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Embroidery is one of those hobbies where you don’t need to spend a great deal of money in order to give it a good go. Essentially, all you need is a hoop, fabric and embroidery thread.
Although, if you really want to make the most of embroidering, I would say there are 5 ‘must have’ supplies that you need to really enjoy the process!
So, what are they?
1. Good quality embroidery hoops
As I explained in a previous blog post, good quality embroidery hoops are essential if you want to have the most fun when you’re embroidering!
There is nothing worse than getting in yo’ groove and then your fabric starts to get loose and floppy! Poor quality hoops won’t hold the fabric tight for very long, either because there isn’t any grip for the fabric, or because the hoops are warped and aren’t perfectly circular.
Some people prefer wooden hoops for this reason, as bamboo hoops often warp. That being said, I’m a bamboo-lover and this particular brand [link] that I buy from Amazon is pretty darn good!
If you’re looking for a more premium wooden hoop, I would absolutely recommend the Elbesee hoops. These hoops are super popular amongst the embroidery community for their quality and price, and they have a bit of a classier look than the generic bamboo hoops.
2. Good quality fabric
Using the right fabric is another must-have if you want to get into embroidery. Most beginners tend to use aida, the well-known cross-stitch fabric, because it is a very accessibly fabric that some people actually associate with embroidery.
However, due to the count of the fabric, it actually isn’t the best option for embroidery. It can result in your finished pieces looking almost pixelated like cross-stitch, rather than being more ‘free’, like modern embroidery is supposed to be.
So, what fabric do you need instead?
I would absolutely recommend using a fabric that is tightly woven and an even weave. My favourite options are 100% cotton or linen, Kona Cotton, or calico fabric. As the weave is much tighter on this type of fabric, you can be much more precise when you embroider, meaning you can follow the pattern or design you are stitching much more closely.
Basically, you will have a better experience with embroidery if you are using the right type of supplies!
3. Embroidery thread
Okay, so this one is an obvious ‘must have’ supply for embroidery, but the best brands of embroidery thread absolutely make alllll the difference to a finished embroidered piece.
When I first started out in my embroidery journey, I had no idea where to even start with embroidery floss. There are cheaper brands on Amazon, there’s Anchor, DMC and so on, so where do you start?
I wouldn’t be staying true to myself if I didn’t go on and on about my favourite ever brand – DMC thread. DMC is the QUEEN of embroidery in my opinion, and I would estimate that probably 9 out of 10 people use this brand when it comes to embroidery floss.
One of the main reasons I love it is because there are over 500 different colours to choose from. I LOVE colour so I love the options I have to put together colour palettes with such a variety of colours. Another great thing about DMC thread is its quality. It’s super sleek and shiny and it just makes any embroidery piece look 100x better.
If you don’t know where to start, lots of lovely fellow embroiderers sell thread packs in their shops, offering a selection of beautifully co-ordinating colours that you can use for your own pieces. Click here to check out our Beginner Thread Pack as an example!
4. Embroidery thread storage
I know some people think storage and organisation is boring (and trust me, I totally get it), but having neat and tidy threads makes life so so much easier when it comes to picking out colour palettes for your beautiful embroidered pieces. So, in my opinion, that makes it an embroidery essential!
There are so many ways that you can store your embroidery floss, whether you leave it in the skeins or wrap them around bobbins or pegs, or store them in boxes or on a pegboard, or any other way that your imagination can take you!
I personally like to wind my skeins onto plastic floss bobbins and then write the DMC thread number onto the bobbin so that I can replace it when it runs out! I find this the easiest way to store my threads, as they don’t get tangled up like they do when in skeins, and it’s still super easy to pick out colours!
Also, once I have picked out the colours I want to use for a project, because the plastic bobbins have a hole in the top, I like to put them onto a giant split ring in colour gradient order so that I can easily access the colours when I’m stitching. I buy these super cheap and easy giant split rings on Amazon.
So, what do you do with them when you aren’t stitching with them? I personally like to store mine in plastic boxes so that they’re tidy, easy to access and also easy to store away when I’m not using them. I have 2 of these boxes. One box houses all of my warm pinks, oranges and yellows, and the other one houses my cooler blues, greens and purples :)
5. Embroidery stand
My final recommendation for a must-have supply is an embroidery stand. For the first 6 months that I embroidered I didn’t use a stand – I used my left hand to hold the hoop and my right hand to stitch. Whilst this is, of course, an option, let me tell you, a stand makes embroidering much easier, much quicker and therefore more enjoyable!
A good pal of mine in the embroidery community, Bess over at Life with Bess, designs, makes and sells the most beautiful embroidery stands. I absolutely adore my stand from Bess and I couldn’t be without it!
Using an embroidery stand effectively gives you another hand free, because you don’t have to hold the hoop. It’s then an effortless process, because that hand is then free to untangle the thread, keep a hold of it, and when it comes to French knots, it’s 100% less complicated if you can use that spare hand to wrap the thread around the needle!
A stand is also a really useful supply to have if you’re hoping to branch out into social media. If you want to start filming the process of embroidery, or even if you just want to take photographs, having a stand can make that super easy :)
Bonus – Your fave coffee in your fave mug!
In my opinion, coffee makes everything better, even more so when it is made in your favourite mug! Nothing beats nestling into the sofa with my embroidery and my fave beverage – my definite happy place!
That being said, whether your choice is coffee, tea, or heck a glass of wine, why not, make sure you have something tasty whilst you embroider!