Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to Urban Threads! So you've got some questions, eh? Click on a topic below to jump to the answer. If you don't see your question addressed here, contact us and we'll help you out.

Registration, Ordering, Downloading

Using the Designs


Registration, Ordering, Downloading


Who are you? What exactly are you selling here?

Urban Threads and our sister brand Embroidery Library make up an employee-owned company of about 30 creative people in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We sell digital designs for machine embroidery (in 11 file formats) and hand embroidery (as PDFs). All designs for sale on Urban Threads are digital downloads; we don’t send anything via snail mail.


How do I register? What happens when I do?

Fill out this form to register with Urban Threads. You’ll be signed up for the weekly newsletter with announcements of new designs, sales, freebies, and other exciting things. You can always unsubscribe if you want. Once you’re registered, you can use this account to purchase designs and access designs you’ve purchased in the past.


How can I get your awesome weekly newsletter?

So glad you asked! Register with Urban Threads and you’ll be signed up for the weekly newsletter. You can always opt out later if you choose.


I can’t log in. Help!

Forgot your password? Click here to get it.

If you try too many times to log in with an incorrect password, the site may lock you out temporarily as a security measure. Give it a few minutes and try again. You can request your password if you need help remembering it.

Still need help? Contact us and we’ll sort you out.


How do I place an order?

Firstly, make sure you’re signed in to the site. When you find a design you like, click the pink “Add to Basket” button to add it to your shopping basket.

Ready to check out? Go to your shopping basket. If you have any gift certificates to use, enter them in the box at the bottom of the shopping basket page and click "apply."  Click the “check out!” button at the bottom of the shopping basket page – this will take you to the checkout page.

You have your choice of two ways to pay for your designs – PayPal or a credit card. If you want to use PayPal, click the yellow “Check out with PayPal” button and complete the transaction on PayPal’s site. If you want to use a credit card, fill out the credit card information and click the pink “Complete Order” button.

Voila – you’ve ordered your designs!


What forms of payment do you accept?

PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. If none of these is an option for you, contact us and we’ll arrange for you to pay by check or money order.


Which machine embroidery format should I order?

The table below will help you figure out which format to order. If you’re not sure, or your embroidery machine works with several formats but you want to see which one you like the best, you can download a free design to experiment with in any format(s) you like. Check your machine’s manual and your dealer for their input on the matter, too.

Consumer Brand

Recommended Format

BabyLock PES
Bernina ART for Artista 440 and below; EXP for Artista 630 and up, and Deco 340. EXP or ART for Artista 730; ART or PES for Deco 330.
Brother PES (Innovis, ULT, and PR-600 models also take DST)
Elna SEW or JEF
Husqvarna Viking VIP for Platinum and SE; HUS for Rose, Iris, and Designer II; VIP, HUS, or DST for Diamond. SHV for Desiger I; VP3 for Topaz. Urban Threads doesn’t offer SHV, but you can convert from another format such as VIP using Embird (tutorial) or Husqvarna Viking’s software. For the Designer 1, files will also need to be written to your floppy disk or USB drive in a certain way (tutorial).
Janome JEF for 12000, 11000, 10001, 10000, 9700, 9500, 350, 300. JEF or DST for MB4. SEW for 9000 and below.
Kenmore SEW
New Home SEW
Pfaff PCS for older machines, VIP for newer machines such as the Creative Vision
Singer XXX for most models; FHE for Futura. Urban Threads doesn't offer FHE, but you can use the Futura software to convert from many formats including DST, HUS, PES, and JEF.
White PES


I ordered the wrong machine embroidery format. Can I get a different format?

Sure thing! Just find the order in your order history and select your desired format from the drop-down menu to the right of the design. Then click the appropriate button to either download the design or email it to yourself in the new format.


I ordered some designs. When and how do I get them?

Thanks for your order -- glad you like 'em! Your designs are in your order history, waiting for you to download. Here's how to get them: Log in to the Urban Threads site, click “orders” in the upper right-hand corner of the page (or just click right here if you’re logged in). Click on the order number and you'll see buttons to either download the designs, or email them to yourself and download them from there.


How do I download a whole order at once?

Thanks for asking! You can download a whole order with one click. On each individual order page in your order history, click on the "download order" button to download the entire order as a zipped file. You will need to unzip this file before you can transfer the individual design files to your embroidery machine.

If you choose, you can include several other useful things in this order download -- a PDF of the thread list (handy for printing), a TXT file of the thread list (handy if you want to import thread information into Embird), and a JPG image of the design (handy for keeping in the same folder as your embroidery design files, to see more easily what each design looks like). To make these choices, go into your profile, and under "Include in order download", click the radio buttons to select the files you'd like included in your order download. After you click "update all," your selections will apply to any future order downloads.


How do I unzip designs?

In most mainstream computer operating systems today, you can just open a zipped folder to get to the files inside. Drag the files out of the folder and into another folder on your computer, onto a USB stick, or wherever you want to keep them.

 If you do need a program to unzip files, there are plenty free programs out there that you can download – Google “free unzip” to find them. Here's a nifty tutorial on how to unzip zipped files. Still need help? Drop us a note and we can email you the unzipped file.

AOL email sometimes zips email attachments automatically. To get around this, try downloading the designs directly to your computer instead of emailing them to yourself.


I lost a design I purchased. Can I download it again?

Sure thing! Once you’ve purchased a design, it stays in your order history, so you can go back and re-download it at any time. No charge, no worries.


Can I get a refund/return/exchange?

If you accidentally purchase the same product twice, contact us and we’ll give you a refund or a credit for the site.

If you accidentally ordered the wrong type of design (say, machine embroidery instead of hand embroidery), or you ordered a design that’s too large for your machine’s embroidery area, contact us and we’ll switch it for you at no charge.

Everything for sale on Urban Threads is instantly downloadable, which means you can’t return the designs. Once you download a file, it’s on your computer, and there’s no real way to “give it back” – so no refunds are available for cases other than duplicate purchases. All machine embroidery designs are stitched out and checked for quality before they’re posted on the site (and we’re picky!). If you’re having trouble with a design, contact us and we’ll work with you to help you find the source of the problem. When you contact us, please send your order number, type of machine you have, type of fabric and stabilizer, as well as a detailed description of the problem.


Using the Designs


May I sell stuff I stitch with your designs? What’s your licensing policy?

The short answer: absolutely! You may sell items you embroider with Urban Threads designs -- just keep the design files to yourself. Check out Urban Threads' licensing policy for the riveting details.


May I use your images of your stitchouts in my online shop?

Sure! You're welcome to use the images of the machine embroidery stitchouts from our site to show what designs you have available to stitch on things for people. Just credit them "Image courtesy of"


May I sell stuff made using your tutorials?

Sure! You may make and sell items using instructions provided on this site (see also: licensing policy for designs). You may use a tutorial from this site to teach a class, but please attribute the tutorial to Urban Threads. You may not republish the tutorials as your own.


Where’s the color change sheet for my machine embroidery design?

Before you purchase a design, you can view the thread list by going to the page for that individual design, then clicking the “thread list” link at the lower left corner of the image.

Once you’ve purchased a design, you can get the color change sheet (aka thread list) by finding the design in your order history, then clicking on the "thread list" link next to it.

On the thread list page for each design or pack, you will see links to get a PDF version of the color change sheet (good for printing), and to download a .txt version of the color change sheet for each design (useful for importing color information into Embird or really bare-bones printing).


My machine is telling me to stitch a design in odd colors. What do I do?

This happens more often than not. No need to worry. When you use designs from a company other than the one that made your embroidery machine, often the machine has to guess at what colors to put where. Sometimes these guesses aren’t very good. Just follow the color change sheet for each design on the website, and completely ignore the colors your machine tells you to use.


Can I resize the designs?

Officially, we don’t recommend resizing the designs. That said, people often have success making them about 10 percent larger or smaller, maybe just a touch more. Halving or doubling the size of a design is likely to result in stitching that’s too dense, too thin, or just plain wonky. We just can’t be responsible for how a design stitches out at a size other than the ones for sale on the site. Too many variables beyond our control.


I love a certain design, but my embroidery machine has a 4”x4” hoop, and it’s only available in sizes bigger than that. Can you make a smaller version?

We create 4"x4" versions of designs whenever possible. Some more intricate designs, however, can't make the jump -- there's just too much detail to fit into that small a space and still have the design look good. Got your eye on something that doesn't fit your machine's embroidery area? We’ll gladly take a request for a similar-but-4”x4”-friendly design.

You could also try splitting the design and stitching it in multiple parts. We don’t split designs, but you can do it yourself if you have the software and the know-how, or hire people for this purpose.




How do I contact you?

Drop us a note via this form. We’d love to hear from you!


Do you take requests?

Absolutely! Some of our best designs have been requests from UT stitchers. Drop us a note and let us know what you’d like to see!


Do you do custom digitizing?

At this time, no. If you’re looking for someone to digitize a custom design, try searching Etsy. Digitizing quality can vary a lot, so it's worth your while to check out the digitizer's other work to make sure it pleases you before you place your order.


What can you give me for free?

Free machine embroidery and hand embroidery designs are right here. For machine embroiderers, this is a great way to check out our splendid digitizing quality before you buy, and make sure you know which format works with your machine. If you’re a hand embroiderer, you may find it helpful to use a freebie to run through the ordering process and see exactly what you’ll be getting when you order from Urban Threads. You order freebies just like you would regular designs, except you can breeze through the checkout without forking over any money. You’re more than welcome to use freebies just like you would any other design.

There are a few variations on the Urban Threads skull-and-cross-needles logo that are always free; there are also other freebies that change periodically. Watch the free page or the newsletter for those.


Which embroidery machine do you recommend?

Depends on what you're looking for in a machine! We don't have a specific make or model to recommend, but here are some things to consider.