Embroidery could be a great craft for people who like to knit or sew. The craft is rather inexpensive, as the most important embroidery supplies typically do not cost much. A person also does not need to buy much in the way of embroidery supplies in order to get started, as there are really only four essentials: needles, embroidery thread, a hoop, and fabric.
Thread or floss is perhaps the most important of all embroidery supplies. The color and type of thread a crafter chooses to use sets the tone for the project he or she is working on. Six-strand floss is perhaps the most common and usually the least expensive.
A crafter typically can divide six-strand embroidery floss into smaller amounts of strands, such as three strands or two strands if he or she wants to make finer, more delicate stitches. Six-strand embroidery thread comes in a wide range of colors, including variegated colors, metallics, and glow-in-the dark threads. The floss can be made from a variety of fibers, including linen and rayon. Less common types of embroidery floss include pearl cotton, which cannot be separated, and metallic, non-divisible threads.
Having a supply of floss will not help a crafter much if he or she does not also have needles to thread the floss through. The type of needle he or she needs to include with embroidery supplies depends on the type of stitching he or she plans on doing. For instance, cross stitch uses a different needle than other types of hand embroidery. Embroidery needles vary based on length, eye size, and the sharpness of the tip. It is up to a crafter to decide which needle size best suits his or her needs. When first purchasing embroidery supplies, it may be a good idea for a crafter to purchase several different sizes of needles and see which is most comfortable to work with.
Other important embroidery supplies are the embroidery hoop and the fabric. Wooden embroidery hoops usually cost a few dollars or less in the United States and can be re-used. Hoops come in several sizes and are usually circular, though there are oval hoops. Crafters should use small hoops for detail work or small patterns and larger hoops for big projects.
The type of fabric a crafter selects depends on style of needlework he or she does. Aida cloth, which has an open, even weave, works well for cross stitch. Plain woven cotton and linen are suitable for plain embroidery and other types of needlepoint.