I'm not sure if this question is a good fit for you guys, but I don't know who else to turn to. I can delete, if not appropriate.

I'm trying to get a couple of shirts embroidered with my company logo and the embroiderer is asking me for a .dst file. I had never even heard of such a thing, so I turned to Google. It's apparently a file format that tells the embroidery machine which colors to stitch where, in the design.

I have a one-color logo, so I'm wondering why I even need this file.

I have been digging around online for a couple of hours now, trying to find a free way to digitize a vector file, with no luck.

Does anyone know of a way that I can digitize my file? I only need this one-time order, so it makes no sense for me to go out and purchase the expensive embroidery softwares that I'm seeing on Google.

Am I better off just finding another embroiderer? We have gotten shirts embroidered before and never had an issue with eps/ai. Anyone have any experience with this?

I'm on a Mac

  • 4
    I'd look at using a new embroiderer. This would be something I'd expect them to help handle.
    – DA01
    Feb 2, 2016 at 20:34
  • 1
    @DA01 Yea, we are finding a better one. I called this one again today and they told me that they don't even have the software themselves and would have to send it out and charge me for it haha not a good shop, obviously.
    – Manly
    Feb 3, 2016 at 17:14

3 Answers 3


Converting an image file to DST or any other machine embroidery format isn’t same as like converting JPEG to PNG or any other.

Also, wilcom truesizer software converts one embroidery file to another one but not from the picture.

Instead of that, it requires a manual digitizing process which takes time + effort + techniques.

If you want to do it yourself then you have to get:

Embroidery digitizing software (like wilcom or pulse which are expensive) Essential skills of machine embroidery digitizing (takes time to learn) And then you will be able to convert a picture to PES or DST format. It’s far better to get work done from an embroidery digitizer.

I always use these guys https://zeedigitizing.com which provides an awesome result. may be helpful for you

recently got this one

enter image description here


Have you tried the TrueSizer Desktop Free edition. https://www.wilcom.com

Per their website it can open and convert files to embroidery format for free.

  • 1
    After having to fill out a long form to register and download it, it downloaded an .exe file. I'm on Mac. I then went to use their online version, as it's Mac-friendly, but it is only good for opening embroidery files, not converting regular files into embroidery files. I'm going to find another embroiderer, this one is a complete joke.
    – Manly
    Feb 3, 2016 at 17:11
  • I din't catch that you were on a Mac. My bad.
    – zachzurn
    Feb 3, 2016 at 17:19
  • @Manly Just run windows 7 inside of Mac it's not hard. virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads Feb 16, 2018 at 15:18
  • @Manly and free Windows from Microsoft for you to use it with developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/vms Feb 16, 2018 at 15:26

This is an oldie question, and I probably can't answer the specific question.

This file not only describes "which colors to stitch where".

What it describes is how the needle must stitch, from where to where, where should it not stich to change position, how many passes, how close, how dense the embroidered is.

So it is in reality how the machine needs to work.

But this, in my opinion, is not a generic file. This depends on the type of cloth you are going to stich in. You could ask for more passes if you have a good quality cap, or less passes if you have a low quality shirt, with a small logo.

So in my opinion, this should be done by the provider given a specific product to be embroidered.

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