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

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