How to Convert Photos into Embroidery Machine Files

You can take an ordinary photography and actually create an embroidery pattern out of it as long as you have an embroidery machine. The process is called "digitizing" or "embroidery digitizing." Companies use it to create custom t-shirts and hats for distribution and you can do the same.

The photo or logo you use can be in JPEG, GIF, BMP, or in another similar photo format. PES and DST are the two main file formats for embroidery machine files. PES is used exclusively by Buzz embroidery machines, while DST is a more universal file format for all embroidery machines. You need to have the photos in these formats in order to transfer them to your embroidery machine, because they can't read JPEGs. It's a simple process that will have you scanning in all your photos once you get the hang of it!

1. Place your photo into your scanner and save it to your Pictures folder or a similar location. You want to be able to find the photo later on.

2. Double-click on the folder where you saved the file. Right-click on "Tools" on the toolbar.

3. Click "Folder Options" and "View." Clear the box next to the label "Hide extensions for known file types." Hit "Apply" > "OK." Close the menu.

4. Right-click on the JPEG photo file. Click "Rename" and delete the part of the file name that says ".jpeg" or whatever comes after the period. Type ".pes" if you have a Buzz embroidery machine or ".dst" if you have a different embroidery machine. Click "OK" if you get a warning message and then close the folder.

5. Transfer the file into your embroidery machine software program and then hook it up to your computer. Your machine should be able to read the file and convert it into a physical design.

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