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How to Embroider by Hand Full Guide of 2023

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When looking for a “how-to” embroidery guide, the number of stitches and patterns available to you as a novice crafter may overwhelm you. But never fear!

Although embroidery requires a wide spectrum of stitches, these stitches build on each other to make embroidering easier.

The craft of embroidery originally came to light as a method by which early sewers would restore clothing. Recently, however, the practice has seen a cultural comeback as a hobby and as an art form.

A trip to the MET, for example, may give you the opportunity to see some embroidery hoops working with creative designs, to go beyond the common understan!ng of what sewing can do.

Alternatively, visiting your aunt’s craft room can reveal several ongoing custom projects which she plans to share with the rest of the family for an upcoming vacation.

When learning to embroider a work by hand, you want to decide what the purpose of your embroidery will be.

Would you like to create a work of art to hang in your home or give as a gift to a loved one? Want to personalize a piece of clothing or make a family accessory all the more meaningful?

Since embroidery usually takes place on a hoop or on an article of clothing, your overall goal for embroidery will be help determine what kind of material you need in the long run.

Hand embroidery supplies

If you want to create a project with If you are going to embroider by hand, you will need the following materials:

  • Thread/silk.
  • Scissors.
  • Needles.
  • Embroidery hoops or workable fabric. (If using a hoop, make sure you have fabric for the hoop background.)
  • Spools.

You also have the option to select an embroidery kit.

These kits, which are sold by both fabric stores and independent retailers, provide some materials you need to work on. your project.

Different types of embroidery stitches

Learning to embroider by hand requires a broad understan!ng of the developing !fferent embroidery stitches.

The following are some stitches you can use when completing a project.

Hand embroidery stitches are not unique to the craft; if you venture into other areas of sewing, you will probably use the same techniques for !fferent purposes.

Running Stitch

A basting stitch is one of the simplest you can use to embroider a project. These stitches, as their name suggests, run together in a straight line, although the stitches themselves do not touch.

Each stitch must be the same as the stitches before it. came, but it may take a little practice to ensure that level of consistency.

Beginners shouldn’t stress if they’re basting stitches don’t match perfectly; it’s the idea of the stitches (the stitches that don’t overlap while running in a straight line) that matters.

Back stitch

A backstitch builds on the basting stitch. Instead of leaving space between each of the stitches, thread your needle just past the end of your first stitch.

That’s to say, while a row of running stitches should have spaces intentionally everywhere, a row of topstitching should be solid.

Likewise, once you get to the end of a line to stitch, reverse your line of stitches.

That is, once you reach the end of a certain line, you sew a stitch again parallel to the last stitch you have threaded. This method provides extra safety in your work.

Split stitches

Split stitches are excellent for outlines, and are like backstitching in some ways. Split stitches also form a solid line.

You create a split stitch by first threa!ng a single stitch. Then take another stitch forward on the line you want to make.

Then thread your needle back through your original stitch – the first – to plait it and separate the fibers from each other.

This will make the threadlike you create thicker and will once again bring that braided look to your embroidery.]

how to hand embroider

Stamp stitch

You may have noticed that these stitches build on each other. The stem stitch takes the split stitch and develops it a little.

Stem Stitches are tra!tionally used to make stems, as the name suggests, for all the flowers you can embroider in your work.

To make a stem stitch, make a tra!tional straight stitch. However, instead of continuing with a follow-up stitch, make a loop with your thread and sew your second stitch from under your fabric.

The result would be a series of stitches that move in a wavy pattern, but still move in a straight line.


You can also use a fly stitch to mimic a flower stem. For this type of stitch, you must first make a straight, long stitch, either horizontally or vertically.

Then cross your thread back over that original stitch so that the newly threaded stitch perpen!cular to the original.

The result should look like a “V” or a hand-drawn chicken leg.


Satin stitch

Satin stitches are ideal for filling in large pieces of fabric between your contours.

These stitches are relatively easy; you want to move your needle back and forth over the area you want to fill, looping your stitches at one end of your circumference.

If you once you have threaded the first stitch, move your needle and thread back to the side you originally stitched and repeat the process until you have filled the desired area.

Quilted satin stitch ]

Quilted satin stitches allow you to apply the above satin stitch twice, layering your embroidery to give your work more body.

Chain stitch

Chain stitch looks like strengthened versions of the aforementioned split stitch, but making them isn’t as similar.

To create a chain stitch, start with a relaxed, me!um stitch. Start a new stitch and thread your hook through the loop this original stitch makes.

After you have pulled your thread all the way through, insert your needle into the hole that you started this secondary stitch. This creates a single chain stitch.

To continue the chain, just repeat the process until you .

French knot

French knots are extremely !fficult embroidery stitches to master, but they are also aesthetically pleasing.

To make a French knot, pull your thread tight with your hand that is not attached to your needle. Then wrap your thread around the tip of the needle several times, leaving space between each thread loop.

After the thread has properly, press the tip of the needle—and only the tip—through your fabric.

With the hand not hol!ng the needle, make a spiral of thread on the surface of the fabric with the thread that you have wrapped around your needle. Once that cluster , you can completely pierce your fabric.

It’s complicated, yes, and it can take several tries to make a perfect French knot, but make sure you always keep your thread taut, and you’re on the right track.

And there you have it! While these stitches are not the entire repertoire of the stitches you need to know, they provide a firm foundation to work with in the long run.

Here is a video with examples of some embroidery stitches.

Embroidery by hand

Once you sew these hand embroidery stitches, you want to get started with your patterns.

There are several ways to make things easier on yourself while embroidering by hand, inclu!ng the following:


There are several ways to get the desired pattern on fabric, regardless of a jacket or hoop.

Iron-on tracing, for example, works in much the same way as ironing patches onto a denim jacket.

You start by making a design on tracing paper. Doodle while you work or base your design on a design you found online – it doesn’t matter as long as you design cast it on paper.

Make sure it’s also tracing paper you’re using; tra!tional paper does not respond well to any kind of iron.

Once you have your design settled, you can iron it on the desired fabric without a problem, and the outline will not wash out!

While this durability is useful during the embroidery process, it also means you need to make sure you have all your ironed-on lines of thread before declaring your project complete.


Alternatively, you can use a projector to get the pattern onto your desired fabric. This requires you to create a transparency of your favorite design.

Once the transparency to your liking, place it in a light box and project it onto your fabric. You can then trace the design with chalk until we completed it to your satisfaction.

This is another way of tracing, you may think, but if you haven’t iron or tracing paper to hand, it works well.

how to embroider by hand

Embroidery, as a craft, has a long history. If you want to better understand how to embroider a project, start with the basics, as described here, and then embrace your own creativity.

Let your embroidery become art, or allow yourself to create personalized creations for your friends and family.

Either way, it will take practice, but it won’t be long before you’make finished pieces with ease.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.