As with most crafts, getting started on hand embroidery can seem daunting when you consider the huge array of available hoops, frames, needles, thread cutters ... whew, you get the picture. But don't be fooled! The list of actual hand embroidery essentials is refreshingly short. In fact, all you technically need is a needle (if you're cool cutting thread with your teeth ... no comment). I recommend the handful of tools below to get you started.
Sure, You Could Learn These Lessons the Hard Way. Or, You Could Get Advice From Someone Who’s Been There
I first tackled embroidery in middle school — I mean, who DIDN’T want an embellished denim shirt in the mid-70s? Unfortunately, I was teaching myself, using random supplies I found in my mom’s sewing stash. That little brown puppy design definitely didn't turn out as cute as I’d envisioned. Luckily, nothing could kill my budding textile obsession.
Hand embroidery is all about those stitches. But those stitches are all about that floss. Not sure what to use for your next project? Let's take a look at your choices. Really, it comes down to the big three: cotton, silk, and wool. Sure, there are other specialty fibers you can use, but these three will be your heavy hitters (and the easiest to find).
We're on a mission to get you stitching! From picking floss and needles, to making your first stitches, we have everything you need right here.
Turn your inspiration into action. We'll show you how.
Watch + Learn
...will make all your stitching dreams come true!
Start your first project, a tropical floral wreath, by reviewing key stitches such as the backstitch, satin stitch and stem stitch. Practice the fishbone stitch, before exploring color shading and gradations with the long and short stitch.
Needle (or thread) painting is a truly artful way to embroider. Here, Jessica shows you how to use this technique to create furlike stitching for your second project, a bear cub design. She also shares tips for making expressive animal features including eyes, ears, a snout and couched mouth.
Your Next Project Is Here!
DO MORE IN EMBROIDERY
Discover the joys of hand embroidery alongside slow fashion pioneer Natalie Chanin.