Embroidery Design files are the files used in an embroidery machine.
Digitized embroidery design files are created (digitized) with industry specific embroidery digitizing software.
Embroidery file formats are many and varied and broadly fall into two categories:
Source formats, Specific to the software used to create the design. (I.E the original file the digitizer keeps for the purposes of editing.) and
Machine formats, Specific to a particular brand of embroidery machine. (I.E the files available for use with particular embroidery machines which are not so easily edited or scaled.)
Generally every different embroidery machine manufacturer (brand of machine) has one or more specific embroidery “machine formats” specifically designed to service this particular brand.
However even although generally “Machine Formats” where originally designed to service only their own specific machine brand, some formats such as Tajima’s “.dst”, Melco’s “.exp”/”.cnd” and Barudan’s “.fdr” have become so prevalent that they have become ad-hoc standards in themselves and are often even supported by machines built by companies actually in competition with the companies/machines that these represent.
These “Machine formats” generally contain primarily stitch data (offsets) and machine functions (trims, jumps ETC) and are thus not easily scaled (with-out affecting the stitch density) or edited (without laborious manual stitch by stitch editing).