Have you been thinking about starting to learn hand embroidery but you’re not too sure what’s in it for you? How easy it is to get started? Is it worth your time and money? Read on to discover 9 reasons why you definitely should give it a try! I’m biased, but embroidery is wonderful!! Here’s why:
1. It’s Inexpensive
Unlike other hobbies – like sewing – you don’t need a whole lot of fancy equipment and tools to get started. Embroidery floss is relatively cheap (here in Canada it usually sells for about 0.85-1.05$/skein) and so are embroidery needles. If you’re just getting started and testing things out, you can practice stitches on any cotton or linen scraps if you have any. Cotton and linen are the most common fabrics used for surface embroidery because they are the most forgiving and the easiest to stitch on, but any fabric can be embroidered on. When I started, my first project was on a cheap piece of Dollar store felt, and it worked just fine (well, my technique was awful, but the working of the needle itself was fine lol).
See also: The Only Embroidery Tools You Need
2. It’s Easy
As with any hobby, getting started can often be pretty intimidating. It’s hard to know exactly how and where to start, and you might feel overwhelmed by all the existing embroideries and projects you come across. There are definitely some complicated and intense patterns out there, but getting started doesn’t have to be difficult. I am a firm believer than anyone who wants to learn embroidery can do it. Your needle and thread do the hard work, all you have to do is guide them. I remember being intimidated by embroidery when I first started because I absolutely cannot draw to save my life, and thought my needlework would reflect my poor drawing skills. But everything looks much better once it’s stitched! And there are thousands of already existing patterns out there if you don’t want to draw your own.
The basic embroidery techniques aren’t difficult, and you don’t need to learn all the fancy techniques right away to achieve beautiful results. Check out this post on the 5 first stitches to learn to get started!
3. It’s Relaxing
There is something incredibly soothing about hand embroidery. The unhurried motions, the satisfying “swoosh” sound of thread going through fabric, the repetitive motions…Embroidery is calm, peaceful, and frees up your mind to meditate and relax while keeping your hands busy. Setting up is easy too, and you can work as little or as much as you want in a day!
4. You Can Do It Anywhere
Because there are so few materials required when you start embroidery, you can easily embroider from basically anywhere. Whether that’s your couch, your patio table, in public transit, on holiday, by the poolside, on top of a mountain, you name it! Of course not every project will be suitable for easy transportation and some projects might require being kept in the same tidy spot, but generally speaking, it’s very convenient to bring needlework along with you. I am personally a big fan of outdoor stitching. I love taking my projects to the local public garden and surround myself with flowers.
5. It’s a Perfect Excuse for Binge-Watching
I don’t know which justifies which for me at this point…the need to stitch the minute I sit down to watch something, or the urge to put on “a background show” when I’m stitching? A bit of both, I think. 😉 One of my favourite aspects of embroidery is how easily multi-taskable it is. It just becomes something to occupy your hands and feel productive while performing another relaxing activity like listening to music or binge-watching your favourite show.
6. It’s So Creative!
You can literally embroider anything in existence! I tend to stick to florals and other nature inspired subjects, but really anything can be reproduced with a needle and thread. There are so many ways to gather inspiration for projects. It can be a line from your favourite novel, a beautiful design on a teacup, or the potted plant hanging above your kitchen sink. Inspiration is everywhere, from nature to books, movies, video games, history, the sky’s the limit!
7. You Can Easily Adapt it to Your Own Style
Once you find what you like to embroider best and what needlework style suits you, it’s easy to add embroidered touches anywhere you’d like to make something more “you”. You can add it to clothing to make it truly unique, or to other household items, like a pillowcase or a bag. Embroidery is addictive, and once you start, you’ll want to add it everywhere!
8. It Makes Great Handmade Gifts
Similarly, since there are so many different things you can embroider, the possibilities for making wonderful handmade gifts are endless. Again, you can add it to every day items made of fabric to give them a personalized touch, or simply gift it as art. It’s hard to go wrong with embroidered wall art, and you can even leave the finished piece in the hoop and use it as a frame. Plus, the satisfaction and pride of gifting something handmade are totally worth the time spent on the piece!
9. You Can Learn a Lot of History
Not only will you be learning a new craft and new skills, but there is also so much fascinating history to learn regarding embroidery. It’s been around forever, in so many different forms and styles! Did you know that in many cultures, it was often used to differentiate between social classes? Or that the famous technique of “needlepainting” became popular during the Victorian era to elevate embroidery to the same level as art? And okay, maybe you aren’t a history nerd like me and are more interested in modern embroidery. That’s fine too, there’s plenty to learn there as well! And if you ARE a nerd like me, well! You’re in the right spot, because there are so many wonderful resources for learning historical embroidery techniques and I aim to share as many as I can with you!
Check out how I made this practice stitch book using historical & vintage techniques and patterns!
And that’s it! Those are only 9 of many more reasons to learn hand embroidery if you’ve been thinking about it. 😊 I hope this motivates you to pick up a needle! I will be adding more useful resources on my blog very soon. If you do decide to learn embroidery, I’d love to know how it goes for you.
Happy stitching my friends!