How to Transfer a Rug Pattern onto Monks Cloth

One of my new designs was already on paper and completed as a miniature on linen.  I have not yet posted it.  But it turned out so well, I wanted to make a commemorative rug out of the same design.  I had two choices on how to achieve this transfer.  One, redraw it, which I did.  There are some slight differences between the two, but who would know? Two, you can take any sized sheet of paper to a print shop and for a significant fee have it enlarged to your exact measurements.  Be sure to ask for a translucent paper.

Once you have the design the size you want on paper, how do you get it onto monks cloth?  I read books and blogs and decided upon copying the design through a layer of tulle; the idea that once on the tulle you can retrace it with a dark magic marker that will go through the tulle and onto monks cloth.  So I took an hour meticulously tracing the design from paper to tulle, constantly readjusting the sheer fabric that my tape simply wouldn’t stick to.  Once I completed that transfer, which was barely visible on the open weave tulle, I attempted to retrace it after placing it atop the monks cloth.  Who’s idea was this?  It’s messy, difficult, and the fabrics just shift constantly.  It’s too poofy with the two fabrics together to get any real straight lines.  It just didn’t work at all.

But a better solution is not only simpler, it’s easier.  I taped my design which is on heavy artists tracing paper to the window.  Doing so provided lines and right angles to follow because the window is rectangular, like the rug.  Then I taped the monks cloth on top of it, using the graph lines woven into the fabric to keep things lined up.  It worked perfectly.  It’s straight and because I drew right on the fabric, I didn’t have to press hard with the magic marker, which, by the way, must be permanent so that you don’t have bleeding if you wash the rug.

I’m now ready to start punching this rug, once I gather all the necessary yarns.  I can’t wait to use my new Amy Oxford punch needles.

If someone has had success with the tulle option of transferring patterns, I’d like to know what, if anything, I did wrong.  But my opinion is that this is not a good technique, and using a window as a back light was quick, simple, and will be my chosen method for all future projects.

About Patsye

I am an older woman and artist. I love to craft. I love to sew and knit and crochet and needlepoint. I love to paint and draw and make art with my hands. Being creative is what gets me up in the morning. Art is my tea, my fresh air, my good book, and my cats all rolled into one. I have much to share and hope you'll visit often.
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7 Responses to How to Transfer a Rug Pattern onto Monks Cloth

  1. sue marquis bishop says:

    Love, love your your pictures. Your profile painting is
    The best! Thanks for visiting my blog. Sue

  2. Pat Merritt says:

    Instead of tulle, use “red dot fabric”, usually available at quilt shops, or maybe even Walmart. It’s inexpensive. It’s more stable than tulle, is made for transferring designs onto fabric, the design shows through perfectly using a sharpie and can readily be taped. You end up with a pattern that you can reuse as well.

  3. Hello “Older Woman”…you mentioned that you would like a light table but can’t spend thousands of dollars on one. If you go to my wordpress blog, I have a post that will show you how to take an inexpensive table, cut out the center, add some supports and put a piece of plexiglass in the cutout. I put three inexpensive clip-on lights on a little wooden bench under the table and “Hooray” a nice light table. I use this all the time for transferring my rug patterns to linen, monk’s cloth, etc. … a picture of it is on my Blog or on the Rug Hooking Daily forum.
    Happy Hooking! Sunnie : )

  4. kittyhere says:

    Yes using the light through the window sounds a whole lot easier than playing with tulle. What you did was create your artist’s tracing light board using the window. Smart move!

    • I’ve always wanted an light table, but they’re thousands of dollars and I have no place to put it anyhow. Oh how I long for a REAL studio! I have one of those 12″ by 15″ ones, but it’s very limited in its application. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Northern Narratives says:

    This is very interesting since I know nothing about making rugs, so thanks for the post. I enjoyed reading it.

    • You might enjoy punch needle or hooking rugs. It’s a great thing to keep you occupied in this cold weather. And handmade hooked rag rugs or those punched with pure wool will last forever. Thanks for commenting.

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