So you have your embroidery pattern ready to go but wait… how do you transfer that embroidery pattern on your fabric?
To get your embroidery pattern on the fabric there are a couple of methods. If you want to draw the pattern freehand you have more freedom in handling the situation. However, if you want to transfer it directly from the pattern the methods available to you depend on the fabric you are using. In this article, you can see some tips for embroidery pattern transfer on light fabrics. Go to this post if you have a dark or patterned fabric.
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Pens, markers & chalk for embroidery pattern transfer
- Pencils can leave a nasty grey shade. If you cover the lines completely it can be ok, but use a harder pen, not the soft ones which smother easily.
- Water-soluble fabric pens can be washed out later.
- Frixion ball pens disappear when you apply heat (like a hairdryer or ironing).
- Tailor’s chalk is also available as a chalk pen. It disappears quite quickly because it’s only attached to the surface. Chalk is the easiest to remove permanently.
- An iron-on transfer pen is permanent so use it only for patterns that you’ll cover with stitches completely.
The Window Method
Now on to
• tape the printed pattern to a window with masking tape
• tape the fabric over the pattern with masking tape
• trace the lines with a pen of your choice
BONUS TIP: If it‘s dark outside, you can set up a glass pane (e.g. from a picture frame) or large glass bowl/vase with a flat bottom and put a lamp or even your phone’s flashlight underneath it to shine through your pattern and fabric.
BEGINNER EMBROIDERY EBOOK
35 pages filled to the brim with answers to beginner questions
What if you have a dark or patterned fabric?
The light method doesn’t work very well on darker fabrics or fabrics with a pattern or ones that have a distinct structure. Even if you have a strong light source most of the time it is not strong enough to see the lines crisply.
That is why I recommend other transferring method for dark and patterned
If you are a beginner, you can read even more about basic embroidery tips & tricks over on the beginner embroidery guide article.
Do you want more tips and tricks on hand embroidery?
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