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Embroidery - Employ Your Creativity to the Maximum Extent

Embroidery is a wonderful craft that brings much pleasure to many people. With the availability of free embroidery designs, it can be quite inexpensive to start the hobby with a small pattern and the purchase of the minimum amount of tools.
For those of a more advanced level, custom embroidery patterns can be created, bringing even more pleasure and satisfaction to the embroiderer.

Embroidery is the art of decorating fabric or materials by stitching a design using thread or yarn onto the fabric. We do not know exactly when embroidery first made its appearance, but there are examples of embroidery from ancient Egypt and Song Dynasty China. Embroidery was often used to create religious designs, particularly in Europe in the medieval period.

Classification of Embroidery

There are two classifications of embroidery, surface embroidery and canvas work. In surface embroidery, patterns are stitched onto the top of the fabric. Most free embroidery is done by surface embroidery. Canvas work is a type of embroidery where threads are stitched through the fabric.

What is Embroidery Software?

There are two different types of embroidery software available to help you design and create embroidery designs.

The first type of embroidery software enables the user to create patterns on their computer that can then be printed out and stitched onto fabric. Cross-stitch software is also popular. Many embroidery digitizing software packages can transform photographs and pictures to a cross-stitch pattern that can be easily followed.

The second type of embroidery software involves machine embroidery designs. Embroidery machines can be sewing machines or other machines that automatically embroider designs onto fabric. Special software is designed that contain different patterns and designs to be used on embroidery machines.

Most embroidery software packages contain some free embroidery patterns, but also allow for the creation of custom embroidery patterns.

Tools Needed for Embroidery

Like many hobbies, there are a large number of tools for embroidery, but only a few of them are absolutely essential. People wishing to try embroidery can start with the basics and then add to their embroidery tool collection over time. Many embroidery kits will contain all the basics needed to complete the embroidery project.
  • Needles - This is one of the essentials needed to complete any embroidery project. You need a needle that is suitable for the type of embroidery and thread you wish to use. Needles need to have an eye big enough for the thread, but be of a size and with a point small enough to fit in the fabric without damaging it.
  • Embroidery thread - This is another essential. The type of thread you use will depend on the type of embroidery you are doing. Embroidery projects like cross-stitch usually use a finer thread than a tapestry. You also can buy special colored or metallic threads in gold, silver, and bronze hues. Some "stitchers" also incorporate fabrics like lace into their embroidery projects.
  • Fabric - The base of your project can be a canvas type fabric, which is often used for cross-stitch or tapestry. If you are doing surface embroidery, your fabric may be a piece of clothing, towel or some other household or apparel item.
  • Pattern - You can buy your pattern as part of a kit (which should also include needles, thread and fabric) or separately. There are many different pattern books or singular patterns that can be purchased in all good craft stores. You can also find patterns in magazines and there are many free embroidery designs available on the Internet.
  • Hoops and frames - Although this is not strictly essential, a hoop is of great benefit, particularly when completing larger embroidery projects. A hoop will help keep the fabric taut when you are embroidering, leading to a neater finished project. There are many different sizes and types of hoops and frames, from small circular hoops to special standing frames.
  • Light and Magnifier - These are optional tools, but you may find they are essential if your eyesight is not good or if you are working on intricate projects. You can buy lights and magnifiers separately, or you can buy equipment that contains both.
  • Thread organizers - These are handy when you are dealing with a large number of threads, or when your thread collection starts to grow. Thread organizers come in different styles and shapes, but the most popular type is a compartmentalized box.
Continue to: The Most Popular and Free Embroidery Patterns
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