pink background with text and an embroidery hoop, scissors and embroidery thread on a piece of fabric

What do you need for embroidery?

The Ultimate Embroidery Guide

You might be here today because you’re taking a newfound interest in embroidery. Or maybe you have been in the embroidery business for years and are looking for the best ways to upgrade your current embroidery kit. Either way, you’ve come to the right place. This article will take you through everything embroidery, from supplies to tips and more!

Embroidery is one skill that allows you to create gorgeous art and decor for just about anything. You can start off with embroidering as your very first sewing skill as a beginner. You can also add embroidering to your already-long-list of professional sewing skills.

Not sure what fabric to use? Struggling to choose between hand embroidery tools and sewing tools? Don’t know what to put in a kit? Here are all the answers to your questions and more. 

Table of Contents

What are the different types of embroidery? 

What are the 21 types of embroidery?

  1. Blackwork Embroidery
  2. Crewel Embroidery 
  3. Cross Stitch Embroidery 
  4. Counted Thread Embroidery
  5. Candlewicking Embroidery
  6. Cutwork Embroidery
  7. Drawn Thread Embroidery
  8. Fish Scale Embroidery
  9. Hardanger Embroidery
  10. Huck Embroidery
  11. Needlepoint Embroidery
  12. Outline Embroidery 
  13. Pulled Thread 
  14. Patchwork Embroidery
  15. Punch Needle Embroidery
  16. Ribbon Embroidery
  17. Shadow Work Embroidery
  18. Sashiko Embroidery
  19. Stumpwork Embroidery
  20. Thread Painting Embroidery
  21. Whitework Embroidery

In the oxford dictionary, the term embroidery is defined as “patterns that are sewn onto cloth using threads of various colours; cloth that is decorated in this way. a beautiful piece of embroidery.”

Amongst professionals, embroidery is our pathway to bursting colours, beautiful art, amazing finishes, and the source that brings any room together! 

To start off your embroidery journey or to expand your current skills, here are some of the different types of embroidery you can start working on in 2023

What is the most popular type of embroidery?

What are the 5 special kinds of embroidery?

  1. Back Stitch Embroidery
  2. Running Stitch Embroidery
  3. Fill Stitch Embroidery
  4. Satin Stitch Embroidery 
  5. Stem Stitch Embroidery

The type of embroidery you choose depends on your personal preference as well as your desired task at hand. 

However, the embroidery type that’s raging the sewing industry right now is hand embroidery. Hand embroidery is the enhancement of fabric using  Back Stitch, Running Stitch, Fill Stitch, Satin Stitch, and Stem Stitch. 

Want to learn more about the different stitches? Click here.  

What is an embroidery tool? 

A tool is an instrument, usually operated by hand, that is used for a designated task. Embroidery tools are all the instruments you need to create beautiful embroidery. It is designed to make the process easier for you. 

What do you use for embroidery?

Now that you know that your embroidery will do so much better with embroidery tools, here are the main embroidery tools you can choose from to kick-start your embroidering journey. 

What are the 28 different embroidery tools and materials?

The 28 tools used in embroidery:

  1. Embroidery thread
  2. Embroidery fabric
  3. Embroidery needle
  4. Punch needle
  5. Needle threader
  6. An embroidery machine
  7. Embroidery software
  8. Embroidery backing
  9. Stabilizing paper
  10. Embroidery floss
  11. Floss organiser
  12. Floss bobbins
  13. Fabric marking pens
  14. Notebook
  15. Disappearing Ink Pen
  16. Ruler 
  17. Embroidery ring 
  18. Hoops 
  19. Embroidery Scissors
  20. Appliqué Scissors
  21. Nippers
  22. Seam Ripper
  23. Binder
  24. Clips
  25. Quilting pins
  26. Lighting
  27. Stitch Eraser
  28. Thread Stand 


Must-have embroidery supplies

Embroidery thread

What thread do you need for embroidery? 

There are various kinds of embroidery thread. However, Isacord Embroidery Thread is a must-have. With polyester multifilament properties, it is a trilobal embroidery thread. Up to 1000m and over 20 different colours to select from, you can’t go wrong with Isacord Embroidery Thread. 


Embroidery fabric

What is embroidery fabric? What is embroidery material?

Whether you know it as embroidery fabric or embroidery material- it’s an interchangeable term. 

Embroidery fabric or materials are textile cloths on which you create designs, logos, and crafts with embroidery supplies. 

What can you embroider? Can I embroider on any fabric?

Embroidery fabric comes in a wide variety of colours, weaves, threads, and materials. You can choose fabric based on the task at hand. Some fabric like denim is more difficult to embroider on than on others, like cotton. 

What material is used for embroidery? 

Top 7 embroidery fabric: 

  • 100% cotton – Cotton is ideal to embroider with because they have tight weaves that allow a range of stitching. 
  • Aida cloth- This fabric is beneficial due to the squares that are easy to follow, thus easy to work with. Ideal for cross-stitching. 
  • Linen- if you want a luxurious project, use linen. It gives a beautiful texture.
  • Evenweave fabric- they can be tightly woven or loosely woven. They are available in a variety of colours, thread counts, and fiber content. Ideal for surface embroidery. 
  • Wool- it is stretch-resistant and has no weave. You can make a wide variety of projects with this material.
  • Toweling material-  this material is generally ready-made. You have a large range of embroidery art available with this fabric. 
  • Burlap- made from fiber. It has a loose weave which means it is ideal for various embroidery techniques. 

Embroidery needle

What needle do you need for embroidery?

There are many types of needles out there. Embroidery needles are specific for embroidery tasks. Schmetz embroidery needles are durable, strong, sharp, and ideal for any crafty project. 

Punch needle

When you are performing punch needle embroidery, this set is a must-have. Punch needle embroidery allows you to work without stitching through the fabric. 

You can create and decorate anything in your home and living space. This product works well with embroidery floss or yarn. 

Bonus needle tool: Needle threader

If you need extra help, get a needle threader. It’s your second eye. It helps you thread a needle with ease. If you have poor aim or bad eyesight (or you just enjoy convenience) a needle threader is a must-have in your embroidery kit. 

An embroidery machine

Which is the best embroidery machine? 

Embroidering from the comfort of your home is the future! Whether you are a pro embroider or a beginner, brother has an embroidery machine for you! 

Brother embroidery machines 

For beginners

Beginner embroidery machines are fantastic for anyone wanting to start off with embroidery. Beginner machines are affordable, easy to use, and come with amazing features to help you create beautiful art. If you don’t want to embroider by hand, you should consider using a machine with wide embroidery areas, built-in patterns, and good stitch speed per minute. 

Looking for more embroidery machines? Shop our embroidery machine range.

For pros 

If you run a clothing business, an embroidery machine is a great addition to any brand. Pro machines come with extra-large areas to embroider, innovative high-tech features, sensors, multiple needles and so much more. Take your entrepreneurship or hobby to the next level. 

For more advanced embroidery machines, check these pro embroidery machines.

Bonus embroidery machine supplies: Embroidery software

A software upgrade kit can include a software upgrade card, a kit, frames, and innov-Is features to boost any specific embroidery machine. These software upgrades can take any sewing project from average to phenomenal. 

Interested in embroidery software upgrades? Click here to learn more about embroidery software upgrades.

Stabilising your embroidery

  • Embroidery backing 
  • Stabilizing paper

What backing is used for embroidery?

Is this your first time hearing of backing? Backing is simply a means of stabilizing your fabric while you’re stitching. It comes in the form of a sheet. This sheet is then hooped. You embroider it with your fabric. 

5 main types of backing:

  • No-show backing– for pastel knit and lightweight material.
  • Tearaway backing– not to be used with delicate fabrics. These tear like paper 
  • Cutaway backing– to be used with stretch and delicate fabric. It gives a solid foundation
  • Cap backing– this is heavyweight backing. Ideal for hats. Creates flatter lettering and symbols.
  • Solvy water soluble– dissolved in water and used on thick or hairy fabric

Shop various other backing options from our range! 

Do you need embroidery backing? Can I embroider without backing?

The simple answer is yes, you can embroider without backing. However, you will be at risk of slippage and messy work without backing. Embroider smart- get backing to back you up! 

Stabilizer paper serves the same function. However, it is transparent and you can write on it if needed. DIY Tip: use a tissue as stabilizer paper.

Embroidery floss supplies

  • Embroidery floss 
  • Floss organiser and 
  • Floss bobbins 

You need to floss your way through embroidery to make a successful craft! Embroidery floss is cotton that has been loosely twisted for embroidery threading. It comes around embroidery bobbins which can be perfectly stacked in an embroidery floss organiser. 

Embroidery stationery tools

  • Fabric marking pens
  • Notebook 
  • Disappearing Ink Pen
  • Ruler 

Embroidery is a craft. Much like any craft, you need stationery supplies. For embroidery, the main stationery supplies you’ll need are:

  • Fabric markers and disappearing ink pens- for marking, drawing, designing, and planning
  • Notebook- to doodle all your designs, to plan your projects etc
  • Transparent ruler- for easy and shorter measurements of designs and logos 


Embroidery hoops

  • Embroidery ring 
  • Hoops 

Why do you need an embroidery hoop?

Can I embroider without a hoop?

Your embroidery hoop is your fabric’s best friend. An embroidery hoop functions by:

  • Stretching the fabric
  • Keeping fabric tight
  • Prevents fabric puckering
  • Provides even stitches
  • Allows your work to be messy

Yes, you can embroider without a hoop. However, if you want to create beautiful stitches and luxurious crafts, a hoop is the way to go. 


Embroidery cutting supplies

  • Embroidery Scissors
  • Appliqué Scissors
  • Nippers
  • Seam Ripper

When you embroider, you’ll need to be cutting, adjusting, and shaping. The best thing you can do is to stock up on various cutting tools. Here are the main embroidery cutting tools:

  • Embroidery Scissors- any scissors made for embroidery will do. You will use it to cut, tear, shape, and form almost everything so ensure it is sharp and the appropriate size.
  • Appliqué Scissors- these are specialised scissors. Made to cut applique fabric once it has been stitched. 
  • Nippers- cuts thread quickly, easily, and concisely.
  • Seam Ripper- effortlessly remove stitches, open buttonholes, and seams with this handy tool.


Embroidery Clipping and pinning

  • Binder 
  • Clips
  • Quilting pins

Before getting started, you need to know that you can NEVER have too many pins. Pins, clips, pegs, binders- you name it!

Make your embroidery experience easier by having a variety of clipping supplies on hand. You no longer have to worry about keeping two fabrics together while you’re simultaneously trying to stitch them together. Clip up and save time! 

Extra touches

These aren’t must-have embroidery tools, but your work will end up a lot better with them.

  • Lighting
  • Stitch Eraser
  • Thread Stand

Lighting is essential to keep your eyes strong. Whether you invest in a nice table lamp or a sewing machine with a light- always make sure it is good for your eyes. Especially when working late at night. 

Stitch erasers come in handy when you’ve made a mistake. It shaves off any errors you’ve made in a logo, design, or pattern. Make sure not to use it on thin fabric. It’s a small investment that goes a long way. 

Thread stands are just there to help you out when using a machine. Easily place your thread on the stand and embroider away!

What supplies do you need for embroidery?

The first thing you need to consider when embroidering is: will I be using a machine or will I hand embroider. Both pose their own benefits and both means require different supplies. 

Benefits of embroidery machines: It is a much quicker way to embroider. Many user-friendly machines make it easy for beginners to learn. Advanced machines really add razzle-dazzle to a pro’s work. 

Benefits of hand embroidery: you have more freedom to play around with different ideas. It is a cheaper way to embroider. It also keeps your focus, patience, and motor skills on par.  

What tools do you need for embroidery?

  • Hand embroidery supplies
  • Embroidery machine supplies

Hand embroidery supplies

What is the most essential tool in hand embroidery? 

The most essential tool in hand embroidery will definitely be your hand embroidery needle. If you pick a strong, suitable needle for your specific fabric, then your project will be smooth. 

What equipment do you need for hand embroidery?

  • Fabric
  • Fabric marking pens
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery ring 
  • Embroidery thread 
  • Needles
  • Hoops 
  • Floss 
  • Floss bobbins
  • Needle threader

Bonus hand embroidery supplies:

  • Stabilizing paper
  • Notebook
  • Lighting
  • Floss organiser 

Embroidery machine supplies

What do you need for embroidery machines?

  • Stitch Eraser
  • Thread Stand
  • Appliqué Scissors
  • Nippers
  • Binder 
  • Clips
  • Disappearing Ink Pen
  • Ruler
  • Quilting pins
  • Seam Ripper
  • Embroidery software
  • An embroidery machine 

What should be in an embroidery kit?

If you don’t want to put together your own kit, don’t fret. Let the professionals do it for you. Here are embroidery kits for you to choose from: 

  • Kiddies embroidery kit
  • Hand embroidery kit

Kids embroidery kit

 Ideal for teaching the kiddies how to embroider. This kit includes:

  • Embroidery frame
  • Cute Hold-All container 
  • buttons and beads
  • Colourful Scissors
  • fabric with printed pattern, 
  • embroidery thread 
  • hand embroidery needles 
  • and printed instructions.

Hand embroidery starter kit

If you’re hand embroidering, then this is the kit for you. You will get:

  • small floss box
  • 6-inch embroidery ring
  • sample fabric
  • embroidery scissors 
  • embroidery needles
  • flower needle threader
  • floss winder
  • floss cards
  • 10 embroidery threads and
  •  a kit bag


Embroidery for beginners 

Is embroidery easy to learn? 

Like any other skill, learning how to embroider can be an easy task. With enough time, patience, and practice- you can ace this skill in no time. 

Scientifically, it takes 21 days to form a habit. Try bits of embroidery every day for a month and watch how much you grow

Want step-by-step instructions to start embroidering? Have a look at this Embroidery 101 tutorial.  

How can I learn embroidery at home? 

 Easy ways to learn embroidery at home:

  • Buy an easy-to-use embroidery machine that comes with instructions and a user manual
  • Follow social media pages of professional seamstresses, like Fabric8.
  • Watch youtube tutorials for your specific goal in mind
  • Purchase an embroidery book 
  • Buy scrap fabric and copy the designs you see on your home furniture pieces. 

What do I need to start embroidering?

Embroidery supplies for beginners:

  • floss box
  • embroidery ring
  • sample fabric
  • embroidery scissors 
  • embroidery needles
  • needle threader
  • floss winder
  • floss cards
  • embroidery threads
  • ruler
  • pins
  • buttons and beads
  • fabric marker
  • clips
  • Seam ripper

Where to buy embroidery supplies

Embroidery supplies near me

If you are looking for a variety of embroidery supplies, visit 

You can shop hand supplies, cutting tools, kits, machines, upgrade software and so much more. With great customer service and good delivery/pickup offers, you can get all your embroidery needs to be met.