How To Draw Embroidery Designs On Cloth

As a creative, you want your ideas to be seen. Embroidering designs on the cloth is one of the most common methods to display your creativity. However, embroidering designs on the cloth is not an easy task.

How Do You Draw Embroidery Designs On Cloth?

Embroidery Designs On Cloth

You can draw embroidery designs on cloth using several methods. These methods include ironing on, tracing paper, water-soluble stabilizer, using heat transfer pins, and pouncing.

Method 1. Iron On Embroidery Designs On Cloth

Step 1. Create your design on the right type of paper using the right heat-sensitive pens.

To successfully transfer embroidery designs on cloth using the iron-on method you have to create your design on the right type of paper. Also, you need to use the right pen to draw your design.

Step 2. With a hot iron, press your cloth on the area where you want to transfer the design. This straightens and firms your cloth. Making it more receptive to the design.

Step 3. Lay your design on the ironed part of the cloth.

Step 4. Using a hot iron, press the paper with the design onto your cloth. Press firmly in a single direction to make sure the lines on your design are straight.

Step 5. Lift the paper of the cloth and your design will have been transferred onto the cloth.

Method 2. Use Tracing Paper To Draw Embroidery Design On Cloth

Step 1. Make your embroidery design on a separate piece of paper.

Step 2. Place your tracing paper over your design paper, ready to trace.

Step 3. Using a transfer pen, trace your design onto your tracing paper.

Step 4. Lay your tracing paper on your cloth with the design touching the cloth.

Step 5. Press with a hot iron until the design transfers firmly onto the cloth. Alternatively, you can stitch the design onto the cloth through tracing paper.

Method 3. Using Water-Soluble Stabilizer To Draw Embroidery Design On Cloth

If you have a complicated embroidery design that you want to draw onto your cloth, this is the best method to use.

Step 1. Draw your embroidery design onto the water-soluble stabilizer. You can print your design if it’s too complicated or draw on it with a stylus.

Step 2. Stick the stabilizer onto your cloth. You can use pins or sew them on your cloth.

Step 3. When the stabilizer is properly lying on your cloth, stitch the design onto your cloth with your choice of thread style and color. This is how you will draw your design onto the cloth from the stabilizer.

Step 4. Cut off as much of the stabilizer as you can once you are through transferring your design onto the cloth.

Step 5. Soak your cloth in water with the remaining bits of the stabilizer. This helps to ensure that you can get the stabilizer off your cloth fully.

Step 6. When you lift your cloth from the water, all you will have is your design left on your cloth as the stabilizer will dissolve.

Method 4. Using Heat Transfer Pens And Pencils To Draw Embroidery Designs On Cloth

Using Heat Transfer Pens And Pencils To Draw Embroidery Designs On Cloth

Using heat transfer pens is another method for drawing embroidery designs on cloth. Depending on your end goal, you can buy a set of different colored pens and pencils.

One advantage of using these pens and pencils is that your drawing is permanent. You can leave it as it is or stitch it to make it more pronounced.

Also, these pens are available in different colors. A heated iron activates the pen’s ink, hence the name.

Step 1. Draw your design on a light piece of paper.

Step 2. Your design should be drawn in reverse since this process transfers a mirror image of the drawing.

Step 3. Use a sharp pen or pencil that produces fine thin lines on the design. This ensures that your design transfers to your cloth with ease.

Step 4. Holding your tracing paper on the cloth, place a hot iron on the paper. Don’t move your iron around to maintain the integrity of your embroidery design drawing.

Step 5. Lift off the iron, then lift off the paper. You have successfully drawn your design onto a cloth.

Method 5. Using Carbon Paper To Draw Embroidery Design On Cloth

To effectively use carbon paper to draw your embroidery design on cloth, you need dressmaking carbon paper. Using office carbon paper doesn’t produce the expected results. Make sure to get the right type of carbon paper.

Carbon paper is available in a range of colors. For the best results, light-colored carbon paper is used for darker clothes. This enhances the visibility of the embroidery design for stitching.

Step 1. Draw your design on a piece of tracing paper.

Step 2. With your cloth flat on a hard surface, place the carbon paper on the cloth and the tracing paper on the carbon paper.

Step 3. Trace your design with a sharp pen or pencil onto your cloth through the carbon paper. Make sure to use a firm hand for the design to be visible on the cloth.

Step 4. Lift the carbon paper and tracing paper of the cloth to see your results.

Method 6. Pouncing


This is among the oldest methods of getting embroidery designs onto a cloth. It is also commonly used in commercial hand-design setups where you will use a single image multiple times.

Step 1. Trace your unique embroidery design on tracing paper. You can use a pencil for this.

Step 2. Using a sharp needle, prick holes along the lines of your design. Evenly space out the holes and don’t have them too close together.

Step 3. Lay your cloth on a flat surface and then place the tracing paper with the image design on it. Use pins to keep it firmly in the cloth.

Step 4. Get another piece of cloth, kerosene, and chalk powder. Douse the cloth with kerosene then dip it into the chalk powder.

Step 5. The cloth will carry a good amount of chalk powder that you will then apply onto the holes you pricked on the tracing paper. This makes a clear outline of your embroidery design onto the cloth.

Step 6. Using a sharp pen or pencil, join the dots to make a clear image of your embroidery design on your cloth.

What Can I Use Instead Of Embroidery Thread?

Embroidery Thread

Once you have drawn your design onto your cloth, you will now need to stitch on it. This enhances its visibility and permanence on your cloth.

Many sewists, don’t have sewing machines that can handle embroidery thread. This is because embroidery thread is smoother and may require specialized needles to bring out the best design.

If you don’t have embroidery thread, you can easily use normal thread to embroider your design on cloth. You can use them when hand stitching or even on your sewing machine.

How To Do Hand Embroidery

Hand embroidery is one of the easiest ways to embroider any type of fabric. Using your preferred methods from the above, get your embroidery design onto your chosen fabric or clothes.

With your embroidery design on your fabric, thread your needle with your preferred embroidery thread.

You can use a running stitch or a backstitch for the best results of your hand embroidery. Stitch the whole length of your design as smoothly as possible. Then iron your embroidered design to keep it firmly fixed on your clothes.

In these few easy-to-follow steps, you will have finished hand embroidering on your clothes.


Embroidery Designs On Cloth

Before you embroider your clothes, you need to come up with a unique embroidery design then get it onto clothing. There are several methods to get the design onto your clothes and you can choose any that is convenient for you.

Tracing paper, ironing on, dressmaking carbon paper, and pouncing are some of the easiest methods you can choose to get your embroidery pattern onto clothes. You can then follow this up with hand or sewing machine embroidery.

If you don’t have an embroidery thread at hand, you can easily use a normal thread to complete your embroidery project.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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