Text on fabric

I have an idea for E1 that involves putting a list of names onto long strips of cloth. They need to be reasonably hard wearing, as I want them to last as long as our characters do, and lightweight, as they will be hanging from the central pole of our tent.

An alternative is that I do the actual names on paper and then back onto cloth. While this is more within my comfort zone I’d be worried that they would not wear as well.

Does anyone have any advice? What stitches should I consider if I embroider? Is it highly unlikely I would manage to learn how to do it in the gulp four weeks until the event??

Your best bet for embroidery is either chain stitch or double running stitch, where you do a 1st pass, with a second pass to fill in the gaps. Both are fairly simple.

Chain is a bit more time consuming but makes a thicker line so easier to read from a distance, double running stitch is quite fast but produces a thinner line, good for smaller text.

Youtube will do you several tutorials I am sure.

Depending on how much you want to write getting some done before the event is not unfeasible. Drawing the design on with pencil (chalk or lead depending on colour of fabric) makes it easier and usually means you get the spelling right!

If you cut, and hem your fabric before you come it can be completed in the field which is quite fun and a good talking point if you like that kind of thing.


Thanks! I do remember doing chain stitch in my youth, hopefully it will all come swimming back.

For short term solutions that will do you a season or two if the stitching is time consuming - say you need a quick fix when short on time - then rather than straight fabric paint, I quite like gutta silk painting tubes, which let you write directly onto fabric and have a nice thin nozzle. We’ve used them in the League to make little ribbons with slogans on which people pin to their kit (the Looking Glass is fond of selling these to raise money for various causes, throw shade at rivals, and promote various agendas).



Oooh, thank you. I once wrote some stuff in Tippex using similar tools/nozzles, I can see how that would work in the same way.

I’ve found Dylon fabric paints very good, and they maintain a reasonable edge when painting. Sharpie also sell fabric markers that allow you to just write on your fabric.


Backstitch is a good one for embriodery, gets the same result as double running stitch, but you don’t have to go over the line twice.

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