Learn How to Embroider By Hand Using These Stitching Techniques

Development of embroidery
Embroidery is the art of decorating fabric or other materials, by stitching designs, using thread, yarn, and a needle. This journey began when primitive man discovered that he could use thread to join pieces of fur to make clothes.
Note: For thicker materials, use cotton or wool yarn and for delicate patterns like monograms or fashion trims, use embroidery floss and silk thread.

Doing embroidery on clothes not only spins out some of the most beautiful creations that range from the simple and eye-catching to the really intricate and exquisite, but as an activity, it is something that is surprisingly relaxing. While it may seem that embroidering is a very tough task, that is far from the truth. In fact, doing embroidery by hand is one of the simplest activities, and all one needs are a few instructions to help them along.

In the following sections of this article, we will be covering 5 basic embroidery designs that you can take up. When you start out on this activity, you will see just how relaxing, challenging, and addictive it can be.
embroidery-collage
Getting Started
► Before we get to the types of designs that you can start embroidering, we must first acquaint ourselves with the basic steps of the same. To get started on any design, you will need to collect a few things, namely―cloth, embroidery hoop, embroidery needle, embroidery floss, and scissors.

► There are several design sheets and templates available that you can trace over the cloth with the help of a quilting pencil or fabric marker.

► Before starting out on a design, however, it is recommended that you practice the different styles on rough materials.

► Place the rough material into the hoop and stretch it out before tightening the hoop. This will hold the cloth taut, prevent folding, and allow for better handling.

► Next, take the floss through the needle. Now you're ready to get started.
back-knot
► Place your needle at the bottom of the hoop and pull the needle over. To secure the thread, create a hoop by dividing the thread into two sections (3 strands each) and tying a tight knot (as shown in the image above).

► With this basic design, we can proceed to the varied embroidery styles.
Different Embroidery Techniques
back-stitch
The Back Stitch
► Start out by placing the needle under the fabric, bringing it up over the fabric, and making a knot at the bottom to secure it in place.

► Next, determine a distance and create a loop by pushing the needle back under.

► Maintaining the same distance as the first stitch, make a second stitch, but this time under the cloth and pull the floss out from under to over.

► Next, take the floss back to the end of the first stitch, push it down, and bring it back for a second stitch above (as shown in image 3).

► Continue with this pattern. The length of the stitch can vary according to your preference.

► Once you're done, secure the thread with a loop, just as done before beginning the design.
running-stitch
The Running Stitch
► Start out by placing the needle under the fabric, bringing it up over the fabric, and making a knot at the bottom to secure it in place.

► Next, loop the needle into the cloth and make a pattern as shown in image 2, with the needle going in and out the cloth in one continuous motion.

► Maintain a suitable distance between each stitch.

► When the needle is pulled out, it will lead to a simple design, as shown.

► Another method that can be followed is, instead of making a continuous pattern, the needle can be pushed into the cloth, and pulled out while maintaining a considerable distance between each stitch.

► Secure the loop in a tight knot once done.
split-stitch
The Split Stitch
► Start out by placing the needle under the fabric, bringing it up over the fabric, and making a knot at the bottom to secure it in place.

► Then, make a stitch from position 1 to position 2 (as shown in image 1) and then take the needle under.

► Next, bring the needle up from the center of the 1st and 2nd positions. This will be position 3.

► Maintain the same length as between positions 1 and 2, and take to position 4 and continue with this pattern.

► Once done, make a loop and tie the loose thread to secure it in place.
chain-stitch
The Chain Stitch
► Start out by placing the needle under the fabric, bringing it up over the fabric, and making a knot at the bottom to secure it in place.

► Bring the needle up and make a very small, loose stitch, maintaining a small distance from position 1 to 2 as shown in image 1.

► At position 2, take the needle under the cloth, and bring it out at position 3 while maintaining a larger distance.

► Next, bring the needle through the loop that is formed between position 1 and 2 and secure the knot tightly.

► Pull the thread all the way through and hold it taut.

► Next, reinsert the thread into the same hole that was formed at position 3, and pull all the way through. It will form a chain link as shown in image 5.

► To continue with the pattern, pull the floss from under the cloth while maintaining the same distance as was done with the previous loop, bring it up (this is position 4), and take it through the first link as shown in image 6.

► Next, pull the needle through, pull the thread all the way out, hold it taut, and reinsert the thread into the same hole that was formed at position 4, pulling it out and continuing with the pattern.
satin-stitch
The Satin Stitch
► For this type of stitch technique, it helps to have a small design, like a square or a circle drawn on the cloth. The filling becomes easier.

► Start out by placing the needle under the fabric, bringing it up over the fabric, and making a knot at the bottom to secure it in place.

► Next, make use of the varied forms of stitches to stitch the outline of the design so that filling it in will become easier.

► Once done, make a loop and tie the loose thread to secure it in place.

► When complete, start out on any end and make a stitch to cover the length of the design.

► Continue filling the space with long, continuous stitches that are placed close together.

► Once done, make a loop and tie the loose thread to secure it in place.

Once you have the techniques down pat, all you need is to practice these over and over again to perfect them. And once you do, you will be surprised at the array of colors, patterns, and designs that you can form with this talent. You can take to decorating pillow covers, table clothes, bed sheets and napkins, as well as making personalized gifts for people. And as they say, once you learn the fun of this hobby, you will pretty much get hooked on to it.
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