When you first start to embroider, the most overlooked factor is the choice of fabric. Most of us tend to forget this factor, however, it is the choice of fabric that will take our embroidery to the next level because it depends on the type of fabric that how your finished products will look like. Therefore, you should always consider the type of fabric before starting your embroidery project.
However, finding the right choice of fabric can make your head spin as there are loads of options in the market. Each type has different thread counts, weight, and textures. Some are used for hand embroidering while others are used for some other purpose. Therefore, it isn’t easy to find the right choice that is compatible with your type of project.
This is exactly the reason I have done the research for you and collected a list of the best embroidery fabrics. I have personally used these fabrics for a long time and I can assure you that all these fabrics are the best of the lot. I have also explained their features and their purpose. So, go through them and enlighten your mind with these types of fabrics.
Linen is the most used fabric for embroidery, therefore it is my number one choice for my embroidery works. It is one of the most favorite fabrics to embroider on for embroidery lovers. The main reason for this is that this fabric gives a great texture to your embroidery patterns. However, keep in mind that it is one of the most expensive fabrics out there in the market.
The thread counts vary for linen, it’s up to you to find a suitable match for your project. I personally use linen that is quite thin and it sometimes bunches a bit but I like that because it gives me the feel of tighter weaves. Plus, there are no limitations of colors, which is a great feature for me, as they come in a bunch of fun and vivid colors.
Linen has a plain and consistent weave which makes it extremely easy for me to embroider. Keep in mind that its surface is nubby or rough, which sometimes can hamper your embroidery pattern. This roughness is the result of the thin and thick threads weaving.
Aida cloth is a go-to choice for many experienced embroiders. You can use this piece of cloth with both embroidery machines and for hand embroidery. Aida’s clothes are fashioned out of natural, and pure cotton.
Aida’s clothes are usually stiff and have vertical and horizontal threads in equal amounts, meaning that they have an equal and even weave. Plus, they are usually associated with cross stitchers because they have square patterns with holes. You can also hand embroider on this type of fabric. But, if you are not an experienced embroiderer then it would be difficult for you because it has big holes which will make it hard for you to stitch smoothly.
Aida comes in a wide range of beautiful and vibrant colors, with printed backgrounds of patterned shapes. Plus, these clothes are available in most of the embroidery and craft stores and also they are quite cheap.
If you are an absolute beginner then always choose 100% cotton for stitching. Cotton clothes have a tight weave that can be easily stitched on for a variety of projects. Plus, they come in many colors, and printed patterns and also have a decent price.
Another factor that makes these fabrics a great choice for beginners is that they are more lightweight than other fabrics. Personally, I work on this Kona cotton because I really enjoy working on it as it is tightly woven and comes in vibrant colors. It may be a bit heavy for quilting but it can hold the threads pretty nicely.
I found this fabric easy to work with as it keeps its shape intact for a long time. Moreover, the colors are consistent and there is minimal fraying because it’s a cotton material. Plus, it has got a good thickness of threads for embroidering masks. Moreover, it is wash-resistant.
Evenweave fabrics are woven fabrics that have the same number of threads horizontally and vertically. They are interlaced in a way they form the square grid. The threads used in this type of fabric are of the same thickness meaning that they are soft and smooth with a higher thread count.
They have a hole between each thread so that you can easily use the needle to stitch. As there are these small holes, you can also do cross-stitching with ease. The holes aren’t as big as in Aida’s clothing. The even weave fabric can be cotton, linen, rayon, synthetic, or a mixture of other fibers.
There are two types of even-weave fabrics, one type is a tightly woven fabric that is mostly associated with hand embroidery work and surface embroidery and the other one is the loosely woven even-weave fabrics that can be used for drawn thread and pulled thread embroidery. Plus, they come in a wide range of colors, with the thread counts can be high as 32-count–very fine–and low as 18-count.
If you are to do Hardanger embroidery on your fabric then you should definitely try Hardanger fabric because they are specially designed for this purpose. This type of fabric usually has a 22 count fabric as they are pure cotton. Plus, they are not expensive as compared to other fabrics such as linen.
The threads are usually paired as 2 threads instead of the 4 threads like you see in other fabrics. Thus, it is woven with a double thread meaning that every double-thread pair will be considered as a single or one. It has plain and even weaves which means it is easy for you to stitch.
They can also be used for blackwork and counted thread works. If you are using this fabric for cross stitch, you should know that it is functioned over 2 thread groups, meaning that you’ll have a count of 11 squares per inch. On the downside, it does not come in a wide range of colors.
Silk is a lovely fabric that can be used for dressmaking and embroidering any handmade item. Although embroidering on it has been done since ancient times, it is not a go-to choice for embroiderers because many find it difficult to pass the needle and threads through it.
I personally find it difficult to embroider on silk because the material is hard to control for stitching. The fabric is quite difficult to hold in one place. Plus, it takes hours and hours to embroider on it. Therefore, if you are a beginner then I won’t recommend it to you.
In case you want to embroider you need to have a very sharp needle with a small eye so that needle could easily go through the fabric. Plus, you will have to use a stabilizer to hold the fabric in one place. If you want to know more about stabilizers, here is our guide on stabilizers.
If you want to embroider on clean, luster full, and shiny fabrics then satin should be the one for you. Its even base makes it enjoyable for everyone to embroider. Plus, it has tighter weaves with a smoother surface so it will be easy for you to embroider.
If you go to the market, you will find all types of statins; there are some poor quality satins but I recommend going for high-quality satin. The price will be high but would be worth it as its threads won’t be damaged or snagged. This will allow you to create a beautiful texture on satin fabric.
Although it is cotton, I feel that it is different from all other fabrics that I have reviewed. It has more weight than others and has a different structure and shape. It is not easy to embroider on denim but if you learn to embroider on it, it opens up a whole new world of embroidery patterns as you can get really creative with this fabric. I personally consider it a lovely fabric for home decor items.
Although it looks very hard, it isn’t! You can easily pull the needle through it. What I most like about the denim is that it is durable, long-lasting, and sturdy, meaning that the design will remain intact on it for many moons. It can easily support complex and delicate designs. However, don’t embroider light designs on it because it is not made for this purpose.
Yes, it is cotton and it will shrink and therefore dry and wash before stitching. Moreover, you will have to use a stabilizer to support the fabric.
I hope that you found this information relevant to your cause. Now, after reading this article, you are enlightened about the requirements and the needs of the different types of fabrics. So, I hope that you will be able to narrow down your research for the best embroidery fabrics.