Embroidery digitizing is the process of converting  artwork into a digital file using a software that allows embroidery machines to understand the needle’s path. This process is not automated and in fact, great digitizing is considered an artform if done correctly. Most embroidery machines have software of their own allowing us to control their functions while reading instructions from a file that has been digitized.

Embroidery machines are not able to read the same types of files as your computer can, so you have to digitize your logo in a way that the machines can understand before they can do their job. From a digitizer’s perspective, that usually means taking a JPG or PNG file of a customer’s company logo or artwork and converting into an embroidery file. The embroidery file type is determined by the type of embroidery machine you will be using.


.dst: embroidery file format for Tajima commercial embroidery machines
.exp: embroidery file format for Melco commercial embroidery machines
.jef: embroidery file format for Janome commercial embroidery machines
.kwk: embroidery file format for Brother commercial embroidery machines
.dsb: embroidery file format for Barudan commercial embroidery machines
.tap: embroidery file format for Happy commercial embroidery machines


Step 1: Upload Your Logo to the Digitizing Software…
Step 2: Set Embroidery Design Size…
Step 3: Choose Your Stitch Type…
Step 4: Set Stitch Direction…
Step 5: Set Your Embroidery Thread Colors…
Step 6: Transfer the File to Your Embroidery Machine…

Understanding the design is one of the most important pieces of this process.  The size, complexity and placement of the artwork will all factor into the digitizing process. Efficient digitizers (and technically all digitizers if they are good) should consider fabric vs thread. There may be specific designs that will look better to have the fabric show through as a color rather than laying thread down. It’s also important to assign embroidery stitch types to specific areas while considering factors such as the fabric type and “push and pull” of the garment. There are many variables and directions that can affect the outcome of your stitching, so each job should be treated differently and handled with care.


Next the digitizer must analyze the artwork to see if it should be edited for embroidery. The final size of the design must be considered. Not all logos that were designed for a print media such as a business card will work well for embroidery. Many designs need to be modified or simplified. Sometimes only the design name and a small image are used. Some elements such as outlining may need to be eliminated and small text may be enlarged and rearranged.


There are a variety of different stitch types that are used to accomplish different looks, textures, and more. Each stitch type has a maximum stitch length that must be taken into consideration.


At Think Uniforms we use only the best digitizers and embroidery machines to make sure your job is done with top quality every time!