Always wanted to have a go at embroidery but overwhelmed with where to start? Don’t worry, I’ve got you! Below are my top tips for embroidery beginners. From choosing your fabric to storing your kit, we have the perfect advice for all you embroidery beginners.  

1. Choose Your Fabric

This entirely depends upon the project you intend to do. If you are choosing to make something that will likely need washing, then I suggest that you wash the cloth first before you stitch into it as it could shrink. You can honestly embroider any fabric, from the lightest voile to the heaviest canvas (though you might need a thimble). Enjoy choosing your cloth, but start with a lighter colour for ease of transferring your design!

2. Only Use Quality Thread

Full stop! Cheaper threads can break and shred and potentially the colour can run. This is heartbreaking if you have spent hours on a piece of work. I tend to only use Anchor threads in stranded or perle cotton. You know you’re buying good quality and you can trust that they are colourfast! We have plenty of thread available in our haberdashery, here.

3. Keep Stitches Neat

Try as much as you can to keep your stitches neat on the back of your work as well as the front! I know this sounds frustrating but it's more frustrating when you get other threads coming through to the front in a stitch and knots in your thread. (The back never will look as neat as the front but do try your best to keep the back tangle free!)

4. Fasten Securely

Fasten off your stitches carefully and securely especially if you are making something that will be worn and laundered. I usually stitch into a few stitches on the back of my work and then weave the end into the back so that any length to be cut off is further away.

5. Don't Twist Your Thread!

Don’t let your working thread twist and tangle when you are sewing! Once every so often, hold your hoop up so that your working thread and needle dangle from it. If they are twisted they can then unfurl. Be careful not to lose your needle though!

6. Use A Decent Hoop!

Buying cheaper hoops just isn't worth it. Spend a few more pennies on a decent wooden hoop that will be a good weight, hold your work securely and ensure the tension of the fabric is held evenly around the circle. These can be painted any colour and used for framing your finished piece if required too!

7. Always Fasten Off Your Stitches

Start afresh in the next area after you’ve finished another. Not only will this keep the back of the work neater but also it stops the long floating threads from showing through on the front, especially if you’re working on a lightweight or pale fabric!

8. Organise Your Threads

Keep your threads well organised and stored out of direct sunlight as this can weaken your threads and make them more prone to snapping when you come to use them. Storing your threads on card bobbins in a box also makes them more appealing to use and easier to select colours!

9. Store Tools Well

It’s a good idea to have paper scissors and embroidery and fabric scissors kept separately or even marked as such so that other people in your household know which ones to use! Using fabric scissors on paper will blunt them over time. This will also make it harder to thread your needles. I have a ‘paper’ label on the handle of my paper scissors so that my little people know they can use those and not any others!!

10. Enjoy and Don’t Stress!

You don’t have to have Royal School of needlework level stitching! You can simply use a couple of stitches to create visually stunning effects. The key is to enjoy yourself and relax into this totally absorbing craft!

We supply plenty of the haberdashery equipment mentioned in these tips from hoops, needles, scissors, bobbin boxes and beautifully curated thread packs. Just take a look at our Supplies section, where we have carefully chosen a selection of quality essentials for you.