Thursday, November 3, 2016

Embroidery Myths

Today, I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post about embroidery myths! I have learned so much from this post and I hope you do too!

Embroidery Myths by Susan Doyle...

For some reason there are a TON of myths surrounding embroidery. It’s pretty surprising considering it is neither a magical creature or urban legend. In fact, just the opposite is true.

It’s popularity may lead to many individuals trying many different things and expressing their opinions instead of professionals stating facts.

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. There are embroidery myths out there and it is this article’s purpose to inform you about whether they are true or not!

1. You Need to Know how to Sew to Use an Embroidery Machine
It’s important to note that the sewing talked about in this myth is sewing by hand. Although some sewing experience may help a little this is pretty much false. To be honest, there isn’t a lot of similarities between doing the two.

As you can imagine sewing by hand and using an embroidery machine are quite different. In fact, it’s easier to state the many differences than similarities.

The whole point of an embroidery machine is to make it a lot easier to do embroidery. Embroidery machines help by save time because it does a lot of the precision work for you by guiding the needle/fabric and also cutting down mistakes.

This allows people with relatively little experience with crafts to easily do embroidery whereas sewing by hand takes a lot more skill and patience. If you want to get into embroidery, but aren’t good at sewing don’t worry! You’ll do just fine without it.

2. Stretch the Fabric As Tight As Possible When Hooping

I understand where this came from, but like the first myth this is false. The reason people like to stretch the fabric as tight as possible is because it makes it easier for the machine.

However, just using common sense we could see why it is a bad idea. Stretching it too tight will have long term repercussions. If material is stretched too tightly it can distort and result in puckering.

In short, make the material a little tight when hooping, but don’t overdo it or it may ruin the embroidery job and item you are trying to embroider.

3. Size 90 Embroidery Needle Is the Only One To Use

Is there anything in life where there is ONE answer? Size 90 is a good general size, but the size of your needle will depend on the thread you are using.

Although size 90 is very flexible, you’ll want to use finer needles for smaller/lighter thread and heavier needs for heavier thread. It’s pretty common sense.

Don’t just believe there is 1 answer to embroidery. Using the right equipment can have a huge impact on the end result. Getting different needles is a small investment that can have a positive impact on your embroidering.

4. Coffee Filters and Dryer Sheets are Great for Stabilizing
This statement isn’t completely wrong, but isn’t applicable to everyone. Coffee filters and dryer sheets ARE great for stabilizing if you are a beginner / hobbyist. Using inferior equipment (like I mentioned previously) will result in a lower quality outcome.

However, if you don’t care much about the quality or are just learning then it isn’t as important to have the best equipment possible. Truth be told, using these items will save some money and if you’re new to the game you may not even notice how it is affecting your embroidery.

Unfortunately, using these products will dull the needle faster than if you used a proper backing and doesn’t provide a lot of stability.  They are paper / thin material so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Stabilizers are definitely worth it considering how cheap they are.


Although there are many other embroidery myths out there, these are the most common I tend to read and hear about. You may want to try breaking some of these for yourself to truly notice and that’s probably a good idea to see for yourself. However, I’m confident in the end you’ll agree with me.

The last 2 myths I mentioned are part of a bigger, overall theme - trying to save a few bucks by using creative/alternative solutions. It’s fine if quality isn’t your biggest concern, but it is a good idea to just use medium-tier quality items. They are inexpensive and will allow you to have much better results!

If you have any questions please let me know in the comments below!

Susan Doyle is a stay at home mother who has over 20 years of embroidery experience. Although she has no professional experience, her designs, patterns, and presents have led her friends to create a blog about embroidery.


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