Quick Start Guide!
"How do I get started with hand embroidery?"
Consider this page your guide.
What is hand embroidery?
Embroidery is a craft focused on decorating the surface of a fabric with thread. It is different than cross stitch (done in grid form) and needlepoint. It can be done by hand (as a hobby or for fine couture clothing) or by machine (used for industrial purposes such as decorating sports uniforms and manufactured clothing).
This article will focus on teaching you what you need to get started with hand embroidery.
What do you need to do hand embroidery?
To do hand embroidery, the supplies you need are very simple. You'll need:
1. a fabric to stitch on.
2. a hoop to hold the fabric tight while you stitch.
3. a needle and some thread.
4. a pattern to follow (this is optional - you can also stitch without a pattern).
Embroidery can be done on almost any fabric, but the most common types are linen and cotton. See more about choosing a fabric in my post HERE.
Embroidery hoops come in many types. The most common type is wood, followed by plastic. Old fashioned ones made of metal can still be found in thrift shops if you search. Embroidery hoops vary wildly in quality. Some are splintery and have weak clasps; others are polished wood with sturdy brass clasps. Plastic ones tend to be sturdy but less pretty for display.
Embroidery needles usually have a wide eye and a sharp tip. Tapestry needles have a wide eye but a less sharp tip. Needles come in different sizes - the smaller the number, the bigger the needle. Buy good quality ones.
Embroidery thread comes in a few different kinds. The most common is embroidery floss, and another type is pearl cotton. Floss is 6 strands of thread all grouped as one; you can stitch with all 6 as one, or separate down to smaller groups. Pearl cotton comes as two strands twisted together and isn't meant to be separated.
There are quality differences; if you want to enjoy stitching, buy good quality thread. DMC and Anchor brand are what I recommend.
Floss comes in skeins. Pearl cotton comes in skeins or balls.
You can buy fabric with the pattern printed on it already, or you can buy a pattern and apply it to your fabric. You can also design something yourself.
How do you actually do hand embroidery?
Now that we've talked about the supplies you need to do embroidery, we can move on to how to actually DO embroidery!
The process is very simple. Essentially you will put your fabric into your hoop; put your thread into your needle; tie a knot at the end of your thread; and bring the needle up through the fabric, pulling the thread, and back down again to create stitches.
I created a video post that shows you:
-How to load your fabric into your embroidery hoop
-How to separate your thread (if needed)
-How to thread your needle
-How to tie a knot
-How to start and end your stitching
-How to do all the basic stitches - including back stitch, running stitch, stem stitch, satin stitch, French knot, chain stitch, and lasy daisy.
Phew! It's going to teach you everything you need. Please enjoy!
I hope this guide has been helpful! Please contact me if you have any questions.