How do I Create Janome Embroidery Designs on the PC?

Updated July 20, 2017

If you already bought a Janome embroidery machine you may want to go further by creating your own designs and embroidering them! To do that, you have to invest in embroidery digitising software. Although a digitising program for Janome may cost you from a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars, the joy of the creative process is worth it.

Identify the model of the embroidery machine you are designing with. Is it an MC11000 Special Edition, MC 200E, MB-4, MC9700, MC9500, MC300E, or MC350E? Depending on the model, these machines have different flash memory options for transferring designs from a PC to the machine. It can be a memory card or USB memory stick, or both.

Choose digitising software to create, edit and import a JEF file, the format recognised by Janome embroidery machines. There are a few digitising Windows-based applications you can choose from: Janome Customizer, Janome Digitizer, Balarad Embird, and Threadsmith Format Foundry.

Open your digitising program. Import a picture or photo into the program. An image should have a JPEG, BMP, GIF, or TIF file extension. Some programs are better at converting images than others. The more expensive your software, the better quality of digitising you will get.

Use the editing tools available in the program if you want to digitise the image manually. Trace the image, set the parameters of embroidery stitches, e.g., satin stitch, and generate stitches. If your program has a font engine, you can easily insert text and numbers in a variety of fonts and sizes, as they are already digitised into a stitching format.

Draw your own design with a tool called a "freehand" which converts your design into a stitching format simultaneously. Not all digitising programs have a "freehand" tool, so you may need to buy it in addition to the software. To hand draw, use a digitising tablet. It will reduce pressure on your hand and help you be more precise in your work.


If you do not have digitising software, you can e-mail your design to a digitising or embroidering company and have it digitised.

Things You'll Need

  • PC
  • Digitising program
  • Graphics tablet
  • USB memory stick or memory card
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About the Author

Elena Rakitskaya began her professional writing career in 1985 as a journalist in Russia. She holds a degree in industrial arts and has taught fashion design at Ryerson University in Toronto. Currently, she is pursuing a master's degree in adult education at the University of Calgary.