Embroidery is a timeless, artistic hobby for all ages—increasing in popularity over the years with both Baby Boomers and Millennials alike.
It can be categorized into two types: hand embroidery and machine embroidery. Hand embroidery refers to stitching by hand and is often used for cross-stitching projects.
Conversely, machine embroidery consists of using an embroidery machine for stitching. This type is what we will focus on here. For those who have hesitated with embroidery due to its seemingly complicated nature there’s no need to worry.
You might have thought that embroidery is only for artistically-inclined individuals, or that it requires a hefty investment like a sewing machine. Yet, these assumptions are unfounded as there are embroidery starter kits to help you out.
What Is an Embroidery Starter Kit?
It is a kit with all the essentials that a beginner might need for their first embroidery project – hoops, thread, scissors etc. These kits can save you the hassle of searching for the required tools and materials and give you a quick entry point into the hobby.
Features to Look for in an Embroidery Starter Kit
Starter kits are largely dependent on your individual preferences. They are wide ranging with some including essentials for small projects.
Others contain extensive tool collections for multiple projects. Depending on your desired projects, be sure to choose one that covers all your needs.
The number and sizes of hoops in a kit is important. Hoops in varying sizes means you can have several projects going at one time. Conversely, if your kit only comes with a single size, this may limit the scope of your future projects.
Popular hoop sizes for hand embroidery normally range from 5 to 8 inches.
Smaller hoops are often easier to use as they fit more comfortably in your hands. They also keep the fabric relatively taut, or stiff, compared to larger hoops.
To determine whether your fabric is taut enough, flick your fingers against the stretched-out fabric within the hoop. If you get a subtle drum-like sound, chances are high that your fabric is of the right tightness for stitching.
Thread Colors & Types
Embroidery floss and thread may be used interchangeably. To clarify, an embroidery floss is made up of six embroidery threads that are intertwined.
These threads can be pulled apart to create the desired thickness for your stitching. You can also choose to thread all six strands together for needlepoint embroidery, or separate the strands for cross stitching.
To form a skein, the embroidery floss is normally wound around a small paper tube, keeping the floss free from tangles. The total length of floss in a single skein usually averages about 24 feet in length.
A collection of colored threads is essential to your finished design. Go for starter kits with ample variation from across the color spectrum, ranging from light to dark.
This gives you more room to work with and plan your embroidery designs. Additionally, make sure the threads are of good quality and breakage proof.
Another thing to consider is the thread type. Cotton thread is commonly used for hand embroidery as it’s widely available in many colors. It’s also a more affordable option.
Rayon floss is another alternative if you are looking to give your design a bright sheen. The floss is smooth and shiny but can be difficult to work with as it tangles rather easily.
Choose the right embroidery floss for your design, so the end result looks and feels great.
Basic Embroidery Tools
If you lack basic tools such as embroidery scissors, needles, and thimbles, choose a kit that includes these tools. A quality pair of scissors that can cut fabrics and threads effortlessly is of utmost priority.
Also, make sure your kit contains needles of commonly-used sizes, like seven and nine. These are popular due to the needle’s large eye, which makes it easy to thread multiple strands through. This is required for embroidery.
Stabilizers are a must-have for those interested in machine embroidery. They add rigidity to your fabric to keep it stable when stitching, so that the outline is well-aligned. This is particularly useful when working on stretchy or loosely-woven fabrics.
Learning guides, such as instructional manuals and CDs with guided tutorials, are a godsend for those new to embroidery. Certain kits include these learning materials as a complimentary gift, which we will see in greater detail later.
However, in the event that your chosen kit does not contain sufficient instructions, we have you covered. A quick YouTube search will likely pull up related how-to videos, so you can master the basics easily.
This comprehensive YouTube tutorial teaches you the ten basic types of stitch normally used in hand embroidery:
Our Top 5 Embroidery Starter Kits
With this basic knowledge in hand, let’s look at the best starter kits on the market. These kits have been selected to suit your individual needs and desires. Rest assured you will definitely find the right kit for you.
A superb all-in-one embroidery starter kit that covers all your bases. It has a wide variety of 50 rainbow-colored skeins.
Each skein is approximately 26-feet long. The threads are durable and could last you through numerous craft projects.
It includes five embroidery hoops: 4.9, 6.3, 7.7, 9.7 and 11 inches. As such, the chances of a perfect fit between the hoop size and the design are heightened.
This will then minimize the fabric’s movement during stitching. Additionally, the kit carries other essentials like embroidery needles, thimble, and bobbins to get you started right away.
The extensive collection in this kit is not only adequate for beginners, it is also suitable for intermediates who are looking to replenish their embroidery basics.
- An extensive collection of quality embroidery tools, suitable for beginners and intermediates.
- Wide assortment of colored threads.
- Varying hoop sizes to fit different designs and minimize fabric movement.
- No additional sample designs or how-to instructions included.
- Premium Set: Full range of embroidery starter kit with all the tools you need to embroider; Just with this set, you can finish a nice...
- Common Size: 2pcs 12 by 18 Inch aida 5 size embroidery hoop : 4.9inch (12.5cm) ，6.3inch (16cm)，7.7inch (19.5cm)，9.7inch...
- Package Content: 5pcs Plastic Embroidery Hoop, 50 color threads, 2pcs 14 count white cotton classic reserve aidas, 12pcs floss bobbins,...
#2: Embroidex Embroidery Machine Starter Kit
This kit consists of all the essentials that one might require when embarking on machine embroidery for the first time. Additionally, its comprehensive tool and material collections suit long-time users who are looking to resupply.
There are 24 spools of embroidery-machine threads in neutrals, neons, and pastels. These colors are easily applicable for any project you have in mind. The quality is high, ensuring less chance of breakage.
However, one thing to note is the material of the thread which is made of rayon. Given that rayon thread tangles easily, this could be more difficult for a beginner to work with.
The kit also includes four basic types of stabilizers: cutaway, tearaway, polymesh and water-soluble. This is handy for matching the right stabilizer to different fabric materials, to enhance the smoothness of machine embroidery.
Included is a pair of gold-plated embroidery scissors, sure to make you feel fancy. However, the quality may be a little disappointing when it comes to clean cuts and snips.
The cherry on top would be the free CD that includes guided tutorials. It also comes with 40 designs by Anita Goodesign and Dakota Collectibles. One notable feature about this kit is its universal design, making it complementary to any machine.
- A kit containing universally-designed essentials to suit any machine.
- An assortment of four stabilizers to match different fabric types.
- Free learning materials that are perfect for beginners.
- Embroidery scissors are of poor quality.
- Thread material is made of rayon which tangles easily.
- ★ ALL-IN-ONE EMBROIDERY STARTER KIT - Embroidex starter kit provides you a cost-effective way to start from scratch with your new...
- ★ WHAT’S INCLUDED? - The kit includes 24 Spools Of 100% Polyester Embroidery Machine Thread - each spool has 550 Yards, 4 Roll...
- ★ INCREDIBLY USEFUL FREEBIES - Not only do you get all the essential notions but also a free CD which includes important tutorials and...
A highly affordable kit that is perfect for those who recently picked up cross stitching and embroidery.
The set comes with five embroidery hoops made from natural bamboo. They are sized at 6.1, 6.7, 7.8, 9 and 10.2 inches.
These commonly-used sizes are ideal for most embroidery and cross-stitch projects. A user-friendly feature of the hoops is the ingenious brass adjustment screw for tightening.
This ensures the fabric is stretched as tight as a drum, giving you no room for mistakes. One complaint with this kit is the overall quality of its materials: the fabric feels cheap and is difficult to pierce with a needle.
- Perfect entry set for cross stitching and embroidery.
- Hoops are of sturdy quality without catching on the fabric.
- Materials are not of high quality due to its low price point.
- Valuable Set: The most complete beginner embroidery kit is equipped with all the tools you use for embroidery. Just with this kit, you can...
- Common Size: 12 by 18-inch aida, embroidery hoop use dimensions: 6.1 inch (15.5cm), 6.7 inch (17cm), 7.8 inch (20cm), 9 inch (23cm), 10.2...
- Package Content: 5pcs bamboo embroidery hoops, 50 color threads, 2pcs 14 count white cotton classic reserve aidas, 12pcs floss bobbins,...
#4: Subang Full Set
A comprehensive starter kit of decent value that is targeted towards beginners on a budget.
Five embroidery hoops (5, 6, 7, 9, 10 inches) allow you to pursue multiple projects simultaneously. With 30 embroidery needles in three sizes, you are well-equipped to tackle embroidery designs of any nature.
One disadvantage is the shape of the hoops as they don’t seem to fit very tightly. This means they aren’t able to hold the fabric properly.
Moreover, the accompanying floss and Aida cloth in the kit might be too thin. This could potentially affect the quality of your finished embroidery or cross-stitch design.
Quite understandably, due to the budget-friendly price of this kit, most of the materials are of relatively-low quality. This is something to keep in mind for those who want a high-quality kit.
If you are an intermediate looking to replenish your embroidery kit, this is definitely not for you.
- Ideal for beginners on a shoestring budget.
- A wide variety of colored threads.
- Numerous hoop sizes fit most projects.
- Hoop shape is not made well.
- Fabric and floss material are sub-par.
- Embroidery Starter Kit: The most full range of embroidery starter kit with all the tools you need to embroider.
- Colorful threads: 50 skeins multi-color embroidery floss sewing threads made of soft and durable polyester cotton can provide various and...
- Common Size: 2 Pcs 12 by 18-Inch aida, embroidery hoop circle's diameter: 10 inch(25cm), 9 inch(22cm), 7 inch(17cm), 6 inch(14cm), 5...
#5: Berya Handmade with Pattern Cross Stitch
For beginners who are daunted by large embroidery projects, the one-project nature of this kit is perfect for you.
The kit’s contents are sufficient for a small project: a single hoop, Aida cotton, scissors, threads, and needles.
Each kit comes with instructions and drawings of a particular embroidery design (e.g. cactus, butterfly). That means you can choose a kit containing a design that appeals to you the most.
One thing to note is that the instructions lack detail. They only provide information on the type of stitch, color, and floss for each design. You might be able to find out more by searching on YouTube for related guides and tutorials.
Additionally, the quality of the embroidery design on the fabric is inconsistent. This is because some kits come with crisp and clear patterns, while you might encounter blurry designs with other kits.
Despite these shortcomings, this kit is a good way to build your confidence before attempting larger projects. Moreover, its size is handy for traveling.
- Consists of required embroidery essentials for a single project.
- Various cute designs are available to suit different preferences.
- Ideal for beginners and intermediates alike.
- Instructions included are not sufficiently detailed.
- Quality of embroidery designs printed on the fabric is inconsistent.
You Might Also Like
If you’ve got an Etsy account, there’s a bunch of great stuff there. They’re often more expensive than the ones listed here, but are brimming with cutesy wonderfulness. I like this doll kit, for example.
For those of you just discovering the art of embroidery, the Kingso Starter Kit is your best bet. It contains all the essentials that a beginner requires.
The quality of the kit ensures maximum comfort and ease when hand embroidering your first design.
However, for those interested in machine embroidery, we recommend the Embroidex Embroidery Machine Starter Kit. This kit includes tools and materials that are suitable for any embroidery machine.
One thing to note is that these kits are also suitable for intermediates who dabble in hand and machine embroidery. It can actually double up as a replenishing kit with a value-for-money price tag.
As such, these two recommended starter kits are ideal for beginners and intermediates alike. Purchase one today for yourself or as a lovely gift for a potential embroiderer.