Embroidery File Types
As part of our Embroider / Sew along ( Words to Quilt By | my-sewing-supplies (mysewingsupplies.com.au) ) I was looking at embroidery file types. When downloading the Bernina version I had the option of an ART80 or ART42 file type. I wondered what the difference was. I knew ART80 was what I needed, but why ?
Wikipedia tells us: ‘A filename extension is an identifier specified as a suffix to the name of a computer file. The extension indicates a characteristic of the file contents or its intended use. A file extension is typically delimited from the filename with a full stop (period), but in some systems it is separated with spaces’.
In Bernina land if I want to open the design in software, it needs to be ART.
If you want to read it on your machine, it needs to be EXP.
Your machine will not read ART.
By default, extensions from designs, opening and saving via the BERNINA Embroidery Software V8, are named .ART80. (Users of the BERNINA Embroidery Software V7 – if you are still working with this) will find files opened and saved with .ART70. But the BERNINA Embroidery Software V8 can also open and save designs which are non-native: V8 will convert them so they can be modified, using the editing features.
Different embroidery machines understand different languages.
With the BERNINA Embroidery Software, you can open and save more: native as well as non-native machine file formats. It is important though to understand that different embroidery machines understand different languages, just like us people, from different countries.
Once opening non-native designs in V8, it has converted the data into stitches and outlines, to an ART Grade C file, and saved as such. For further information on grading see below.
There is also the possibility to choose to open machine files without conversion: but in that case not all can be changed, like stitch count, density( increase or decrease) etc, just scaling (limited: not more than 10%, because some areas may be too thickly or too thinly covered), edit stitches or add new elements. But with or without object conversion, machine files can still be saved in V8 in ART format, once they are opened in the BERNINA Embroidery Software.
So not all designs – purchased via (professional) Embroidery design websites – are suitable for editing, with or without converting. It helps understanding the way they are designed, by opening them in V8, trying to edit them, and save them on your hard drive. If you trust the designer/company, and have details about formats, extension and/or other important information about height, width, stitch count, used threads etc. you don’t always need to edit. Just bring them straight to your embroidery machine for embroidery without editing, if the extension is suitable for your machine.
Pure designs with .ART extensions are called ‘ART Grade A‘. They contain a complete set of design information in a single file: object outlines and their properties, actual stitches, thread colours, a picture and information.
There are four ‘grades’ with .ART files: A, B, C and D, of which Art Grade A contains pure ART objects, outlines and stitches. ART files are automatically compressed when saving, and decompressed after opening: this is done to prevent usage of too much space on your hard drive, or USB stick, and is helpful too when sending files via e-mail.
ART Grade A – Pure Art file created in BERNINA Embroidery Software-based software. These files contain pure ART objects, outlines and stitches. Only ART Grade A designs provide 100% perfect scaling and transformation.
ART Grade B – Designs read from outline format such as GNC and saved in ART format. Such designs cannot be read directly in BERNINA Embroidery Software, but once converted to ART in other software, BERNIN Embroidery Software reads them as Grade B designs. More reliable than ART Grade C, but not as good as ART Grade A.
ART Grade C – Designs read from machine files – SEW, PCS, PEC etc – where stitches have been converted to objects. Reasonable reliable, not as good as ART Grade B
ART Grace D – Designs read from machine files – SEW, PCS, PEC etc – where stitches have NOT been converted to objects. This the least reliable.
Please note these gradings are after conversion into ART not an opinion on the original file types.
When you look at Janome you will see .jan, .emb, .jef, .jpx. No, we’re not talking gibberish, we are speaking Janome embroidery language.
One of the most important things you need to know about embroidery designs are the correct format – more specifically the file type in which your Janome embroidery machine is able to read.
In today’s post we do a quick run through on the formats that current Janome embroidery machines can take:
.jef is a “Stitch Data” file and is the default format for all current Janome embroidery machines.
It’s made up of Janome machine readable files, with instruction for every stitch in the design, and coordinates to move the hoop.
If you’re purchasing embroidery designs from websites, you need to choose the. jef format. Same applies if you buy a CD of designs; be sure to check that it has the .jef format. If this format is not available, you will need software to convert the design to .jef.
.jef+ is an editable “Stitch Data” file created in Janome software programs.
It’s made up of two or more .jef file created in the edit function of the machine HMC15000, HMC14000, HMC12000, Skyline S9, MC9900, MC11000SE, MB-7, MB-4, MC550E, MC500E and MC400E or Horizon Link/Suite. This means that each of the .jef that were brought into the edit screen can be moved, rotated, resized, etc. at any time. (Previous generations permanently grouped all designs when confirmed in the edit mode. All designs became a .jef and could no longer be edited individually.)
The format will also recognise hoops that are bigger than earlier generations of Janome embroidery machines.
Designs sent from the machine or Horizon Link/Suite to computer/USB are .jef+.
Note: The following machine models can only read .jef files: MC10000, MC9700, MC9500, MC370E, MC350E, MC300E, MC200E.
.jan is the “Master Data” file created in Janome Digitizer up to version 4.5. This is a working file whilst in the software. It’s made up of object data, thread colour, fill pattern, density and dimensions. This is the stage that you can make changes before sending it to become stitches and save as a .jef or .jef+.
.emb is the “Master Data” file created in Digitizer MBX V5. This is a working file whilst in the software. It’s made up of object data, thread colour, fill pattern, density and dimensions. This is the stage that you can make changes before sending it to become stitches and save as a .jef or .jef+.
.jpx has exclusive information that the current generation of Janome machines may need for special functions i.e. Cutwork, AcuFil and graphics.
You will need Digitizer MBX V4 and upwards to create a .jpx file. Digitizer automatically writes .jpx when writing to the USB or directly to the HMC15000, HMC14000, HMC12000, Skyline S9, MC9900, MC500E and MC400E.
AcuFil automatically writes to USB as *.alf.
.jpx contains both the stitch data and a background image together (.jpeg). This allows the HMC15000 and HMC12000 to display a .jpeg on the screen (this can be an image of your fabric) while positioning the design for improved positioning accuracy.
What Are The Embroidery File Formats?
There are several types of embroidery file formats for different brands. Here is a list below.
.jan - When an embroidery design is in the process of being constructed, Digitizer 10000 keeps track of each piece of the embroidery. The embroidery pieces are called objects. Each object is actually a description of the piece of embroidery. It has properties information such as size, shape, colour, sequence within the design, stitch type and values, and rules for stitching. If you make a change to an object, such as its colour or shape, the properties description is changed. It is easier to modify an embroidery design which is a series of objects than it is to modify an embroidery design which is stitch-based. The .jan file is the file that contains the embroidery's object properties. There is a "slot" for each object, so if there are 15 objects in an embroidery design, there will be 15 "slots" in the .jan file. It is the file format that is used while the embroidery is in its interim state. When you save an embroidery while it is incomplete, you should save it as a .jan file, so you can easily modify it later. .jef - The stitch-based file that is read by the MemoryCraft 10000. .sew - The stitch-based file format used by MemoryCraft 5700, 8000, and 9000 machines. .pes - A stitch-based file format used by Brother and Babylock embroidery home sewing machines. .pec - A stitch-based file format used by Brother and Babylock embroidery home sewing machines. .hus - The stitch-based file format used by Husqvarna/Viking embroidery home sewing machines. .pcs - The stitch-based file format used by Pfaff embroidery home sewing machines. .csd - The stitch-based file format used by Poem, Huskygram, and Singer EU embroidery home sewing machines. .xxx - The stitch-based file format used by Singer embroidery home sewing machines. .dst - The stitch-based file format used by Tajima commercial embroidery sewing machines. .exp - The stitch-based file format used by Melco commercial embroidery sewing machines. One of the most exceptional features of the Digitizer 10000 program is that it can read any of the stitch-based files listed above, and convert them into an object-based file. That means they can be edited and modified quickly and easily.
There are some other extensions too: files for BERNINA Quilter are saved as .ARQ, for BERNINA Cross Stitch as .ARX, for backups .BAK ( used with Auto Save), design templates as . AMT and there are more.
I hope you learnt a little more today. I know it is "boring theory" but sometimes it is important to answer a question that keeps popping up in our sewing experience.
Fingers crossed we see you soon