Must Have Embroidery Supplies
Hand embroidery is such a fun and accessible hobby because there’s only a few basic materials needed to start, everything is relatively easy to find, and the materials are inexpensive compared to other art mediums. Choosing supplies that are good quality and suitable for hand embroidery will make it much easier to learn. Using the wrong materials will only hinder you’re learning process, so this page is full of hand embroidery supplies that I personally use and highly recommend for anyone looking to get started learning embroidery.
This article will go over the basics, but I’ve linked out to articles that go into greater detail about each embroidery material if you’re interested in learning even more.
This post contains affiliate links in it. I only recommend products that I trust and use.
Embroidery hoops are a must-have because they help to keep the fabric tight while you stitch on it. This helps to prevent the fabric from puckering, improves the quality and look of the finished embroidery, and aids in preventing hand fatigue. Hoops come in a variety of different materials (including metal, plastic, bamboo, and wood) as well as a range of different sizes. Most different types and sizes are available online and at most craft stores, and the type and size you use depends mostly on personal preference. Here’s an in-depth look at all of the different types of embroidery hoops and how to use them.
It can be overwhelming picking out the correct needle to use for embroidery. In fact, I’ve gotten home from the craft store only to find that I purchased the wrong kind numerous times. There are a ton of different types of needles in the sewing section of any craft store, and each one is made for specific types of needlecrafts. The eye, sharpness, length, and thickness of the needle all vary depending on what kind of needlecraft they are made for. The most common needles you can use for hand embroidery are embroidery needles and chenille needles, which are linked below. Read more about types of embroidery needles and their uses.
Embroidery Stabilizers and Fabric Markers
When starting a new embroidery project, you’ll want some way to transfer embroidery designs to the fabric. You can do this with fabric markers, heat erasable pens, carbon or chalk transfer paper, or even with embroidery stabilizers.
Stabilizers for hand embroidery aren’t a requirement, but they will most definitely help to support the fabric if you’re working on fragile or stretchy material. Here’s the best stabilizer for hand embroidery (in my opinion) that serves the dual purpose of transferring designs and stabilizing the fabric. There are, however, many different types of embroidery stabilizers to consider using depending on the purpose it will serve and the type of fabric being used.
There are many different types of embroidery threads to choose from including perle (braided) cotton, stranded cotton, variegated thread, etc. Floss can be made of various different fibers including, but not limited to cotton, wool, rayon, and acrylic.
6-strand cotton floss and perle cotton floss are great choices for beginners as they are easier to work with than synthetic materials.
I recommend DMC brand embroidery floss over all other embroidery threads because it seems to be the best quality and also has the widest variety of color choices available in the US. However, it is a bit more expensive than other brands of thread you can find at most craft stores. I did a comparison of some of the most common brands in this embroidery thread review if you’d like to read about more affordable options.
A good pair of sharp embroidery scissors and some fabric scissors is a must. Take a look at this roundup post of 9 aesthetically pleasing embroidery scissors available on etsy.
It may seem a little overboard, but I like to exclusively use my fabric scissors for cutting fabric and embroidery scissors for cutting thread. Using them for other purposes tends to wear them out and make them dull faster.
The easiest fabrics to work with for hand embroidery are natural fabrics such as linen and cotton. This is because they are relatively durable, don’t have any stretch, and the weave of the fabric is even. All of these qualities make it easier to pull a needle and thread through and you won’t have the headache of puckered or torn fabric when you’re finished. Read even more about how to find the best fabric for embroidery.
These accessories are not necessary, but it is beneficial to have good lighting when you’re embroidering as well as a stand to hold the hoop. Your hands and eyes will thank you later!
Check out this embroidery hoop stand comparison and review.
A lot of the supplies linked above are from Amazon or larger chain companies. Whenever I can, I love to support other small business and makers, so definitely check out this post that has a bunch of hand embroidery supplies you can buy on Etsy.