Home > Needle Crafts > Embroidery Supplies: Where to Look

Embroidery Supplies: Where to Look

By: Roxanne McDonald - Updated: 17 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
Embroidery Supplies Embroidery Supply

Embroidery lovers are lucky enough to have a cheap and easy time of shopping for embroidery supplies—on line or off line. And besides being a justifiable craft embroidery is as delightful to do as it is to buy supply for.

Following are a few bits of information and advice should you just be starting out with an embroidery pattern or embroidery kit you want to modify.

Embroidery Supplies

Embroidery SuppliesFabric

Embroidery fabric comes in many colours, sizes, and counts. The colours are for aesthetic preferences, but the sizes and counts are more important to your exact project: the count is indicated on the package of Aida, for example, to indicate the number of the threads per inch in that piece of blank material.

Fabric Count

The larger the number, the more stitches you will be putting into that square inch and vice versa. Of the Aida counts, 11, 14, 16, 18, and 22, most commonly used are the 14. It does matter! Whatever the pattern calls for has been taken into account for every stitch, shape, and final project size; so if you wing it with a different count fabric, you will find some major setbacks as you go!The embroidery pattern you will use will (or should) indicate what count material to use.

As for how much Aida or fabric to purchase, if you are doing a design not pre-worked for you in a pattern or instructions chart, be sure to

  • measure the planned design
  • account for the material needed to cover an embroidery hoop.
For example, if you are planning to embroider a coaster, the diameter may be 8 inches, but your hoop is 10. Plan to use at least 12, so you have enough fabric to stretch over the hoop. And don’t cut the fabric before hoping, or you will have no fabric tension!

Embroidery Hoops or Frames

Most of us begin with a small hoop: the size is manageable, and the surface space has enough of the image you are working. Wooden hoops are the best to go for as they have a natural feel and are more comfortable. Today, however, many crafts stores seem to be phasing out wood in favour of plastic.

What you can keep in mind, though, is making sure you have a hoop that

  • will take the weight of a work in progress,
  • will have enough give that it can be closed around already embroidered sections without crushing the design, and
  • is large enough to have ample surface workplace but not so large as to be cumbersome.
In the latter case, you may want to graduate to a needlepoint frame (also known as a scroll bar), one that you can buy with or without a handy work stand.

Embroidery Floss

Embroidery floss is either wool, linen, or cotton—cotton being the most typical choice for embroidery. Whichever you choose

  • go with the same brand
  • buy the number of skeins you need at the same time (so the dye lot is consistent)
  • consult the paper band on the skein to make sure the colour number corresponds with the pattern’s number.
Embroidery Needles

If you cannot locate embroidery/tapestry needles, be sure to get some that have a large enough eye that you can thread several strands through at once but not so big a needle that you leave gaping holes in your fabric. One trick is to look at the package for the size number: The higher the number the smaller or finer the needle.

Another way to get the right size is to match your floss to the needle: the best size will be in a needle that has an eye only a tad bigger than the thread’s thickness.

White Vinegar

This is for the end of your project: when you wash the finished piece (if it is not a dry clean only piece), add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar to the wash. This will set the colours so they don’t run. [Though most flosses are colourfast to begin with, it’s better to be absolutely sure.]

For more information and advice on embroidery supplies, see our Cross Stitch Supplies article.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Anu hand craft
    Re: Sell Your Home Made Cards
    Hi,l live in usa at flashing city in newyork.i like sell my quilling cards on line
    12 October 2018
  • Bonnie
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    SHAPE RAGLAN Working on arm decreases. After I have completed two rows decreasing 8 at the beginning of each, the next…
    4 October 2018
  • Pippylin
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Increasing -just cannot fathom. ...I understand part of the pattern . But it reads. inc. l st. at each end 8th…
    1 October 2018
  • Von
    Re: Simple Glass Painting Project Ideas
    Anyone know where to get the blank suncatchers from?
    6 September 2018
  • shweta
    Re: Sell Your Home Made Cards
    Hi , Have a great day a head! I am sending this email just to know that if you allow permanent casino and Forex related article…
    28 August 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Knitting Stitches
    Di - Your Question:You have various patterns on your site, and you have glossary of different abbreviations. The one I can't find is "yo",, used…
    24 August 2018
  • Engineer
    Re: Using Ribbons in Papercraft
    I would like to ask for a help, I am planning to make an envelope for packing food that is safe for health and economical so, I…
    8 August 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Taragosun - Your Question:Can you please let me know what M means in the following baby jacket pattern. M st 6, k to last 6…
    20 June 2018
  • Taragosun
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Can you please let me know what M means in the following baby jacket pattern. M st 6, k to last 6 sts, m st 6. Then the lace…
    17 June 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Trisha - Your Question:Yes it is a lacy bobble effect, but I have solved the problem by going to my wool shop for advice. The…
    11 May 2018