Whether you are thinking about getting into machine embroidery or have a machine and don't know what to do next, there are a few key items that will give you a great starting point. So, if you're a newbie, check out our list of must have supplies for machine embroidery!
1. Stabiliser & Batting
One of the most important supplies in your arsenal, stabilisers and batting are crucial to ensuring your designs look their best when stitched out. There are lots of different kinds of stabiliser, in fact we have a whole article about it, but the four main types are cut-away, tear-away, heat-away, and wash-away. As a beginner, we recommend getting cut-away and tear-away to start. If you plan to quilt or create items that require some thickness or warmth, get some batting too.
2. Embroidery Thread
If you're a crafter or even have some basic mending skills, you likely have some thread around your home. However, it probably isn't made for embroidery! As thread is so crucial to embroidery designs, you need something thicker that offers more coverage for best results. Embroidery thread is made specifically for the purpose, so stock up on some of your favourite colours. We recommend starting with a basic thread pack, because trust us, you'll want a good range to pick from!
3. Fabric Scissors & Snips
All crafts require scissors! If you have scissors for crafts, you know how important it is to have the right ones and only use them for their purpose. We recommend grabbing some tailor scissors, as well as some smaller snips with curved tips to cut excess thread and stabiliser from your design.
4. USB Drive
Many machines use USBs to transfer designs and install updates, making a USB a crucial part of your kit. Just make sure to check import methods and any required specs for USB drives. Our tip: once you've used a design, take it off your USB! You can always add it back the next time you use it.
Keeping your fabric free from creases and wrinkles is very important when embroidering, and in some cases, you actually need to make creases for a design! An iron helps with keeping designs from puckering (along with a few other tricks), and gives you a clean finish, as well as helping with creating folds for certain designs, like quilt edging.
6. Cutting Mats & Rulers
Machine embroidery designs fit inside "hoops", which means you need fabric cut to size for your work. Mats and rulers make it easy and stop any damage to your workspace. Some mats come with rulers which can also help in a pinch, but we recommend getting at least one good quilting ruler to get started.
Alongside thread colours, fabric designs are the next creative area to stock up on and probably the one people tend to enjoy the most! You can get fabric from thrift and op shops, fabric stores, or even shop our collection online.
Finally, to start anything, you're going to need a design! Sounds obvious, but it is a must have, so we had to include it. We recommend starting with some freebies or our ITH course if you want some beginner friendly designs and instructions at a good price.
While you can get away with the above, there are a few handy extras we couldn’t leave out of this list. Washi tape is one bit of kit that can make a huge difference, useful in all in the hoop embroidery projects, essential for holding zippers and backing to a hoop. That Pink Thang (or That Purple Thang) is another tool we recommend. This multipurpose tool can guide your fabric through the machine to ensure no puckering, without placing your fingers in harm's way. Weird name, but crucial purpose!
Machine embroidery is a big fun world to explore but can also feel overwhelming when you’re new! Use this list to help you get started or check our Australian Beginner’s Packs (UK coming soon!) for a great kit of items for crafters in machine embroidery, scan and cut, papercrafts, and more!
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