Embroidery for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know

Embroidery has probably existed as long as mankind has worn clothes, but most of the early evidence we can find for it comes from around 2000BC – including from the tomb of the famous Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun!

You can embroider for purely decorative purposes, such as a wall hanging, or you can use it to jazz up things around the home, like hand towels. One of the most fun things you can do with embroidery is personalize clothes, with flowers, initials, or whatever pattern you choose.

We’ve written a handy-guide for those who want to try their hand at this ancient craft – and get a cool new hobby in the process!

Here at Embroidery with Style, embroidery is our passion. Which is why we’ve written this handy guide and others – to help you find the best embroidery machine for beginners.

1. An Embroidery Machine or Hand Embroidery?

Both have their pros and cons, but it’s usually recommended that you get a good grasp on hand embroidery before you start using a machine.

Hand embroidery involves lots of craft techniques you would never learn on a machine, which means you’ll really get a feel for the process. Machine embroidery is great if you want to produce many complex designs quickly to sell.

2. Choose Your Surface

One of the best things about embroidery is that you can embroider on almost anything a needle will pass through. Cotton and linen are two of the most traditional materials, but leather, wool and velvet will all work too.

3. Get the Right Needle

You can’t just get going with any old needle! Embroidery needles all have one thing in common: a large eye, which can accommodate many strands of thread. The point must be appropriate for the surface you’re working on.

The three types of embroidery needle are tapestry (blunt), crewel (sharp), and chenille (sharp and long). Which one you need depends on the material you’re working on.

4. Pick Your Threads

Different threads work better for different type of projects. The most common kind of thread is perle cotton – this comes in a variety of colors and is 100% pure cotton. This works well for cross stitching.

Other thread options are conventional yarn and ribbon, which gives a really glamorous effect.

5. A Good Pair of Scissors

Not all scissors are created equal, especially when it comes to embroidery. The best kind of scissors for this application are stout and very sharp-ended. Go traditional and pick a decorative gold-handle stork pair – you’ll thank us later.

6. Hoops Are a Must

Hoops are the secret ingredient to successful embroidery. Hoops keep your fabric taut while you work to allow immensely detailed and intricate designs. Depending on the kind of work you’re doing, and the fabric you’re working on, choose different sized hoops.

Hoops that are larger are perfect for work that’s less intricate and that spans a large area. If you want to concentrate your work in one area, and very intricately, a smaller hoop would be better – just make sure you always have enough room to maneuver your hand!

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