DST Embroidery File Format: Features and Specifications

making a quilt using a sewing machine and variety of threads

The DST (Data Stitch Tajima) file format is a popular and widely used embroidery file format. It is specifically designed for Tajima embroidery machines but is compatible with various embroidery machines from different manufacturers.

The DST (Data Stitch Tajima) embroidery file format stands as a cornerstone in the realm of computerized embroidery, renowned for its versatility and compatibility with Tajima embroidery machines and various other embroidery systems. This standardized format plays a pivotal role in translating intricate designs into tangible embroidered creations, offering a set of features and specifications that cater to the intricate demands of the embroidery process.

In the world of embroidery digitizing, the DST file stands in a well-reputed position. DST files are generally used for proficient embroidery machines and are viewed as the standard format for business embroidery. In this article, we will dive into the features and specifications of the DST file, highlighting its significance in the business and how it impacts the process of custom embroidery digitizing.

Embroidery digitizing is the most common way of converting a work of art or design into a file that can be sewn by a machine. It includes the use of specific software to make a digital file that contains guidelines for the machine to observe. These digital files are known as embroidery files or machine files. The DST, an abbreviation of “Data Stitch Tajima,” is perhaps the most regularly used format in the business.

DST Format:

DST is a famous and most-used format of embroidery because of its compatibility and flexibility with commercial machines. This format was made by Tajima. This format uses a series of directions that tell the machine where to stitch and what thread color to use. It also supports a range of embroidery techniques such as satin stitches, fill stitches, and complex stitch patterns. Information about thread colors, stitch types, and sequencing is also included in this.

Ability to store information:

One of the vital features of this format is its capacity to store a lot of data about the design. This incorporates details like the place of each stitch, the angle of the stitches, the stitch length, and the string color. By putting away this data in the file, the machine can precisely reproduce the design with negligible human intervention.

Compatibility with machines:

One more significant feature of the DST format is its compatibility with different machines. Most commercial machines can read and stitch designs in the DST file, making it a preferred choice for organizations that offer digitizing services. This compatibility guarantees that the designs made by a digitizing specialist can be effectively moved and sewed on various machines with no loss of quality or precision.

Custom Digitizing:

About custom digitizing, this format plays an important role. Custom digitizing includes making designs from scratch or converting existing artwork into an embroidery-friendly format. This process requires cautious consideration of factors like stitch density, stitch direction, and underlay stitches. This format permits digitizers to calibrate these boundaries and make designs that meet the necessities of their clients.


Scalability is another noteworthy attribute of DST files. Designs stored in this format can be resized without compromising the integrity of the stitches. This scalability proves invaluable when applying the same design to different-sized items, providing flexibility in the application of embroidered artwork.

Flexibility in resizing designs:

In addition, this file offers adaptability in resizing designs. With the assistance of software, the size of the design can be changed without undermining its quality. This versatility feature is especially helpful while digitizing for embroidery on various things, like caps, shirts, or coats, where the design needs to fit inside specific dimensions.

Other file formats:

Additionally, this file supports the conversion of designs from other files. For instance, converting JPG to DST or JPG to PES (a famous one) is a necessity in the embroidery industry. This transformation process guarantees that designs made in image files can be converted into stitch-based files for machines.

In terms of machine commands, the DST format includes instructions tailored to Tajima embroidery machines. These commands govern various functions of the machine, such as thread trimming, needle changes, and the initiation or cessation of the embroidery process. This specificity ensures seamless communication between the digitized design and the embroidery machine, resulting in a precise and accurate execution of the intended artwork.


To convert JPG to DST or different ones, specific software is used. These software tools analyze the image, recognize the colors and shapes, and create a stitch-based portrayal of the design. The digitized design is then saved in the DST file, fit to be sewn on a machine.


Widely supported: Most commercial machines support this format. Whether you’re working with Tajima, Barudan, Brother, or other famous brands, the chances are high that they will be compatible with DST. This wide compatibility guarantees that designs can be effectively shared and utilized across various machines and stages.File size optimization: These files are small in size compared to other files. This benefit takes into consideration quicker transmission and lessens storage needs. It is particularly difficult to manage intricate and complex designs that might have large stitch counts.

Despite the sophistication of the DST format, the files remain relatively compact in size. This efficiency is advantageous for storage, transmission, and processing, especially when dealing with a multitude of design files. It contributes to a streamlined workflow, enabling businesses to manage and organize their embroidery projects effectively.


In conclusion, the DST format is a critical part of the embroidery industry. Its features and specifications make it ideal for proficient machines, offering compatibility, adaptability, and the capacity to store complex design details. Whether it’s for custom digitizing or converting image files to stitch files, this format plays a fundamental part in guaranteeing beautiful, accurate, and appealing embroidered designs.

When working with DST files, it’s important to use dedicated embroidery software or rely on professional embroidery digitizing services to ensure that the design is properly translated into the required format, considering the specific capabilities and nuances of different embroidery machines.


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