The only way to learn to construct hand embroidery is to play along the needle and the thread. You need to be creative because it’s all about how you twist or turn your threaded needle. With almost each different twists and turns, new stitches and patterns are created. At the very first level of learning to construct hand embroidery, we will need to collect some tools.
The tools are- Hand embroidery Hoops and Frames, Hand embroidery needles, Floss, Sharp embroidery scissors and fabric.
Hand embroidery Hoops and Frames: This is the frame which is used to keep the fabric in place. Hoops and Frames used for hand embroidery can be made of metal, wood or similar material.
In maximum cases the hoops are of circular shape. But square shaped frames are also available. So, buy your preferred hoop.
Hand embroidery Needles: There are mainly four types of Hand embroidery Needles. These are- Embroidery Needles, Tapestry Needles, Chenille Needles, Straw or Milliner Needles. The size of the needles are expressed through numbers. The higher numbered needles are the smaller ones.
Generally needles are numbered from 1-12. 12 is much, much smaller than the size 1. Generally, Tapestry needles and chenille needles are numbered from 18 to 28. 28 is considered the smallest size.
Floss for hand embroidery: We can choose the floss depending on some points. Most important point in choosing a thread for hand embroidery is the material of the thread.
There are cotton threads, metallic threads, satin threads and silk threads. Other considerable points for choosing the hand embroidery floss could be the type of embroidery or the type of fabric etc. I will be discussing the different types of threads or floss for hand embroidery in my upcoming posts.
Sharp embroidery scissors: There are different types of scissors in the craft stores. But its important to have a better quality scissor. The primary quality of a scissor may be sharp blades. And for hand embroidery, anyone will prefer small and sharp embroidery scissors. Some other most important features an embroidery scissor should have are: the blades should be even and fit properly, the opening and closing should be smooth, and of course the scissor has to be light. A sharp embroidery scissor won’t be of much help for the embroiderer if its too heavy.
Fabric used for Hand Embroidery: Choosing the right fabric for hand embroidery is as important as all of the previously explained materials. If you are creating something extraordinary, you should try to make sure that your efforts show well and hold itself good. Embroidery makes any piece of fabric look amazing but its better if the fabric used for hand embroidery is strong enough to make the design look as it is.
Another considerable point is, how the fabric used for hand embroidery will be maintained. The maintenance of a hand embroidered table cloth will definitely be different from that of a hand embroidered dress for regular use. The dress needs to be washed frequently and the fabric has to be soft. But the table cloth does not need to be washed frequently and it is okay if the fabric is a bit rough. So, choose the fabric very carefully for using in hand embroidery.
Though the preparation of learning to construct hand embroidery takes some time in getting the tools. But the process is easy. Otherwise, this art would have been diminished from the world. This art is thousands of years old. It was used to decorate the hems of royal robes in different countries. Even at that time, different kinds of embroidery stitches and patterns like- Blackwork, Jacobean Embroidery were introduced .
There are more than two hundred stitches and patterns in hand embroidery. Maximum of us don’t even know all the names of these stitches.
Among several patterns and stitches, my favorites are Cross Stitch, Kutch Embroidery, Blackwork, Trellis Work, Herringbone Stitch, Darning Stitch, Sashiko, Chicken Scratch. Each different stitch and pattern gives complete different look to the surface.