Confused about embroidery machine file formats? I don’t blame you! While it seems like there should be a universal file format for these machines – there is not. Annoyingly, many brands have their own preferred formats and some of them are harder to find designs for than others.
Here are the file types each machine can recognize.
Brother Embroidery File Format
Brother machines use the PES file format. If you have, or if you are looking to buy a brother embroidery machine, then you’ll be glad to know that this is one of the most widely used formats around and you should be able to find plenty of paid or free pes files to use.
However, Brother machines should also be able to make use of DST embroidery files. These are typically used on commercial machines like the Tajima, but your machine should read these as well.
Tajima File Formats
Tajima makes multi-needle commercial machines, and fortunately if you upgrade to one of these you should still be able to use many of your embroidery files as long as they come in DST format. These machines can also use TCF.
Babylock Embroidery File Format
Babylock machines also use the PES file format. However, like Brother, they are also able to take advantage of DST format, but you may need to do some manual thread color adjustments on the screen for it to properly read them.
Melco Embroidery File Format
Melco multi-needle machines can make use of most embroidery file formats. This includes DST, EXP, PES, SEW, JEF, HUS, OFM, ZSK, and several other less popular formats as well!
Happy Embroidery File Formats
Happy embroidery machines can use DST, TAP, DSB, DSZ, FDR, MEL, EXP, ZSK, and DAT file formats.
Barudan Embroidery File Formats
Janome Embroidery File Format
Annoyingly, Janome machines use their own proprietary format called JEF. This makes it much harder to find designs for the machine, and you may need to get your hands on a file converter to use a lot of designs because they don’t always have JEF available.
SWF Embroidery File Format
SWF makes multi-needle machines, and they use the DST file format.
Barudan Embroidery File format
Barudan commercial embroidery machines use DST and FDR file formats.
Eversewn Embroidery File Format
Eversewn machines will read many embroidery formats! This includes PES, DST, EXP, and more – allowing you to use pretty much any design file with this machine.
Bernette Embroidery File Format
Bernette machines are unique in that they can use a LOT of different embroidery files! This includes PES, JEF, DST, and EXP. This gives you a lot of options when it comes to embroidery designs, and there’s no need to convert anything.
Bernina Embroidery File Format
Bernina uses EXP file format. They actually use three different files: EXP (the design itself), an INF file (for the thread colors), and a BMP, which is the image that shows up on the machine’s screen.
Singer Embroidery File Format
Singer uses the X X X format. However, most new singer machines will also recognize other formats like PES and DST too.
Husqvarna Embroidery File Format
Husqvarna uses the HUS file format. However, some newer machines can also use PES, DST, PEC, and other files – but this heavily depends on which machine you have. Annoyingly, you’ll have to look up your exact machine model to know for sure on this brand.
Pfaff Embroidery File Format
Pfaff machines use the PCS and VP3 file format. However, older machines may use the VIP format. Again, this brand depends on the specific model you have to know for sure, unfortunately.
Ricoma Embroidery File Format
Ricoma machines can make use of the DST file format.
Embroidery Machine File Trouble Shooting
Having a problem getting your designs to work? Here are a few things to try!
Make sure you are using the correct format
The first mistake many people make is that they upload the wrong format to their machine. Use the above reference to make sure you are uploading the right file type!
Make sure you have unzipped the file
Many times designs come bundled together in a ZIP file. This is actually a compressed folder and your machine won’t be able to read the designs inside the folder. You will need to first unzip the folder and then upload the individual files to your machine so they can be properly read.
Make sure the design is the correct size
If the designs you’ve chosen is larger than what your machine can stitch, it likely won’t load it. For example, if your machine only has a 4″x4″ embroidery field… trying to load a design which is 6″x10″ won’t work.
Try moving one file at a time
Are you trying to load a lot of files? Moving a lot of files can take a lot of time and if you’re not patient… the transfer may fail. Try uploading just ONE design and see if you can get it to work.
Check the directory
Some machines have a particular folder setup and won’t read designs if they are not in a specific folder. Janome machines can be like this. So, read your manual and see if the design needs to be placed someplace specific. If you format it and it creates a folder named “my designs” or something similar, this is likely the case.
PS. Have a great design that’s in the wrong format? I’ve just written a post that contains some great, easy-to-use, and FREE embroidery software for Mac and Windows which will allow you to save your designs as the correct format for your machine!
Tanya is a stay at home mom who blogs online to earn a bit of extra income from her hobbies. She also loves working on projects which she can involve her two kids in and teach them the valuable life-skill of sewing.