1. What You Need for Hand Embroidery

Hand Embroidery basic supplies you need to get started.

This is Part 1 of a 5 Part Series: Links to others at end of article


You don't really need a lot of "stuff' to get started in hand embroidery. I am writing these short little posts to save you a lot of time and frustration, and I am happy to share some of my favorite things with you. See our Hand Embroidery Patterns and Kits . We also carry a limited selection of Notions and Fabrics.

Buying good quality supplies and tools doesn't have to be expensive, but it really helps to know what works, what doesn't. These are my favorite go to items that I use every day. I carry a few of the basics, and they are highlighted. This is what I recommend, and if you keep reading below the list I will tell you exactly why.

  • prewashed fabric, cotton,linen, or silk,  Linen
  • a small pair of really sharp embroidery scissors, I use Ginghers 4" size
  • good quality English or Japanese embroidery needles,  Needles
  • 2 -3 skeins of embroidery floss, I use DMC floss
  • beeswax to keep your thread from tangling  Beeswax
  • fabric marking pen: Frixion is what I currently use most of the time, Markers
  • spool of regular sewing thread
  • some sort of a pattern, a design, or just a ruler if marking straight lines
  • No Embroidery Hoop. See below

Alright, so here are some of the reasons why for the list above.

Fabrics: You want wash your fabric first to remove any sizing or chemical residue and to shrink it before you start so the shrinking is not an issue later on. There are some silks I don't wash like taffeta or brocade. Also washing the fabric usually softens it up quite a bit making it much easier to stitch through. And you don't want to stitch on a cotton fabric that is too tightly woven. If you can't get your needle through the fabric easily, your embroidery project is not going to be much  fun to make.

Needles: Needles are really important. If you don't use the good needles, stitching can be like sticking a nail through a piece of tent canvas. Really! To start out, buy a pack of assorted sized needles to  see which size you like using best. I recommend: Mary Arden, John James, bohin, Sizes 5 - 10

Markers: I actually use 3 different types of markers, and I will write another blog post to talk about that more.

Embroidery Hoop: I didn't believe stitching without a hoop would actually work. But it does. It works really well! You won't believe how much easier it is to stitch without a hoop, and my work looks better than ever. Again, I will write another post to go over this process.

I hope you find this information helpful. It just pains me terribly to see people struggling to get started with hand embroidery. I have made lots of mistakes, learned by trial and error, and now I want to save you all that trouble. Happy stitching, and please leave a comment if you found this post to be helpful.