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7 Must Have Hand Embroidery supplies…

7 must have hand embroidery supplies

When I started out in Embroidery I was fascinated by the amount of information out there and as a beginner you can be quickly overwhelmed by the what’s why’s and how to’s of Hand Embroidery!

Here I have detailed 7 Must have Hand Embroidery supplies I feel are necessary to make your piece of work as good as it can be, let’s go…

Quality Fabric


Ooooh, I love fabric!

Nothing makes your work stand out better than the fabric you choose to stitch on. Having a bit of a fabric addiction, I can safely say I have tried a whole variety of different ones as its great to see the impact it actually does have on the finished piece. Believe me, its surprising but very true.

Some of my favourites…

100% wool Felt, 100% Klona Cotton, Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton, Robert Kaufman Essex Linen, Pre Shrunk Calico

Beautiful Threads

threads copy2

There are so many delicious Threads to stitch with so don’t just get in the habit of sticking with what you know. DMC and Anchor have a fabulous array of colours in stranded, perle, soft cotton but there are so many different types to try as well in different fibres and lots of exciting colours from many different manufacturers.

Quality Needles


There are many different types of Embroidery Needle. They come in many sizes – the larger the number, the thinner the needle will be.

Crewel or Embroidery Needles are the best type for Hand Embroidery – they are medium sized in length with a sharp point and a long eye  (this allows more than one strand of embroidery floss to be threaded at the same time).

I find a size 7 is my most used and go for a quality make as it makes all the difference. John James needles are excellent in my humble opinion!

Embroidery Hoop


It’s that ‘Q’ word again – Quality! This is just my personal view based on many a stitching project!  

For a quick and simple set up and stitch – the ones I like to stitch with are Elbesee Hoops – great price, great quality and by far the best I have come across so far.

For more detailed, time consuming projects I love my  Elbesee Seat frame as I have 2 hands free to stitch and its a bit quicker.

Other frames you could use include the following …

Q snap Frames  – Not for me, I tried this but didn’t find it a comfortable stitch experience and was constantly having to turn the ribbed clamps to tighten as I stitched.

Spring Embroidery Hoop  – perhaps these are better for machine embroidery. I tried these thinking they would be great but for me the tension just wasn’t tight enough for hand stitching.

Flexi Hoops – I love these for framing my work at the end as they make them look fabulous!

ulky sticky Fabri Solvy water soluble Stabilser

sticky fabri solvy

There are a multitude of ways to transfer your hand embroidery design to your fabric but this is my ‘go to’ design transfer method if I want quick results, am using dark or thick fabric, or if the design is really intricate and fiddly to draw.

If you have not tried this then you must give it a go, you will never look back! You can purchase single sheets from my Etsy shop.

Stabiliser Fabric

I am a firm believer in stabiliser fabric being a necessity in Hand Embroidery unless you are using Wool Felt or similar which is thick enough to support your stitches on its own.

All you need is some Calico – I use this one as I find it lovely and soft and a nice weight.

Benefits of using a stabilser fabric behind your main fabric are…

  • Adds support to your stitches
  • Hides the threads at the back if you are a bit messy!
  • Gives you an easy way to start off and finish your thread
  • Makes your work look so much better at the end

A Fun and Inspiring Pattern

Possibly the most important choice you will have is your pattern. Make sure you choose something that you really like and that excites you otherwise you will give up before you finish!

butterfly embroidery pattern by stitchdoodles

We all have our favourite things – mine are dogs and rabbits – so I absolutely love stitching these and am always excited to see the end result.

Make sure it is achievable for your skill set and is easy to follow with lots of pictures. A great hand embroidery pattern can be ruined by a frustrating and badly written pattern so choose wisely! Pick something you love the look of and can follow and it will be a joy to stitch from start to finish.

Take a look at the hand embroidery patterns in my shop for some inspiration to get you stitching… StitchDoodles Shop

Happy Stitching!!!   ♥

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