Buy Sewing and Needlework Supplies Online in Australia
It’s official. We’ve looked high and low and still haven’t found anything more relaxing than sitting down with a needle, thread, and some fabric. What’s more, needlework projects such as needle felting and hand-embroidery aren’t just a great way of passing the time, they can also make fabulous and meaningful gifts for family and friends.
The great news is, you don’t need many supplies to get started with needlework. But it does help to know that you’re buying the right sewing and embroidery supplies. And that’s where we’re here to help you!
Why Hand Sewing?
From repairing damaged clothing to creating gorgeous quilts and other home-made items, there are so many things you can do with just a sewing needle and thread.
Hand sewing can be quite a relaxing process and is much cheaper than buying a machine or replacing clothing whenever it gets damaged. Requiring very few sewing supplies, hand sewing is a highly portable craft that’s perfect for repairs on-the-go. We think every household can benefit from keeping a small sewing kit on-hand.
Hand sewing also allows for greater control than what you could expect from a sewing machine. That means it opens up all sorts of exciting avenues for more creative stitching and fine needlework projects.
What is Needle Felting?
Needle felting is a craft that involves repeatedly stabbing a barbed needles into a piece of wool to shape it into a desired form. It can be quite a fun activity, and is a great option for creating animals, plants, and other cute little figures that make excellent presents for loved ones.
Needle Felting Supplies
There are a couple of supplies that are unique to needle felting. Here are the needle felting supplies that we recommend for all beginners.
- Barbed needle
- Needle felting pad (protects your needles and your fingers!)
If you’re just starting out with needle felting, we offer a range of gorgeous needle felting kits, which come complete with most of the supplies you’ll need to begin your first project. Following step-by-step instructions is a great way of building up your confidence in needle felting techniques before moving on to more challenging projects.
What is Embroidery?
Embroidery is the art of decorating fabric with a needle and thread (often called embroidery floss). There are many different hand embroidery methods, including needlepoint and cross stitch.
Pretty much anything you can get a needle through can be embroidered, including dresses, hats, shirts, and jeans. That means you can personalise your own clothing with little more than a needle and thread! You can even embroider onto a stiffened felt sheet to create your own little hand-made brooches!
Hand Embroidery Supplies
It doesn’t take much to get you started on your first embroidery project. Here are the basic hand embroidery supplies that we recommend for beginners.
- Embroidery floss
- Embroidery needles
- Embroidery fabric
- Embroidery hoops or frames
- Water soluble fabric marker
- Embroidery patterns
Most embroiderers and cross stitchers use cotton thread to produce the patterns and designs on their projects. Typically known as ‘embroidery floss’, this thread is soft, relatively strong, and can be used to produce a range of different looks, colours, and styles.
DMC Cotton is one of the most popular cotton floss products on the market. Known for its high quality and broad product range, DMC cotton floss currently comes in over 500 colours. That means, whatever you plan to create, there’s probably a colour available to make it happen!
But 500 colours is a lot to choose from. To help you, each colour in the DMC cotton floss range comes with a number on the label so that you can identify the colours you’re using. Be sure to write this number down if you intend to throw away the label so you can purchase more embroidery floss if you run out midway through a project.
You may even wish to keep a project notebook so that you can jot down all the colours used in every project you complete.
How Do You Store Embroidery Floss?
One of the biggest challenges you’ll likely encounter with hand embroidery is how to store all that embroidery floss. While you can technically keep all those skeins in a box, it can make them quite difficult to see. Untangling your floss can also become a bit of a nightmare!
An easy, efficient, and popular option is to load your embroidery floss onto an embroidery floss spool or plastic floss bobbin. You can then store them in a convenient floss divider which can be organised by colour for easy access. These storage containers are a fabulous way of keeping your floss neat, tidy, and tangle-free while giving you a clear view of all the colours available to you.
What Needle Do You Need for Embroidery?
A general rule of thumb: the lighter the fabric, the smaller the needle. The heavier the fabric, the bigger the needle. But choosing the right embroidery needle will also depend on the effect you’re trying to achieve, the weave of the fabric you’re embroidering, and the thread you’re using.
Typically, the diameter of the needle should be roughly the same size as the width of the thread. A needle that’s too narrow will make it difficult to pass the embroidery floss through the material, (this can damage the thread). A needle that’s too thick, on the other hand, can leave an unsightly hole around your finished stitch which may impact the look of your work.
Some embroidery needles come with sharp points, which are suitable for piercing tightly woven fabric. Others are blunted, which is better for more loosely woven fabrics where you don’t want the needle to pierce where it shouldn’t.
You’ll also need to take care with the size of the needle’s eye. DMC embroidery floss (as with many types of embroidery floss) typically contain 6 strands. The more strands you use, the ‘chunkier’ your design will look and the larger the eye of the needle will need to be.
Sometimes, choosing the right needle for your embroidery pattern is something you’ll just need to get a feel for. That’s why we recommend that every beginner embroiderer purchase a variety pack of needles to ensure that they always have the right tool for the job.
What Fabric Should You Use for Embroidery?
As we’ve already discussed, if you can get a needle through it, you can usually embroider it! The smaller and finer your project is, the finer the fabric should be. But please note that some fabrics are harder to work with than others.
Here are some of the popular embroidery fabrics we recommend for beginners:
- Quilting fabric
- Middleweight linen
- Cotton muslin
- Aida fabric
For beginners, we discourage smooth or shiny materials such as satin or silk. We also urge you to stay away from stretchy fabrics or netting-style materials such as tulle, as this can add an extra layer of complexity that may make it harder to master the basic stitches.
Stiffened felt is an excellent option for making items that need to hold their shape, such as Christmas decorations, pins, and brooches.
Aida fabric is a particularly popular option for cross stitchers. Made from 100% cotton, Aida fabric features a wide, open weave that makes the holes easy to see so that you can count your stitches. This is great for beginners and experienced cross stitchers alike.
An excellent place to start your needlework journey is with a kit for beginners. We offer a range of fabulous kits and embroidery patterns that can help you learn the basic skills and techniques you need as you complete the project. These kits contain most of the tools you’ll need to get started, including embroidery floss or wool.
Take a look at the list below to see what needlework projects you could get started with today:
After you’ve completed a few kits and you feel confident in your abilities, you may wish to ramp up the difficulty by trying your own embroidery designs. In fact, with a water soluble fabric marker, you’ll be able to draw your own patterns straight onto the fabric!
We can’t wait to see what amazing projects you’ll complete next. Don’t forget to share your creations with us by tagging @riotartandcraft on your latest creations on Instagram!