Embroidery tools and materials (40+) you may need

Updated on December 28, 2022 by Sarina Tariq

Embroidery is beautiful. The process of embroidery is even more so – it is calming, therapeutic, and 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 to create 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 Different types of sewing needles available.

Dress maker’s Scissors


This is the basic fabric-cutting scissors which you most probably 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.

Notebook

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

embroidery tools supplies.

Embroidery Thread

Wool, linen, silk, cotton thread – Machine embroidery reel and hand embroidery bundles; whatever thread we use, make sure it is color 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

Fabric

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 stretches the cloth appropriately – essential to make very neat embroidery stitches. It is available in many sizes. In hand embroidery, we use a circular hoop, whereas, 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 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

Ruler 

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

Thimble

Thimble is used 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 long thin eyes, and you can generally do all types of embroidery with this.

Drawing  materials 

Drawing boards, drawing pins, a variety of cards and paper, and drawing and coloring 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 a round eye and are 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

 Beeswax

This is used to coat thread to protect 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 embroidery.

Interfacing 

This is especially useful  for backing up work  on delicate fabrics

Pinking scissors

Pinking scissors give a zig-zag edge is useful to prevent fabric edges unraveling.

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 colors. 

Checkout the various methods you can use for embroidery transfers

Templates

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

Embroidery patterns

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

Thread snips

These small snips help in cutting extra threads out.

Measuring instruments 

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

Books 

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. More tips on organizing threads here.

Magnifiers

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 the nearby fabric.

Hand towels

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

Fray check

This is an alternative to finishing 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 will not be using it, but if a mistake is made, you need the tool to rip the stitches open.

Read more on using seamripper correctly.

Tweezers

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

Laying tool

This is a long needle-like tool that helps in laying the thread easily.

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 a 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

Tatting shuttle.

Smocking

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

Related posts : Sampers in embroidery; Machine embroidery software

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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author-sarina

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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