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What material to embroider on?

Everything is embroidered, or almost!

We often wonder on what material to embroider to begin. Know that you can embroider on almost any textile, but we are not going to lie, some fabrics are easier to understand than others, especially if you are starting out. We have therefore put together a small selection of fabrics that we generally have in our wardrobe, with a list of advantages and disadvantages for making embroidery for beginners but not only.

To begin with, if your garment is new, it is best to wash it before embroidering it. It is possible that your fabric will move a little after the first wash so to avoid any damage, it is better to embroider on a washed textile.

The materials we love



It’s the embroiderers’ favorite material!
Benefits : Top of the top, you can go there with your eyes closed!
Type of clothing: Chemise, robe, tote bag…


Converse embroidered with kit de broderie Witchy Love. Photo by Claire Delorme.


Cotton remains and will remain the in-con-tour-nable, perfect for start embroidery ! But be careful, we are talking here about 100% ethical cotton, which is neither stretchy nor too fine.
Benefits : To begin with it is the perfect material, cotton is very easy to embroider, provided, once again, that it is not too stretchy.
Type of clothing: Sweatshirt, t-shirt, shirt, canvas sneakers such as Converses or Bensimon, cushion, pants, pencil case, tote bag, etc.


Ribbed or not, we love velvet here!
Benefits : Something to dress up any outfit! On ribbed we preferred to embroider with several strands so that the embroidery is clearly visible.
Type of clothing: Pants, jacket, dress, skirt…


Embroidered denim jacket with Roses embroidery kits And Tigre.


It is… also the favorite material of embroiderers! Jeans have something that other materials don't have. And it is one of the ideal materials for making embroidery for beginners. This side vintage brought by the marriage of jeans and DIY embroidery.
Benefits : The material holds up well, and if the jeans are thick enough you can even do without drumming! Be careful though to avoid embroidering on the seams, where there are several layers of jeans. Embroidery can be more complicated, and you can even go so far as to break your needle... Ouch!
Type of clothing: Jacket, jeans, shirt, skirt…


Small or large knit, wool is easily embroidered and the result is I.N.C.R.O.Y.A.B.L.E.
Benefits : Have fun adding some pep to your winter sweaters! If the mesh is large, do not hesitate to embroider with several strands so that the embroidery stands out well.
Type of clothing: Sweater, pants, hat, gloves, coat (if it is not too thick), jacket…

You can of course embroider on other materials such as tencel, viscose or polyester. The difficulty of embroidery will depend on the type of garment and the weight of the fabric. Once again, we will prefer a fairly thick fabric, so that the material holds together a little better.


Wool sweater embroidered on the sleeves with the Melancholy embroidery kit. Photo by Claire Delorme.


Embroidered cotton T-shirt with kit de broderie More Self Love.

Materials we like a little less

But you can still embroider if you’re careful! Nothing is impossible, it will just take a little more time and require a little more patience.

  • All the materials a little too thin and too stretchy

Why do embroidery and stretch & fine materials not go well together? To embroider on a thin, stretchy material, you need to find the right balance by setting up your drum: you need to stretch your fabric enough so as not to create creases, but not pull it too hard so as not to deform it.


When you install your drum, you tighten your fabric, and therefore you pull on it a little, so as to have a very stable support on which to work. The risk with a stretch material is precisely its elasticity! Unlike more raw materials, such as linen or cotton, these fabrics risk stretching too much if you are not careful when installing your drum. When you remove the latter, once your work is finished, the surface on which you have worked may shrink, which will have the direct consequence of deforming your pretty embroidery.


We could therefore be tempted to go easy on the tension of the fabric when installing the drum, or even a little too easy... And in this case, it can also be detrimental to the final result. The risk, if your fabric is too loose, is to create small folds on your garment, which will be fixed by the embroidery itself. You may therefore iron it once the work is finished, but if you have embroidered on a fabric that is too loose in its drum, the only way to correct these folds will be to undo everything and start again...

In short, if you don't stretch your stretch fabric correctly, you risk deforming either your garment or your embroidery...

It's all a question of balance. Don’t worry, we’re not going to leave you with these negative notes!

kit broderie

Embroidered silk shirt with Vegetal Femininity embroidery kit. Photo by Cocoegia.


Embroidered lingerie with Roses embroidery kit. Photo by Claire Delorme.


Do you absolutely want to embroider on this fabric? The good news is that it is still doable, especially thanks to our magic paper. And yes, in addition to having the embroidery design printed on it, this paper plays a stabilizing role, a valuable role on these sensitive fabrics.

Thanks to him, we managed to embroider our embroidery kit Roses on lingerie, and our embroidery kits Melancholy And Plant Femininity on a vintage silk shirt.

However, there are a few rules to follow so that your embroidery goes as smoothly as possible!

  1. Stick your magic paper where you want to embroider your garment BEFORE installing your drum. When you install the latter, lie flat on a table and install your drum carefully. When embroidering, your fabric may relax a little (which is normal). You will therefore have to stretch your fabric again and tighten your drum. Do not pull on your fabric! Remove your drum completely and reinstall it from A to Z.
  2. Favor small patterns over large pieces, because if your embroidery is too large, it risks making the garment heavier. You will also have less risk of creating creases on a small embroidery!
  3. With the magic paper which stabilizes your embroidery during your work you will have difficulty identifying the possible formation of folds below it. It is therefore best to regularly check the back of your embroidery to ensure that no creases form! Just don’t pull too much when you do your embroidery stitch and everything will be fine 🙂

Now you have the answer to all your questions and you know on what material to embroider to begin.

Happy embroidery!