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Which file format does your embroidery machine use?

Updated: Apr 18

HUS JEF VIP XXX PES SHV – What is the alphabet soup you see on the machine embroidery designs? Each embroidery machine requires a particular FORMAT so it can read the design and know how to stitch it.

graphic of file formats like DST and PES

Typically, the formats provided by Ballyhoo creations will work with the machine brands listed below. There are many exceptions to this list, especially for older embroidery machines. See the link at the bottom for more info on specific machines.

DST – Tajima universal format, can be used by many brands of machines. DST doesn’t include colors or hoop size so it may look weird on your machine’s display but will stitch out fine.

EXP – Melco universal format, works with Bernina, also can be used by many other machines. EXP doesn’t include colors or hoop size so it may look weird on your machine’s display but will stitch out fine.

HUS – older Viking Husqvarna machines

JEF – Janome machines

PES – Brother, Babylock, and some newer machines by other brands will also accept this format, older Brother machines used PEC format

SHV – Viking Husqvarna Designer 1 - requires software to transfer files to USB stick

VIP – Pfaff and Viking older models

VP3 – pfaff/viking models using USB {but not the Designer 1 which uses SHV}

XXX – Singer machines

ART – Ballyhoo does NOT provide the ART format for the newer Bernina machines. Please use the EXP or PES format for your Bernina. Why is ART so hard to find? Bernina will not allow digitizing software companies to export ART files, only the Bernina software can do that. As a result, many digitizers like myself cannot create those proprietary files because we don’t use the {expensive!} Bernina software.

Most of the information above was compiled using the extensive information at

For a detailed list of embroidery machines and the types of file formats used by each of them, you can visit to find your machine for specific info. My thanks to Embroidery Library for all the work they did on that list, and they have great designs too!

TIP!!! Once you know what format your embroidery machine uses, write it down on the USB or other device you use for transferring designs, or put a note on your machine. You might think you’ll remember the format, but a year or two may go by while your machine sits in the closet and you’ll be glad you wrote it down. {Been there, done that}


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