In times of stress, it can be valuable for your mental health to have a hobby to retreat to – it provides distraction, comfort and a sense of accomplishment independent from work. Embroidery could be the perfect choice: it’s a mixture of meditative intricate work that can form a complete distraction for a ten minutes or a whole evening, and creative expression that sees you creating more and more impressive projects as you develop your skills and experience.
When you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to know how and where to begin, so that’s what we’re looking at today, to help you get started with your embroidery hobby.
What do you Need to Start Embroidery?
If you’re putting together an embroidery box for the first time, there are a few essential bits of equipment and materials you’ll need.
An embroidery hoop is one of the most important tools in your armoury. This allows you to hold the base fabric you’re sewing onto in place, so you can sew into it and ensure your stitches are regular.
Picking the right needle may prove to be slightly more complicated than you would think. Different kinds of embroidery require different needles – standard decorative embroidery uses a ‘crewel’ or chenille needle, with an extended eye to make threading multiple strands of yarn or floss easier. If you’re interested in needlepoint, you’ll need a tapestry needle, which has a blunt tip to make it easier to slip it between the mesh of the fabric without puncturing it.
You’ll be sewing with embroidery floss – specially made thread that’s intended for use in embroidery projects. This is thicker – containing more strands – than standard thread, and is made to uniform standards. This means you can quickly create a library of different coloured threads, ready for any project! You can also add sequins, beads and even feathers to create lots of different effects!
What Can You Embroider?
Once you’ve got all the equipment you need you can begin to look for inspiration for your first projects. Embroidery is a flexible craft and you can create lots of different things with it – you can embroider patterns into canvas to create art for its own sake, or to use as table decorations, place settings or coasters.
You can also use free embroidery to decorate existing clothes, accessories and even furniture, which can reinvigorate objects you had no intention of ever using again, or upcycle cheap second-hand purchases!