Do you love custom machine embroidery but can’t figure out how to do it yourself? Do you have a digital embroidery machine but don’t know how to properly utilize it? Well, then we are here to show you how to convert an image to an embroidery file for free so that you are able to create beautiful custom embroidery. All we need from your side is a computer, digitizing software, and a lot of patience.
Converting Image to Embroidery File
Technically speaking, converting an image to an embroidery file means that you need to convert a JPG file into a DST file. Therefore before moving on to the process of converting, it is important to know what these files actually are and how they operate.
Almost everyone is familiar with a JPG or JPEG file. It is the standard format of a digital image when it is stored in a device. A DST file on the other hand is a little more unheard of by many people unless they are in the embroidery business. This is because it is the standard format for an image that is readable by an embroidery machine. If you want your machine to embroider an image on fabric, then that image needs to be in the format of DST.
Usually, you are able to purchase designs in DST format from various places. But, there are times when you might want a custom design that is not available elsewhere and you wouldn’t want to pay for it to get converted into DST. Therefore, you need to learn how to convert JPG into DST yourself. There are a couple of ways you can convert the file and we have listed them below.
1. Digitizing Software
Now that you know what a DST file format is, we can move on to the way you can actually convert an image into that format. The first is using digitizing software. Beware, that this process is not like the ordinary conversion of files into different formats and will not automatically turn pixels of the JPG file into commands to create stitches in a DST file. Rather, the whole process involves a lot of hard work from you.
Also, for this method, you need an embroidery digitizing software, most of which are usually neither free nor cheap. But if you are able to find one that is free or if you have access to a good one on a trial basis then you can convert the JPG image to a DST through the following steps:
- First, you need to open your JPG file in your software. Since different softwares have different layouts you might have to look for the option that lets you insert a JPG file but it is usually pretty obvious and easy to find.
- After your image is placed, you need to further adjust it by cropping out the unnecessary parts of the image by using the crop tool. You also need to adjust the size of the image by either increasing or decreasing it according to your need.
- Then, using the measuring tool, measure the largest shape and then determine the perfect stitch for the object as different stitches are great for different lengths, the lock stitch is usually a good choice for this purpose.
- Then using your mouse, mark where your stitch needs to start. Then stitch down the middle of your shape so that you have a base to draw your other stitches. And then draw the other parts of the shape around that line using the tool needed for those lines, be that a straight line or a freehand one.
- If your shape is round then you can choose the ring option from the toolbar and draw it over the shape.
- Then using the satin stitch setting you can mark the gaps that you need to stitch in and the directions that the stitches need to go.
- After this, you need to set the colours for your stitches by choosing a colour from the colour pallet and applying it where they are needed.
- After making all the necessary adjustments, if you are satisfied with your design then you need to finish off the embroidery pattern of the design using a lock stitch. This is to make sure that the design stays in place for when it is embroidered.
- When all this is done, you can save your design and get it in DST format.
And so, through this process, you are able to convert a JPG image into an embroidery file. But as you can see that the process is highly technical which is why you will need a lot of practice to improve your skill to create more intricate designs. But once you have mastered this, you will never need to pay for customs embroidery files again.
Many people find converting the image from scratch through the digitizing software quite a difficult process. If you are one of them then there are other, simpler ways you can convert an image to an embroidery file for free. One of them is using the auto-digitizing option in your digitizing software.
For this process, all you need to do is add your image into the software and select the auto-digitizing option. Then you need to adjust the dimensions of the image according to your need and then start the conversion process. The software will convert the image into the embroidery file itself without any further effort from you.
Many digitizing softwares come with this option, but the reason not a lot of people utilize it is that the output image is usually very low quality. Therefore, if you want the embroidery design for personal use then it might be suitable for you. But if you are converting the image to the embroidery file for commercial use then you are better off sticking with the previous method.
DST Vs PES
Just like you have multiple formats for a digital image like JPEG, PNG, EPS, etc. There are various formats for embroidery files along with DST and one such format is PES. And while DST is a format that is used by many embroidery machines. There are some machines that require a PES file format, like Brother PE embroidery machines.
Most software will have the option of converting a JPG image into PES along with DST. But if a software does not, then you need to find one that does have that option. And using the same process that you used for converting the image into DST you can convert the image into this format too.
How do I convert JPG to DST for free?
There are two methods to convert JPG to DST for free, one is through creating the DST file in digitizing software from scratch. The other is by using auto-digitizer.
How do I convert a JPEG to PES?
You can convert a JPEG image into a PES file the same way you can convert the image into DST. The only thing you need to do differently is that you need to select the option of PES in the digitizing software.
What is the best embroidery digitizing software that converts image to embroidery files for free?
One of the best free digitizing software is My Editor. Although there are other great ones like TrueSizer and Bernina Artlink7 that are also free.
When trying to convert an image into an embroidery file for free, you need to remember that the process can be difficult as there are not many free softwares available out there. Therefore, finding the perfect one that has all the tools that you need would require a lot of research and scouring the internet. But once you find such software, you are rewarded with the ability to create beautiful custom embroidery after a lot of hard work and dedication.