Ellen Wasbø © 2013

Vectorize raster-image

You can use Inkscape to trace the outlines of an image. It's an advantage if the image is as clean as possible before the tracing starts. Use for example Photoshop to edit the photo first to make it look sewable. In this example I will use a simple black and white image. Import to Inkscape the image you want to vectorize and click the image to select it.

If you'd like to trace the lines of a line drawing, you'd rather use the RapidResizer online tool.

Path -> Trace bitmap... (Ctrl+Alt+B) to find the paths of the image. Another dialogbox opens. If you have a black and white image I would use the brightness cutoff. The value of the treshold would probably not be very important. Keep the default settings. If you have a greyscale image you might play with the settings. You also might read this to learn more about how to use this tool.

When I press update I can see nothing in the preview window, but if I press OK I do find the vectors.

If I hide or delete the original image and visualize the path with strokes and no fill (Shift+Ctrl+F) the paths are visible.

These paths can now be converted to embroidery, but you should check on the stitch order (path order and direction). Take a look at the path-order tutorial to see how you can check and change the stitch order.

If you would like to fill the paths with e.g. satin fill take a look at the fill tutorial

This website has been out of order for some months. I'm sorry about that. The code is now updated to PHP 7.2.

About svg2embroidery Convert vector graphics to embroidery files and vise versa. The tutorials will give you some ideas on how to use Inkscape to design or edit your embroidery files.

I offer the code of this application under the GNU license. Run this website using the xampp apache server.

Tutorials - How to design your own embroideries using Inkscape and svg2embroidery

Get the size and dimensions right.
Converting fram raster image to vector graphics
How to trace a raster image to create vector grafics using Inkscape.
Path order and direction
Get the path order and direction right to minimize jump stitches. This tutorial demonstrates available tools in Inkscape to help you control this.
Regular zigzag
How to convert a path to a regular zigzag path using Inkscape.
How to create fill stitch using Inkscape.
Satin stitch
How to create satin stitch using Inkscape.

My results

Hot pad
Here is my first svg2embroidery test. This is going to be a hot pad or something like that.
Free Standing Lace
Create FSL (Free Standing Lace) by drawing the paths in Inkscape. The tutorial on automatically creating zigzags might be useful.
Baby hat
A cute little and simple embroidery suitable for baby clothes. More images here
Baby jacket
A little elephant for a little baby boy. Read more about creation of satin stitches here.

Some inspiration?

Scrapbooking stamps or brushes
Scrapbooking stamps or brushes can be sewn on fabric or on paper. This image is a freebie kit from Ziggle designs found at DigiScrapDepot.com
Convert hand embroidery patterns to machine embroidery. Could be nice on a blouse for example. This image is a free pattern from Needle'nThread