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What Fabric Should You Use When Getting Into Hand Embroidery?

What Fabric Should You Use When Getting Into Embroidery?

The great thing about embroidery is that you can stitch on anything. That doesn't mean you should, but you can! Over the years, I have found that some materials are easier to embroider than others.

What Fabric Should You Use for Hand Embroidery?

When you're just starting to get into hand embroidery, use a fabric that has little to no stretch, is a smooth, and doesn't have any openings or gaps in the fabric.

hand embroidery projects piled on one another with thead

Why is That?

Stretchy, wide weave, or textural fabrics can add interesting elements to an embroidery project. But they can also be challenging to stitch on. When you're first learning to embroider you don't want to worry about the fabric moving around, warping, or not sitting well in the embroidery hoop. Instead, you want to focus on the stitches and how they should look.

What Fabric Should I Stitch On?

I get asked this question a lot when I teach workshops and my go-to answer is: 100% cotton or linen fabrics are great to start with for hand embroidery. They tend to be less stretchy.

I personally love quilting cotton because it's a higher quality cotton fabric that has a thicker weight to it, smooth feel, and is great for hand embroidery.

black fabric, a cactus desert embroidery, embroidery thread, embroidery hoop, scissors, and white transfer pen

What Should I Look For When Buying Fabric?

When choosing your fabric, do the stretch test. Pull the fabric in various directions. If you feels the fabric stretching, it's probably going to move around in the embroidery hoop while you stitch.

Also look for a fabric that has a medium to tight weave. A loose weave will make it harder to embroider because you might even find your stitches popping through the fabric or having thread on the back show through the the front.

blue and orange fabrics next to a fabric landscape and embroidery thread

Looking for more hand embroidery tips?

Be sure to check out the MCreativeJ blog for projects, tips, tutorials, and more!

What fabric should you use for hand embroidery?


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