Embroidery is an ancient craft used to decorate fabrics and other materials. Pearls, sequins, quills, and beads are used to make the designs more beautiful and stunning. This technique sets the benchmark for creating imprints. By mastering this technique, you can make lovely designs for your fabrics or start up a new venture. To guide you to a profitable future we’ve discussed some essential facts that you need to know about embroidery.
Basic Embroidery Stitches
The basic embroidery stitches are the foundation to those more elaborate stitches. Listed below are ten embroidery stitches to help you familiarize yourself with the basic stitches.
This basic stitch is useful for outlining an embroidery design. Running stitches form a part of many traditional embroidery styles such as Kantha of India and Sashiko Japnese quilting.
You can use back stitch to create a solid line for outlining a text or design. You can also add subtle details to embroidery picture.
Also known as the Kensington outline stitch, the split stitch was primarily used in the Middle ages to embroider faces. Split stitch is useful for outlining, and it gives a subtle shading effect when used as filling stitch.
Considered one of the most basic stitches, the stem stitch finds use in freeform embroidery, whitework, surface embroidery and redwork. It creates a thin line so you can use it for flowers and stems.
Otherwise called as the Damas stitch, the satin stitch helps to cover a section of the background fabric completely. This lovely stitch creates a smooth appearance.
It is one of the several knotted stitches that you can use in surface embroidery. French knots can be used as accents or fun fillers for most designs.
A beautiful embroidery technique where a series of looped stitches form a chain-like pattern. Chain stitch is an ancient Chinese stitch that dates back to 5th century-3rd century BC.
Lazy Daisy is an unconnected looped chain stitch. You can work it alone or in groups. Instead of continuing the chain you’ll make a small stitch over the end of the loop to create a daisy petal.
Another form of chain stitch is the feather stitch. You can use the feather stitch as a decorative frame or border or as an embellishment to french knots.
You can make this stitch by working one purl stitch and one knit stitch across a row. Seed stitches are good filler stitches. With seed stitch, you can create layers of floss or extensive fill that seem to have dimension.
Methods of Making Embroidery Patterns on Fabric
There are various designs by which you can transfer embroidery designs onto fabric. It’s necessary that you familiarize with all the options because the best choice of the technique depends on the weight or color of the material used.
This method works best for thin or thick fabric. Place the colored carbon side of the transfer paper onto the fabric. Gently place the pattern face up over that. Using a ball pen trace each line to transfer to the material. Repeat the process more than once.
Heat transfer pens and pencils
Suitable for both light and heavy fabrics, this process creates a mirror image of the design marked on the paper. The quickest and easiest way to do heat transfer is to print your pattern and turn it over. Using a heat transfer pencil, trace the design on the back of the paper. To transfer the design to fabric, gently hold the paper against the material and press it with a hot iron. Lift the iron from the paper before moving it to the next location.
If you’re working on a detailed pattern over dark fabrics, then water-soluble stabilizer is a good option. In this method, you can print the design directly onto the stabilizer and then place it over the embroidery fabric. You must stitch through the material and the stabilizer and soak the embroidery in warm water so that the stabilizer gets dissolved.
To use this method trace your design onto lightweight tracing paper. Baste the tracing paper onto the fabric. Now stitch through the paper and fabric. After you finish, tear away the tracing paper.
Hot iron transfers
These ready to use patterns are usually printed in black, blue or gray ink. These patterns feature a wide range of subjects. Gently transfer these designs using a hot iron in the same method as you would do for transfer pens and pencils.
Pouncing is a method where a paper pattern is pricked with a pin at regular intervals. You must then secure the design to the fabric and work a powdered pigment through the holes in a pouncing motion with a soft cloth. The pouncing supplies can be bought from specialty needlework shops.
How to Choose Hand Embroidery Hoops
The embroidery hoops come in various sizes and are available in plastic, metal or wood. The hoops are essential for hand embroidery — both for personal comfort and for the quality of the finished stitches.
The hoops for embroidery comes in two pieces. The outer edge has a spring or screw hardware and additionally consists of a piece that fits inside of it. Round hoops are more common than the other shapes. They range from 3-14 inches in diameter. You must not lock the circles so tight so they might pucker but should fit around your fabric with some overhang. Use a ring that fits comfortably in one hand while you stitch with the other.
The hoops made out of wood or bamboo have a smooth inner texture. If you’re going in for wooden hoops, make sure you buy a quality product. The plastic embroidery hoops have a loop on the inside where the inner circles lock with the outer rings. Additionally, it has a screw to tighten the hoops together. Metal embroidery hoops are not as commonly available as the wood and plastic varieties. You can come across them as vintage items. These are some of the options you have for embroidery hoops; use the ones that make you most comfortable.
Easy Steps to Get Beautiful Embroidery Designs
It only takes a few steps to create beautiful embroidery designs! But there are a few things you should know before getting started.
Choose the material
Carefully consider the type of cloth you want to embroider. If you’re a beginner, it’s good to start with a light colored cotton or canvas fabric. Choosing a material with good thread count is essential.
Select embroidery floss
Check whether you’re getting embroidery floss and not craft thread for your projects. If you’re working on a detailed plan, go in for thinner floss and the thicker floss for more bold designs.
Choosing the needle
A needle size of 12-18 is excellent for basic embroidery projects. For beginners, a needle with a sharp point would be suitable.
You’ll need an embroidery hoop and also a method of transferring the design to the fabric. Other helpful extras like threaders and thimbles can make your life much more comfortable.
Outline your design
When you’re first starting out, it’s good to stick to something fundamental. Go in for larger shapes, clean lines, and models that don’t require a lot of filling. Good beginner designs include stars, flowers, and pure line art.
Apply your design
For beginners tracing is the easiest method. Try methods like water-soluble fabric. Stencils are yet another option when you’re learning the basics of embroidery.
Plan your design
Before you continue, make sure what goes where in the embroidery design. Plan the colors, the area that needs to be filled, and the sections in the background and foreground.
Before you get started with the actual process of embroidery, here are a couple of final tips.
Assemble your hoop
The inner circle of the hoop goes on the backside of the fabric, while the outer ring holds the front side of the material. Gently fit them together and tighten the screw. Be extra sure that your cloth is taut.
Cut the floss
The length of the floss depends on the area you want to embroider and the type of stitches. It also depends on the thickness of the floss and fabric.
Knot the floss
Once you’ve threaded the floss to the needle, create a knot on the fabric to prevent the floss from coming back. While you’re starting out, make a knot at the end of the long tail of the floss. As you become more experienced, try using a waste knot. Start your stitches at a joint or corner which results in a more natural flowing look.
Master advanced techniques
Try some test stitches before you dive right into your project. This process makes sure that your final product looks good. Even stitching is the mark of good embroidery, so try to achieve even, clean and neatly aligned stitches.
Try to work on your aim, skill, and eye to make smaller stitches because beautifully detailed stitches is a much-needed skill in embroidery. Keep on practicing and work your way up to more challenging pieces. You might get frustrated if you take too complex projects at the beginning, so keep trying until you embroider a stunning embroidery design.