Whether you are looking for a new creative craft or have recently taken up embroidery, there is so much that you can accomplish with a needle and some thread. From thread painting to cross-stitch, there are a wide variety of techniques to choose from to get the effect that you are after. And while it may seem intimidating at first, embroidery is a relaxing hobby that will let your creative side shine.
To get some advice on what newbies should know about getting started, we turned to embroidery artist Floor Giebels. Giebels teaches My Modern Met Academy's online class Intermediate Embroidery: Getting Creative with Printed Fabrics. In it, she shows students how to use printed fabrics to expand their creative practice, as well as how to embroider realistic hair and clothing.
Check out some of her tips for getting started with embroidery and then pick up all the supplies you'll need to start on your new creative venture. Then, once you've got your skills down, enroll in Giebels' class and learn more incredible embroidery techniques.
Here are 6 expert tips on how to get started with embroidery.
Start with a small project
“In the beginning, it's better to start with smaller, more manageable projects to build your confidence and skills with embroidery. It's also nice to admire your finished work, which can be done much sooner with smaller pieces!”
Feel free to experiment
“Remember that you can always remove threads in your embroidery work. Feel empowered to try out different colors or a different stitch—you can always remove the threads if it doesn’t provide the effect you were going for.”
Threads, threads, threads
“I like to buy all different brands of threads with different thicknesses and compositions. There are so many different textures in the world; and when making a piece, these textures can be represented very effectively by the different thicknesses and structures of the threads you use in the work. You can even try out woolen yarn, even though it’s not always the first thing associated with embroidery!”
“I always try to start with a good foundation—often this means getting good quality cotton without stretch. I find there is no substitute for going to fabric stores and checking the feel of the fabric. You can also use silk or linen (or anything else you’d like) as long as it does not have a stretch.”
“Experiment with different embroidery needles. Needles are generally inexpensive, come in a great variety of sizes and feeling in the hand, and can be very personal in what kind of needle you like or feel most comfortable with.”
Magnifying lamp and embroidery stand
“If you really enjoy embroidery and want to make it easier for yourself, then I would invest in getting a magnifying lamp in combination with an embroidery stand—good light and a good posture make all the difference when you are concentrating on the small details.”