What you need to start embroidery now.

The basic equipment required for embroidery is minimal; as with many other sewing crafts, all that is necessary to start stitching is a needle, a length of thread, a piece of cloth, and a pair of scissors. Much time and care will be invested in creating a finished piece of needlework, so the choice of materials at the outset is important. In order to achieve a professional and long-lasting result it is worth investing in the best quality tools, threads, and fabric, and in taking time over their selection.


It’s interesting to know about embroidery.

what you need to start embroidery

COUNTRY GARDEN This characteristic transfer design from the 1930s features plants worked with French knots, link, fly, and buttonhole stitches, and outlines in stem stitch.

The art of embroidery has been defined simply as the ornamentation of textiles  with decorative stitchery.

It is an ancient craft which encompasses a wealth of history, and the same stitches are used by embroiderers throughout the world. They provide an international vocabulary that crosses the boundaries of land and time.
Local patterns, designs, and ways of working vary from
place to place, but the actual stitch techniques do not. The language of stitches is infinitely adaptable. It is being  constantly reinterpreted by contemporary stitchers ,  who produce their new work as part of a continuing tradition.

Sewing was once an essential part of daily life for most women, and some men. Before mass production, many clothes and items of domestic furnishing had to be made at home and embroidery evolved as a means of decorating and personalising the plain needlework used for household linens and garments.

People in different countries concentrated on their own particular aspects of embroidery and names such as Bokhara couching, Antwerp edging, Portuguese border, and Algerian eye reflect the international aspect of the stitches they worked with.
Creative concepts are always interchanged; patterns and ideas have travelled and developed throughout the world. German immigrants in Pennsylvania, for example, had to adapt their own traditional dense cross stitch patterns to outline-based designs, because of the shortage of embroidery threads in the New World.

The various stitches within these four groups are endlessly adaptable and can be used in many ways, depending on the effect required. They can outline a design, be worked closely together so that they conceal the fabric completely, or be spaced further apart to allow the background to show through.

Others may be used singly, repeated in rows, or stitched in a solid line. Certain stitches were developed for particular reasons. Gold thread is costly and too thick to pass easily through the fabric, so couching stitch was used to anchor it to the fabric with small stitches in fine thread.

embroidery designs

Straight stitch flowers in silk floss have been combined with
gold thread couched in a swirling pattern to decorate this
beautiful nineteenth century slipper top.

Turkey stitch evolved as an imitation of the cut pile of a rug, and insertion stitches were used as a
means of joining two pieces of fabric. One single stitch may be used throughout a piece of work. Rows of tent and cross stitches are used to create both samplers and embroidered pictures, while straight stitch can be used randomly like a painter’s brushstrokes to build up a textured, three-dimensional surface.

It is when the patterns and shapes of the various stitches are combined, however, that their full potential is realised.

For many centuries, knowledge of embroidery stitches was handed down as part of the wider folk tradition of
needlecraft. It was not until 1631, when The Needle’s Excellency was printed, that their names began to be
formalised in Europe. This was a book of patterns, not a practical manual, and there were no working diagrams or stitch illustrations. Some of the stitches listed – Fern-stitch, Chain-stitch, Back-stitch and the Crosse-stitch – are still in general use.

Various other names were adopted over the following centuries. Some described the way in which the actual stitches were made, for example, twisted insertion and back stitch trellis. Others, such as cushion stitch, ladder stitch, window filling, and rope stitch, were named after the objects of daily life that they resembled. Still more were inspired by the surroundings of the natural world: star, wave, cloud, feather,
coral, leaf, petal, and wheatear stitches.

Indian embroidery in silk rayon.

Shisha stitch, using tiny mirors,
highlights the traditional chain stitch
design of a contemporary Indian
embroidery in silk rayon.

Needlework was not valued as a separate area of study until the late nineteenth century. Under the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement, designers interested in the history of stitching set about examining embroidered fabrics, and even unpicked old examples from across the world to discover how they had been worked. New historical texts and instruction books were written, and the format and names of stitches were
standardised for the first time.