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9 essential machine embroidery supplies

9 Essential Machine Embroidery Supplies

Let’s talk about the 9 of the most essential machine embroidery supplies!

Before using your new embroidery machine, you’ll need to purchase some basic embroidery supplies such as stabilizers, embroidery threads, and embroidery needles. So, I thought I would share some of my favorite supplies that I love and recommend.

Here is a list of some of the most used machine embroidery supplies that you will need to get started:

Disclosure: This blog post contains links to my Amazon Associates affiliate page, and any purchases you make from that page result in Amazon store credit for me. As always, I would never recommend something that I have not personally used and/or would not purchase with my own money!

Essential Machine Embroidery Stabilizers

Stabilizer is the most important of all your machine embroidery supplies. Using a stabilizer in your hoop, ensures that your designs stitch accurately and efficiently on the fabric. It also helps to keep your fabric from puckering.

There are many different kinds of stabilizers. Each type has its own intended usage. My printable machine embroidery stabilizer chart has more in-depth information. The stabilizers listed below are the most commonly used stabilizers.

1. Tear-Away Stabilizer

This is by far the most used supply that you will need when stitching machine embroidery designs.

Tear-away stabilizer is best for fabrics that do not stretch, such as cotton (including quilting), canvas, and more.

Obviously, there are many brands to choose from. But, honestly, I found this stabilizer on Amazon and I absolutely love it. This is my go-to stabilizer. Simply because it is a good price.

After you stitch on tear-away stabilizer, you gently rip it off from the back of the fabric. I love the way this stabilizer tears away so easily after embroidering.

I buy this medium weight Tear-away by the roll. It is 10″x 50ft. It also comes in pre-cut squares (see below).
machine embroidery supplies-stabilizer
Click on this link for more information:

Embroidery Machine Stabilizer Backing Tear Away Roll 

My best embroidery tip for you is to never scrimp on stabilizer. It is just not worth it. Use plenty and you will never be wasting your embroidery time and will never regret it!

Even more convenient are these pre-cut squares. I love them! So easy to just grab one (or two) and hoop and embroider. I buy them in two sizes – to fit my 4×4 hoop and my 5×7 hoop.
machine embroidery supplies-stabilizer
Click on these links for more information:

2. Cut-Away Stabilizer

Cut-away stabilizer is another embroidery essential supply.

It is great for knits and other stretchy fabrics because it holds the fabric and gives stability to the fabric.  It also works great for densely stitched designs to prevent puckering.

Cut-away stabilizer is also great for In-the-Hoop projects and wherever I want the stabilizer to remain intact to hold the stitches. Simply cut the stabilizer from around the design after embroidery.

You can also use a cut-away on t-shirt fabric also so that it holds it stable during embroidery. This is my favorite cut-away to use:

machine embroidery supplies-stabilizerClick on this link for more information:

Cut Away Machine Embroidery Stabilizer – Medium Weight 2.5 Ounce 8″x 20′ Yard Roll

3. No Show Mesh Stabilizer

No-show mesh stabilizer (also known as PolyMesh) is a soft, strong cut-away stabilizer that is great for knits and light weight fabrics, especially in clothing. It’s great because just as it says, it does not “show” through the fabric and is less noticeable from the right side of the fabric.

You can choose to use a fusible No-Show Mesh that irons onto your fabric or choose, or a non-fusible option.
essential machine embroidery supplies-stabilizer

Click on these links for more information:

Fusible No-Show Mesh – 12″ x 25 yd roll

Non-fusible No-Show Mesh – 12″ x 10 yd roll

4. Water-soluble Topper

And last, but definitely very important is to have a supply of Water-soluble Topper stabilizer on hand. You will need this to lay on top of your fabric before you embroider. This is a necessity when embroidering on towels, or blankets – anything that has a nap to the fabric. Using this topper will help to hold down the nap of the fabric under your design. Very important!

essential machine embroidery supplies-stabilizer

Click on this link for more information:

Water Soluble Topper 9″x 10′ roll

5. Embroidery Machine Needles

There are several different sizes (70/10 to 90/14 and larger), points (ball point, sharp, or universal), and different finishes. A good rule of thumb to follow is the heavier and more dense the fabric is the larger size needle you should use.

When in doubt, a size 75/11 universal embroidery needle is a good place to start and then fine-tune from there, if needed.essential machine embroidery supplies-embroidery needles

Click on this link for more information:

Schmetz Assorted Embroidery Machine Needles

6. Embroidery Thread

Thread is an essential machine embroidery supply. Embroidery thread is different than regular sewing thread. Most embroidery threads are 40 wt. which means they are a bit thicker than a normal sewing thread. You will want to have a variety of thread colors for your projects! The more colors the better!

In most cases, pick a polyester, rayon, or cotton embroidery thread.  There are many brands of embroidery thread and it can be expensive to collect your supply. I recently switched to the budget-friendly Brothread threads and love them! Plus, this collection offers many colors and is a great bargain!

essential machine embroidery supplies-embroidery thread

Click on this link for more information:

Brothread Embroidery Thread Collection – 63 colors

7. Bobbin Thread

In addition to the colored embroidery thread used as the upper thread, you will need bobbin thread for your machine.  Bobbin thread is unique and an important machine embroidery supply.

Bobbin thread is usually very lightweight – 60 wt. It is important to use this lightweight thread so as to not create a lot of bulk on the underside of your design project.

When stitching most embroidery designs, the color of the bobbin thread will not matter, so I like to buy white pre-wound bobbins of  thread rather than winding bobbins myself.

If you choose to wind your own bobbins, you may want to  purchase additional bobbins for your machine and a special bobbin embroidery thread that is 60 wt.

Click on these links for more information:

Pre-wound Bobbins – 144 ct. box

Set of 2 large spools of Bobbin Thread- 5500 yds each

8. Marking Pen

It is important to temporarily mark the center of your fabric to line up your design.

I like to use a washable marker to mark the center on most types fabrics.  The temporary ink washes out with water after you have finished the design.

For darker fabrics, I prefer to use a chalk wheel. Sometimes, I also embroidery placement stickers if I do not want to mark the fabric. These placement stickers are easy to place and remove quickly when finished.

essential machine embroidery supplies-placement stickers

Click on these links for more information:

Washable Marker Pen – Disappearing Marker

Embroidery Placement Stickers

9. Machine Embroidery Scissors

Embroidery scissors are very small bladed scissors that get right next to threads and appliques to trim very close to them.

Many different kinds of scissors are specialized for embroidery work. For instance, double-curved embroidery scissors, duckbill applique scissors, and embroidery snips.

If you are planning to embroider applique designs, you will want to purchase a pair of Gingher Applique Scissors. These are a must-have to cut around the placement lines of your applique shapes. The beveled edge helps to keep from catching the fabric and cutting too close. They are extremely sharp and make it very easy to cut into small corners and crevices of your applique shape.

essential machine embroidery supplies-applique scissors
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Curved Embroidery Scissors – 4 inch

Gingher Applique Scissors


Non-essential Machine Embroidery Supplies

Here are some other machine embroidery supplies that may be fun and helpful to you and you practice your embroidery skills and make new projects.


In the Hoop Snap Tags

Do you love to make Snap Tags in-the-hoop? They are one of my favorite projects. So fast and easy to make for great quick gifts. I love these colorful snaps to add to the tags. Make sure you order the  larger shank size (5T) if you are making your tags from vinyl. Here is a great starter pack that includes 100 colored snaps and tools to attach the snaps.

embroidery supplies-kamsnap bundle

Click on this link for more information:

KamSnaps Starter Pack – 100 snaps – includes pliers and awl tools


Cutting Applique Fabrics – Cricut Maker

If you enjoy applique projects, you may want to invest in a cutting machine. The Cricut Maker cuts your applique shapes perfectly using a rotary cutter system. It’s like magic!

The Cricut Maker also cuts more than just appliques! It cuts everything from paper crafts, iron ons, and vinyl decals to sewing projects, leather crafts, and even balsa wood.

machine embroidery supplies-cricut machine

Click on this link for more information:

Cricut Maker – cutting machine

Embroidery Designs and Software

Embroidery software is really not necessary when you are first learning to embroider designs. You can use your machine’s built-in embroidery designs and editing features or purchase and download designs off the internet.

You can find lots of fun embroidery designs on our Embroidery Village website.

Embroidery Village_machine embroidery designs

There are many other embroidery supplies that you will fall in love with and acquire along your crafting journey. These embroidery supplies are the most important items I can recommend to help you when you learning machine embroidery.

As always, if you have any questions, I will be happy to help.

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