Choosing The Right Thread And Fabric For Your Embroidery Pattern

Ready to get stitching? Finding the right pattern is always the first step for any new project, but it's not the last decision that you'll need to make before pulling the needle out of your kit. Although some patterns come with recommendations for fabric and thread, many leave this up to the creativity of the individual embroiderer. This freedom can be liberating but also a bit intimidating. Choosing the right base and thread can transform even a dull pattern, and your choices are also a great way to add your unique flair and personality to a design. Although many design decisions often come down to intuition, these tips will help to get you started.

Stitching Knowledge Is Vital

Wait a minute, isn't this an article about design? While material choices are all about the final appearance of your pattern, good design doesn't exist in a vacuum. Choosing the right materials for your project begins by understanding the pattern and the stitches that it requires. Having a good grasp of fundamental stitches will allow you to visualize the work of putting needle to the fabric more easily. Without this skill, it will be more challenging to understand how the final product is likely to appear.

Ultimately, knowing which stitches you will use can help you to choose the right thread for your project. Delicate stitches will require floss or lighter thread, while bold lines and heavier stitches may require full cotton threads. Many people prefer stranded cotton for hand embroidery, since it can be pulled apart and used in a variety of different ways for different stitches.

Fabric Is About More Than Just Looks

When selecting a fabric, pay attention to the thread count. High thread count fabrics will be more difficult to thread a needle through and may be particularly hard to use if you are attempting more complicated stitches. Your chosen material will need to be durable and stable enough to support your work, but rougher materials can often lend a harsher appearance to the final product. Stabilizers are more commonly used for machine embroidery, but they can be used with hand-embroidered designs if your desired fabric lacks the stability to support your work.

Pay Attention to Recommendations

Finally, pay attention to any recommendations that come with your pattern. Embroidery patterns can range from simple line drawings to complex sets of instructions that include detailed stitch, fabric, and thread information. If you are a novice embroiderer, then closely following these instructions will usually produce the best results. As you become more experienced, you can begin to treat these directions as guidelines. Even better, you will come to understand why the pattern designer made their choices so that you can make adjustments to fit your own preferences better.

And the most important piece of advice for choosing the right materials? Have fun! If you try something and it doesn't work, you've still learned a lesson that you can apply to future projects. Over time, you will develop the intuition you need to make great design choices that will add your own unique twist to any pattern that you choose.

Keep these tips in mind as you visit an embroidery shop like Colonial Patterns.