Hand Embroidery

Hand Embroidery

Embroidery by hand is an ancient art of embellishing items with a just needle and thread. There is a resurgence of hand embroidery and a movement called slow stitching. Taking the time to add some stitches to a garment, or making a piece of art with just cloth is a repetitive action that brings a meditative state to many stitchers.

There are hundreds of embroidery stitches that have history as far back as the Middle Ages. New stitches were practiced and recorded by making samplers of the various embroidery stitches.

Hand embroidery isn’t hard and doesn’t require a lot of supplies. All you need is a piece of fabric, thread and needle. It is recommended to have a hoop to keep your fabric taut, so you stitches are more even, and a good pair of embroidery scissors makes it easier to trim your threads.

There are the basic stitches like the running stitch, stem stitch, back stitch, chain stitch, feather stitch, lazy daisy stitch and more complex stitches like the Algerian Eye stitch. They can be stitched alone, or combined to make a pattern or design. We’ve rounded up 10 Easy Embroidery Stitches to Embellish  your projects.

New to embroidery? There are kits that provide all of the information and materials, or just start with some fabric and thread and play!

There are basic embroidery threads, and even fancy metallic threads to add some bling to your project, gorgeous hand dyed threads, threads made from silk and even silk ribbon threads used in crazy quilting embroidery. Learn all about the different embroidery threads you can use on your hand embroidery projects.

The size of the needle depends on the type of thread you are using for your hand embroidery, as well as the fabric. For a thick thread or narrow ribbon embroidery, you need a needle with a large eye. For just 2-thread embroidery floss, a regular sewing needle does the trick.

Browse through our collection of how to create many hand embroidery stitches and be inspired by the artists and their creations that use hand embroidery in their art.

More Hand Embroidery

With a strong sense of narrative, Michelle Kingdom embraces embroidery as an art form that has long been sidelined as "women's work". With lines of stitching, she creates textural drawings...

As I worked on this quilt I thought about how our parents settled into a new life with many joys and a few challenges. I thought about how our mother...

Alexis Acevedo was studying fashion design when the needlepoint bug that had bitten her in childhood came buzzing back with the infinite design possibilities of color and texture she could...

From her early, pre-Kindergarten artworks to her textile work today, PM Neist rebels against conventional approaches. With focused intention, the Houston-based artist tells a story with every unique stitch, revealing...

While her first embroidery project at age 10 presented challenges, Shirley Hudson is glad she persisted. She has made a career out of stitch, and her work designing patterns doesn't...