Is embroidery hard to learn?

Is embroidery hard to learn

The aim of this article is to provide you the answer to the question ‘Is embroidery hard to learn?’

What is embroidery?

Embroidery can be explained as the art of decorating a piece of fabric or any other material using needles and making beautiful patterns with thread. In embroidery, various beautiful and eye-catching patterns can be made using thread and pearls, beads, and sequins.

Coats, dresses, blankets, caps, and hats can be embroidered quite beautifully. It is available in different patterns and a variety of colors.

Classification of embroidery

Embroidery can be classified according to various design patterns and the nature of the base material on which embroidery is to be done. Also, in embroidery, different types of stitches are there. These stitches can be:

  • Chain Stitch
  • Blanket Stitch
  • Buttonhole Stitch
  • Running Stitch
  • Satin Stitch
  • Cross Stitch

The main categories of embroidery in its classification are:

  • Surface or free embroidery: 

In this type of embroidery, the designs made are not per the weave of the underlying fabric. Some of its examples are traditional Chinese embroidery, crewel embroidery, and Japanese embroidery.

  • Counted embroidery: 

The counted-thread pattern is made by making stitches over a pre-determined number of threads while making beautiful patterns on the fabric. 

An evenly weaved fabric like embroidery canvas is apt for this type of embroidery, specially woven linen and cotton fabrics, or Aida cloth. Some of the examples of the counted type of embroidery include cross-stitch and some forms of blackwork embroidery.

  • Needlepoint or Canvas embroidery: 

In this embroidery type, threads are woven through a fabric mesh to create a dense pattern that covers the foundation fabric completely. Examples of needlepoint types of embroidery are bargello and Berlin wool work.

The classification of embroidery can also be done based on similarity of appearance. There is a type called Drawn thread and Cutwork embroidery. The foundation fabric is cut to create holes of patterns and is filled and decorated with embroidery. This can be done using different beautiful colored threads or according to the foundation fabric. This type of embroidery is also called whitework.

Is embroidery hard to learn?

Learning embroidery is not that difficult and also does not involve a huge investment of time and money. Rather embroidery is an inexpensive and easy hobby one can pursue. There is always a fear when we are to start something new. But if one is interested in doing embroidery as a hobby or profession, they can do it very easily. Doing embroidery is very fun and easy if it is something you are fond of.

  • If we see embroidery from a larger perspective, it is just putting a needle in the fabric from one side and pulling the thread out of the other side.
  • Embroidery has a wide variety of stitches to make the piece of cloth you are working on look beautiful and elegant. Stitches in embroidery range from basic back stitches to chain stitches and French knots.
  • Embroidery can be done by hand and through machines. Embroidery that is done by hand is the most tricky and time-consuming one. Machines, when used for embroidery purposes, are very time and energy-efficient.
  • Learning embroidery is easy as it involves basic stitches which can be easily learned and executed. One who wants to learn embroidery should know how to handle a needle and work efficiently with the cloth, the needle, and the cloth on which he is working. 

When talking about how hard doing embroidery is, we should consider the accessibility of the equipment required for doing it. The cost and availability are also important aspects to be considered if the difficulty of doing embroidery is to be analyzed. In basic hand embroidery, only a needle, threads, some beads or pearls (if one wants to make it more attractive), and a foundation cloth to work on is required. The cost of these accessories, as well as the foundation cloth, varies according to their usage.

Let’s talk about the ease while making embroidery. The market is full of various tools that make a person doing embroidery comfortable. The different tools are:

  • Needle threaders: This is a device that helps a person put the thread through the eye of a needle.
  • Hoop stands: A hoop stand is just a hands-free embroidery frame that is up-held by its support. 

Embroidery can be learned by a person who has never tried to make a single stitch. It is that easy. Suppose one is interested in learning such an easy and fascinating art. In that case, he should go for it without thinking about it time and again.

How to Embroider?

Learning embroidery is not as tough as one might think. With a little bit of practice, a person can become a pro in this art. Also, apart from being a fascinating art form, it is a relaxing thing to do if one loves art and craft.

Here are some types of stitches used in embroidery and how one can decorate their fabric in whichever color they want.

Starting phase: 

To start with embroidery, you will require the following things:

  • A hoop for embroidery: A hoop consists of two parts. You just need to put the foundation fabric between the two parts of the hoop.
  • Small scissors: Small scissors are handy while embroidering.
  • Embroidery thread: The thread or floss used for embroidery come in a variety of colors.
  • Needles for embroidery: The embroidery needles have bigger holes for putting in a thread.

Using an embroidery hoop:

Embroidery hoops are available in different types. There are basic wooden ones, and plastic ones are also commonly used. Here are some points you can consider while using an embroidery hoop:

  • Start with cutting the fabric in a square shape and slightly larger than the hoop.
  • The screw at the top of the hoop has to be loosened, followed by just separating the hoops.
  • Place the fabric in between the two hoops and fixing it.

Types of stitches and tricks to learn:

Various stitches are used in embroidery like running stitch, cross-stitch, chain stitch, etc. The basic trick for learning embroidery is to put a needle across the fabric in different fashions.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is essential for doing embroidery?

There are six things essential for embroidery:

  1. Fabric: Embroidery can be done on any type of fabric like cotton, wool, denim, and linen, depending on the usage of the fabric.
  2. Floss: There are different types of floss used in embroidery. 

These are:

  • Standard cotton: A standard cotton floss is made by DMC. It comes in a variety of colors.
  • Pearl cotton: A pearl cotton floss consists of two threads that are twisted together.
  1. Needles: Embroidery needles are also called crewel needles. These types of needles have an eye slightly larger than the shaft of the needle. Embroidery needles come in sizes 1-12.
  2. Hoops: Embroidery hoops help in keeping the foundation fabric taut while being embroidered. This embroidery hoop makes embroidery easier as it keeps the fabric wrinkle-free.
  3. Scissors: Small scissors are required in embroidery to cut the thread accurately.
  • How many colors can be embroidered at once?

In embroidery, you can use as many colored threads as you want to make your masterpiece look the prettiest. However, a single-colored thread does not make the designs put on the fabric look pretty, while when multiple colors are used, the art piece looks eye-catching.

  • How can I transfer the designs to the foundation fabric?

The designs, once chosen, can be easily transferred to the fabric on which the embroidery is to be done using tracing paper. Likewise, the design can easily be traced by tracing paper and transferred to the fabric using copying paper.

  • How can I choose the appropriate embroidery needle?

For doing embroidery on a loose weave fabric, a tapestry needle must be chosen. While crewel needles are the best for hand embroidery, they consist of a long eye, making it easier to take more than one thread of the wool or the stranded cotton thread. 

While using a crewel needle for hand embroidery, 9 and 10 numbers are the best for the stranded cotton thread.

You should always use a small needle for stitching on a thin and delicate fabric, as a large needle can destroy the fabric by creating visible holes in it. You should also be aware that a small needle will have a small eye, thus making it difficult to pass a thread that is a bit thick. So, choosing a thread according to the needle is also important.

While doing embroidery, you should always hold the needle perpendicular to the fabric and take only one stitch at once. So when you will do embroidery, keeping this thing in mind, your yarn will never split, and it will always be hassle-free.

Here are some things to keep in mind while choosing a needle for embroidery:

  • Blunt or rusty needles are a big no.
  • For making French knots and bullion stitch, a round-eye needle is the best.
  • Always see the numbering on the needle. A needle with a high number is the finest one.
  • How to take care of the embroidered fabric?

With time, a fabric gets weaken, and the color of the threads also gets faded away. So taking proper care of your hard work must be in your mind. To protect your precious work, you should first just try to keep your artwork away from insects like moths by not storing it when the fabric is soiled and using natural repellants for the insects.

Some of the examples of natural repellants which can be used are camphor, cedar, etc. The embroidered fabric should not be kept in direct contact with the natural repellant.

The embroidered fabric should also not be stored in plastic bags as the harmful chemicals released by the plastic can harm the embroidery threads. You should also keep in mind that a newspaper can also not be used to wrap up the embroidered fabric as it can decompose with time and leave a stain over the fabric, thus destroying it.

To keep the embroidered fabric clean and safe, you can use clean cotton sheets and cloth bags made from calico. Dry cleaning is a good way to keep the embroidered fabric intact and fresh.


Embroidery is a very eye-catching and relaxing art form. A person who loves art and craft can easily get attracted to embroidery. However, learning embroidery might be a difficult task seeing the intricate and complex design patterns. 

Learning to embroider is not that difficult as it is thought to be by most people. It should also not be considered as something that requires a huge investment of money and time. On the contrary, embroidery is a really interesting and inexpensive art form or hobby one can easily do.

Like any other skill, learning embroidery also takes some time and effort. But in embroidery, the beginner stitches, which are the basic ones like running stitch and chain stitch, do not take much time to learn. Therefore, many people have never done embroidery but learned it easily in less time.

While learning embroidery with no knowledge of it, a person should only go for a few basic stitches. Some of the beginner stitches include backstitch, chain stitch, etc. Again, learning a few basic stitches, and you are good to go for making your embroidered masterpiece.

Somethings are there that make learning embroidery easier like:

  • You are keeping your focus on a few stitches at a time in embroidery.
  • Trying an embroidery kit that is exclusively made for beginners.
  • Practicing consistently

Learning embroidery is a whole lot of experience. You just keep making masterpieces, combining various stitches, threads, fabrics, etc. You always learn new techniques and combinations of stitches on your own as you keep on doing a new project. Adding pearls and beads to make the artform prettier and eye-catching. 

Is embroidery hard to learn?

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