embroidery pattern on dark fabric
[ 'How To' Tutorials ][ Dark Fabrics ][ Supplies ][ Tools ][ Transferring Patterns ]

Transfer an Embroidery Pattern to Dark Fabric with the RIGHT Carbon Paper


A question I get asked all the time – how do you transfer an embroidery pattern on to dark fabric?

If you have tried (and failed) to find a way of transferring your pattern on to a dark fabric then you’re not alone!

There are lots of ways to do this and sometimes you just need to try a few before you find the one that works for you. For me, this is

Carbon Paper…

In a previous post, I showed how I used Carbon Paper for transfer and the result was good – I wasn’t over the moon about it but it did the job and gave good enough results even though I needed to go over the transfer a second time with a white gel pen to make it workable to stitch.

jellyfish embroidery design

Just so you know, this post may contains affiliate links.  If you click through to a website and register or purchase something, I get a commission from that sale at no extra cost to you. All opinions and reviews are my own.

My Big Mistake!

I can’t believe how it never occurred to me until recently to try different brands – I just assumed all Carbon Paper was the same and gave the same result – how wrong was I ???

Different brands of Carbon Paper give different results!

You clever people out there who already knew this are probably thinking – really? did this really not occur to you? But no, it didn’t!

The winter collection of patterns I am currently stitching involve dark fabrics and so I just happened to try out another brand of Carbon Paper and the difference in the results was fantastic! It made the whole process quicker, easier and most importantly the consistency in the results was a game changer.

I tried the following 3 brands…

transfer a pattern with carbon paper on fabric

My favourite … Kores Carbon Paper

A close second… Frisk Tracedown

The Hemline carbon paper was what I based my previous post on and look at the results above in comparison to the other 2 – you can only just about see it! (I had to circle it so you can make out the image!) Never the less, in the interest of fairness – here’s the link if you still want to use this product…  Hemline Dressmakers Carbon Paper

kores carbon paper
Kores Carbon Paper
frisk tracedown paper


Frisk Tracedown

The Kores paper and the Frisk Tracedown both gave really good results however there was just a couple of things for me that made my favourite the Kores. Here’s the points I found with each…

The Kores Carbon Paper 


  • Easily available online
  • Comes in different colours to show up on different coloured fabric
  • Each Pack contains 12 sheets
  • Excellent price
  • Each sheet is reusable for several tracings
  • Traced image does not smudge
  • Traced image is easy to see and stays visible as you stitch over time
  • Traced image is easily covered by stitching.

The Frisk Tracedown


  • Easily available online
  • Comes in different colours
  • Each sheet is reusable for several tracings
  • Traced image is easy to see and stays visible


  • A pack containing just 1 sheet costs the same as the pack of 12 of the Kores Paper
  • The coated surface was a lot more transferable from pressure of my hand as I traced and just from contact so even though the image itself was nice and clear there was residue on the fabric surrounding and I was not happy that I had to try and get this to rub off especially on black fabric as it did leave some marks.
  • The traced image was also more smudgy and as I stitched I found you had to be a lot more careful to not smudge the lines.

Overall, for cost and performance, I much preferred the result I got from the Kores Carbon Paper and would definately recommend this if you haven’t tried it already.

Here it is in use on one of my latest designs…

  • All you need is – Fabric – Kores Carbon Paper – Pattern  – Red Pen

pattern transfer on dark fabric

  • Place Black Fabric on hard surface – right side up
  • Place White Kores Carbon Paper over fabric -coated side down
  • Place Pattern over carbon paper – right side up
  • Tape to surface to keep in place

embroidery pattern

To trace over the pattern you need a red pen (so you can see what you have traced over as you go!)

I have also found you need a pen that glides smoothly as you need to press down as you trace but you don’t want to rip the pattern or carbon paper as you go. A smooth pen solves this problem.

I recently found these Schneider slider Edge Pens – oh my goodness – they are a delight to trace with as you don’t get any wrist ache along the way as they are soooo smooth!

traced pattern

To Trace…

Start in the centre of the pattern – apply even pressure as you trace and complete tracing the whole pattern. Take care to NOT MOVE the pattern at any point.

The moment of truth…

Peel back the carbon paper to reveal your pattern magically transferred to your fabric… This never fails to impress me!

(I know! – I’m easily impressed!)


dark fabric pattern transfer

All ready to stitch – yay!

Now you have no excuse not to try stitching a fabulous pattern on dark fabric. Give it a go and you will not be disappointed!

As always, let me see how you get on. You can tag me in on your makes on Instagram and Facebook with @stitchdoodlesdesign, or you can send me photos at nicola@stitchdoodles.com and I will include them here with your permission. I lovelovelove to see your photos!

Happy Stitching!

nicola signature copy

Want to remember this? Post this transfer tutorial to your favourite pinterest board!

how to transfer an embroidery pattern to dark fabric


  1. Hi, does the transferred pattern come off the fabric after stitching? And if so, how? I want to do a fine pattern where I won’t necessarily be able to cover all the lines …

  2. Hi, It can be difficult to get hold even here in the UK. I do sell it in my shop and post internationally but postage is costly unfortunately as it has to go tracked.

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published.