How to Transfer an Embroidery Pattern With Fabric Crayons

Written by mercedes valladares
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How to Transfer an Embroidery Pattern With Fabric Crayons
Transfer embroidery patterns with fabric transfer crayons for your next project. (crayons image by timur1970 from

Iron-on techniques are used with embroidery design transfers. A reverse image is drawn on paper and coloured with fabric crayons, also referred to as transfer crayons. The coloured drawing is turned over onto the fabric and ironed on permanently on the textile surface. Pattern placement is a key factor prior to embroidering if the crayon marking is not part of the overall design. This process reduces the amount of steps generally used to transfer patterns. It is also important to read the crayon brand's fabric content recommendations, such as synthetics or cotton and polyester blends, prior to the transfer.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tracing paper
  • H or F pencil
  • Tracing wheel
  • Fabric scrap or old newspaper
  • Iron

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  1. 1

    Draw the image of the artwork selected for embroidery on tracing paper. Use an H or F pencil to define details. Make sure the artwork is in the actual size for embroidering.

  2. 2

    Flip the tracing paper over and place it on the paper for transfer. This is especially important if you include words or letters in the embroidery design.

  3. 3

    Run a tracing wheel heavily over the tracing paper to ensure the pattern outline is indented into the paper's surface. The indented surface acts as a drawing guide for the fabric crayons.

  4. 4

    Draw the pattern with the fabric crayon onto the paper. Make sure your brand specifies the fabric content with which you are working. Certain crayon brands work best with synthetics or 50/50 polyester/cotton blends.

  5. 5

    Place a fabric scrap or old newspaper in between the layers of the garment or textile for embroidery to protect the crayon seeping onto an unwanted area.

  6. 6

    Set the iron on your brand's recommendation, which is generally on a low heat or synthetic setting.

  7. 7

    Flip the paper with the reversed drawing onto the embroidery area. Glide the iron in a back-and-forth as well as side-to-side motion until the fabric crayon image is transferred onto the textile surface. Make sure you position the drawing in the exact location for embroidery. The crayon transfer is permanent. This is especially important if you do not want any portion of the crayon as part of the embroidered pattern.

  8. 8

    Lift the paper from one corner to check if the crayon is transferred onto the textile. Repeat steps 7 and 8 until the pattern is completely transferred onto your project material.

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