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Embroidery & Craft Supplies

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One of the most tedious aspects of hand embroidery is finding good quality embroidery and craft supplies.

selection of embroidery tools and 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.

Embroidery Threads

Stranded Cotton

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.

Crewel Wool

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

Linen Threads

I absolutely love the vintage linen thread sold by Linladan.com. Linladan specialises in Scandinavian mid-century threads and fabric and is a real treasure trove for vintage lovers. The linen thread is slightly stiffer than stranded cotton but is a pleasure to work with. The thread has a lovely earthy and slightly rustic feel to it. http://linladan.com/products

Silk Threads

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 a Soie silk threads. SewAndSo.co.uk in the UK and Sublimestitching.com in the US sell them. Or google for other suppliers.

Needles

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

Scissors

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.

Fabric Markers

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.

Embroidery Hoops

My absolute favourite hoop is a seat hoop. It has a little base that you put under your thigh to hold it. The seat hoop allows you to have both hands free rather than holding a hoop having to put it down if you need to change threads etc. It is small enough to put in a project back and carry with you. I use the Elbesee seat hoop, it allows you to change the hoop to a different size and you have the choice of three different sizes depending on the size of your embroidery.

Elbesee is a good quality hoop brand for hand held hoops as well. There are cheaper hoops on the market. But be aware that edges might be quite rough and might damage your fabrics.

Other Craft Supplies

Fabric Glue

If you really need something to stick and hold, use Guterman HT2. (Not suitable in children’s hands!)

Wadding

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 fairtrade fabrics. 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

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.

Happy Stitching!

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2 Comments

  1. I stumbled across your tutorials and found themboth interesting and useful. But your letter re supplies is a blessing. This Damned pandemic has put paid to most of the stores I was accustomed to using. And I am so glad my stumble has found new to-me sources.
    Thank you.

    1. It so sad, isn’t it Margaret, but there will be an up again at some stage! I am so happy you found some new resources. Happy Crafting!

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