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7 Must Have Hand Embroidery supplies


There is so much to learn about Hand Embroidery

When you are new to embroidery you can be quickly overwhelmed by the what’s why’s and how to’s that this fabulous and addictive age old craft seems to attract.

Take a peak at the 7 Hand Embroidery supplies that I feel are must have’s to make your piece of work as good as it can be, let’s go…

Just so you know, this post may contains affiliate links.  If you click through to a website and register or purchase something, I get a commission from that sale at no extra cost to you. All opinions and reviews are my own. You can read the full disclosure here.

1. Fabric…

There is sooo much choice when it comes to fabric.

And the fabric you stitch on can make a very real difference to the end result when it comes to hand embroidery.

I have tried a wide variety of different fabrics – cotton, linen, mixed fibres and the difference to your stitching enjoyment as well as the way it looks when you are done can be quite amazing.

There are so many online retailers selling a variety of different fabrics and it is a great idea to buy a few smaller pieces in ones you want to try out so you can decide if you like it or not.

Having experimented with quite a few (!), I now know which ones I like to use in my stitching and have a small supply of fabric for you to choose from in my own shop, all of which have been chosen for Quality and Affordability when it comes to Hand Embroidery Stitching.

Once you pick your favourite (or favourites!) you can purchase pre cut sizes in the shop so you have all you need for your next project.

2. Embroidery Threads with that wow factor…

There are so many beautiful embroidery threads to choose from that are available from all over the world.

Cotton, linen, wool, silk and everything in between!

For fabulous quality and exciting colours you can’t go wrong with the well known brands such as DMC, Anchor, and Madeira with their 6 stranded embroidery floss.

Once you are comfortable stitching with stranded floss you can experiment with all the other types available and find out what a different type of thread can make to your stitching.

There are no limits to what you can use but there are limits to how easy some are and weather frustration gets the better of you!

3. Needles…

When you look for embroidery needles you can be quickly overwhelmed by the amount and type available!

They come in many sizes – the larger the number, the thinner the needle will be. Don’t stress – grab the most popular sized embroidery  needles and give them a try. As with anything – quality makes a huge difference.


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).

A Size 9 hand embroidery needle is what I use for most of my stitching – it is a nice small size but not too small for a beginner.

If I want to get more strands of thread in the needle, I use a size 5 hand embroidery needle – this is slightly bigger and you can get a full 6 strands in the eye.

As well as embroidery needles, it is great to have a tapestry needle set on hand as well. These are blunt ended and so perfect for stitches where you need to work on the surface for decoration – you will be surprised how often these come in handy!

If you are not sure and want to try stitching with each size to see which you prefer – try a mixed embroidery needle pack. All Stitchdoodles kits come with 3 needles – Size 5 (Beginner), Size 7 (Intermediate) and a Size 9 (Advanced) so no matter what level you are at – you will find the one that suits you.

4. Embroidery Hoops…

It’s that ‘Q’ word again – Quality!

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 in their price bracket.

embroidery hoop

You can read about all the different types of hoops available in this post here.

The hoops i find that are the best are the Nurge Square plastic hoops, you can read about them here.

5. Sulky sticky Fabri Solvy water soluble Stabilser…

sticky fabri solvy

There are a multitude of ways to transfer your hand embroidery design to your fabric.

There are a few methods that I use and talk about on this blog – one of which is this amazing dissolving paper called Sulky Sticky Fabri Solvy.

If you want quick results, are using a dark or thick fabric, or if the design is really intricate and fiddly to draw then I find this is the ideal solution.

If you have not tried this then it is definately worth experimenting with – you can purchase yours here… Sulky Sticky Fabri Solvy.

6. Stabiliser Fabric…

embroidery hoop

I always use a stabiliser fabric behind my main fabric for a bit of support as I like to stitch designs with plenty of stitching and filling. (It’s not really necessary if you are using a thick fabric such as Wool Felt or if you are doing simple outline stitching that don’t weigh much on the fabric).

All you need is a soft, light fabric – I use pre shrunk calico 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.

What more can I say!

You can read more about how to use a stabiliser fabric correctly here.

6. 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 so the whole stitching journey is a delight.

We all have our favourite things – I am always drawn to nature with plenty of flowers and animals to inspire – I absolutely love stitching these and am always excited to see the end result.

Make sure it is achievable for your skill set or if you want to stretch yourself, make sure the pattern is well written, easy to follow and has plenty of photos to guide you as you stitch.

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 Patterns

I hope this has helped get you stitching… why not join the Stitchdoodles ‘Happy Stitching FB Group’ and share your passion.

Happy Stitching!!!   ♥

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