Choosing the Right Fabric for Your Embroidery Design

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We cannot repeat and emphasize often enough that the final result of your embroidery project depends on fabric. You need to choose a fabric to suit the size and stitch density of your embroidery design.

When choosing your fabric you need to consider the weight of the embroidery design. The fabric needs to be strong enough to hold the design. Looser fabrics are less able to hold the threads. If you want to use a specific type of fabric, you need to select a design that is suitable for the weight of that fabric. The ‘thread count’ of the fabric refers to the fabric’s weave and determines the ability of the fabric to permit a needle to thread through it without difficulty.


Go Natural

Natural fabrics with a tight weave create a strong base for embroidery and are the easiest to embroider. Because the fibers run horizontally and vertically, the needle can easily penetrate the material. Fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk and wool support decorative stitching really well.


Quilting or Quilter’s Cotton

It is a light fabric that comes in a large variety of colors. It is best to use simple and open designs when embroidering with quilter’s cotton. It is very versatile and great to use in projects like placemats, table runners, wall hangings and of course quilts.


Hanky Linen

Commonly used in Australia, this material is a beautiful fine and lightweight linen/cotton blend with small slubs throughout. It is great for embroidery when using the correct stabilizer.



A lovely natural fabric. It is lighter, more textured and stronger than cotton. Linen is considered the strongest of natural fibers and wears extremely well.



A popular choice of fabric by many embroiderers for its beautiful sheen. You might think it is a delicate fabric, but silk actually provides a good, crisp and strong base.



It is a great choice to use either in woven or felted format. Felted wool does not fray, so you can just cut the edges. It offers depth without swallowing the thread.



You can create beautiful personalized gifts by embroidering monograms on bath robes and towels. The key with these fuzzy fabrics is to use a water soluble topping on the top of the fabric and designs with solid fills to avoid the stitches getting lost in the terrycloth texture.


Contact us for more information on choosing the right fabric for your embroidery design.