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This post was written by Jen Goodwin, embroidery teacher and seller of embroidery kits and patterns.

How to do the prick and pounce method of embroidery transfer


Transferring Embroidery Designs - Prick & Pounce Method

This method is the most tried & tested method of transferring designs. It is how the design for the Bayeux Tapestry was transferred onto the fabric before it was stitched.

Transferring embroidery designs - Pounce and prick method

Firstly trace your design onto some sturdy tracing paper leaving a good amount of excess around the edge.

Ways to transfer embroidery patterns onto fabric

With a soft pad underneath (i.e. some folded fabric to prevent damage) prick along each line using a fine pin or needle. Hold the tracing paper to the light to check each line has been pricked, this is important for later on.

Using the prick method to get an embroidery pattern onto your fabric

Pin your pricking to your fabric, this should be pulled tight in the hoop or frame you will be working in.

Differnt techniques for transferring embroidery designs

Pounce is a fine powder which passes through the holes made in a pricking. Ground charcoal give black pounce, ground cuttlefish gives white pounce & grey is a mix of the two. You will have to adjust the shade of pounce you use depending on the fabric for each project.

Using a 'pad' of rolled up felt, I have secured mine with glue, carefully rub the pounce over the pricking using small circular movements.

Using charcoal to transfer embroidery patterns

Keeping the hoop flat, carefully remove the pins & tip the excess pounce back into the jar. Then very, very lightly blow across the surface of the work - this removes the extra pounce. You should now have a series of dots on the fabric marking out the pattern.

Embroidery transfer techniques

Now draw the pattern in, if possible use a propelling pencil as they give a nice fine result. You can now purchase many different coloured leads for propelling pencils. I have drawn this on in white.

Embroidery tutorials fron Jen Goodwin 

The design is now ready to be stitched.

To watch a video showing you this transfer method please visit Jen's You Tube Channel.

For beautiful embroidery patterns and kits, or for embroidery tuition do visit Jen's website:   

For an alternative method of pattern transfer see the tutorial on the tissue paper method.

Using tissue paper to transfer embroidery patterns to fabric