Ultimate List of Hand Embroidery Supplies

So you’re here…you’ve found a new hobby…or rekindled your love for an old hobby…or you just need some new supplies. I see you and I understand the frustration that can come with reading up on a million different products.

When I first started embroidery, I did so much research and spent so much money looking for the perfect supplies.

I spent more than a few hundred dollars buying finished embroidery pieces from artists I greatly admired, bought all different kinds of fabric and threads and I’ve tried every version of an embroidery hoop I could get my hands on. I read blogs, joined crafting groups on social media, and so much more so now you don’t have to!

To me, the supplies mean everything when it comes to making your vision come to life.

That’s why I decided to make an easy guide to some of my favorite embroidery products you can get on Amazon.

If you’re new to embroidery, or you love new designs, I recommend trying out a pattern. I have LOTS of patterns to choose from in my shop. My patterns are mostly botanical-themed, but I’ve been having a really engaging time experimenting with embroidered lettering. There’s something for everyone!

I think a lot of people tend to worry when they’re not stitching their own designs and they’re only stitching patterns, but hey. You use recipes to make the perfect white-on-white cake…or the best ever lemon bars…and I bet you’ve done a paint by number piece before. No shame in the crafting game! All are welcome here.

Click on any image throughout this post to go straight to the product.

The Basics

Fabric

Starting the list off strong with my absolute favorite fabric in the world for embroidery: Kona Cotton. I specifically use the color Natural because I like the soft cream undyed look. The key to picking out a great fabric for embroidery is making sure it has a little give, has a tight enough thread count (no burlap), and isn’t too stretchy. That’s why I choose to embroider on quilters fabrics like 100% cotton and muslin.

Kona Cotton: Natural Starting at $9.98 a yard

Needles

My go-to needles are the DMC size 5 embroidery needles. They’re perfectly sturdy and the eye of the needle is big enough for your thread without too much of a hassle. When you’re picking out an embroidery needle, note that the lower the number the bigger the needle. A size 10 needle is really tiny and good for beading, for example. Embroidery needles have sharper tips that make it easy to push through your fabric and a little bit wider eyes for embroidery thread.

Size 5 DMC Embroidery Needles Starting at $4.99 for 16

Sometimes you also just need a little help in the needle threading department…and my favorite tool is this adorable little hummingbird needle threader! It’s easy to grip and makes for great extra aid. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be threading needles in your sleep. If your hands tend to be a little shakier or you have trouble threading your needle in general, skip the stress and go with a good needle threader.

Hummingbird Needle Threader Starting at $4.59

Hoops

If you’re looking for some quality hoops for a low price, I highly recommend these bamboo embroidery hoops. They come in a 12 pack and are so incredibly smooth and easy to tighten. These hoops are also gorgeous for holding finished projects you have to hang on the wall or put on your shelf. These are a must and are very affordable.

Bamboo Embroidery Hoops Starting at 13.99 for a pack of 12

 

If you’re looking for even sturdier hoops, want to splurge a little on your project, and you like gold hardware, I have really enjoyed using these wooden hoops from Patchwork. I like using these hoops when I’m making an especially important keepsake or gift. They’re great for keeping your finished project tightly in place.


Gold Hardware Wooden Embroidery Hoops Starting at $11.99 for 2

Tracing Methods

Listen. There is rarely a time that you will catch me without my handy water-soluble pen from Clover. I keep one in my purse, embroidery tote, car, on my desk, you name it. I love them so much. You don’t have to worry about staying in the lines or bleeding onto fabric. Simply trace your pattern onto the fabric with this pen and rinse it off with warm water when you’re finished stitching.

Water-Soluble Marker Starting at $4.99

If you’re working with a super detailed pattern or a pattern with lettering, I recommend using Sticky Fabri-Solvy. All you do is print your pattern directly onto the soft side and stick it onto your fabric. When you’re finished stitching, the substance rinses off with warm water. This option of pattern transfer is a stabilizer, so oftentimes, when you rinse it off it, will leave your thread feeling firm and stuck in place. Just something to be aware of!

Printable Sticky Fabri-Solvy Starting at 14.49 for a 12 pack

Looking to trace your pattern onto darker fabric? I recommend trying out a white fabric pencil. You can use the same method as the water-soluble marker and trace your design onto the fabric with a pencil. I haven’t found a water-soluble pencil that I like, so with this option just take note that you won’t be able to rinse off any leftover lines from your pattern.

White Fabric Pencil Starting at $5.99 for 3

Scissors

There’s nothing like a good, heavy, sharp pair of fabric scissors. I’ve been using these gold fabric scissors for years, and nothing cuts through cotton more smoothly. They’re fabulous, that’s all I have to say! Keep them in a special drawer so your significant other doesn’t use them to cut paper or chicken. You’ve been warned.

Gold Fabric Scissors Starting at $11.77

You’ll of course be wanting some snips for cutting your thread as you’re stitching. You cannot go wrong with a classic pair of golden stork scissors. This was my personal first pair of embroidery snips, so I’m a little biased, but these really are the best. They’re sharp and pretty, what more can you ask for?

Classic Stork Snips Starting at $17.17

 

Thread

The best quality thread out there, and my favorite of all time, is DMC brand floss. Every pattern and project uses different colors of course, but they have this lovely starter pack available with some staple colors. It happens to include some of the colors I use the most. You can always play with your own colors, too, when you’re working on a pattern. This is a great place to start with the thread!

DMC Embroidery Thread Pack Starting at $44.00 for 36 colors

Storage

I like to keep my projects in these Ziploc bags. Listen, I know it’s not the most glamorous choice, but they’re reusable and easy to slip into your purse and make it easy to keep your project in one place. Especially if you’re like me and you tend to work on multiple projects at the same time. All I have to do is grab my project Ziploc and I know that all of my colors and a needle are safely inside. They’re also waterproof if sealed correctly and that’s a huge bonus for me because I spill at least 3 full glasses of water a week. You know how it goes.

Ziploc Bags Starting at $8.84 for 75

You’ll also be wanting some good storage for your thread. I like to keep my thread wound on bobbins and kept in a bobbin/jewelry-making case. This box comes with bobbins which is a great deal.

Thread Box and Bobbins Starting at $13.99

Remember that hand embroidery is a gloriously personal craft. Hand embroidery has been around so long there tend to be stigmas surrounding it and many believe it must follow certain rules. To me, embroidery is a relaxing and free craft. You can use as many or as few colors as you choose and stitch how you want to stitch. This guide is meant to be a helpful starting place on your journey. You’ll find yourself gravitating toward certain supplies and techniques that feel more comfortable for you the longer you stitch.

Enjoy the process and give yourself grace to find your groove.

Cheers,

     Maggie


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