When I first became interested in embroidery back in 2017 I struggled to find the right resources and information I needed on materials to get started. You can purchase material starter packs to get you going but I hope this quick guide may be useful to those of you navigating your way through the start of your embroidery journey.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
I’m frequently asked what material I use in my embroidery, I personally prefer to embroider on Linen, I do like using cottons but 90% of the time its on Linen. My favourite linens are the Robert Kaufman Essex Linen collection, I love the quality and colour options. The colours all have a natural earthy feel to me and no brassy tones which I find with some cotton collections.
Here are some links to my ‘Go to Colours’ which if you follow my Instagram you will see in use frequently.
There are lots of different thread companies out there, most common are DMC and Anchor threads. I personally haven’t strayed from using DMC threads since I first found them although I have used Anchor threads in the past. DMC have a huge variety of thread types and colours, the most common is their ‘Stranded Cotton’ range which comes in 500 colours to chose from, and are also six stranded and grouped into whats known as a ‘Skien’ Take a look at their website for their full colour range.
However if you’re like me when I was just starting out you may find picking out of 500 colours difficult, you can buy mini Starter Packs which will give you a selection of basic colours to get you going until you find your favourites and get some momentum going in your thread collection.
To assist in your thread collection you can purchase thread organisers to help keep your threads neat and in order, I find these also help when I’m deliberating on which shades and colours to use as you can see them all immediately in front of you. The one I have linked also includes 100 bobbins to wind your thread on.
You can find all sorts of inventive ways to wind your thread onto your bobbin but there are cheap tools out there which can help you.
Picking an Embroidery hoop will depend largely on what project you’re working on. If you have purchased a pattern you should have received a list of materials which will also tell you which size hoop you need. I do have my ‘go to’ sizes which are 6 inch, 7inch and 10 inch. Typically I use these sizes the most.
Picking the right embroidery hoop is very important and shouldn’t be overlooked, you need a high quality hoop which will grip your fabric tightly so you can get the tension right when you’re embroidery. Nobody likes a puckered fabric.
Embroidery Hoop Stands
This certainly isn’t a necessity if you’re just starting out, however I have had lots of questions recently asking me where I have got mine from so I wanted to include a quick link. Embroidery hoop stands are really helpful as they hold your work leaving you two hands while you embroider, you may find this helpful you may not. I use my embroidery stand for when I’m filming mainly.
Needles and Scissors
As with the embroidery hoops, the size of the needle will depend on the project you’re working on. Needles come in lots of different sizes and your better off purchasing a multi pack so you can find the best size for you. Although it does help if you change the needle size to the size of the project you’re working on, but we all have a favourite needle and sometimes I do have to remind myself to change sizes so I can get the best result.
Scissors: You don’t need fancy scissors to start with, but they will need to be sharp. There are lots of options and designs out there, I’m personally love the vintage looking ones these are from ‘Warm Crochet’
These ones are in their ‘Elizabeth’ style and if you enter ‘GKE’ at the check out you will get 10% off. (I’m not paid for this link, I was kindly gifted a pair which I like ALOT alot…!! and I was offered a discount code to give out to you all)
For so long I transferred all my designs onto fabric using a gel pen, there was nothing wrong with this method but it did mean I had to make sure I covered all pen marks with my embroidery and didn’t allow for any incorrect marks! About 6 months after I started stitching I came across water soluble pens and I can honestly say I have never looked back. They make transferring the pattern so easy and I can relax knowing if I make a mistake I can easily wash it out. You obviously do have to rinse the fabric under water when you have finished embroidering but in most cases you do this any way to get out any increases in your finished piece when you take it out of the hoop. They do have a larger nib so if you’re looking to transfer super fine details these may not be the pens for you. There are other options such as the Friction & Heat erasable pen which I have read so much good stuff about.
I hope you find this guide helpful, please let me know if there’s something you find useful that you think I have missed from the list.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
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