How to transfer embroidery pattern

How To Transfer Embroidery Pattern – 6 Possible Ways

Sewing is a fun craft but the ultimate challenge and creativity when it comes to advanced practice like embroidery. Here you get to design your concept to make it appear in real life with various uses of sewing, stitching, and other associated techniques. To do so, the first step here is to design a pattern for the embroidery. This is where your creativity shines. And once you are done and satisfied with your design, do you think you are done?

Not at all! And that’s where most enthusiasts wonder how to transfer embroidery pattern? That too even on the hoop, machine, or fabric. You must’ve heard the buzz about this but the truth is no method is suitable for you until you know whether it suits your project, the purpose, and whether you have enough skill to drive it forward and bring out your desired result.

Key Takeaways

6 Ways to Transfer Embroidery Pattern

Here are the most used and suggested methods to transfer the embroidery pattern suggested by experts and pro enthusiasts.

1. Water-soluble pen

Water-soluble pen
Water-soluble pen

It is convenient to use a water-soluble pen when you need to wash off the lines you have transferred. In case you want to draw a pattern by hand directly onto the fabric, you can use a water-soluble pen. It is always a comfort to know that the lines on the fabric are not permanent if you draw freehand.

Water soluble pens have this advantage over carbon paper and iron-on pens, which are much more difficult to remove. They can even be compared to permanent markers. It helps to have a light box or a window behind the pattern to make it easier to see the lines if you are using a thinner fabric. You will place the fabric on top of the pattern and trace the lines through it.

2. Iron-on pen

Iron-on pen
Iron-on pen

The iron is usually quite thin, and you’ll trace the lines on the pattern itself rather than the fabric. Consequently, drawing on paper is easier than drawing on fabric in terms of keeping your hand steady for smaller details. Similar to carbon paper, this method works on both thick and thin fabrics. After tracing the lines of your pattern, place it on top of the fabric and keep it down. Then you iron it over to make the transfer adhere! Make sure the fabric is warm before you start the process, as a cold fabric won’t work with the chemical reaction of the transfer.

It is also important to keep in mind that the iron-on pen doesn’t wash off very easily. You want to make sure you trace the lines exactly as you want them to appear on the fabric, or else you will get a faulty transfer. When you begin the ironing process, you will turn the paper over, with the design facing the fabric, so you need to mirror the design before you begin the transfer.

3. Tracing


This method is ideal for transferring designs because it requires little to no extra supplies. All you need is something to mark the fabric, the design, and a light source. Using this method has the disadvantage of being difficult to see through some fabrics, as well as patterns with elaborate detail. Tracing the design can be done with water soluble markers, pencils, heat erasable pens, and chalk.

For Transferring embroidery pattern to fabric using the tracing method just, draw or print the desired pattern onto paper and find a sunny window then place embroidery fabric in the embroidery hoop. Later, tape the paper with the design onto a sunny window and place fabric and embroidery hoop face down against the pattern and trace.

4. Solvy paper

Solvy paper
Solvy paper

Transferring an embroidery pattern to fabric using solvy paper is very effective when embroidering clothes. It involves transferring the pattern from regular paper to solvy paper. Soma additional stability is created by attaching the solvy paper to the fabric. According to expert advice, use solvy paper when you want to embroider your t-shirt. It is otherwise quite challenging to embroider on stretchy material. Since stretchy shirts can create bubbles in the fabric, solvy paper makes the t-shirt temporarily loose. So, you are able to embroider more freely and reduce the risk of bubbles.

5. Wash away stabilizer

Washaway stabilizer
Washaway stabilizer

This stabilizer works on all types of fabrics and ensures that the embroidery pattern is accurately transferred. When transferring patterns onto thick fabrics or those that have textured surfaces, such as wool or corduroy, or dark-colored fabrics that are hard to trace, it can be particularly useful. Trace or print the embroidery design on the wash away stabilizer, then baste or adhere it to the fabric, then embroider it directly through the stabilizer and fabric.  Once the embroidery is complete, the stabilizer is removed.

Use a wash-away stabilizer product and trace your embroidery design on it. If using a sticky product, apply glue/adhere your design to the fabric where you want the embroidery to be. Embroider the design through both stabilizer and fabric. After the embroidery is complete, wash or rinse the fabric to dissolve the stabilizer. If you are using different materials for your embroidery projects, experiment with these transfer methods to find out which one works best for you.

6. Friction pen

Friction pen
Friction pen

The friction pen is your go-to transfer technique without any bounds. It works just like a pencil on paper; you can draw directly onto the fabric with it. You can simply turn the pen over if you don’t like a line. At the other end, you have a special rubber that allows you to rub off what you just drew. The process goes perfectly with its name, as you rub off the error with friction due to the pen’s back. We recommend using a thicker, more rigid fabric if you want to enjoy the creative freedom of the friction pen. For example, a cotton canvas or thicker jeans. With a thicker, more rigid fabric, the tissue won’t be damaged when you rub it.

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Best Way for Beginner to Transfer Embroidery Pattern

Not all the methods we’ve discussed would be suitable for beginners to deal with due to their difficulty in transfer. That’s why here’s a special treat for the embroidery enthusiasts who just started their journey.

Hot Iron Transfer

Hot Iron Transfer
Hot Iron Transfer

A hot iron transfer is the best way for beginners to transfer embroidery patterns for working on it further. The process of hot iron transfer involves placing an image on fabric and pressing it with a heat press or iron. In addition to creating custom apparel and accessories, this technique can also be used to make posters or other large prints because the image will stay in place because of the heat. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using hot iron transfers, as not all fabrics are compatible. It is common for embroidery enthusiasts to use hot iron transfer embroidery patterns. Here are some important points to remember:

A hot iron transfer embroidery pattern is a design that can be transferred to fabric using heat. Usually, these patterns are printed on special paper or plastic sheets. A paper or plastic sheet is placed face down on the fabric and heated using an iron to transfer the design. For those just getting started with embroidery, hot iron transfer embroidery patterns are ideal. They can be used on cotton, denim, and linen fabrics. Some patterns are reusable, so they can be used more than once. A wide range of designs and styles can be found in hot iron transfer embroidery patterns, including floral, geometric, and animal patterns.


What embroidery tool is used for transferring the design?

You will need to trace your design onto the velum tracing paper before you transfer it to fabric with the blue chalk pencil.

What are the methods of transferring pattern markings?

If you want to snip the fabric, you can use tailor’s tacks or chalk (or wax) that looks like solid lumps of wax.

How do you transfer a drawing to material for embroidery?

Just iron some freezer paper onto your fabric if you are having trouble tracing your design onto the fabric because the fabric keeps moving. It will stick really well and feel like you’re drawing on paper. Just peel the paper off afterward.

Final Thoughts

So, that’s all you need to know for starting off your process of transferring the embroidery pattern for your project. There are so many methods with different tools and approaches. Not all of them would be worth discussing since some of them are either required higher skills and setup or they are complex to deal with. Whether you are a beginner trying to transfer embroidery patterns for the first time or an expert trying to find new ways to do so, I hope the ways I have mentioned can be a help to all embroidery enthusiast.

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Hey I’m Sherry Howes an expert in sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. With a passion for fiber arts and a talent for crafting, I Have spent years improving my skills and sharing knowledge with others. Whether teaching a class or creating a new project, I’m always excited to share my love of crafting with the world. I like researching new techniques and trends in the crafting arts community.

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