitizing cutwork machine embroidery designs, create and save a new embroidery design file and set up your work environment.

Choose Fabric:

Embroidery digitizing software provides a set of improved options so that it can account for the type of fabric you are stitching on.

  • Open your embroidery digitizing software using the desktop icon or the Windows Start menu.
  • Select Auto Fabric from the Customize Design toolbox. Select a lightweight fabric that will be suitable for cutwork.

Set Up Design Plate:

Choosing the thread colors you want to use and setting up your design place before starting digitizing is always a nice practice.

Review the artwork carefully and decide which objects comprise cutwork and which will be normal embroidery.

  • On the Design Palette toolbar, select the Change Design Color button.
  • Select the chart or charts you want to use from those offered by clicking the My Thread Charts button.

Insert Artwork:

Go to the Artwork toolbox or Standard toolbar and click Insert Artwork. Import suitable artwork as a digitizing backdrop.

Start Digitizing:

  • Select the tool Digitize Cutwork Border. After selecting the tool, the Cutwork Border Docker will automatically open.
  • Pick a border style from the available options. The Advanced panel shows the parameters that are accessible for each kind. The parts are given in stitch-out order.
  • If necessary, change the border type's settings. As an alternative, changes can also be made after digitizing.
  • Select the embroidery you want to use from the Embroidery droplist.
  • To finish closing the shape, press Enter. According to the selected border type, the border is generated. For example:
  • Digitize cutwork embroidery design just like any other closed item.

The cut is made after applying a stabilizing run, and a satin line is then used to cover the hole's edges.

  • Digitize the remaining cutwork design using appropriate border types.
  • Digitize any additional embroidery as necessary.
  • After completing the digitizing, cutwork, and embroidery design should be rearranged as necessary. Cutwork is generally stitched after embroidery. All cutwork should preferably be stitched together.


By following these instructions and taking the necessary precautions while digitizing cutwork machine embroidery designs, you can achieve beautiful and intricate cutwork machine embroidery results while minimizing potential issues or challenges.

Remember to start with simpler designs and, little by little, progress to more complex ones as you gain confidence and expertise in the technique.