6 Simple Methods to Transfer Embroidery Pattern on A Fabric

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Embroidery is a fun and creative way to spruce up the look and feel of your fabric. You can add vibrant patterns on the fabric, add some texture or even sew in some patches to elevate the look and feel of the design.

But, as a beginner with embroidery, being stuck with the transfer process of the pattern is quite simple. Even though you might excel in sewing the patterns on the fabric, most people often struggle to get started with the design.

As a beginner, Creative Fabrica has lots of patterns which you can download designs from this embroidery library and then implement multiple ways to transfer that pattern onto the fabric.

This article will explore some of the most effective and easy methods that won’t cost you a limb.

1. Trace the Design

This is probably one of the most accessible and proactive methods to transfer the embroidery pattern on fabric. However, your fabric needs to be super thin for the pattern to appear on the tracing paper’s other side. So if you are embroidering on a very thick fabric, we recommend avoiding this method.

If you have access to a light box or a window around, you can use the light source to trace the design onto the fabric using some fabric tracing chalks. Pencils work equally well for the tracing process.

For a cheaper method, we’d recommend finding a window that receives direct sunlight. You can paste the drawing or design on the window using some tape. Then, on top of the design, place the fabric and trace out the design using a pencil or chalk.

2. Use Transfer Paper

The next best option to transfer the embroidery pattern from the paper to the fabric is a good-quality transfer paper. We’d recommend choosing between wax paper or carbon paper for this.

Since transfer papers are very lightweight, you can place the ink side on the transfer paper and then place the design on top of it. Once the design and transfer paper are secured, trace the design onto the fabric using a pencil.

Using a dark-colored fabric, use a light-colored transfer paper and vice versa. Also, double trace using a transfer paper to ensure each design part is transferred onto the fabric.

3. Using Water-Soluble Stabilizer

As an advanced embroider expert, you will often work on complex designs, and that’s okay. But, tracing the design and the intricacies in such cases needs more detail. So, instead of using transfer paper or other tracing methods, we’d recommend using a water-soluble stabilizer.

Using this, one can print the desired pattern into the stabilizer. Then, that can be further printed onto the embroidery fabric. It takes a few minutes and enables the users to have every tiny detail of the design printed on the fabric.

Once you are done with the embroidery, soaking the fabric in warm water dissolves the stabilizer, leaving you with your embroidered fabric.

4. Age-old Pouncing Method

While the modern-day world has transfer paper, tracing methods, and even direct printing options, the pouncing method dates back to the early days. Unfortunately, it is quite an extensive procedure and takes a lot of manual work.

In this case, you place the design paper on top of the embroidery fabric. You need to secure the design on the fabric piece to ensure that the design comes out accurate by the end.

Once the design is well-secured on the fabric, you can use a pin to prick through the paper and the fabric, creating holes to create an outline of the design onto the textile. The holes in the fabric are then used as reference, and the embroidery stitching is done accordingly.

5. Using Hot Iron Transfers

More than manual stitching and work, the hot iron transfers are mainly used for embroidered patches. These are perfect for pasting on the thicker denim material to add some statement pieces and look to the attire.

You need to take the embroidered patch or design and place it on the fabric where the transfer will be. Once the placement is secured, the patch or design is covered with heatproof material, and a hot iron is placed on top to secure the patch onto the fabric.

6. Heat Transfer Pens

Last but not least is using heat transfer pens and pencils. These are modern-day embroidery design tools that are pretty versatile. You can use this to trace the embroidery design on both light and heavy fabric without any hassle.

All you have to do is trace the design in reverse on paper. Then, use the heat transfer pens to trace the same design onto the backside of the paper. Once done, place the back side of the traced design onto the fabric and run a hot iron over it for a few seconds.

Doing this a few times should transfer the ink and design onto the embroidery fabric. The only downside to using heat transfer pens is that the traced design on the fabric is permanent. It won’t wash off.


There you go with the list of quick and effective methods to transfer the embroidery design onto the fabric. If you are entirely new to embroidery and wish to get started, we’d recommend saving this article for future reference. And, for unlimited and unique embroidery designs, you can check out Creative Fabrica’s library.

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