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How to Transfer an Embroidery Design: 7 Ways to Get Your Design onto Fabric

Updated: Oct 20, 2020


There are tons of different ways to transfer a design onto your fabric. I know, I've tried quite a few of them. Some of these methods I love and use regularly. Others I tried once and said, "Never again!" Thanks to all my trial and error, you're in luck. Check out these 7 different ways I've tried to transfer a design on to fabric.

Chalk Pencils or Markers

Chalk pencils are one of the easier transfer methods and wash away with water or a gentle rubbing of the fabric. I like to use these white chalk pencils when working on dark fabrics, tracing designs for sashiko mending, or when freehand drawing a design. The one drawback of chalk pencils is that a design can easily come off of the fabric, so you might have to redraw multiple times.

Get these chalk pencils here.


Water Soluble Transfer Pens

DMC makes a great water soluble transfer pen. These pens are easy to draw with and don't bleed when drawing on the fabric. Along with freehand drawing a design, I like to use a light box or well lit window to transfer my design onto fabric with one of these pens. I've found that the drawn lines stay until the fabric is washed with water. Anothe