A Beginner-Friendly Checklist for Machine Embroidery

A Beginner-Friendly Checklist for Machine Embroidery

As a beginner in machine embroidery, you're definitely confused and curious about a lot of questions. What type of embroidery machine should I get? How many supplies should I gather? What kind of thread can I use? There are a lot of questions that need to be answered.

No more worries! In the following article, I provide 10 common points you should check during your machine embroidery process. Also, I list some helpful tips and techniques to make your embroidery process easier! Continue reading, and let's explore the world of machine embroidery!

Get a Suitable Embroidery Machine

Before your first machine embroidery, the most important thing to consider is always the machine. There are thousands of machine options in different brands. How can you 100% ensure you choose the right machine?

The 2 most common types are embroidery machines and sewing-and-embroidery combo machines. Can you make a decision between them? If you can't, just follow these tips.

  1. Before making the final choice, always do detailed research. Learn the basic and key features of each machine. Then, according to your preferences, make a wise decision.
  2. For beginners, you'd better start with an easy-to-operate machine. This machine doesn't need too many complex or advanced functions. The basic functions are totally enough.
  3. If possible, you can visit a store to test the machine you're interested in. Read other buyers' reviews and choose a trusted brand.

Prepare the Right Machine Thread

Just from the name, it's obvious that machine threads are different from those used in sewing or hand embroidery. They're specialty threads that are typically thicker and stronger. You'll need two kinds of threads in your machine embroidery: bobbin and needle thread.

Obviously, the bobbin thread is in the bobbin compartment. It provides support for the stitches on the back. Never forget to get enough bobbin thread, at least one full bobbin, before starting stitching. If you don't want to wind thread by yourself, you can buy pre-wound bobbins.

On the other hand, needle thread makes up the stitches on the top of the embroidery. It has many different types, but you just need to focus on three main types: rayon, polyester, and cotton. According to your project, you can buy needle threads in different colors, shades, and thicknesses. If you really can't decide the colors, you can get pre-assembled thread color kits to save time.

Insert Your Bobbin Case Correctly

The bobbin is really essential for a successful machine embroidery project. Once you finish winding the bobbin thread by yourself, insert it upside down properly. Instead, if you use pre-wound bobbins, make sure they are the right size for your machine and insert them correctly.

Gather the Right Machine Needles

Machine embroidery needles are specially designed for machine embroidery. Even beginners know how important they are. These needles are obviously different from regular sewing needles in the eye shape and scarf. Embroidery needles have a specially shaped scarf and a longer eye. For different fabrics and threads, you need varied needles. The unsuitable needles will only ruin your project.

But there is one thing that is similar to sewing needles. You need to replace these embroidery needles after a number of stitches. This is because needles will become dull over time, and dull tips can ruin your project, too.

After learning so much about embroidery needles, how can you choose the right ones? For beginners, I recommend that you get as many needles as possible and use them in different projects to gain experience.

Don't Forget Embroidery Stabilizers/Backings

Embroidery stabilizers play an important role in machine embroidery. These textiles look like paper and film. They provide support, control, and structure for your projects.

Although there are multiple types of stabilizers, at first, medium-weight tear-away and cut-away backings are totally enough. As you practice more and finish more projects, you can have a better understanding of these stabilizers.

One more thing: How can you adhere the stabilizers to your fabric? Just use the temporary adhesive spray! Spray one side of the stabilizer and attach it to the wrong side of the fabric. 

Bring Your Embroidery Hoops

Don't forget to bring your embroidery hoops! They're helpful companions to keep your fabric smooth and taut. Like other supplies, these hoops also come in all sizes, materials, colors, and shapes. Just choose one according to your design and project requirements.

Prepare Your Scissors

For an intricate embroidery project, you actually need to prepare two types of scissors. One is a pair of sharp scissors for your fabric, and the other one is thread clippers to clean the run threads in your project. You can also use other specialty scissors and all of them are beneficial for your machine embroidery.

Other Necessary Supplies

There are still some other useful supplies you should know. For a more precise result, you can use fabric markers to trace your embroidery design onto the fabric.

Another necessary tool is iron. Before starting your project, iron the fabric to set a clean and neat base. Once your project is complete, give it a press for a polished look.

Additionally, you can use fabric clips to keep the unhooped fabric away from the hooped area. This way, the unhooped area won't be wrongly stitched.

Tweezers are excellent tools, too. You can use them to remove misplaced threads.

Use Embroidery Software

Have you heard about embroidery software before? With it, you can freely create, improve, and perfect your designs before stitching them out. Try to learn more about embroidery software and further enhance your skills.

Regularly Check and Care for Your Machine

Check your machine regularly to ensure it works properly. Take good care of it by using machine oils and lubricants. But before directly using them, carefully read the machine instructions or contact the service center for help.

Conclusion for the Machine Embroidery Checklist

To sum up, this is a common checklist for machine embroidery. When working on your own project, you may encounter some other trouble that I didn't mention. Don't hesitate to ask a professional for help.

The more you practice, the more gorgeous machine embroidery items you can create!

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