Embroidery 101 – How to transfer a pattern on light fabric

Sep 17, 2019 | Creativity, Embroidery, Embroidery 101, Hoop Club

There are different methods to transfer a pattern onto fabric ready to be embroidered, however in this post I am going to stick to the ones I use and know well.

My preferred method of transfer is using pen with disappearing ink.

There are two I tend to use: a water erasable pen or frixion pen.

Water erasable pen

The ink of this pen disappears with water. You can either wash or spray your fabric with water to make it go.

What you need to remember with these is that heat can fix the pen and so you need to be careful not to iron your fabric after applying the pen but also avoid leaving the hoop in direct sunlight.

 Frixion Pen

When using a Frixion pen all you have to so it is apply heat for it to disappear so once you are done with the stitching use a hot iron all over and it will be gone instantly.

What I like about this one is that you can draw a sharper finer line which in turn will help you produce a neater piece of work.

There is a downside to it, and it is that if for some reason your work is in a cold environment the ink line might reappear. The ink doesn’t go with heat, it simply becomes transparent.

Saying this however, I have not yet seen it come back and I live in the Midwest of the USA! I suppose this is something you want to take into account if for some reasons you wanted to expose your work outdoors, like under a front porch in the Winter.

To transfer on fabric

Ok so now let’s talk about the transfer process.

Again there are different ways to do it, but I personally just pin my ironed fabric to the printed pattern so that I can see it through. I find that doing this in a bright room is good enough but if you are short of light (in the heart of Winter for example) you can tape the fabric and pattern together to a window and it becomes a lightox.

Once you are ready to trace just remember to do it lightly and in small strokes. If you apply a lot of pressure your fabric will drag and the pattern will be distorted. 

When you are done stitching, make any visible lines go away either by applying a hot iron on the Frixion pen or by spraying some water on the Water erasable pen and watch it all go away! 

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