My favorite hand embroidery supplies, tools, and materials

Choosing high-quality hand embroidery supplies can make your embroidery process smooth and enjoyable. On the other hand – poor-quality tools and materials will lead to frustration and disappointment. 

Hand embroidery art is laborious and time-consuming, so don’t waste time working with questionable materials.

Disclaimer: To cover the cost of creating free embroidery patterns and video tutorials for this blog, I do sometimes link to products. Please assume these links are affiliate links. If you choose to buy through my links then THANK YOU – it will make it possible for me to keep doing this.

My favorite hand embroidery supplies

Embroidery Fabrics 

The general recommendation for embroidery fabrics is a medium-weight natural fabric with a tight weave (high thread count). It will do well for any surface embroidery project. More about the fabrics for embroidery in “An in-depth guide to hand embroidery fabrics.

My top 3 choices:
Linen fabrics for embroidery
Linen fabric for embroidery on Etsy | Million Of Stitches
Embroidery fabric cotton linen neutral colors Etsy
Hand embroidery fabric, neutrals on Etsy | SC handworks
Wool Blend Felt | One Yard on Etsy
Wool blend felt | one yard on Etsy | Benzie Design

Embroidery Threads

Embroidery floss and threads are an essential group of hand embroidery materials. And the choices here are almost infinite. More about embroidery threads: “An in-depth guide to hand embroidery threads, floss, and other types of yarn you can use to embroider.

My top 3 choices:
DMC Embroidery Floss Etsy
DMC embroidery floss on Etsy | Reyn Yarn Studio
DMC Pearl Cotton Thread Etsy
DMC Pearl cotton thread size 3 on Etsy | Million Of Stitches
Sashiko Thread Embroidery Floss Etsy
Sashiko thread embroidery floss on Etsy | Contedefees studio

Embroidery Needles

You probably already found out that not all the needles are the same. They vary in size and shape and serve different purposes. So, which ones should be on our list and why? More on that in “Hand embroidery needles and all you need to know to choose the right one.

My top 3 choices:
Bohin Embroidery Needles Etsy
Bohin embroidery needles – discovery pack on Etsy | Seed Stitch Studio Shop
Sashiko Needles Etsy
Hidamari sashiko needles by Lecien Cosmo, Set of 6 | Snuggly Monkey
DMC embroidery needles on Amazon
DMC hand embroidery needles, sizes 5/10 | on Amazon

Embroidery Hoops and Frames

An embroidery hoop is one of the main items on the embroidery supplies list. You may change the fabric and the threads from project to project. But the embroidery hoop, if chosen right, will stay, and you will use it repeatedly. More about this embroidery tool in “Embroidery hoops. Types, sizes, and how to choose the best hoop for hand embroidery“.

My top 3 choices:
Beechwood embroidery hoops Etsy
Nurge beechwood embroidery hoops, 4″, 6″ on Etsy | Hoop Art Stitch
Hoop stand Etsy
Embroidery seat frame – hoop stand on Etsy | Novahand
Bamboo hoops Etsy
Bamboo embroidery hoop on Etsy | Rosemarys Hand Made

Scissors and Cutting Tools

Often, embroidery scissors get the least attention, but they are still significant for the smooth hand embroidery process. Besides that, how cute are these scissors and snips? More about this tool in “Types Of Scissors, Snippers, And Shears You Should Have In Your Craft Drawer As An Embroiderer.

My top 3 choices:
Embroidery Scissors Etsy
Embroidery Scissors on Etsy | The Felt Pod
Pinking shears Etsy
Pinking Shears From Famore Cutlery on Etsy | Primrose Cottages
Black Embroidery Snips
Black embroidery snips on Etsy | Crafty Wool Felt

Marking Tools

You can choose from various tools and materials to transfer an embroidery pattern to the fabric. Some are specialized and made for embroidery purposes, and some are simple tools we use daily at home. More about these tools and methods in the article “How to transfer embroidery pattern to the fabric.

My top 3 choices:
DMC Water Soluble Embroidery Transfer Pen - Blue on Etsy
DMC water soluble embroidery transfer pen on Etsy | Million Of Stitches
Friction /  heat erasable pens on Etsy
Friction / heat erasable pens on Etsy | Kenna’s Quilts
Tailors chalk pencil for fabric Etsy
Tailor’s chalk pencil for fabric on Etsy | Jess Long Embroidery

Stabilizers and Interfacings

There are a couple of stabilizer types for embroidery – tear away, cut away, or heat away. These are materials that provide temporary support to fabrics during the embroidery process. I have “The Ultimate Guide to Water Soluble Stabilizers for Hand Embroidery” if you care to learn more about this embroidery supply.

My top 3 choices:
Water Soluble Stabilizer Sulky Etsy
Water soluble stabilizer Sulky sticky printable on Etsy | SC handworks
Wash-away topping embroidery stabilizer Kimbbell on Etsy
Wash-away topping embroidery stabilizer Kimberbell on Etsy | DayLilyFabricShop
Water soluble paper stabilizer Pellon on Etsy
Water soluble paper stabilizer Pellon on Etsy | Million Of Stitches

Tools for creative mending and repair

For various mending projects, you will need different supplies. You will need darning needles, wool yarn, or a knitwear brush to fix a wool sweater. Sewing notions and fabric scraps are the materials for patching clothes, and so on. 

You will find a long list of my favorite tools and materials for mending in the article “Mending tools and materials. What you need to get started with visible mending“. 

My top 3 choices:
Darning mushroom with elastic band Etsy
Darning mushroom with elastic band on Etsy | Art from Holland
Washable Mending Transfers Etsy
Washable mending transfers on Etsy | Wrenbirdarts
Wool felting kit Etsy
Wool felting kit for visible mending on Etsy | TheGeneralBeanSupply

Lighting and Magnification

Good lighting helps reduce eye strain and fatigue, especially during long embroidery sessions. Lighting is vital for maintaining good eye health and ensuring comfort while working. Proper lighting is essential for accurately distinguishing between colors, and it reduces the risk of accidents, such as pricking your finger with a needle. Besides that, the bright light source is essential for some pattern transfer techniques. More about that in the article “How to transfer hand embroidery patterns – simple and inexpensive Lightbox method.”

My top 3 choices:
Neck light for crafting on Amazon
Neck light for crafting on Amazon
Magnifying desk lamp on Etsy
Magnifying desk lamp on Etsy | Sew Pro Crafts
Light box 9x12 inch for pattern transfer on Amazon
Light box 9×12 inch for pattern transfer on Amazon

Storage and Organization

You need to organize your stash to make the best use of your embroidery supplies. Read this article for some ideas and inspiration – “How to organize embroidery floss.

My top 3 choices:
DMC storage box for floss on Etsy
DMC storage box for floss on Etsy | Sew Pro Crafts
Embroidery project organizer on Etsy
Embroidery project organizer on Etsy | JK Canfield Creations
DMC StitchBow mini needlework travel bag on Etsy
DMC StitchBow mini needlework travel bag on Etsy | Million Of Stitches

Books to learn hand embroidery

You can learn hand embroidery by following YouTube tutorials or an Online course. But reading a paperback book is just another level of experience and a different way of learning. 

My top 3 choices:
The Royal School of Needlework Book of Embroidery on Amazon
The Royal School of Needlework Book of Embroidery: A Guide To Essential Stitches, Techniques And Projects on Amazon
Embroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide to More than 200 Stitches on Amazon
Embroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide to More than 200 Stitches on Amazon
Embroidery: A Modern Guide to Botanical Embroidery
Embroidery: A Modern Guide to Botanical Embroidery on Amazon

Hand embroidery accessories

These cute tools are a nice-to-have addition to the above list of essential tools and materials you will need for hand embroidery. Indeed, they are not the must-have hand embroidery supplies but may make your heart happy.

My top 3 choices:
Cohana Seki Mini Scissors
Cohana Seki Mini Scissors on Etsy | The Embroidery Cart
Wool felt needle book on Etsy
Wool felt needle book on Etsy | Loft Full Of Goodies
Beeswax thread conditioner on Etsy
Beeswax thread conditioner on Etsy | Benzie Design

Best places to buy hand embroidery supplies

  • Your local craft shop. I’m a big advocate for supporting small local businesses. If you have an independent haberdashery shop near you, check out their offering first.
  • Local online shops. Save on local shipping and support independent local businesses. Check out Snuggly Monkey in the US, Beyond Measure in the UK, Hand Embroidery Supplies in Australia, La Mercerissima in Italy or Ka Siulai in Lithuania.
  • Etsy creative market is full of small independent sellers that offer a vast choice of hand embroidery supplies, tools, and materials.
  • Amazon has a broad offering of embroidery tools and materials. I like this marketplace for getting my embroidery books.