Embroidery Tools


Crewel Needles
 are sharp pointed with fairly large eyes, making them easy to thread.
They are suitable for most types of embroidery on fine or medium threads.
Chenille Needles are also sharp pointed, but are longer in size and thicker with large eyes. They are suitable for embroidery on fabric with heavy threads.
Tapestry Needles are blunt tipped instead of sharp.
They are used for embroidery on evenweave fabrics and for canvas work.
Quilting Needles are very small, fine and sharp so that they easily pass through the quilt fabric, producing a small stitch.
Available in different sizes they are useful if your project is backed with wadding to give a quilted effect

Applique Needles are also fine, sharp needles which produce small stitches essential for hand applique

Embroidery Threads
This is a list of the most commonly used threads for hand embroidery

Stranded cotton consists of six fine strands of 100% cotton, and comes in skeins. A versatile thread used in most types of embroidery i.e. free hand, cross-stitch etc. Popular brands include: DMC, Anchor and Madeira.

Stranded silk consists of four or six strands wound in a skein. Used in the same way as stranded cotton but more expensive, however does add a sense of luxury to your stitching. A popular make is Madeira.

Cotton Perle a twisted glossy thread. Suitable for many types of embroidery available in different weights.

embroidery cotton a matt thread with a soft appearance. Suitable for canvas work and work on heavy fabrics as well as free hand embroidery techniques.
Metallic threads are available in different weights and textures, real or synthetic. Used particularly in Goldwork embroidery but can add sparkle and glamour to your work. Kreinik produce a range of metallic threads.

Crewel wool is a fine 2-ply wool used for crewel work embroidery and also for canvaswork. A popular brand of crewel wool is Appleton.

Tapestry wool  a tightly twisted 4-ply wool similar in weight to knitting wool. Mainly used for canvaswork.
Other Equipment
Embroidery hoops
Needle Case
Small sharp scissors
Dressmaking scissors
Unpicking tool
Measuring tape/quilting ruler
Marking pens /pencils
Masking tape

A variety of fabrics can be used to work hand embroidery, but the most common kinds are:
Plain fabrics quilting cotton,cotton sateen, linen, silk, silk dupion, velvet, calico and felt.
Patterned fabrics cotton, poly-cotton, gingham and damask.
Evenweave fabrics are used for counted thread work such as cross-stitch and blackwork. 
The most common are hardanger, aida and binca these are usually measured hole per inch i.e. 14 count and 22 count.
Canvas is used for canvas work and the mesh is completely covered with stitching.
Special fabrics and stabilizers
There are various specialist fabrics that can be used as backing fabric to form a firm surface to work on.
Interfacing / stabiliser used as a backing fabric for embroidery when a firm surface is required.Stitch ‘n’ tear also used as a backing fabric but can be torn away once the embroidery is complete.
Fuse 'n' tear iron on version of aboveBondaweb bonding fabric for bonding one fabric to another. Used in appliqué.Water soluble used to create free form embroidery, dissolves in cold water. Mainly uses for machine embroidery

Embroidery Hoops
An embroidery hoop holds the fabric taut so that it doesn't pucker or distort the stitching.
It consists of two plastic or wooden rings. The outer ring is adjustable in size for different fabric thicknesses. The outer ring fits over the inner ring and is tightened with a screw.
The inner hoop is laid flat on a table top and then the fabric laid over the top of it.
The outer ring is then positioned over the top loosening the screw until the outer ring can be pressed into place.
Do I need to bind the hoop? 
If using a wooden hoop with delicate fabrics it is often better to first bind it with ribbon, bias binding or strips of fabric so that the
hoop does not mark the fabric