Have you ever walked down your store’s sewing aisle and wondered what those little pizza cutters were doing there? Actually, they’re tracing wheels, used to mark darts, button placement, seams, pleats, and folds on fabric. A serrated metal wheel mounted on a wooden or plastic handle, this tool is often used in conjunction with transfer paper. Simply lay a sheet between the fabric and the tool and run the edge of the wheel along the surface of the paper in the shape of your desired pattern. Like carbon paper, transfer paper leaves a mark with pressure, and your tracing will appear on the fabric beneath. Without transfer paper, the serrated edge of a tracing wheel leaves a line of perforations that you can easily follow while cutting and sewing. Browse our selection of the best tracing wheels below.
1. Clover Double Tracing Wheel
Double tracing wheels are an extra-helpful version of the tool. Designed with two wheels that can be positioned a variable distance apart, this device transfers two parallel pattern lines onto fabric. The two-line mark is useful because one serves as the cutting line, and the other as the sewing line. The distance left between the two lines is the seam allowance. The width between the two wheels on Clover’s tool can be altered in increments of 5 millimeters from 10 millimeters up to 30 millimeters.
2. Prym Toothed Edge Ergonomic Tracing Wheel
Ideal for those with carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis, this tracing wheel facilitates fatigue-free work. With a slender, curved handle and recessed index finger rest, the ergonomic plastic handle provides a comfortable grip. The toothed wheel glides smoothly over fabric and leaves clear, well-delineated markings.
3. Dritz Tracing Wheel
Dritz is a dependable brand for affordable, well-made sewing tools. This particular tool has an angled handle for better control and a serrated edge that transfers markings through even doubly thick textiles. The plastic handle features a cut-out that allows easy hanging.
4. Singer ProSeries Tracing Wheel
This tracing wheel features two blades: one serrated and one smooth. The wheels can be used together to mark parallel cutting and sewing lines, or they can be used separately. The folding design makes for convenient storage.
5. Prym Parallel Tracing Wheel
This intelligently designed device both cuts a serrated line and leaves a parallel line of chalk. You can alter the width between the serrated line and the chalk by moving the wheel forward or back along a series of notches. The tool also features an ergonomic plastic grip.