Yarn and thread crafts have become popular again in recent years. What was once a hobby only grandmothers took part in, embroidery is a hit among the younger set. If you are thinking of taking up this art, knowing the basics can help. In this article, you’ll learn the basics of embroidery, and see a few hand-picked videos that make it easy to follow along.
What is Hand Embroidery?
Embroidery is a method of decorating fabric with colorful stitches. If you have ever tried your hand at making friendship bracelets, you may be familiar with embroidery floss. This type of thread is actually many strands of thread, twisted together, that can be pulled apart to create a strand only as thick as you desire.
The art of embroidery is a fantastic way to add your personal style to accessories in your home or the clothes in your closet. With the right tools, embroidering the things that you already own is easy to do. Recycle an old purse into something you cannot wait to carry, or turn your plan T-shirt into something that says all the right things about your sense of style.
What Do You Need to Start?
It is a common misconception that a machine is necessary for embroidery. While it is true that you can spend money on a good embroidery machine if you choose to do so, you do not have to. To get started with this art, you need only a few tools. Purchase an embroidery hoop, floss and needles, and make sure you have a sharp set of small scissors at hand. An embroidery hoop is a contraption made of two rings, one that fits inside of the other. You can typically find these in your local craft store near the cross stitching supplies. Embroidery needles come in varying lengths, but the eyes are bigger than those found on normal needles in order to accommodate the thicker floss.
How to Use Your Embroidery Hoop
The first thing you need to do is learn how to use an embroidery hoop (around $5 on Amazon). Cut a piece of fabric that is about two-inches larger than your hoop on all sides. Loosen the nut on the top of your hoop, and separate the rings. Place your fabric over the smaller hoop, then push the larger, or top, hoop down around the bottom one. This sandwiches your fabric and holds it taught. Tighten the nut as you pull the fabric to straighten it. You may have to adjust the fabric and nut as you embroider to maintain the tightness of the fabric.
Practice Your Stitches
Thread your needle with an entire strand of floss. You can separate it later if you want to do detailed work. For now, work with the thicker strand. Do not double the thread. Instead, simply pull the floss through the eye of the needle and let it dangle. Knot the long end of the floss so that the thread does not pull through the fabric as you sew. Now you are ready to practice stitches. You can search YouTube for fantastic tutorials. Just remember that the thicker your thread, the bulkier the stitch. Also keep in mind that some stitches lend themselves well to outlining, others to filling in, and still others to lettering.
Now you are ready to practice stitches. You can search YouTube for fantastic tutorials. Just remember that the thicker your thread, the bulkier the stitch. Also keep in mind that some stitches lend themselves well to outlining, others to filling in, and still others to lettering.
Complete a Small Project
Before you take on something you are not ready for, complete a small project or two. Add vines and flowers to the edge of a pillow case, put your name on a shirt, or make a cool cover for your throw pillow. You can copy an illustration you find online, or you can utilize a pattern out of the many embroidery books available for purchase.
The more you practice, the better you will get. Do not give up in the beginning. Embroidery is not difficult, but the craft does take getting used to. You can experiment with the thickness of your thread, the type of fabric you work with, and your stitches. As you get better, you can complete designs that are a bit more intricate.
Embroidery is a relaxing way to pass the time, and it is a great way to personalize things you already own. The art is not just for your grandmother. Young people around the world are picking up the hobby in record numbers. Buy your supplies, find a design you love, and start sewing. You may be surprised at how much you love your new hobby!