General Reference Material, Tools and Suppliers
I’m a huge ambassador for sharing information and any tips and tricks we might have amongst ourselves. I also believe that what works for one person, isn’t necessarily going to work everyone. So in addition to the tips and tricks I share with you that are based on my own personal experiences, here is a brief list of hand embroidery references and suppliers I turn to for my needs.
Books you may like to peruse for general inspiration or stitching guidance
A-Z Series by Inspirations – a wide variety of different techniques covered in this newly re-vamped series. You can purchase yours from Create in Stitch (based in Australia so be aware of postage costs), Amazon, Book Depository..
Useful Embroidery Tools
Elbesse Seat Frame – Since using the Elbesse seat frames, I now struggle with the more traditional hand held ones! You can get yours at Amazon
Slate Frame – For larger projects, a slate frame, whilst more time consuming to set up, is invaluable in keeping your fabric taut. You can purchase these from some needlework shops or the RSN. If you would prefer an easier to set up, but similar frame, the Needle Needs Millennium Frame is a great, handmade item. But beware – you will be waiting approximately six months to receive it.
Scissors – Some great hand embroidery scissors for precise cutting of thread and fabric in stumpwork are the handmade Ernest Wright Scissors. Another great option are Kai Scissors made in Japan, which are a little hard to come by, but Amazon and My Fabrics stock them for those in the UK.
Mellor – For getting tricky threads and gold and metallic threads to lie flat and nicely, a mellor is a great and handy tool to have in your supplies. You can purchase one from some needlework shops or the RSN.
Lighting and Magnification – Good lighting is imperative for all projects, and for some techniques, magnification is also an enormous help. I personally love the products from the Daylight Company. They have a great collection of floor and table solutions, as well as portable solutions. Somewhere like Sew and So offers products from a range of different companies that might be more suitable for you.
This is a tricky one, as there are so many wonderful, independent needlework shops out there, and it is not only region specific, but also dependent on what exactly you are looking for.
The below is a list of retailers I have shopped with personally, and have received good customer service from. Bear in mind I am currently located in the UK, and am Australian, so I apologise to everywhere else in the world! If you do have a favourite retailer that has a ‘global’ perspective, please do get in touch so I can look into them before adding them to the list below.
UK Based Suppliers
Sew and So – a large online retailer with a large variety of needlework, cross stitch and tapestry supplies and kits. They also have a quick despatch policy for the those times you run out at an inconvenient time!
The Hand Weavers Studio – a small retailer in London with a variety of specialty threads. In my experience, they also offer a very quick despatch policy
Oliver Twists Threads – a beautiful collection of threads. I haven’t purchased anything from them online, however their service at shows is amazing
London Bead Company – a lovely retail and online shop with a large variety of specialist threads and materials. Don’t be deceived by the name – it is much more than a bead shop! They offer great customer service for online purchases too.
Australian Based Suppliers
The Crewel Gobelin – I think every Australian needleworker has heard of this lovely store in Sydney. They have a great range of products, and I still order from them, even when I’m in the UK, as they stock threads I can’t find anywhere else! And you always get a lovely personalised ‘thank you note too.
Aussie Heirlooms Mini Piping – When backing blankets I like to add mini piping to them, and I can’t be bothered to make it myself! A great range of colours, and again, has shipped to the UK for me!
Over to you!
If you continually rely on a particular book, retailer or tool, do let me know. I will have a look into your suggestion, and once I’m happy, I’ll add it to the list!
Thanks for sharing!
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A Little About Me
I'm Catherine of Hillview Embroidery. I'm a passionate embroiderer who has been stitching on and off for about thirty years (oh my!).
A couple of years ago I started taking my embroidery seriously, and I started the RSN's Certificate in Hand Embroidery. I've now completed the Certificate, and am planning on commencing the Diploma once the logistics of 'commuting' from Australia are worked out. I love to share with you the ups and downs, my experience of studying the course, and also some of the more technical elements of hand embroidery, so we can all grow together.
You can read more about my story, and I do hope to have you join along on my journey.
Thanks so much for stopping by!