Welcome to Lesson 1 of Embroidery 101!
So you’ve taken the time to shop around & you’ve found the perfect pattern for your embroidery project, right? Great! Now let’s figure out the right transfer technique.
If you’re using an iron-on transfer pattern, like the one pictured below from Sublime Stitching, just follow the instructions that came with your pattern.
But just because I love you, I’ve taken a few photos to show you how to transfer a Sublime Stitching pattern.
Pattern example is from “Unicorn Believer.”
When cutting out your pattern, be sure to leave enough room around the image, so you can hold it securely during the ironing process.
When you have the image cut out & you know where you want to place the image, PRE-HEAT YOUR FABRIC FIRST. This is a very important step & should not be skipped. This is almost always the first question I ask when troubleshooting, “Why didn’t my pattern transfer?”
After pre-heating your fabric, put the transfer face down on the fabric, and iron. Hold on to your image securely, & press your iron on top of your image for about 10 seconds. Try not to move your iron, because you just might “ghost” or smudge the image, and that’s not fun. The image will be permanent.
Be sure plenty of fabric still surrounds your image, so you can allow for hooping.
An embroidery hoop has 2 pieces. The adjustable ring will be the top piece.
Once your fabric is hooped & you’ve got the fabric tight like a drum head, you’re ready to start embroidering! That’s all there is to transferring an iron-on pattern. By far, this is the easiest way to go.
But perhaps you’ve found an embroidery pattern on Etsy, or you’ve found another image online, or you want to embroider one of your own drawings. That’s what we’ll talk about now.
Pictured above: various transfer tools.
Method 1: Carbon transfer paper
If your design has lots of fine lines and details or if it’s a large pattern, I would use the carbon transfer paper method.
Method 2: Iron-on Transfer Pen
When you first get your Sulky transfer pen, the tip will be white. Each time you use the pen, you’ll need to press the tip down about 3 times to get the ink to flow in to the tip. Don’t over do it though, because sometimes the ink tends to pool up.
That’s why I recommend testing your transfer pen on a different piece of paper before you start tracing your design.
Remember to pre-heat your fabric first, and hold on to your design, to prevent smudging. This method is also permanent.
You can see the Sulky transfer pen leaves chunkier lines, so you’ll need to learn not to use a heavy hand when tracing your design. I use the transfer pen method A LOT. I really love this product, and highly recommend adding it to your embroidery toolbox.
Method 3: Transfer pencil
Pattern of your choice
Transfer pencil (usually found at any craft store.)
I have to be honest, this is my least favorite transfer method. The lines are just too faint for me, and sometimes they don’t transfer at all after ironing. But I will use it if I’m in a pinch.
The above photo shows all three of the transfer methods I just discussed. You’ll have to play around and decide what works best for you!
Please feel free to leave your questions in the comments. If you do leave a question, be sure to leave your email address, or check back in the comments for my response.
I think I’m going to make Thursdays our lesson days. So be sure to come back next Thursday, April 15 for our first stitch lesson, the back stitch!
Hugs & Stitches,