Hand embroidery is a famously easy craft to try. With its inexpensive materials and helpful beginner kits, even stitching novices will be able to make their first pass through the fabric with a needle and thread.
The running stitch is the most basic of embroidery techniques, and that’s just the beginning. There are hundreds of stitches that you can learn, from the kind that fill in large areas of fabric to intricate knots to decorative florals.
If you’re interested in creating your own embroidery art, it’s best to know at least a few stitching approaches. When you have three or four favorites in your stitch arsenal, you can employ them in your embroidered images as a way to create visual interest. Why do that? Think about your embroidery like you would a drawing; in one sketch, you’re probably incorporating multiple drawing techniques—like hatching, cross-hatching, and back-and-forth shading. Doing this adds volume, texture, and generally excites the eye in a way that a drawing made of just one approach could not. The same happens when you use multiple stitches in embroidery; they are the equivalent of using a few drawing techniques.
There are many ways to learn different kinds of embroidery stitches. You could attend a workshop, online class, or consult a book. Another popular way is through Youtube videos. This method is ideal if you want to watch someone make the stitches with the convenience that comes from viewing a video online. (For free!) Pause, rewind, and consult the comments to learn how exactly to make the stitch—then try it yourself. And if you are learning multiple stitches at once, work on them on the same piece of fabric and label them later. This stitch sampler is sure to be something you refer to in the future.
Here are some of the most popular embroidery stitches to learn. And remember, don’t get discouraged if you can’t get a stitch on the first try; some of them are really complicated. Just watch the video and start again—the more you stitch, the easier it gets. We promise.
Learn how to do embroidery stitches for free by watching these popular YouTube videos.
Handiworks has created a helpful playlist that starts with learning to thread your needle and delves into variations on popular stitches.