Essential hand embroidery tools (and how to store them)

Whether you’re an embroidery pro or new to the craft, knowing which hand embroidery tools you need to tackle every project will help improve your work and build your knowledge. In lockdown, little hobbies like embroidery have saved our sanity so we should know how to do it right and with the best embroidery tools to hand.

In this article we’re going to run through some of the most important tools for embroidery, as well as the various ways to store them. Take a look!

1. Needles

We’ll start with the obvious. Of course, all needles will draw a piece of thread through fabric fine enough, but there are so many kinds of embroidery needles out there and each does a slightly different job. Out of these needles, we recommend that you start with three. These three needles will do the job whatever skill level you are, so don’t worry.

  • Milliner needle. This needle is shorter than most you’ll find, and is also known as the straw needle. It has an almost-round eye, making it an ideal tool for bullion knots or cast-on stitches.
  • Crewel needle. This is a sharp tipped needle and probably the most basic needle for embroidery. It has a medium length eye and comes in sizes from 1 to 12 (strangely, 1 is the largest and 12 is the smallest).
  • Tapestry needle. Tapestry needles are shorter than crewel needles but have a much longer eye. With a blunt tip, tapestry needles are often better for surface embroidery.

2. Embroidery scissors

Alongside needles, a good pair of embroidery scissors are a must-have for your hand embroidery kit. Quite different from simple craft scissors, embroidery scissors are much sharper and get a far more precise cut than other scissors. General household scissors won’t get the job done!

3. A magnifying glass

No, you’re not solving mysteries or analysing ancient texts. A good magnifying glass will simply protect your eyes from overstraining and allow you the close inspection needed to get the details right.

4. Hoops and frames

Embroidery hoops are perfect because they help keep your fabric tight and taut, preventing any slips that could ruin your fine work. If you’re a beginner, think of embroidery hoops (and the different types of frames you can get) as training wheels. With them, you’ll build up enough confidence and focus so that you can eventually stop using them and go it alone.

5. Thread gloss

Perhaps one of the lesser known tools for embroidery is thread gloss. Thread gloss is a specially formulated wax that prevents your threads from getting tangled. It also protects them from fraying, making them more elastic and responsive to your work. It’s a great lubricant for work that can be notoriously difficult and fiddly.

Storage solutions for embroidery tools

Out of our vast range of cases, our Plastica Panaro cases are perfect for storing your hand embroidery tools. Not only are the cases stylish, they’re designed to protect your materials wherever you go. From foldaway handles to metal hinges and secure grips, you’ll finally be able to organise your embroidery tools with the help of these cases.

What’s more, you can use Easy Peel to line the contents of your case with an expert protective foam lining to make it a dedicated foam tool organiser. This is perfect if you’re looking for that extra bit of organisation for your tools. If you’re often misplacing your scissors, for example. All you have to do is enter your exact specifications for your case using our calculator, and we’ll give you an instant quote. Once the order has been completed, we’ll send your inserts straight to your door. Simple!

Once you have your inserts, follow our Foam Tutorials guide for instructions on how to cut your inserts to make them your very own foam cut to size inserts.
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If you have any questions, or would like any more guidance on our DIY custom foam products, you can reach us here. In the meantime, be sure to take a look at our blog which we regularly update with exciting news, product developments, and unique insights.

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