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.

After 35 years of creating, exhibiting, teaching and writing about textile art, Susan Brandeis is as enthusiastic as ever about creating her own visual language and helping others do the...

Growing up with artists as parents, Libby Williamson explored many ways of creating, and that is reflected in her fiber art today. With complex layers of fabric, paint, dye, print,...

When asked to “decorate an art pumpkin” for a local arts alliance exhibit, what’s a fiber artist to do? Add the personal challenge of using materials already in my studio....

Combining old textiles with computer technology, Hale Ekinci creates thought-provoking fiber art. Beginning with an old family photograph, Hale manipulates the image and transfers it to a repurposed household textile....

Asking "what if" inspires Terri Shinn to experiment with texture and color to achieve her vision of the world, often from a macro perspective. She gets close to her subjects...

Bringing as much meticulous attention to her work as an artist as she brought to her technical career, Donna Lee Dowdney creates nature-inspired visual art with fabric and mixed media....