Machine Embroidery Extensions: What Do They Mean?

Machine embroidery stitch file formats: What do they mean?

The language of machine embroidery files can be confusing - HUS, PES, DST, BX formats. What does it all mean? We’ll help spell it all out for you!

Each embroidery machine manufacturer has its own language so to speak. It is how their machines understand embroidery designs and fonts, turning them into stitches. Designs are digitized to be recognized by each of those machine formats.

Embroidery Machine Stitch File Extensions

Each extension relates to a specific machine embroidery brand. How do you tell them apart? By the three-letter extension at the end of each file name.

ART - Bernina Artista
BX   Embrilliance typable keyboard font, read more here
CSD Singer
DST Tajima
EMB Wilcom
EMD - Elna
EXP Melco. Bernina
HUS Husqvarna Viking, Pfaff
JEF - Elna, Janome/New Home, Kenmore
PEC Babylock, Bernina, Brother, Deco
PES Babylock, Bernina, Brother, Deco
SEW Elna, Janome/New Home, Kenmore
SHV Husqvarna Viking Designer 1
VIP/VP3 Husqvarna Viking. Pfaff
XXX Singer

Why is this important? When you purchase a design set, many digitizers, like Bonnie, provide all or most formats in their download. Others make you select the format you want to purchase. Make sure that you know the native file format for your machine.

When in doubt, consult your owner’s manual or check with your embroidery machine dealer. Some machine brands can use more than one file type. Depending upon the machine model, for instance, Husqvarna Viking can use embroidery designs with the HUS, SHV, VIP, and VP3 extensions.

Many modern embroidery machines will recognize numerous file formats. For instance, DST is often considered a clean go-to when having problems with your own native file types.

Working File Formats in Design Editing Software

Although they can save designs in a variety of formats, design editing software use extensions of their own for files you are creating/editing. For instance, Embrilliance working files have an extension of BE. They can’t be stitched but you can open them with Embrilliance and continue editing. You can read more about them here.

Embird uses an EEF extension with their working files. Hatch/Wilcom and PE Design use their native file extensions, EMB and PES.

Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie

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  • Debbie Henry - January 28, 2024

    Thanks for reading, Kim!

  • Debbie Henry - January 28, 2024

    Thanks for reading Veronica!

  • Veronica - January 25, 2024

    Thank you for this information.

  • Bonnie Welsh - January 23, 2024

    Hi Helen—Bernina also uses EXP so you are just fine. If it didn’t work, you would know immediately as it would not even be visible in your machine. I’ve updated the list as that was an oversight on my part.

  • Kim - January 23, 2024

    Very helpful, always had to ask. Thank you!

  • Helen - January 23, 2024

    Thank you Bonnie for your post regarding file formats. I have a BERNINA 770. I have been using EXP format but I saw in your post that BERNINA users should use ART. Am I using the wrong format? Thank yo for your post and help. Helen

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