What are the Most Important Embroidery Supplies?

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  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2019
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Embroidery could be a great craft for people who like to knit or sew. The craft is rather inexpensive, as the most important embroidery supplies typically do not cost much. A person also does not need to buy much in the way of embroidery supplies in order to get started, as there are really only four essentials: needles, embroidery thread, a hoop, and fabric.

Thread or floss is perhaps the most important of all embroidery supplies. The color and type of thread a crafter chooses to use sets the tone for the project he or she is working on. Six-strand floss is perhaps the most common and usually the least expensive.

A crafter typically can divide six-strand embroidery floss into smaller amounts of strands, such as three strands or two strands if he or she wants to make finer, more delicate stitches. Six-strand embroidery thread comes in a wide range of colors, including variegated colors, metallics, and glow-in-the dark threads. The floss can be made from a variety of fibers, including linen and rayon. Less common types of embroidery floss include pearl cotton, which cannot be separated, and metallic, non-divisible threads.


Having a supply of floss will not help a crafter much if he or she does not also have needles to thread the floss through. The type of needle he or she needs to include with embroidery supplies depends on the type of stitching he or she plans on doing. For instance, cross stitch uses a different needle than other types of hand embroidery. Embroidery needles vary based on length, eye size, and the sharpness of the tip. It is up to a crafter to decide which needle size best suits his or her needs. When first purchasing embroidery supplies, it may be a good idea for a crafter to purchase several different sizes of needles and see which is most comfortable to work with.

Other important embroidery supplies are the embroidery hoop and the fabric. Wooden embroidery hoops usually cost a few dollars or less in the United States and can be re-used. Hoops come in several sizes and are usually circular, though there are oval hoops. Crafters should use small hoops for detail work or small patterns and larger hoops for big projects.

The type of fabric a crafter selects depends on style of needlework he or she does. Aida cloth, which has an open, even weave, works well for cross stitch. Plain woven cotton and linen are suitable for plain embroidery and other types of needlepoint.


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Post 3

@Fa5t3r - The other thing is that if you don't want to buy new embroidery supplies with every project you can just substitute different colors for whatever is specified in the pattern. They usually name a particular type of thread because they are creating the pattern to advertise a particular company. As long as it's the same kind of thread and roughly the same color then I don't think it makes much different if you use the cheaper kind of thread.

After a while, the hope is that you can start making your own designs anyway. I have a friend who dyes her own thread and that would make it impossible to follow a formal pattern exactly. She just picks out whatever color she likes.

Post 2

@Iluviaporos - If you can find a good discount embroidery supplies store you can end up getting a lot of different colors for a good price. And I find what tends to happen is that over time people will have to buy fewer and fewer new colors because they still have the colors from previous patterns left over.

I don't do professional embroidery, so I don't really care much if I'm using top of the line quality thread though. As long as it's not going to snap, I'm happy with it.

Post 1

The floss isn't expensive if you don't mind what kind of quality you get and I've seen embroidery thread sold in bulk at dollar stores.

But often embroidery designs call for a particular type of thread and that's when the price starts to add up, particularly if you are planning on using a large variety of different colors and textures.

Even if you only pay, say $5 for a bobbin (which is on the cheap end) that's only a single color and a complicated pattern could call for dozens of colors.

If you are working on a budget you have to either compromise the quality of the thread or the quantity of the colors you use in the pattern. Otherwise you could end up spending all your money on embroidery thread.

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