Updated on September 6, 2022 by Sarina

Embroidery is beautiful. The process of embroidery is even more so – it is calming, therapeutic, a medicine for the distressed soul.

In my opinion everyone should take up embroidery. It makes everyone a creator with just a few supplies – a small piece of fabric (for an embroidered handkerchief) and a few colored embroidery thread and needle are basically all you need for creating these fantastic designs which come alive literally before your eyes with a little bit of passion and a little bit of careful sewing.

But it is still nice to have some extra tools.

If you are new to embroidery do not forget to checkout posts “What is Embroidery” ;  FAQ for starting embroidery for beginners 

embroidery tools

The best list of embroidery stitching tools supplies and equipment

What are the embroidery tools you need to start – the basic ones

Embroidery needles

The basic  hand embroidery needles  are available in a kit with all the essentials you need to start. Checkout this post on the 14 types of hand sewing / embroidery needles available.

Dress maker’s Scissors

This is the basic fabric cutting scissors which most probably you already have

Small Pointed Scissors

A small-bladed, very sharp pair of scissors is an essential tool. Checkout the other 12 types of cutting tools you need for sewing 


This is for jotting down design ideas, layouts and other creative stuff

Embroidery Thread

Wool, linen, silk, cotton thread – Machine embroidery reel and hand embroidery bundles; whatever thread we use make sure it  is colour fast and durable.  Checkout the 12 types of hand embroidery threads available 

Drawing materials

Water soluble pens/ chalks / Pencils . You can even use soap slithers for drawing embroidery designs

Tracing paper

Checkout the other 8 ways of transferring embroidery designs for your work


You can embroider on any fabric – checkout the post on the 10 best fabric to choose for your embroidery projects for more details.

Embroidery hoop

The embroidery hoop which stretches the cloth appropriately – this is very essential to make very neat embroidery stitches. It is available in many sizes. In hand embroidery we use a circular hoop where as in machine embroidery it is mostly a rectangular shaped hoop.

embroidery hoop

For large projects in hand embroidery, you may want a free standing hoop so that you can use both the hands or you may need to stretch a big fabric – you can buy all kinds of hoops to suit your needs. Checkout the post on the different types of hoops and frames used in embroidery


I have an 18 inch see through plastic ruler and a small one which fits inside my hoop


For keeping your hands safe from the pricking needles and prevent blood-staining on embroidery 

 What are the extra embroidery supplies & tools which are nice to have

embroidery tools and equipments

Chenille needles

These are sharp pointed needles with thin long eye and you can do generally all types of embroidery with this .

Drawing  materials 

Drawing-boards, drawing-pins, a variety of card and paper and drawing and colouring materials 

Dressmaker’s Pins 

Ensure that you have the sharpest and finest ( without rust) as otherwise your fabric will be marred  ; Safety pins also come useful

Needle threader

This small handy tool with a wire loop is a necessity for some with difficulty in threading needles. Checkout the different ways to thread the needle easily.

Crewel Embroidery needles

Crewel needles are sharp pointed needles with round eye and is used for french knots and other knot stitches . The round eye makes it  easy for the wrapped thread to slip down. 

Tape measure

Checkout this post if you would like to know more about reading the tape measure correctly


This is used to coat thread for protecting it from tangles and breaks

Iron and ironing board

Tapestry needles

These needles are blunt and are used for doing cross stitch, open work embroidery, wool embroidery etc. 

Hole punching

Awls or stiletteos  for making eyelet holes, useful in broderie anglaise.


This is especially useful  for backing up work  on delicate fabrics

Pinking scissors

This scissors giving a zig zag edge is useful to prevent fabric edges unravelling. Checkout the 15 ways of finishing fabric edges in sewing

Wooden frames

A tambour frame and a slate frame with the necessary pegs, string, tape, etc.

 Fabric glue

To  attach beads and sequins and many other things 

 Beading needles

This small thin needle is especially suited for beading even small beads

 Ball pointed scissors

This scissors is great for doing lace and net applique and embroidery

Embroidery transfer materials 

Black and white pounce, a pounce pad, paints and a fine brush; A light table ; Carbon sheets in various colours. Checkout the various methods you can use for embroidery transfers


Metal, wood, or paper templates for patchwork and quilting.

Embroidery patterns

Buyable patterns which can be transferred to the fabric . There are even pre-printed fabric available in the market those who are eager to get on with the embroidery

Thread snips

These small snips helps in cutting extra threads out

Measuring instruments 

Measuring instruments—set square, protractor, compass, ruler, etc


Reference books for embroidery techniques and designs 

Thread organizers 

Tangled messy thread is a nightmare all embroidery enthusiast is familiar with.  Small cardboard organiser to wind the extra thread and boxes to keep the thread neatly are very nice to have. 


If you have trouble seeing small stitches or just want to see the delicate work upclose these are handy tools to have . 

Applique  scissors

This scissors is shaped like a duck bill and helps in cutting applique without damaging nearby fabric

Hand towels

Keep the hands clean for your work to be spotless. Keep towels or paper tissues handy

 Fray check

This is an alternative to finish the edges of the fabric . You can use this on thread ends too

Micro tip scissors

These small scissors have a very sharp point at the tip and big rings for your hands.

Pin cushion

Keeps the needles handy and safe

Seam ripper

Hopefully you wouldnot be using it but if a mistake is made you need the tool to rip the stitches open


These have angled ends and help in picking stitches with precision. Also helps to pick small beads crystal and sequins 

Laying tool

This is a long needle like tool which helps in laying the thread easy

Special embroidery techniques call for specific types of tools and equipment. If you are interested in a specific type of embroidery try to get hold of these tools for a successful attempt

Gold work

Metal threads, velvet-lined box for cut pieces, mullore for straightening and bending wire, and, shellac for painting over the wire when embroidery is complete.For zardosi work you can buy the special zardosi needle ( Tambour needle)

Aari embroidery

Aari needle – a needle with a hook at one end

Applique work

Freezer paper, stencils 

Canvas work

Paste, pot and brush

Ribbon embroidery work

Silk and cotton ribbons, chinelle  needle with big enough eye for the ribbon to pass through, awl

Cross stitch work

A special ruler – stitch count ruler. You  get this for aida, linen, and canvas.With this ruler you can count the threads or boxes in an inch on the material you are doing the work

Punch embroidery

Punch embroidery needles


Tatting shuttle


A pleater is good to have for professional pleating ; Checkout the post on Beginner’s guide to Smocking 

Related posts

3D embroidery flowers

How to make a cross stitch pattern

how to make a cross stitch pattern

10 ways to do embroidery with Pasiley Prints/ mango designs
paisley prints and patterns

18 easy to do Border designs in embroidery 

border designs

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