Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Embroidery Iron-on Transfer Book – Tres Nice!


Amazon Books

I don’t often use iron-on transfers for hand embroidery. I’m more of a trace-your-pattern sort of gal, or transfer it in other ways, depending on the project. But good iron-on patterns have their place, and they are a Very Convenient way to get an embroidery design onto a piece of fabric.

The problem is, there’s not that great of a variety of embroidery designs available as iron-on patterns. There are, of course, the Aunt Martha iron-ons which have been around for a long time. And there are the fun-and-funky, very trendy Sublime Stitching (and similar) designs, for craft embroidery.

But for other types of general surface embroidery designs that are a little more classic and will withstand the test of time, it’s somewhat difficult to find iron-on transfers. Generally, if I’m looking for iron-on transfers that fall into this category, I look for them abroad among the French and the Italians. (For example, these Mani di Fata iron-on transfers from Italy or these iron-on transfers from Mains et Merveilles of France.)

And that brings us to the book I want to show you. DMC France has a book out that is jam-packed with a huge variety of embroidery designs in iron-on-transfer form. It’s called Fleurs en Transferts or Flower Transfers.

Fleurs en Transferts: Iron-on Floral Transfers for Embroidery

Now, the cover might not tell you much. The colorful samples on the cover all pretty similar due to the way they are stitched. But, as with any type of design, you are certainly not limited to approaching the designs in the same way.

Fleurs en Transferts: Iron-on Floral Transfers for Embroidery

The designs in the book are suited to all types of embroidery, from colorful free-style surface embroidery, to whitework, to goldwork, to different types of folk techniques – whatever approach interests the stitcher.

Fleurs en Transferts: Iron-on Floral Transfers for Embroidery

The book features plenty of individual design elements that can be worked in isolation, as well as borders that can be repeated (think tablecloths, pillowcases, curtains, what-have-you).

Fleurs en Transferts: Iron-on Floral Transfers for Embroidery

There are large, bold designs as well as small, delicate designs throughout the book.

Fleurs en Transferts: Iron-on Floral Transfers for Embroidery

There’s even a monogram alphabet decorated with roses – although a little caution here. I do believe this is the publisher’s mistake, but the photo above shows the ink side of the iron-on, and in fact, those letters should be inverted. If you ironed them onto the fabric as they are (ink side down), your letters would end up backwards. So there is this one little glitch in the book!

Other than that, though, among the several hundreds of transfers in the book, you are bound to find many that will entice you into a new project!

There are a couple pages in the front of the book with some stitch instructions (simple diagrams) and instructions on using the transfers, but all the text is in French. If you’re afraid of a language barrier, don’t be – there is no special knowledge presented in the book that can’t be found in any instructions for iron-on transfers.

As with most iron-on transfers, the ink does not necessarily wash out. You should always test your fabric first, so that you know how careful you need to be about covering the design lines.

If you’d like to get ahold of this collection of iron-on transfers, you can find the book through The French Needle (in the US), also through third-party booksellers on Amazon (check the shipping speeds on those – most of them are coming from Europe), or, in Europe, through Amazon France.


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(14) Comments

  1. These are very pretty. I’ve found a couple of iron on transfer books at Goodwill. Not sure I’ll ever use them but they were exciting to find. One has Christmas decorations and the other is all floral. The floral book also has a color key and “map” of where each color goes. That’s helpful since I have no color sense. I’m just happy to see these type of patterns are still available. There’s something nostalgic about them.

  2. Dear Mary

    The book looks interesting I like the monograms but with the mistake you would have to trace on the design which defeats the object of the book, but if there are loads of patterns in the book it would be worth buying, but I would like to look at the book first to see if I would buy it, it depends on the designs inside the book. Thanks for reviewing the book and sharing your thoughts with us.

    Regards Anita Simmance

    1. The monograms could be ironed on to another piece of paper and then traced on the other side with iron-on pencil. That would seem to be the easiest way to do it. I think the patterns you showed look promising. Something in between the wilder patterns and some of the more “tired” patterns from Martha.

  3. Oops on that error!

    These remind me quite a bit of a book I have (and I’ve seen others) by Dover Publications, with iron-on transfers.

  4. Lovely stuff, as always, Mary. As to the glitch, I remember my grandmother, who always finely embroidered her own handkerchiefs, showing me the right way to transfer was to apply the transfer to the ‘wrong’ side of the fabric and her fabrics were always fine enough to still clearly see and work the transfer

    1. An, yes – I’ve actually done it that way, myself, and that would work fine for any lightweight fabric. The heavier the fabric, though, the more problematic it becomes. Good point! Thanks for bringing it up! -MC

  5. Mary, thank you for all this wonderful research that you pass on to us. I love the patterns. I looked very hard a few months ago for pretty iron on patterns, to no avail and here you show us this wonderful book. Well, it’s off to order the book. Thanks again!

  6. Thanks for this Mary! Just what I need to get out of the comfort of counted stiching (cross stich, hardanger, Blackwork etc) and venture into the world of surface embroidery.

    Doreen from Maine

  7. I’ve never tried iron-on transfers, but given that transferring the design is easily my least favourite part of embroidery, I might just have to pick up this book! Thanks for another great find (I picked up some DMC Diamant the other day, after reading your review, and it’s fantastic.)

  8. Oh Mary!

    I love this! I’m always looking for transfers that aren’t childish and they are hard to find. Iam design challenged and have a hard time even drawing a straight line so transfers or prestamped kits like ones from the French Needle are what keep me going. I’m definitely going to purchase this little diddy!

    Melissa Bird

  9. I love this book. I bought mine off Amazon.com used and really cheap. I keep reading through the book and love it.

  10. I am so excited. The French Needle has “Fleurs en Transferts” or Flower Transfers back in stock and mine arrived yesterday. I sure wish there were an English version, but I’m thrilled with the patterns. Thanks Mary for pointing us to this book.

    1. Also, I think they must have corrected the alphabet reverse problem. In my book, it is backwards on the ink side, so it will transfer the correct way.

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