Have you ever walked in to the embroidery section of hobby craft, john lewis etc and been a tad overwhelmed at the amount of kits, threads, accessories and struggle to know what to spend money on and what not to. Today I am going to walk you through the basics needed to start.
- Frame, I know many people don’t use them. But a good frame is and investment and will avoid stretching and warping issue later on. Also is provided even tension to your work making the stitching look more even.
For beginners I recommend and elsbee seat frame, this mean you can stitch with both hand free, they are portable and come with a range of hoop sizes. They are easy to use and set up (no sewing required)
Scroll frames are good for needle point and canvas work again elsbee have a good range of sizes to match your piece.
- Scissors. A good sharp pair of fine point embroidery scissors is invaluable. (people get in major trouble for using mine for anything but thread) I would recommend a Kai ones by Janome.
- Needles, there will be a whole blog devoted to this, but chuck out the needle grandma gave you. Needles tarnish and bend, and saving them wont help your stitching, Getting the right needle for the job is important and when they discolour or blunt, dispose of them. I get most of mine direct from John James needles.
- Needle case, of course for storing them. I have one which is rather ancient ( actually my first embroidery project. It has doctor’s flannel inside to help prevent needle tarnish. of course for storing them. I have one which is rather ancient ( actually my first embroidery project. It has doctor’s flannel inside to help prevent needle tarnish.
- Sewing cotton, this might sound a bit weird. But a pale blue sewing thread, useful for marking grid lines, sewing on water-soluble or tearaway. We use pale blue because it wont mark the white backgrounds and it disappears if we cant unpick it
- Needle puller, any one who has stitched in a dense area will tell you how hard it is to grip the needle, so these rubber discs just help you get a grip.
- Shower cap, no I am not insane. When using a hoop frame these can be popped over the top of the work and it protects from dirt, sticky fingers etc while you are not working . You don’t want to spend hours on a project and then have it ruined.
- Threads, if you purchase a kit, you shouldn’t need to purchase any. But the most common brands around are Anchor and DMC, these are mainly stranded cottons. They are easy to work with and washable ( though always check the reds) . they have a huge range of colours available. Good quality thread is a must as again don’t want to spend hours to have it ruined by colour transfer or bleaching of the cheaper threads. The cheaper threads also have a tendency to shred while you use them.
Box, for storing all the bits you have. I use a small really useful box for mine and its easy to transport, clean and replace. Also I can see all my bit inside.
I could add hundreds of items to the list, but most of them wouldn’t be needed to several projects in. tweezers, pliers, micron pigma pens , thimbles, bradle, awl, melor etc are examples. Though different techniques do need different tools. So don’t be afraid to expand the kit.