You have no doubt already seen it trending on social media: beautiful embroidery on clothing. While some designs have been stitched by machine, many have not. You too can add cute embellishments to an old pair of pants, denim jacket, or T-shirt. In this blog, you can read all about embroidering on clothing as we share some useful tips and tricks.
Inspiration: What all can you embroider on clothing?
What can you embroider on garments? Anything! From text in back stitch to filled-in motifs in satin stitch, from simple cross stitch designs to intricate embroidery patterns. Our top tip: keep things simple to start off with. If you have never done it before, embroidering on clothing can be quite tricky. You will make mistakes and need to unpick your stitches before starting again. If at all possible, practice on a swatch first.
For inspiration, Pinterest is a treasure trove of beautiful examples, but you can also find loads of free patterns on the DMC website. Also, check out the embroidery patterns on our website.
Materials needed for embroidering on clothing
Once you have decided on the design to add, it is time to gather all materials you need. They are:
- Embroidery floss
- Needle with a sharp point
- Washable marker pen
- Embroidery hoop (optional)
Embroidering on different types of fabrics and items
Once again: start small! Especially if you are new to the craft, embroidering on clothing may not be the easiest place to start. Of course, the type of fabric you want to embroider on makes a big difference. For example, it is much easier to embroider on cotton than on denim. The following applies to all fabrics: avoid the thicker areas with multiple layers, such as hems and seams. It is very difficult to pierce through them with your needle.
Useful tips for embroidering on clothes
You hopefully now know what you want to stitch and the supplies you will need. Below we have put together a list of our top tips for you to bear in mind. If you follow all of these, we are confident that your embroidered clothes will look amazing.
Tip 1: Choose an embroidery pattern
Of course, the first thing you need to do is choose an embroidery pattern. This could be an existing pattern, but if you are feeling creative and have basic drawing skills, then create your own design instead.
Tip 2: Use a water- or heat-erasable marker
With this type of marker, you can easily transfer the pattern onto your fabric. Then once you are finished, simply erase the lines by washing your garment or using a hair dryer. Before stitching, try on your garment and check whether you are happy with the placement of your design.
Tip 3: Use an embroidery hoop if you can
Using an embroidery hoop makes the whole embroidery process much easier. Say you are embroidering on a sleeve, then your hoop will of course be too big. However, it would work perfectly for the back of a denim jacket or for adding a motif to a T-shirt or sweater. Just make sure you do not tighten the hoop too much or overstretch the fabric.
Tip 4: Choose the right embroidery thread colors
If you are using a ready-made pattern, choosing which colors to use is pretty straightforward. In most cases, they will have already been chosen for you. But if you need or want to put together your own color combination, this can be a daunting task. There are hundreds of different shades of embroidery floss to choose from. If you cannot view them in person, we highly recommend investing in a shade card for your favorite floss brand, like this DMC Mouliné Shade Card. That way you have a complete overview of all the colors available and can see their actual color in real life.
Tip 5: Tie knots
Normally, you would try to avoid tying knots when embroidering. When it comes to stitching on clothing, however, it is always better to be safe than sorry. This helps keep the back looking nice and neat and ensures your stitches stay in place while wearing your masterpiece.
Tip 6: Take your time!
Take your time when embroidering on clothing. We understand that you might want to race to the finish line, but haste rarely produces great results. Embroidery is not something you can master overnight. It takes practice, and you will make mistakes and need to start over. Only then will you become a real pro. So, do not give up if things are not going well initially. Set your garment aside, sleep on it, then pick up your needle again and continue stitching.
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