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liberty - fabric for embroiderty sewing craft club

The Best Fabric for Your Next Embroidery Project

Cotton? Silk? Organic? Oh my! Let the Liberty fabrics team decode finding the right fabric for your embroidery project
By: Charlotte Olby

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The Best Fabric for Your Next Embroidery Project

The Best Fabric for Your Next Embroidery Project

Cotton? Silk? Organic? Oh my! Let the Liberty fabrics team decode finding the right fabric for your embroidery project

By: Charlotte Olby

If you’ve declared embroidery as your next #LibertyCraftClub project, make our line-up of the best Liberty fabric for embroidery your first port of call. Just the thing for starting your hand-stitch journey without being intimidated by huge supply lists and vast amounts of stitch types, this is your quick-start guide to selecting the right fabric for the job.

So, How Do You Choose the Best Fabric for Embroidery?

The fabric you choose can make a huge difference to not only how enjoyable your design is to stitch, but also how good the final outcome looks once finished. There are two main considerations to take into account when choosing fabric for embroidery: the fibre it's made from and the weight of the fabric.

As a rule, it’s best to stay clear of synthetics and opt for natural fibres for embroidery. Fabrics made from polyester and synthetic fibres tend to have less give, meaning you might find your needle catching and not flowing so easily when using hand embroidery techniques – especially for small designs. Choose from cotton, wool, linen or silk-based fabrics for your background and ensure you have selected an appropriate thread count, aka weight, of fabric.

When looking at fabrics, the weight is usually graded either in terms of light, medium and heavyweight or by the GSM number. GSM stands for grams per square metre, which refers to the weight of a fabric. In general, the higher a fabric's GSM, the thicker and more hard-wearing it's likely to be – so typically a higher GSM number (around 200gsm) fares better with embroidery due to the denser fibres making for a sturdier base.

Thankfully, here at Liberty we offer quite the range of embroidery-appropriate fabrics…

Tana Lawn™ Cotton

Endless Tana Lawn™ Cotton, £27.50

Printed in our very own Liberty Printing Mill, located between Milan and Lake Como, Tana Lawn™ Cotton is a fabric built by obsession. Our classic and fluid Tana has always been a top choice for crafting – hence its rather famous reputation. One of the most versatile bases on the market, Tana is known for its rich colours and silk-like feel while still being super breathable and even machine washable – making it the perfect fabric for any craft, no matter the project. Offering a smooth and clean base, 100% cotton is an obvious choice for a no-nonsense base for embroidery.

Shop Tana Lawn™ Cotton

Classic Silks

Paramount Crepe de Chine, £65

Silk is one of the oldest natural fabrics in the world, having been spun for hundreds of years – so it is only natural that it too gets given the Liberty Fabrics treatment, presented either Silk Satin or Silk Crepe de Chine iterations. The difference? Our silk satin fabric is characterised by an opalescent high-shine surface singing with colour depth and light reflection, whereas silk crepe de chine is a more versatile favourite, with a hint of matte roughness, making it one of the easiest silks to sew. For a more elevated craft project (perhaps you’re looking to embroider a silk pocket square in time for Father’s Day?) – try our silk offering for the perfect fluid base that will retain good shape for years to come.

Shop Classic Silks

Plains Collection

Ice Blue Plain Tana Lawn™ Cotton, £19.95

Liberty’s Plains Collection is your go-to if you’re looking for a non-patterned base to let your embroidery sing, and comes in a range of tactile (yet natural) fabrics including Tana Lawn™ Cotton, Silk Satin and Silk Crepe de Chine. The very first product made for our iconic Regent Street store in the late-1800s was a range of dyed Plains, which soon became known around the world as ‘Liberty Art Colours’.

Shop Plains Collection

Organic Tana Lawn™ Cotton

Millie Organic Tana Lawn™ Cotton, £29.95

The organic version of our signature Tana Lawn™ Cotton has a warm and soft touch making it resistant to wrinkling – perfect for a smooth canvas to stitch onto with ease. Printed at the Liberty Printing Mill, it is prepared using a slightly different process to ensure GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification, along with our usual Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 rating. The range features collaborative designs including our London Collection and the Storybook Collection, designed alongside three world-renowned children’s book illustrators.

Shop Organic Tana Lawn™ Cotton

What Do I Need in My Sewing Kit for Embroidery?

While you don’t need a huge amount of materials to start with hand embroidery, it will pay dividends to get the correct needles, threads etc. Here’s the full kit list:

The Kit List:

  • Embroidery Needles. Any sharp needle with an eye large enough to thread embroidery thread through will work. However, the easiest option is to choose a pack of different sizes of sharp needles labelled for embroidery.
  • Embroidery Thread. The most common options are: Stranded Cotton, Soft Cotton, Perle Cotton and Wool.
  • Embroidery Hoops or Frames (optional). When you are doing hand embroidery, having your fabric held taut in an embroidery hoop can be particularly beneficial to keep excess out the way and help to keep your design looking neat.
  • Fabric for Embroidery.
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