Updated June 11, 2021.
The simple answer is NO, not ever, never.
I got this question recently from a reader.
This is the right way to transfer a design to canvas:
No you do not use tracing paper, the material in it will rub off and discolor your threads.
Here’s what you do:
- Trace the outlines of your design on the paper with a black marker so it is easy to see through the canvas.
- Place the canvas on top of the design. If it’s hard to see, tape the design, then the canvas to a window or lightbox. It’s easy to find inexpensive USB lightboxes on Amazon.
- Using a permanent marker made for making on fabric (I like Pigma Microns from Sakura myself & they are widely available), trace the lines of the canvas.
- Let sit overnight to dry completely before stitching.
You can see the steps used to do this in my illustrated tutorial.
I did lots of testing of potential canvas markers and wrote this post about them. I have used other markers and any marker can have the formula for the ink change and no longer be suitable for needlepoint. It’s good to test from time to time.
A final note: Never use anything to mark on canvas that isn’t waterproof, made for fabric, or tested. Always let dry overnight because many things become waterproof only after they dry completely.