How to use Stick & Stitch to transfer your embroidery design - And Other Adventures Embroidery Co

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How to use Stick & Stitch to transfer your embroidery design

June 05, 2021

 How to use Stick-and-stitch to transfer your embroidery design | And Other Adventures Embroidery Co

Stick and Stitch Water Soluble stabilizer for embroidery | And Other Adventures Embroidery Co

There are so many different ways to transfer an embroidery pattern. One of my favorite ways is to use a water-soluble stick-and-stitch stabilizer.  I simply print the design on to the stabilizer sheet using my printer and follow the instructions listed below:

  1. Peel the backing off the design and stick it to the fabric. Press down on it for a few minutes to really get it to hold in place.
  2. Embroider as you normally would.
  3. Once you have completely finished stitching, cut away any excess material.
  4. Then carefully wash the pattern away with warm water. I let my fabric soak in lukewarm water for a 5-15 minutes in order to allow the stabilizer to dissolve and then once I see that most of it is off, I give it a final rinse.
  5. Gently pat your embroidery with a towel to remove any excess water and then let your fabric air dry.

And that’s it!  It leaves no trace that it was ever there. So easy! 


Advantages of using the stick-and-stitch method:

  • This is my preferred transfer technique to use when I am stitching on a very textured or patterned fabric that might otherwise be difficult to mark on with a transfer pen.
  • I also prefer this transfer technique when I am creating a very intricate or precise design, like a design that is symmetrical or something incredibly detailed.
  • Stick n’ Stitch allows you to easily stitch on to anything – shirts, hats, denim, tote bags, etc
  • It works as a stabilizer, which is great for use on any fabric that is thin and/or has a bit of stretch to it, like a sweater or sweatshirt.
  • Because the design is printed on to the stick-and-stitch paper, you do not need to worry about any ink bleeding onto your project.



  • When using the sticky-backed stabilizer, I like to trim it down around the design.
  • The stick-and-stitch stabilizer can shift position on you if you are not careful. But this is a super easy problem to prevent – simply add a few running stitches on the top, bottom, and sides and it should stay in place a lot more easily.  And then right before you wash away the stabilizer, give those running stitches a snip and carefully pull them out.
  • Sometimes when stitching through the stabilizer, my needle can start to feel a bit gummy, especially if it is humid outside. A touch of rubbing alcohol on the needle can clean this right up.  Just be sure the needle is fully dry before you start using it again.
  • NOTE: I DO NOT love using stabilizer when it is really hot and humid outside, which pretty much describes a Texas summer exactly.  I feel like it becomes exponentially more difficult to use - the needle gets gummy and is difficult to pull through the fabric.  The floss itself starts to get a bit fussy. I just don't like it. However, in the fall/winter/spring months, I love using stabilizer.  I don't tell you this to scare you away from it - but more to give you awareness.  I will always tell it to you straight about what I like and don't like about tools and products that I use.
  • While I have had so much success using this technique, I do run a test on each new-to-me fabric just to be sure that the stick-and-stitch will not alter the look of the fabric after it’s been rinsed away.
  • Stick-and-stich stabilizer can sometimes be tricky to use on really dark fabric because it becomes difficult to see. Again, just test it out on a small swatch to see what you think.
  • When purchasing stick-and-stitch stabilizer, double-check that it is the water-soluble kind and it has a peel-off backing. That peel-off backing is important if you want to run it through the printer.


You can find my favorite stick-and-stitch paper HERE.



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