Transfer a pattern without tracing

Nov 20, 2020 | Embroidery, Embroidery 101

I have received a few messages recently, asking me for the best method to transfer a pattern without tracing. I get it, tracing on fabric can sometime be difficult and you also might want to work with a fabric that makes it hard to see through because it is too thick or dark.

If this is the case here is a method that I know will help.

For this you will need an inkjet printer and either one of these two water dissolvable papers:

The Stitch’n Stitch from Sulky

This is the one I have used the most and generally very happy with it.

Pros: It is great for the darker fabric as it is a bit thick and would stand out well on this kind of fabric therefore making it easier to see the pattern. If you wanted to work with canvas fabric for example for a tote bag or a cushion cover this would be a good option.

If you wanted to add some embroidery embellishments to a piece of clothing like a teeshirt, it is thick enough to act as a stabilizer.

When you are done it washes off very well.

Cons: sometime the added thickness makes it less enjoyable to work with.

The needles may become a bit sticky after a little while, as it collects the glue that holds the stick’n stitch to the fabric.

Printworks Vanishing Embroidery Transfer

I have recently started using this one to transfer patterns for hoops on a lighter type of fabric. This paper would not work very well on heavy or dark fabric.

Pros: it leaves a very thin layer on your fabric making it easier to work with.

It waskes off very well when you are done with stitching.

Cons: it starts rubbing off after a little while leaving dandruff like residus. It is not a big problem as they wash off. The biggest downside to this is the fact that you may rub off your actual pattern in some places, so this is something to keep in mind.

You need to make sure that you cut around your pattern and transfer only what is necessary to transfer. I have found that the bigger is the amount of paper you try to iron on, the more likely you are to miss parts of it and therefore you might have blanks in your pattern in some places.

The Method

Both paper work in a very similar way but the one thing you MUST remember is that the design you print will be of different orientation.

One must be printed the right side (Stick’n Stitch) and the other one must be printed the wrong side (Printworks vanishing paper).  

Make sure that if you are using the Printworks vanishing transfer paper, you flip your pattern.

With Stick’n Stitch

  • Print your pattern the RIGHT way round
  • Cut the excess paper around your pattern
  • Peel off the backing of the paper and stick it to your fabric
  • When you have finished stitching your pattern submerge your fabric in water and rub off if necessary
  • Dry, iron and showcase your work!

With Printworks Vanishing Embroidery Transfer

  • Print your pattern the WRONG way round
  • Cut the excess paper around your pattern
  • Place your printed design face down against your piece of fabric and apply a dry hot iron to it moving it slowly but keeping it in movement.
  • When your pattern has fully transfered, wait for it to cool down before removing the backing paper.
  • When it is cold to the touch start peeling it off very gently and you will be ready to stitch.
  • When you have finished stitching your pattern submerge your fabric in water and rub off if necessary
  • Dry, iron and showcase your work!

This is it! if you have any question or tips, please get in touch and have fun stitching! 

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