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The Most Common Types of Fabric Used for Embroidery

By January 12, 2018 May 17th, 2019 No Comments

It is a given that you will need to buy the right fabric for embroidery. Experts say that tightly weaved natural fabrics such as silk, wool, linen, and cotton are ideal for both hand and machine embroidery. Their weaving often makes sure that you have a coarse surface, which will support the decorative stitching. Applications such as damask stitching, however, necessitate a strong fabric that serves as the foundation to help embroiders embellish the pattern on a section of the fabric.

A background fabric is necessary to ensure that a pattern is embroidered. Natural fibers can be woven in a way that it helps embroiders stitch patterns on fabrics. Moreover, individual fibers run warp-wise and weft-wise, enabling needles to pass through each fiber threads. Yet when synthetic fabrics are used for embroidery, the needles that pierce the threads may fray gradually.

It is important to select a fabric supporting the style and thread count of stitches in embroidery. Thread count refers to number of warp and weft threads per square inch. Below is a look at the different types of fabrics used for embroidery.

Quilting Cotton

This fabric is most obvious choice as far as embroiders are concerned. Hundred percent quilting cotton fabrics are heavier than sheer fabrics used for heirloom sewing. Sheer fabrics are used to sew lingerie, blouses, or relatively lightweight clothing to quilting cotton. To quilt patterns on heavy bed sheets and the like, medium weight cotton is the best choice.

Fine Linen

Linen thread is stronger than cotton and is more textured. The thread count of linen fabrics tends to be between 80 and 150. Being a natural fiber made of flax plant, linen fares quite well in terms of durability.


Silk is often thought of as a flimsy fabric by most people, but that is not true for all types of silk fabric. Silk dupioni, for instance, blends the sheen of silk with a strong foundation that is considered as ideal for needlework. While fine silk threads run in a vertical direction along the selvage, raw silk run in a horizontal direction, creating a textured decoration on the fabric’s edge.

Besides these three, even wool and synthetic blends, apart from pure and felted wool, are ideal for embroidery. A benefit of stitching patterns on woolen felt is that it will not create a raw edge requiring hemming or finishing. So the choice of fabric depends on personal preference.

Author Luxury Knit

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