One of the hardest things about starting a new hobby is figuring out exactly what stuff you need to get going. We wanted to put together a quick series of posts looking at the essentials for different crafty pursuits. Up first: embriodery.
Hoops are essential for embroidery because you need to keep your fabric taut while you're working; otherwise, you can sew wrinkles into your projects, which would be very sad. In general, you want a hoop that matches the size of your project. We like wooden hoops, since they look nicer for finished pieces than plastic hoops do. They're super affordable and can be reused just about infinitely. A 6-inch hoop is a good starter size, especially if you're working on a sampler. Smaller hoops (3 or 4 inches) are good for patches, pins, and other small projects. These hoops can hold fabric of all thicknesses, including felt or aida cloth for cross-stitching.
Darice is a well-know brand that's easy to find, though you will sometimes get a hoop that's not perfectly round. Thankfully they usually still work to hold you fabric, and you can avoid this by buying your hoops in person.
DMC is the most widely available and famous cotton embroidery floss, and we like it because it's high-quality and easy to find. You'll likely find an array of colors at your local craft store or grab a variety pack online.
You can also purchase silk embroidery floss for special projects, though we like cotton for most all projects, because it's quite affordable and easy to use.
Once you unroll your embroidery floss, you'll see that it is composed of six individual strands. This means it's pretty thick and can be hard to thread through a lot of needles. This pack of large-eye embroidery needles features needles with eyes that are way, way bigger than most "emboidery" needles, which we find to be way too small.
As a rule, you don't want to embroider on any fabric that has stretch to it. You CAN embroider on denim, cotton, oxford cloth, linen, muslin or just about anything else that isn't stretchy (so no t-shirts!).
When you're just starting out, we recommend buying some cheap muslin fabric by the yard. And when you're ready to create a gift, 100% cotton tea towels are a great choice because everyone always needs more hand towels.
We love these pencils for drawing your embroidery design directly on your fabric before you start in with your thread. They're strong enough to wtihstand you touching and working on your project, but can be easily washed off with water. Very handy, but not essential if you're just starting out.
And that's all you need!
If you're looking for a kit, check out the awesome selection offered by Brooklyn Craft Company.
Here's all the individual materials compiled into a handy Amazon Shopping list, though of course you may want to shop around for better pricing!
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links; they help us pay the bills! Embroidery work in the photos was done by Rhiannon Platt.