How to Put My Pattern on a Fabric

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Don’t limit your creativity to pen and paper; put your designs onto fabric. You can transfer hand-drawn or digital pattern designs onto fabric and create custom materials for home decor and craft projects. Methods to put your pattern on a fabric vary depending on the intricacies of your design. Use the patterned fabric to create custom clothing, accessories, pillows and wall art. With a few basic techniques, you can turn your doodles into artistic textiles.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Transfer paper
  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Ironing board
  • Iron
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil
  • Straight pins
  • Fabric marker or grease pencil

Intricate Design

Scan your pattern into the computer and save the digital file. Commercial copy retailers will do this for you if you do not have access to a scanner or computer printer. Another option is to take a digital photo of the pattern, then transfer it to the computer.

Set the computer printing software to print as a mirror image; look for this option in the properties section of the software. Print the digital image of the pattern onto a sheet of transfer paper. Leave the printed transfer paper in the printer tray until the ink is dry, up to 15 minutes.

Place the fabric on an uncovered ironing board or some other hard surface. Preheat the iron to the highest setting. Cut the excess transfer paper from around the outline of the pattern.

Position the pattern side of the transfer paper facedown on the desired location on the fabric. Press the hot iron on the outside edge of the transfer paper and move it toward the center of the pattern in steady, circular motions. Keep the iron moving and press down firmly for at least 30 seconds on every area of the pattern.

Peel away the transfer-paper backing from the fabric while it is still warm. Allow the transferred pattern to cool for up to 30 minutes before moving the fabric.

Outline Design

Trace your pattern on a sheet of tracing paper. If the pattern design is on the computer, print the pattern onto paper.

Cut the outline of your pattern from the paper. Pin the pattern to the fabric in the desired location.

Trace around the pattern outline with a fabric marker or a grease pencil. Fabric markers are permanent, but grease pencil lines will wash away. If you plan to stitch along the pattern outline, use a grease pencil.

Remove the paper pattern.

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