How To Print an Embroidery Pattern on Fabric

There are basically two ways on how people embroider: one is by free hand, and the other is by having a pattern printed on fabric. For those embroiderers who are blessed with artistic skills, they embroider directly on fabric. They make designs in their minds, which they directly put on fabric. But as for most people, they need to have a pattern in order for them to trace and to follow the design they want to embroider.  Unfortunately, if you are one of the embroiderers who uses a pattern then this article is right for you.

There are many patterns from which you can choose from.  In fact, you can download embroidery patterns or designs from various Internet sites. The only problem is how to put it on fabric.  If you share the same problem, then continue reading this article. This article includes a step-by-step process on how to print an embroidery pattern on fabric.

  • Buy iron-on paper.  The easiest way to print embroidery patterns on fabric is through iron-on papers, or otherwise known as contact paper, transfer paper, or iron-on transfer paper.  Before you purchase one, check what kind of printer you have at home, as different iron-on papers are manufactured for various kinds of printers.  For example, there are iron-on papers which you can use with laser printers only and not with inkjet or matrix printers.
    You can purchase iron-on papers virtually in all arts and crafts shop or computer shop.  If you’re not too familiar with the kinds of iron-on papers, simply ask the shop’s personnel to assist you.
  • Choose a design.  After buying an iron-on paper, the next thing that you have to do is to pick a design.  Surf the Internet and download the embroidery design that tickles your fancy.  Save it to your computer, and make a file name for easy identification.
  • Edit your pattern.  Adjust the size of the pattern, as well as the darkness or lightness of its color, with photo editing software such as Picasa.
  • Prepare your printer.  Make sure that your printer is properly installed on your computer.  Aside from this, see to it that the printer is compatible with your operating system. Check also its driver, if there is any, it should be properly installed.  Consult the user-manual of your printer for further instructions.  Plug your printer to a power source and push its power button. If it is already turned on, there would be a light indicating it to be so.
  • Print a sample copy of the pattern on a normal paper. The reason for this step is for you to see the actual size of the pattern.
  • Print a final copy on iron-on paper. If you’re already satisfied with the pattern’s size and appearance as what you’ve seen from the sample copy, print it on an iron-on paper. Just remember to feed the paper correctly to the printer. Look at the packaging of the paper on how to do this.
  • Transfer the pattern on the fabric. Position the pattern on the iron-on paper and place it on the fabric where you want it to be . Iron it! See further instructions on how to iron it. This is usually located on the packaging of the paper.


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