If you want to learn how to do embroidery, here are the essential basic embroidery tools and materials that you need to get started!
A weird thing happens when you turn your hobby into your job…you no longer really have a hobby. A a result I recently started trying embroidery and I became hooked. I find it really relaxing to do. I also like that you can change colors and stitches a lot so it doesn’t get monotonous.
So I thought I would share what I have learned and we can talk about what basic embroidery tools and materials you need to get started learning how to do embroidery. If you have any other ideas that I haven’t mentioned, be sure to share them in the comments, I always love to hear what you have to say!
What is Embroidery?
Embroidery is the use of thread or floss and a needle to stitch a decorative design onto fabric. There are a variety of types of embroidery, a few of which are needlepoint, crewel work and cross-stitch, to name a few.
How Do I Learn Embroidery?
There are a million embroidery tutorial on the internet, I would suggest you start there. Especially with YouTube, you can find tutorials there for everything from how to thread the needle to every kind of embroidery stitch imaginable. They will show you how to put the fabric on the embroidery hoop and everything else you need to know to get started.
My one recommendation in learning embroidery is to start with a kit. It can be fun to just experiment but what I found helped most as a beginner was just practice. It was nice to not have to think creatively really, just follow some instructions as I was learning.
You can find either a sampler style kit that helps you learn basic stitches. Or if you are feeling kind of confident just go for a basic regular embroidery kit.
Which Embroidery Kit Should I Start With?
As I mentioned, I think starting with an embroidery kit that includes instructions, and adding in a little bit of Google/YouTube as needed is the best way to get started with embroidery if you are not taking a class. I found some good embroidery kits for beginners for you to look at:
Embroidery Sampler Kits
- Basic Sampler Kit with Stitches printed on the Fabric
- Rainbow Sampler Kit, all the practice of a sampler, but cuter
- Seasonal Sampler Kit
Embroidery Kits for Beginners
- Geometric embroidery kit
- Floral embroidery kits
- Birds embroidery kit
- Alphabet embroidery kits
- Cute animal embroidery kits
- Succulent embroidery kits
Embroidery Kits for Kids
What Basic Embroidery Tools and Materials Do I Need To Get Started?
As I said, most kits will come with, at the bare minimum, the fabric and the embroidery floss. This is great because those two things can be difficult to select on your own. There are few other tools and materials that you should consider having on hand before your kit arrives to successfully complete your basic embroidery project. If you have to pick the 5 most essential embroidery tools you need to get started, here they are! Ready?
- Embroidery needles – every single kit and sampler I’ve ever purchased came with a needle, but it can’t hurt to have extra on hand. You literally can’t do anything without it. Basic embroidery needles are perfect for beginners.
- Embroidery scissors or thread snips. These specialty super sharp, tiny scissors will help you trim your thread or embroidery floss, will be nice and sharp, and can fit easily into any small project bag. I like a pair with a blade cover to protect your fingers and your project bag.
- Needle threader – These make threading a small embroidery needle a lot easier. To use a needle threader, you insert the wire end through the eye of the needle, thread the thread through the wire and then pull the thread back through the eye of the needle. It’s so much easier!
- Invisible ink fabric pen – If your embroidery kit doesn’t come with the design printed on the fabric (or if you are designing your own) this pen allows you to put the design on the fabric and then remove it after you are finished either with water or heat.
- Needle minder – I didn’t even know needle minders were a thing, but after setting an embroidery project down for a second and losing the needle in the couch, I immediately got one. These magnets can stick to the fabric and magnetically hold the needle when you aren’t using it.
More Advanced Embroidery Tools and Materials
If you’re not using a kit, then you will need some other embroidery tools and materials that are a little more advanced.
- Embroidery Hoops – Get the correct size for your project, I like the wood ones.
- Embroidery Thread – The standard embroidery thread that sells at most fabric and craft stores is DMC 6 Strand Embroidery Floss. It comes in a million colors. If you think this is a hobby you will stick with, you can also get a DMC color card that shows you every color of embroidery floss they make.
- Other Types of Embroidery Needles – There are other types of needles used for embroidery, crewel needles are used for crewelwork and a tapestry needle has a blunt tip and is used for cross stitch often. Both of these types of needles come in different sizes depending on your project.
- Woven Fabric – For stand-alone embroidery projects, you need woven fabric. This is a fantastic article about how to choose the right embroidery fabric for your project.
- Embroidery Stabilizer – This material goes under or on top of fabric to make it more durable. It’s most often used when doing embroidery on thin or stretchy fabric (like a t-shirt, for example). This explanation is more in depth.
- Embroidery bobbins – These are used to wind extra thread. If you’re a beginner, you probably won’t have extra thread yet so you won’t need these right away.
- Needle Organizer – If you do a lot of embroidery, you will end up with a collection of needles. It’s a good idea to store them in some sort of organized fashion and safely so you don’t stab yourself. There are needle storage tubes, storage/organization pincushions and even needle/thread organizers all-in-one.
- Task light – you can reduce eye strain with a task light made for crafts, some of them even have built in magnifiers. Probably a good idea if you embroider a lot!
- Embroidery stand – if you really get into it, an embroidery stand holds your hoop for you, even better!
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