I haven’t tried machine embroidery, a new skill which is growing fast, all you require is an embroidery foot for your machine, although most of today’s machines offer a selection of embroidery stitches as standard. I have it on good authority that once you try this new skill it’s very addictive, watch this space I will be giving it a go and reporting back in due course. 

Hand embroidery, a centuries-old and traditional skill is still my favourite way of embellishing many different fabrics. 

Embroidery is an easy and inexpensive craft to learn. As you begin you will pick up tips and more skills, as your knowledge increases so will your techniques, your stitching will be improved with each new project.

There are several inexpensive items you will need to begin. An embroidery hoop, some thread and a pack of Needles.

There are several embroidery hoops on the market in either plastic or wood, in our current plastic-free environment, however, I would recommend a wooden hoop.

Thread comes in many colours usually in six strands, cut a length of thread and then split the stands into a thickness that suits your project.

Needles need to be sharp and designed for embroidery, choose a mixed size pack.  

If you are a newcomer to embroidery, I would recommend starting small with maybe a handkerchief. First, find a template design that you like, a flower, for example, you could draw your own or find something on-line. Trace this onto the corner of your handkerchief, using a pencil or preferably a water-soluble pen so you don’t leave any marks when finished. Using an embroidery hoop, place the handkerchief inside the hoop and tighten the outer ring. Be careful not to distort the fabric by pulling it too tight. There are several simple stitches you can use to fill in your pattern. I won’t go into details here, it is so easy to find tutorials on U-tube and so much easier to watch it being done in front of you. when your pattern is complete, simply remove the hoop, a gentle wash and press and hey presto you have personalised your first handkerchief, there will be no stopping you now.

TIPS

To avoid knotting the thread, lay the thread under the pattern and as you stitch you will cover the thread, similarly as you come to the end of your work weave the thread back through the stitches just done, giving a neat finish to the piece.

Another good idea is to use a length of binding fabric to cover the hoop, this will help protect any fine fabric from being damaged whilst being held in the hoop. Take a length of binding and wrap it around the inner hoop before placing the fabric over it.

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