If you are an embroidery enthusiast, or are even just getting started with the craft, you likely have a good selection of thread and needles to work with, but you might not know which fabrics and materials are ideal to embroider on. There are many different materials you can use for embroidery, depending on what type of project you are doing, your skill level, and how you want the embroidery to look. Here are some fabric options you can choose from to embroider on.
Cotton is an ideal fabric to embroider on because it has a very loose weave, which means that it is very easy for the needle to pass in and out of the fabric. When you are at the fabric store, you should look for a fabric that is labeled ‘quilting cotton’, which is designed specifically for sewing and embroidery work. It is the best because it is soft, but it is thick enough that it is opaque and will hold the stitches well. It works for both hand embroidery and machine embroidery.
Many popular forms of embroidery fabric are actually blends of two or more different materials. These blends are able to combine the features of two contrasting fabrics to create something better. For example, there are many cotton and linen blend options, as well as silk and wool. These blends have a good balance of durability and a nice feel, so you get the best of both worlds and don’t have to compromise when choosing your fabric. Avoid synthetic blends when choosing a fabric, as they don’t hold the threads well and are difficult to work with.
This is another fabric that is easy to obtain and works very well for embroidery. It is very durable, and works well for many different types of crafts. It won’t fray as you work, and it holds the stitches very well, so you can create very complex crafts with it. It is not as soft as cotton, but it is thicker and warmer, making it a good choice for things like blankets or scarves. It also works particularly well for projects like home items and ornaments.
This fabric is somewhat similar to cotton, but it feels lighter and has a stronger construction. Because it is highly durable, it can be more expensive than basic cotton. It is ideal for many types of clothing projects as well as things like table runners. It has a nice texture that complements many different types of embroidery thread as well. It is also natural, as it is made from flax seed, so it is ideal for the environmentally conscious crafter.
If you are working on a project that requires delicate stitching and a luxurious feel, silk is an ideal choice. Many silks are actually constructed in a way that makes them look soft and delicate, but is actually quite durable, so they will still hold embroidery stitches. Embroidering on silk will create a textured or raised look, which feels intriguing to touch and makes the embroidery stand out. The shine of the fabric is also ideal for creating certain aesthetic effects.
When choosing a fabric, there are a few other aspects to keep in mind. You’ll want to look for something with a somewhat loose weave, as these are easier to stitch into. You should consider the weight of the fabric as well, as differently weighted fabrics are better suited to certain projects than others. For delicate stitching, flimsiness is okay, but for heavier threads or projects that will need to withstand more wear and tear, you should look for a heavier thread.