How to transfer a design onto fabric:
Copying a design to fabric is the first step in most areas of needlework. No method is perfect, and each is better suited to certain fabrics and uses than others. Place the design under the fabric and using your preferred transfer tool, copying a design by tracing it directly onto the fabric.
For example, the tracing paper transfer method of marking an embroidery design on fabric (sometimes referred to as thread tracing) uses lightweight issue or tracing paper that you have marked with your pattern. It’s a great way to transfer a design to fabric without actually marking the fabric.
Here are given some tips and techniques for transfer a design onto fabric.
- Place your fabric over the design and using a hard pencil, trace the outline onto your fabric. (It is a good idea to hold your fabric in place with masking tape to prevent it from wrinkling). If you cannot see the image through the fabric, try going over the design with a black felt pen to make the outline stronger.
- Alternatively, trace the design using tracing paper and tape this onto a light box (or a window). Tape your fabric over the top so that the light shines through and you can trace the design onto your fabric.
- On dark fabrics, use a quilters’ white or silver pencil.
- Dressmakers’ carbon paper is available in a variety of colors in design. Use one that will show on your fabric. Place dressmakers’ carbon face down on top of your fabric and position fabric and carbon under the design to be traced. Using a hard pencil, carefully draw around the design, checking to see that. it is coming out clearly.
- Tacking (basting) the outline of a design leaves no marks or lines on the fabric, so it is very useful for techniques that do not have a stitched outline around the whole design.
- Lay the tissue paper on top of the design to be copied and carefully trace the design onto the tissue.
- Position the tissue-paper tracing on top of your fabric and pin in place around the edge. Tack around the edge and remove the pins.
- With a sharp-pointed needle and using a thread in a colour that will show up well against the fabric, stitch carefully along all the design lines with small running stitches. Start the stitching with a small knot and finish with a couple of small stitches to make sure that the tacking is secure.
- When you have stitched along all the design lines, carefully tear away the tissue, leaving the tacked outline on the fabric. If you are working on light or delicate fabric, the tissue paper can be left in place to protect the fabric, and torn away gradually to reveal only the area being worked.
- The tacking-stitch outline can be removed as you embroider if your stitching will make it difficult to remove later, or you may prefer to complete all of the embroidery and then remove the tacked design lines.