EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GET STARTED ON YOUR EMBROIDERY ADVENTURE
Your guide to all the materials, techniques and embroidery stitches you need to know
YOUR BASIC EMBROIDERY KIT
For the majority of the projects in this issue you will need the following items. There are !& "/"+1 16-"0 3 &) )" 0, read on to choose the correct materials for each project.
Embroidery hoop Transfer pens/pencils
Embroidery can be worked on a wide variety of fabrics or readymade items. It’s best to choose fabrics with a fairly smooth surface as heavily-textured surfaces will prevent the stitches from lying flat. For beginners, it’s best to start with a 100% plain-weave cotton.
When choosing fabric, consider its intended use, how much wear it will get and how often it will need to be washed.
Fabric can be categorised by its weave and fibre content. Plain weave is the most common type of weave and includes poplin, calico and canvas. Satin weave is a really smooth fabric which is glossy on one side; it includes cotton sateen and satin. Twill weave is a strong fabric with diagonal ribs, such as denim and tweed. Evenweave has regularly spaced holes between the threads and is used for counted thread embroidery. Surface pattern, gingham and ticking can be effectively embroidered on top by following, or echoing, the print.
The most common fibre used is cotton, which is strong and washes well. Linen has a slightly uneven surface due to the natural slubs, which are part of its charm. Silk is luxurious and has a subtle sheen, but take care when stitching on it as it can pucker. Pure wool fabric has quite a tight weave, is easy to stitch on and adds a wonderful texture to embroidery.
Choose thread for your project according to how your finished embroidery will be used. For items that will receive a lot of wear and tear use hard-wearing thread, such as stranded cotton. For decorative pieces use finer decorative threads. Consider also how well they’ll cover the embroidery design, and experiment to get the thickness you desire.
This is a divisible, six-strand thread. One strand forms a fine line, while six strands used together produce a bold, heavy line. It’s available in a wide variety of more than 400 colours, in pure cotton, silk and rayon.
Also known as ‘pearl cotton’, this twisted single-strand thread has a slight sheen and is available in four weights from heavy to fine: 3, 5, 8, 12. It’s often used for Hardanger embroidery.
COTON À BRODER
Also known as ‘special embroidery thread’, this matte, single-strand thread is available in four weights from heavy to fine: 16,
20, 25, 30. It can be used for surface embroidery, blackwork and drawn thread.
This single-strand woollen thread is available in many colours and used for fine embroidery and crewel work.