How to Embroider Letters? Step by Step Guide for You

Embroidering letters on a piece of fabric can be a heart touching gift for loved ones. It's years old believe that you can make your near ones feel your emotion through embroidery artwork.

how to embroidery letters

Even if you want to customize your fabric, embroidering letters could be a great way to do that. It isn’t that difficult, and you should give it a try at least once in a lifetime. So, here you'll learn how to embroider letters.

Learn more about how to embroidery letters

Things you'll need: for embroider letters

  • Pen/pencil
  • Stencil
  • Carbon paper (dress maker’s one)
  • Blunt stylus
  • Freezer paper
  • Fabric
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Inkjet printer
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Embroidery hoop (not mandatory)
  • Sewing machine with the embroidery needle
  • Embroidery thread
  • Template
  • Single-sided stabilizer
  • Spray adhesive
  • METHOD 01: Transformation of letters

    Draw the desired letters on the targeted fabric using a pen or pencil

    Draw the desired letters by free-hand drawing with a pencil for a faint outline and with a pen for a borderline that you can follow. Using chalks are more convenient for drawing on fabrics; still, avoid it as it can fade away due to rubbing.

    If you choose a pen, then look for a specialty or one that is water-soluble. Don’t forget this is your sketch to follow the main artwork. So, you have to wash the mark later.

    Don’t panic if you can’t draw uniform letters with the free-hand draw. It will eventually be rustic or childlike fonts.

    Stenciling the letters

    Lay a stencil on the fabric if you want evenly shaped alphabets. It's a common phenomenon for the stencil to move while working on it. You can tape down the stencil’s sides using masking tape, scotch tape, or craft tape for making it constant. Use a sharp pencil or pen for this job.

    Stencils can be both intricate and simple. You can make them on plastics or papers, or buy them from craft shops.

    Trace the alphabets using carbon paper

    Lay the carbon paper flat on the fabric, making the carbon side face the fabric. Remember to buy the dress maker’s carbon paper. Lay a paper on the carbon paper, and the paper should have your designed font. Trace the alphabets on the paper using a blunt stylus and push a little so that the carbon paper has got the fonts.

    As you're tracing, you need to look through the stuff clearly while transferring letters. That means for color contrasting, use light-colored carbon paper for dark fabric and vice versa.

    Use of inkjet printer

    You can use an inkjet printer for printing the alphabets on fabric. Choose fabrics like a light canvas that you can run through your inkjet printer. Put a freezer paper on the fabric, make the shiny side face the fabric, and iron over it to stick to the fabric.

    Now, cut the paper stick fabric into 8½” by 11″ or 22cm by 28cm. In this way, you can run the fabric through the printer without any interruption. You can customize the style of the fonts on the printer.

    You can also customize the size and position of the print.

    METHOD 02: Hand-stitching the alphabets

    Back stitching

    Take an embroidery hoop and secure your fabric within it.  Now you'll be stitching your letters by the backstitching process. It means you'll start from the back of the fabric and getting the needle out of the fabric from the front. You should leave a space of one stitch while pulling out the needle from the fabric. It would be great if you can make multiple alphabets with the same continuous threads.

    Back stitching creates smooth & continuous alphabets.

    You can also give an outline of the alphabets with the backstitching tactic.

    You can either leave the alphabets outlined or can fill them in.

    By using the stem stitching method, create a twisted rope

    Insert your needle from the back of the fabric and pull it from the front, making one stitch. As for the length of the stitch, make it as you like. Now, again insert the needle from the back of the fabric, but now it won’t be from the first stitch’s end.

    It will come out from the halfway upside of the first stitch. Follow this tactic for the whole alphabet. This tactic is useful for creating loops, curves, or cursive alphabets.

    Braid effect: Splitting yarn through the stem stitching

    This style fairly goes by the name. First, you'll make a common stitch: insert the thread from the fabric’s back and pulling it out from the front, and then keeping the length as you like inserting the needle into the fabric from the front to the back.

    After the one stitch, you're to split it. That means, when you again insert the needle from the back, your position of inserting the needle will be from the middle of the first stitch.

    Typically, you can say you're splitting the first stitch from the back, keeping the desired length, and pulling through the back again, creating the second stitch. Continue the tactic for the whole design with the same yarn.

    In this style, the alphabet will look braided.

    Running stitch can form dashed-line alphabets

    Here you work on the surface of the fabric for making the space. Bringing the needle from the back, lay it flat, and insert the needle from those parts of the fabric where you'd go for the second, third, and fourth stitches. Push the needle in the tail and pull it with the tip to go through those fabric’s parts at a time.

    It seems like you're creating multiple stitches by lifting the needle a bit in the middle of work to create the space. Again, do the process for the entire design or alphabets with the same yarn.

    Method 03: Machine-stitching the alphabets

    At first, apply a stabilizer to your fabric

    Take an ironing board and lay the stabilizer on it. Now, set the fabric on the stabilizer. Face the fabric’s underside to the stabilizer. Now, you have to fuse the stabilizer with the fabric using the iron. So, use the iron on the steam setting. The reason behind this fusing is to strengthen the fabric with the stabilizer so that we can easily embroider it using a template.

    You have to apply the stabilizer on the entire fabric price if the project is large enough.

    If you choose a washable fabric, you can wash away the stabilizer. Otherwise, you can tear or cut away the stabilizer.

    Spraying the adhesive

    Spray the adhesive (temporary) evenly on the fabric and press down the template on it. Your template should be the printed desired alphabets. In this way, the paper template will get stick to the target fabric.

    You can use a pin alternatively to the sprayer to place the paper on the fabric.

    Prepare your embroidery machine with the required thread and needle

    Prepare your machine with all the required elements it needs.

    Test the stitches size on a fabric’s scrap

    Load a scrap piece of your fabric and test the length and width of the stitch if it’s what you want or not. Then practice over two or three letters and make the adjustments.

    Hooping the stabilizer and the fabric

    Take a hoop that will eventually fit all your letters. Place your fabric on the embroidery hoop keeping the stabilizer on the bottom. Tighten the hoop keeping its top over your fabric. Make the fabric taut between the embroidery hoop.

    Now you'll machine-stitch along with the printed template by holding the embroidery hoop

    For securing the first few stitches on the fabric, you have to keep holding the hoop. Now, move the embroidery hoop to the machine and embroider the letters on your template. While moving from one letter to the other, be sure you fill or stitch the previous one’s outline.

    Instead of pulling on your fabric, be sure to move the embroidery hoop.

    Cutting the threads and backstitching the ends

    Once you finish the job of embroidering, pull your threads out by lifting the needle. Now detach the template paper and cut the thread, leaving the tail of 4-inch. Take a threaded needle and wave the last letter’s end by the backstitch method.

    final words:

    By now, you know how to embroider letters and well known the different stitching tactics. Normally, you won’t get the fact by reading the terms once. Read them carefully and go through some videos if you need them. Looking through some pictures will also help you get familiar with the stitching methods. 

    There're many methods in embroidering, so you can explore a lot without getting bored. And what will make you master the methods is the practice.

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