What Can I Use To Digitize A File For Printful?

What can i use to digitize a file for printful? Digitizing a file for Printful can seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry: with the right tools and know-how, it’s easier than you think.

In this article, I’ll walk you through understanding Printful’s embroidery file specifications, finding the right digitizing software, and optimizing your graphic design for maximum success.

So roll up your sleeves and let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Own digitized files cannot be used for embroidery with Printful.
  • Vector graphics files (AI and PDF) are recommended for embroidery.
  • Raster graphics can be used if the resolution is at least 300 DPI.
  • Digitization fees apply for embroidery designs, with different rates depending on the embroidery type and placement of the design.

What can i use to digitize a file for printful?

Starting an online garment store using Printful’s print-on-demand services? For Printful’s take on custom embroidery on apparel like polo shirts, sweatshirts, or even a bodysuit and bib, a digitized file is essential.

 Whether you’re looking at flat embroidery, 3D puff, or the intricate 3D puff embroidery on hats, embroidery machines require a specific type of file they can read. To embroider your design on different apparel, each requires a separate digitized file.

For instance, the stitch density and direction differ in hat files compared to, say, an apron. If you want to use hat embroidery, whether flat or previously digitized 3D puff hat, adjustments might be necessary.

  • Using our design maker is handy, but remember to work within the maximum permitted area, keeping tight lines and ensuring a space of at least 0.07″ between them.
  • For a polished look, avoid lopsided designs and ensure font sizes are appropriate; typically, 0.5″ for 3D objects, while satin stitch requires at least 0.2″ (5 mm), and tatami stitch demands 1.8 mm.
  • For designs with multiple colors per design, especially if they’re 0.05″ apart, it’s critical they abide by embroidery guidelines, which state no more than 12.5 mm between thread colors. 

If you’re unsure, the Printful help center offers comprehensive embroidery guidelines, including details on stitch type like satin and tatami.

For designs that need to be digitized from scratch for embroidery machines, there’s a one-time fee for each new design; $2.95 per file for flat and $6.50 for digitized 3D puff. However, if you order any 25 apparel items or more, we’ll digitize your design for free design. 

Once paid, you can reuse these files for future orders. Preferably submit your designs in AI or PNG formats to ensure accuracy. And don’t forget, once digitized, a mockup preview will be available on your online store, ensuring your customers get a glimpse of the final product.

Understanding Printful’s embroidery file Specifications

When it comes to creating embroidery files for Printful, the supported file types are vector graphics (AI and PDF) and raster graphics with a resolution of at least 300DPI.

Vector graphics are always preferred as they provide optimal results, however raster files can be used if necessary.

Additionally, color profile recommendations should also be taken into consideration for any artwork that is being digitized for embroidery.

Supported File Types

  • You can use vector graphics files (AI and PDF) for digitizing a file for Printful. Vector files are preferred, however, raster graphics can also be used if the resolution is at least 300 DPI.
  • Digitization fees vary depending on the type and placement of the design. For example, hats have a fee of $2.95 (€2.50) per file. However, if you order 25+ embroidery products in a single order, digitization is free.
  • Fulfillment requires understanding Printful’s guidelines to ensure compatibility with Printful’s stitch work examined. These guidelines are examined during adjustment fees.

Optimal Resolutions

  • Optimizing the resolution of your graphic designs for Printful is key to ensuring successful embroidery results. To avoid any digitization fee, understanding Printful’s approach to file processing is essential.
  • It’s best to follow their guidelines when submitting graphics for embroidered hats and other products. Keeping files at 300 DPI or higher is an important part of understanding Printful’s DTG process.
  • With proper preparation, you can ensure that your designs come out looking great!

Color Profile Recommendations

To get the best results, it’s important to consider the color profile when preparing your graphic designs for Printful embroidery.

Shirts and other apparel custom embroidered by Printful require a specific color profile:

  • RGB (Red, Green, Blue): Used by most monitors and printers for displaying digital images; recommended when uploading files to Printful.
  • CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black): Used in offset printing; not suitable for use with Printful’s embroidery service.

Tools for Digitizing Your Embroidery designs

When considering what tools are ideal for digitizing files for Printful, designers often turn to software like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW. These programs provide advanced vector capabilities, which are paramount when creating scalable designs for various Printful products.

However, users must ensure that their designs align with Printful’s guidelines, especially concerning resolution and color profiles. For those unfamiliar with these tools, Printful offers a series of tutorials and resources, ensuring optimal outcomes when transferring designs to physical products.

Tools for Digitizing Your Embroidery designs

Scanning Physical Designs

  • Scanning physical designs is an option for digitizing a file for Printful. However, vector graphics files (AI and PDF) are preferred. Raster graphics can be used if the resolution is at least 300 DPI, but they don’t provide the same level of quality as vector files.
  • You may have to pay a small digitization fee depending on the type and placement of your design. If you’re ordering in bulk, you may qualify for free digitization. It’s important to understand the guidelines before submitting any graphic designs to ensure they’re compatible with embroidery file digitizing.

Digital Art Software Options

  • When it comes to digital art software options for digitizing a file for Printful, there are several viable options.
  • Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW are two of the most popular programs used, while Adobe Photoshop and GIMP offer similar functionality.
  • All four programs provide users with the ability to create high-quality graphics that can be easily converted into embroidery files.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is the preferred vector graphic file to use for digitizing embroidery files with Printful. It provides superior image quality, has a wide range of design options, and is easy to work with.

Plus, its compatibility with other programs makes it an ideal choice.

  • It can be used to create logos, illustrations, or patterns.
  • Vector art created in Adobe Illustrator can easily be transformed into embroidery designs.
  • AI files are also compatible with Printful’s Design Maker Text Tool.

Adobe Photoshop

Moving on, Photoshop is another option when it comes to digitizing a file for Printful. It’s a suitable choice if your design is rasterized and the resolution is at least 300 DPI.

Keep in mind that vector files are preferred by Printful, so if you have an AI or PDF file available, opt for those instead.


CorelDRAW is another popular choice for creating designs that can be used with Printful. It offers vector graphics, a wide range of tools and features, and the ability to export files in multiple formats.

It’s perfect for creating embroidery designs that can be digitized. Here are some key features of CorelDRAW:

  • Vector images are preferred over raster images.
  • The Text Tool allows customization of fonts.
  • The Gradient Mesh Tool provides accurate color blends.
  • The Pathfinder tool lets you create complex shapes easily.


  • GIMP is a great alternative for creating embroidery designs. It offers powerful features and tools to help you customize your design. It’s free, user-friendly, and provides an array of options for image editing and manipulation.
  • You can use GIMP to create vector graphics files such as AI or PDF, which are preferred for embroidery digitizing. Raster images can also be used but must have a resolution of at least 300 DPI.
  • GIMP offers many templates and tutorials to make the process easier. With its intuitive interface, you can quickly produce stunning results!

File Conversion Tools

You’ll need to convert your files to the appropriate format for Printful, such as AI or PDF. There are several tools available:

  • Vector graphics editors like Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape
  • Online file conversion services
  • Desktop applications like GIMP

I have years of experience in vector artwork and embroidery digitizing, so you can be sure that I’m knowledgeable and detail-oriented enough to provide reliable results!

Optimizing Your graphic design for Printful

When it comes to optimizing your graphic design for Printful, there are a few considerations you need to make.

  1. First and foremost, you have to decide which file type is best suited for the job: vector or raster?
  2. Secondly, you should make sure that your image resolution is adequate enough.
  3. Finally, take the time to adjust colors so they appear vibrant and true-to-life.

With these three steps in mind, you can rest assured that your design will look great on any product!

A vector graphic of a computer mouse hovering over a computer screen with a digital file open and the perfect dimensions highlighted for a successful Printful design.

Vector vs. Raster: Which is Best?

Vector files are generally preferred for embroidery digitizing, but raster graphics can be used if necessary and the resolution is at least 300 DPI.

While vector files provide better results for embroidery digitizing, there are some advantages to using raster graphics:

  • They are easier to create.
  • They have a more natural look.
  • They allow you to add color gradients and textures.
  • They offer more flexibility when it comes to scaling the design up or down without losing quality.

However, if you’re looking for the best possible result, vector files should always be your go-to choice for digitization purposes!

Adjusting Image Resolution

Now that you know when to use vector versus raster images, let’s talk about how to adjust image resolution for embroidery.

ExcitedReady to take on a new challenge!
ConfidentHave the knowledge and experience needed.
DeterminedWilling to work hard for the best results.

I’m confident I can help you get your project done right! Adjusting image resolution is key, so let’s go over the basics.

Ensuring Vibrant, True-to-Life Colors

To ensure vibrant, true-to-life colors on your embroidery project, you’ll need to choose the right type of stitch and adjust the image resolution accordingly.

  • Select a stitch that fits your design’s thickness.
  • Use vector graphics files (AI and PDF) for optimal results.
  • Raster graphics must have at least 300 DPI resolution.

The Upload and Testing Process on Printful

In order to ensure that your designs look their best on Printful products, it’s important to be familiar with the upload and testing process.

I use Printful’s Mockup Generator to preview how my artwork looks before it goes into production. Additionally, I take time to review any product rejections or errors that may be associated with my file during the upload process.

This way, I can make sure that everything looks perfect before it is printed!

Using Printful’s Mockup Generator

You can use Printful’s Mockup Generator to create a preview of your design on various products and check if it meets the requirements for embroidery digitizing.

Save time and money by previewing before you purchase:

  • Get an idea of how the design will look on different products
  • Know whether adjustments are needed
  • See if the size is suitable for embroidering
  • Check that colors match what you want
  • Review details to ensure quality results.

Experienced, detail-oriented users know what to look for when using this tool.

Previewing Products

After getting a preview of the products, I’m now ready to upload my design for digitization.

Printful’s Mockup Generator is incredibly helpful in this process as it allows me to check how my design looks on various items without actually uploading anything.

This helps me determine if I need to make any changes before submitting the file for digitization.

Handling File Rejections or Errors

If your design is rejected or an error occurs during digitization, Printful can help troubleshoot the issue. Contact their customer service team if you experience any issues.

They’ll check if the file meets the necessary requirements for successful embroidery. If not, they will provide you with recommendations and guidance to ensure a smooth process.

With years of expertise in vector artwork and digitizing, Printful has all the tools to make sure that your designs are digitized properly and accurately.

make the perfect embroidery for Consistent Quality

To get the perfect embroidery with consistent quality, it’s important to be knowledgeable, experienced, and detail-oriented for this task. Use AI and PDF vector graphics files when submitting designs to Printful.

Related Articles

Making the perfect embroidery for consistent quality requires a well-executed digitization process. To help you, here are some related articles that can give you more information:

  • What are digitization and adjustment fees?
  • Can I order an embroidery sample?
  • How do sample orders work?
  • What’s the new large embroidery pricing?

Each article provides valuable insight into making your designs come to life.

A hand selecting a file from a stack of documents, with a magnifying glass in the other hand, to illustrate the detailed research needed for the Related Articles

Frequently Asked Questions

The turnaround time for embroidery orders is typically 7-10 business days, depending on the complexity of the design. However, bulk orders of 25+ items will have a shorter turnaround time.

To ensure the highest quality embroidery, I recommend using vector graphics files like AI and PDF. Raster files can also work, but the resolution must be at least 300 DPI. Printful’s fees for design conversion may apply, but bulk orders offer free digitizing. Follow Printful’s guidelines to guarantee compatibility and impeccable results.

Yes, free digitization is available for orders of 25+ embroidery products. Different products and unlimited designs can be included in the order. No additional digitization fee is charged for bulk orders.

Yes, Printful offers rush services for orders that need to be completed quickly. For example, I recently had a client who needed an order of bibs digitized and shipped in just 3 days – Printful was able to accommodate the request without any issues.

Shipping fees for embroidery products vary depending on the size and destination of the order. I recommend contacting Printful to get an accurate quote.


Wrapping up, it’s important to keep in mind that digitizing for Printful requires knowledge and experience. It’s not easy to get it right the first time around, but with patience and perseverance, you can create beautiful embroidered products that will make your customers smile.

Think of digitizing like making a quilt – each stitch has to be perfectly placed for the final product to look its best. Put in the effort now, and you’ll reap the rewards later!

If you have any questions or would like to read more about feedback about Printful services, or how to know ways for running a print on demand business, Kindly drop them at wlo-usa.org to get help. We’re happy to accompany all of you anytime you need.

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