One of the most tedious aspects of hand embroidery is finding good quality embroidery and craft supplies.
If you are lucky you might have a good craft or haberdashery store close by. But if not I have made it a little easier for you and listed suppliers, tools and fabrics that I have used over the years and can highly recommend. I love supporting other small businesses so many of the companies listed here are just that, small businesses that love what they do.
Also, check out your local charity shop or take a trip to an antique market. It’s astonishing what you can find.
I mainly use DMC and Anchor stranded cotton both are high quality and lovely to work with. Especially DMC is widely available. DMC and Anchor also do pearl cotton which I like to use for split stitched designs.
I love Appleton crewel wool. Appleton is an English company with a 180-year old history, using fine English wool to produce their skeins. They offer over 400 shades, which is very impressive. Appleton has a handy international supplier list on their website, which will help you to source the wool more locally, here is the link to their website http://www.appletons.org.uk
I absolutely love the vintage linen thread sold by Linladan.com. Linladan
Mulberry Silks offers lots of different shades of fine to medium silk embroidery threads. I find their mini topics really useful, especially if you only need a small amount of silk thread. They come in 5m roles and are arranged in beautiful, complementary shades. Patricia also offers silk ribbons if you like silk ribbon embroidery. http://www.mulberrysilks-patriciawood.com
One of the best silk threads out there are Au Ver
You will need either Embroidery/Crewel needles or Chenille needles. While you can use budget needles, and I have used them, you might find they have more burs (imperfections in the metal that can make it difficult to thread your needles or push your fabric through the fabric. I like to use John James needles. If you want to push the boat out on needles go for Tulip needles, which are super quality and made in Japan. They come in a little glass vile and make a great present.
Other Embroidery Supplies
I find it absolutely essential to have sharp scissors. I can’t stand cutting my fabric or embroidery threads and the thread or fabric comes out all frayed.
Brands I love are Gingher, Klasse and Kai.
If you want to push the boat out or need a special gift, take a look at Sajou.fr. A true curiosity shop for all things embroidery. And they ship all over the world.
My go-to fabric marker is the air erasable Prym marker. They come with a fine or medium tip. This marker is great if you stitch something in a day or two, as the marker will air erase withing 48 hours.
If you have a longer-term project I would go for the water erasable Prym marker. As the name suggests you have to use a damp cloth to remove the ink.
Please make sure you try the markers first on a little piece of your fabric before you draw out your main design to make sure you are happy with the result.
Elbesee is a good quality hoop brand for
Other Craft S
If you really need something to stick and hold, use Guterman HT2. (Not suitable in children’s hands!)
I use quilters dream for cosies and padding for glasses cases. It is made from recycled plastic bottles. In the UK it is sold by cottonpatch.com
Suppliers In The UK
- https://www.sewandso.co.uk – good selection of all things craft and embroidery. Quick delivery and good customer service.
- https://cottonpatch.co.uk – heavy focus on quilting but sell all sorts of haberdashery. Good customer service and quick delivery.
- organic cotton biz – great selection of organic and
fairtradefabrics. Great customer service and quick delivery. Plus Phil’s newsletters are a delight to read. One of the only newsletters I always read!
- https://www.offsetwarehouse.com – Another online shop with a great selection of organic and sustainable fabrics. Good customer service and quick delivery.
Suppliers In The US
- https://www.purlsoho.com – a good selection of both craft and embroidery supplies
- https://sublimestitching.com – a fun selection of both craft and embroidery supplies, plus lots of cute embroidery patterns
If you have any suggestions or recommendations for good supplies and suppliers anywhere in the world let me know in the comments below and I’ll add them to the list! Thank you!
I created a whole online class with the beginner in mind that covers everything you need to know to get you started with hand embroidery. Learn more about what is included in ‘Contemporary Hand Embroidery 101: Foundational Stitches and Techniques’.
I hope you found this post useful.