Essentials Guide to Hand Embroidery Designs


What are the essentials of hand embroidery designs?

The essentials of hand embroidery would include four main parameters.

Fabrics : Fabric is basically the master cloth on which you would be hand embroidering your design. There is no limitation on the quality and type of fabric that can be used for hand embroidery. You can choose from a pick of net or wool, fine muslin or jute OR others that you may prefer.

The well-known types of fabric are listed hereunder.

a) Belfast linen Fabric (ME32F): Belfast linen fabric is ideal for counted embroidery such as Blackwork and cross-stitch. The fabric has uneven threads giving the fabric a natural look. This type of fabric is ideal for home dresses or bedsheets/linen.

b) Etamin 32 Count Cotton Fabric (ME32F): Etamin 32 cotton fabric (from Austria) is ideal for any type of counted embroidery such as Blackwork, cross-stitch and even pulled work. The fabric has even weave threads so it is easy to see the threads and holes to count the stitches on. This fabric has a lovely soft quality. Baby hand embroidery designs uses this extensively for its completion.

c) Kid leather: The Kid Leather comes painted gold or silver and in two sizes. The kid leather can be used in Modern Jacobean, Goldwork and applique and can be sewn down by hand or machine.


Threads: The second important component is the thread that you would use to weave your way through the fabric. This goes hand in glove with the fabric both in terms of colour and also type. Like fabric various types of threads can be used for hand embroidery. The common types of threads used are cotton, silk, woolen, and metallic.

Designs: The third parameter, which is essential to the success of your final output, is the design, of course!! While this may sound cliched, choice of a particular design requires a good deal of analysis of the fabric, environment in which the fabric would be used. For example, a baby hand embroidery design would have a completely different look than free hand embroidery designs. There are no limits of designs for hand embroidery. It depends on our skill and more importantly, on practice.

Needles: The final parameter, which can make or break your design is the needle!! Talk of poking around! There are different kind of needles which would suit various designs. Any convenient needle can make most stitches, but for a few specific stitches, different types of needles are required.



What are the steps required for hand embroidery designs?


These are a few of the steps to be followed in order to make your ordinary cloth extra ordinary.

a) You have to select the fabric on which you want to make patterns. (This is extremely important since this can make or break the final look and feel)

b) Choose the type of threads according to your fabric.

c) Select the colour of your threads according to your design and colour of your fabric.

d) Transfer the pattern on the fabric either with the help of carbon paper or any other method, which is convenient to you.

e) Select the needle according to your stitches

f) Fix the fabric in the hoop. Try to use smallest possible hoop for your design.

g) Start making designs with various stitches.


What is the specialty of finishing and framing in hand embroidery designs?

Finishing in hand embroidery designs plays a pivotal role in the successful completion of the fabric.

When an embroidery is finished the most satisfying thing is to see it framed. If you are mounting and framing the embroidery yourself or having a professional framer to do it, ensure that the embroidery is mounted on a piece of acid free board. (If the board is not acid free the acid in the board will gradually discolour the embroidery fabric and threads and rot them). This also applies to the mat boards that decorate the embroidery.

Check with your framer as to how they are going to mount your embroidery. It is better that the embroidery is pinned (with rust proof pins) or laced onto the board rather than stapled as some framers do. (Staples may rust, or discolour the fabric and are not good for keeping the embroidery at an even tension). It is important to check that the framer uses acid free board or foam core. It should be acid free throughout the entire board not just the surface.

A good framer should be able to mount the embroidery so that the background fabric is tight and will not pucker over time. The framer should also be aware that fluff and stray threads may cling to the embroidery and that the embroidery should be carefully cleaned before putting the embroidery into the frame. The surface of the embroidery can be brushed clean with a soft baby brush or by using the sticky side of masking tape to lift off any fibres.

Do visit Cross Stitch History for some amazing details on cross stitch hand embroidery.

Where can I view some good content on hand embroidered designs ? Well, ideally the site you are viewing has given you all the content you really need on the essentials of hand embroidery designs�. But if you still want to see more�.

a) Secrets of Embroidery : This site has a special section on tutorials and projects with step by step explanation of the basics of embroidery. Do not miss.

b) ArtisticThreadWorks


c) Shalin-Craft : This is famous for its hand embroidered designs. You could get a fair idea of what is the range of hand embroidered designs that can be made for you. d) America's Sewing & Embroidery Center : A hybrid website with a lot of information on hand embroidery designs as well as other forms of embroidery.

e) Embroidery Designs Our own digitized designs. $12.95 per set or $45.00 for everything. : Designs By Sick : This is a small site but contains some good unique hand embroidery designs.



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