Hand embroidery

What is Hand Embroidery?

Hand embroidery involves adding decorative stitches to fabric by hand to create designs that can range from simple to complex. This technique has been practiced for centuries and varies by culture, showing diverse styles and motifs.

How Does Hand Embroidery Differ From Machine Embroidery?

Hand embroidery refers to sewing done directly by an individual using a needle and thread. Thus, each piece has a unique touch not found in machine sewing, where designs are produced using sewing machines or specialized embroidery machines. However, they may need more personalization aspects that come with using hand methods, which take longer to finish.

Why Choose Hand Embroidery Over Machine Embroidery?

People prefer hand stitches to machine ones because they are:


When you do it yourself, each stitch expresses your creativity and style.


One can easily modify a design while stitching without being limited by pre-programmed patterns commonly used in sewing machines for embroidery, thus providing more freedom for innovation.


For many individuals, the rhythmic process of making manual repairs such as this is calming and rewarding.

What Materials Are Needed For Hand Embroidery?

Here are some of the basic supplies that you have to prepare before learning how to embroider by hand:


The best-embroidered fabric has an even weave that allows you to make uniform stitches.

Embroidery Hoop

A hoop holds your fabric tight while you work on it, thus preventing wrinkles that can deform the shape of finished patterns after washing or ironing.

Embroidery Needles 

They are sharper than regular sewing needles and have larger eyes through which various threads may pass, depending on their thickness.

Embroidery Floss/ Threads

These come in different colors and textures; the weights are necessary for different design parts, such as outlines, fillings, etc.


Good, sharp scissors must be used to cut threads to not leave behind loose strands that may cause unnecessary bulges within outlined areas.

Is Hand Embroidery Easy to Learn?

Embroidery can be very simple or highly complex, depending on how an individual wants to approach it. There are basic stitches that a beginner can quickly master within a short time, but there are also advanced techniques that could take years before one fully understands them all. Thus, this skill suits people with different experience and expertise levels.

How Do I Start Hand Embroidery?

Embroidering something by hand involves several steps, such as:

    • Choose a simple design and transfer it to your fabric.
    • Secure the fabric in an embroidery hoop.
    • Thread your needle with embroidery floss.
    • Start stitching, following your design, and using basic stitches.
    • Finish off by securing your threads and removing the hoop.

What Stitches Should I Learn First?

When starting with manual repairs, one needs to begin by mastering some of the most basic stitches, which include:

    • Running Stitch: Simple and quick for outlines or dashed lines.
    • Backstitch: Strong and suitable for outlining with a continuous line.
    • Split Stitch: Ideal for fine lines and curves.
    • Satin Stitch: Fills areas with smooth, shiny stitches.
    • French Knot: Creates small, textured dots.