With this complete list of basic and essential embroidery supplies and tools, you’ll be finishing off masterpieces in no time. Embroidery has always been one of the most beautiful crafts in history. Think of Victorian tea rooms filled with women in fancy gowns, busy with their hoops, fabrics, and threads! Doesn’t that make you excited to experience a taste from the past? Learn which tools and materials you must have to get started in this wonderful hobby by reading the list below:
A Beginner’s Guide to Embroidery Supplies
1. Choosing the Right Fabric
Your fabric serves as the foundation for your entire embroidery project. As such, choosing the right kind of fabric could either make or break your project. You want to choose a fabric that holds the structure and weight of your threads even without the hoop.
Avoid fabrics which wrinkle or pucker up with stitches. Choose lighter fabrics which are more forgiving. Pay attention to the thread count on your fabric as well.
TIP: As a beginner, you might want to start with cotton first. Cotton has a looser weave and lower thread count. This means your needle can easily puncture through the threads. Reserve the higher thread count fabrics for when you are more experienced with your embroidery needles.
2. Getting the Right Embroidery Threads
In embroidery, threads are just as important as the fabrics you use. Your embroidery gets the texture it needs to be a gorgeous masterpiece with the right kind of thread. Most beginners use stranded cotton threads. Also known as embroidery floss, these threads come in skeins. They are also separated from one to six separate fine threads.
3. Selecting a Marking Tool
A marking tool is essential to your embroidery project. This allows you to transfer your designs from pattern to fabric. It also serves as a guide on where to start and stop stitching. I highly recommend using water-soluble fabric markers. They can washes off easily after your project. Learn more about patterns and how to transfer them to your fabric with this tutorial from Needle n Thread.
4. Choosing the Right Needle for the Task
One of the most basic tools in embroidery is the needle. As with sewing, there are different types of needles needed for different kinds of embroideries. This photo from Craftsy is a great visual for needles you may use in embroidery. For beginners, I highly recommend these three types of needles:
The Crewel Needle
The crewel needle, seen on the left, is considered the most basic embroidery needle. It has a sharp tip with a medium-long eye that is slightly bigger than its shaft.
The Tapestry Needle
The tapestry needle, the one in the middle, has a blunt tip and longer eye that is slightly larger than its shaft. Compared to the crewel needle, it has a shorter shaft.
The Milliner Needle
The milliner needle, on the right, features a pointed tip, very long shaft, and an almost round eye.
5. Getting the Right Hoops and Frames
The most prominent supply in embroidery is its hoops. Hoops keep your fabric in place and keep your embroidery from getting warped. Once done, you can place your embroidery in frames that come in plastic or wood.
6. Selecting the Right Kind of Scissors
In choosing the right kind of embroidery scissors, make sure to get a sharp and thin pair. We also want to make sure they get as close to the fabric as possible to cut threads cleanly.
7. Keep an Organized Storage
After your first embroidery project, I assure you, you’ll want to try many more. Embroidery is fun and relaxing. This is probably why people love to keep it a lifelong hobby. Keep a neat storage box for your skeins of threads. Check out what Little Lovelies by Allison did in the image shown. Also, keep a place to hang your hoop for your future projects. An organized sewing space encourages greater productivity.
Check out Amanda Rolfe’s video on 7 Basic Embroidery Stitches that will surely come in handy:
These hand embroidery supplies for beginners are super easy to find and readily available at your local embroidery shops and craft stores. There’s nothing more exciting than learning new crafts and knowing the materials you need are accessible. Take advantage of this simplicity and start your first embroidery project today!
Which of the hand embroidery supplies do you own? We’d love to know and read about them all! Leave your thoughts and tips in the comment section below!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 29, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.