Embroidery For Beginners - The Basic Supplies

It's officially the launch date of THE BLOG.

I spent 3 months creating the content that will suit you all.

Embroiderers, surface pattern designers, illustrators and artists at heart.

I'll be honest.

I started writing a completely different first post.

Then I got a message from a lovely follower about an embroidery hoop.

I quickly realise the best thing I can do is start at the very beginning.

2020 was a weird year, for the lack of a better word, but it has given us one thing. Time.

Lots and lots of free time.

The extra time we could spend with our families or start a new hobby.

I was so happy to see that some of you decided to take on embroidery!

So long story short (clearly it was not) …

This is me writing about the basics of embroidery.

Embroidery hoops, scissors, needles, embroidery floss and fabric - everything you need to start your own embroidery journey.


Having the right embroidery hoop is a necessity.

As you stitch, you pin the needle through the fabric up and down, which can loosen the tension and makes it harder to embroider.

Embroidery hoops are often a very personal decision for every embroiderer.

We all have our own preferences we swear by.

There is a wide range of embroidery hoops.

Plastic, bamboo, wood, even plastic ones that imitate wood.

I tried them all, but the ones I love the most are bamboo embroidery hoops.

Here is why …


I admit …

Seeing photos with loose fabric, or dent fabric on the photos is my pet peeve.

And I see it most on the plastic embroidery hoops.


Depending on the embroidery fabric, they can be a tad slippery.

That is why I personally feel that the plastic embroidery hoops are great for advanced embroiderers.

Once you have that feeling about the fabric and the tension, they are easier to use.


Wooden embroidery hoops are the best for beginners.

I started out with wooden embroidery hoop and

it helped me so much at the beginning.

They are great for beginners because they hoop the fabric tightly, and keep the tension of the fabric through the stitching, without having to fix it (tighten it up) too many times.

If you are a beginner and you want to embroider,

the wooden hoop is the best one to start with.


You probably wonder why after all that praise of wooden hoop I use bamboo embroidery hoops the most.

Well, I stitch a lot and through time embroidery hoops get worn out.

Which for a wooden hoop, means splinters.

Now, if you are working with 100% non-stretching cotton fabric that is not a problem. But a lot of my embroidery is done on jersey fabric which stretches a lot.

So, I need to make sure that my fabric doesn't get damaged while stitching and fixing the tension.

I stopped using wooden hoops for jersey fabric after I was embroidering a T-Shirt (to make things worse I was embroidering the last word) and I ripped the T-Shirt while fixing the tension.

All because of small splinter I didn't see.


There is a variety of embroidery fabric you can choose from.

There is a special embroidery fabric you can use - it’s a bit more expensive though. Or you can use 100 % non-stretch cotton which I use.

It is perfect for beginners and advanced embroiderers.

Once you’ve mastered the 100 % non stretched cotton you can move to fabrics like jersey or even wool.

Just imagine how great your sweaters will look with an embroidered flower or two.


There has been a lot of online chats about which embroidery floss is better and which one you should buy.

Now does the brand of the embroidery floss really matter?

Years of experience tell me NO.

The reason why my answer is a no, it's because when I buy embroidery floss, I look for how it was processed, mercerised and spun, how many strands it has, etc.

If you are creating a design, like flowers,

you want to buy an embroidery floss with 6 strands.

This way, you can separate them and control the thickness of the thread painting.

If you are embroidering a quote, you can either choose embroidery floss with 6 strands and simply separate them, or (what I prefer) buy the embroidery floss that was spun with just 2 strands.


Embroidery needles are the key to precise embroidery.

Every needle has to be just the right size so it enables smooth stitching and the fabric doesn't get damaged.

A thick needle can leave holes in embroidery fabric, and a thin embroidery needle can break.

I will write a more detailed post on needles.

For now, all you need to know that different embroidery needles do different jobs.

If you are embroidering on 100 % non stretched cotton, you can use a wider needle, but if you are embroidering on jersey fabric make sure your needle is thin.

When choosing an embroidery needle, make sure that the eye of the needle, and the rest of the needle, are equal in thickness.

This way, the eye of the embroidery needle won't damage your fabric.

Also, make sure you choose a needle with a sharp point.

This will make stitching so much easier.


When it comes to embroidery scissors, you can use any size you like.

I prefer smaller because I can undo stitches when I mess up (simply tug them out with the end of the scissors), cut stitches without cutting the rest of the embroidery or neatly cut the knots.


Just remember this.

Embroidery shouldn't be difficult or tricky.

If the embroidery feels difficult or is causing you trouble,

just check if your fabric has the right tension.

It should be tight.

Imagine tambourine.

And the 2nd thing you should check is the embroidery needle.

Before the start, make sure your needle goes smoothly through the fabric.

If the eye of the needle damages the fabric, choose more narrow needle.

If you have any questions about embroidery or embroidery supplies, just send me a message, and I will get back to you as soon as I can :)

Have a wonderful day!