5 Ways to transfer a Sashiko design onto fabric (4 of 5 use stencils)

by Susan Fletcher

transferring a design for sashiko

Using stencils to transfer a sashiko design to fabric

 The pre-printed on fabric, ready to stitch, sashiko designs are wonderful, but limit you in designs and fabrics.  For those of you who want to go further, this is the fourth blog entry for five methods you can use get a sashiko design onto a fabric of your choice!

I think of all the methods, using sashiko Stencils is the easiest way to get a design on to fabric, especially for projects where you really only want small motifs.

Simply lay the stencil where you would like the stitching to be done and draw the design onto your fabric using a chalk marking pencil, sometimes called quilting pencils. These come in white, silver, blue and pink so pick one that will show well on your fabric.  On light color fabrics you can also use iron-away fabric markers. These come in black and blue. 

Stencil have small 'bridges' left in the design to keep the plastic from falling apart. When you are doing your sashiko stitching, you can imagine the drawn lines as solid lines. (If you find it helpful, pencil them in after you remove the stencil from the fabric)

Using a sashiko stencil

If you are tracing onto a dark color fabric, you need to use white, so use a white chalk fabric pencil, but if  you are tracing onto a lighter fabric you can use a colored  iron-away fabric pen. (Chalk pencils are good, but the chalk rubs off with handling so they are really only suitable for small motifs, so whenever you can use an iron away fabric pen do that)

Using a sashiko stencil

Fabric pens come in a variety of brands and colors, try a few until you find one you like. I like the iron-away ones.  The fade-away ones are good for things that will be finished soon, but may not stay visible long enough for a sashiko project!

sashiko stencil and chalk fabric pencils


Iron away and wash away transfer pencils and pens

Happy designing,


Susan Fletcher
Susan Fletcher


Owner A threaded Needle

Also in Sashiko Blog

Olympus Sashiko Fabric
About Olympus Fabrics

by Susan Fletcher

About Olympus Fabrics:

The Olympus Thread Mfg. Co., Ltd. of Nagoya, Japan, has been A Threaded Needle's main Sashiko supplier since 2005. I choose them for their knowledge and manufacturing standards, first for sashiko products, and recently more and more for their interesting and exceptional quality fabrics.

Fabric for sashiko stitching

View full article →

using dyed yarn cotton fabrics for quilting
Should I Pre Wash My Dyed Yarn Fabric? & How?

by Susan Fletcher


Do I need to pre-wash dyed yarn fabrics?

It isn't always necessary. It depends on the quality of the fabric and the purpose of your project....

View full article →

Japanese wagara  cotton fabric
Wagara & Wagara Kasuri Pattern Fabric Collection on A Threaded Needle

by Susan Fletcher

     I've been buying these wagara fabrics for A Threaded Needle from Olympus Manufacturing in Japan for a few years, and as I am adding a few new ones to the website today, it seemed like a good time to tell you more about them.
Wagara Kasuri Japanese Fabrics
So first, what does wagara mean?
and why Olympus fabrics versus less expensive versions of these designs?

View full article →