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10 Things You Need To Start Machine Embroidery Today

How to start machine embroidery! Here’s everything that you need to get started with machine embroidery! Without spending too much!

Coins growing into a jar full of coins, showing that machine embroidery doesn't have to cost too much

Are you interested in sewing? Here's an article for 10 things you'll need to start sewing!

1. You are going to need an embroidery machine. You can use any embroidery machine you want. Here are a couple examples:
  • The brother pe550D! This is an embroidery only machine, with awesome Disney embroidery designs!
  • The brother se1900.
I recommend the Brother brand for sewing and embroidery machines.
2. You are going to need somewhere to get your embroidery designs from!
Read how to transfer the designs you purchase onto your machine.

3. You are going to need stabilizers. The stabilizer prevents many problems from happening, like puckering.

Lots of people use multiple different types of stabilizers, but there are three main types.
First, cutaway stabilizer. A cutaway stabilizer can be used on clothes and tons of different types of fabric, some people even use cutaway on the back of towels too.

I use cutaway the most, and I purchase it pre-cut, you can also get it in rolls. I think that you will find that pre-cut is much more convenient!
Second, tearaway. If you are on a tight budget then this one is probably not a necessity.

It’s very convenient if you have a lightweight design (not dense) because you can tear it away and you don’t have to have a stabilizer showing on the back.
If you wear it don't tear it
This saying means that if you are embroidering a piece of clothing or something that you wear, use a cutaway stabilizer and not tearaway stabilizer.

Third, wash away. Also known as a water-soluble stabilizer. This stabilizer is mainly used as a topping on towels or material that the design might sink into.

Wash away is mainly used to prevent the embroidery design from sinking into the fabric.
I use wash away on the top and bottom of my towels that I embroider! 

For all of the stabilizers, I suggest the brand New Brothread.
Read more about the three main stabilizers.

Read about how to hoop and embroider towels, and hooping towels in more detail

Embroidered towels that were done with wash away stabilizer, they say grandma and grandpa and have a little bird design under the name
This is an example of towels I have embroidered. Designs were built into Brother se600.

4. You’re gonna need embroidery thread. A lot of people have problems with their thread shredding or breaking.
I suggest New Brothread, this brand also has multiple great reviews, and you can get multiple different thread sizes!

I also suggest getting these spool savers because embroidery thread unravels easily!

Also, you’re going to need somewhere to store your thread, for example, you can use a thread rack.

But, the cheapest way to store them is to put them in a shoebox!
5. You’re gonna need bobbin thread. You can buy bobbin thread and wind your bobbins, but it's so much easier to just buy pre-wound bobbins.

The only problem with winding your own bobbins is that it might cause problems like bobbin thread showing on top.
Depending on your machine you will be using 60wt or 90wt. I use the Brother se600, and it takes 60wt bobbin thread.

The reason you can't use normal embroidery thread as your bobbin thread is that normal embroidery thread is 40wt.
Make sure that you check that the bobbin will fit your machine. If you have a Brother se600 it might not be listed in the description, so look for Brother se400!
6. On your machine is a thread holder. Don’t use it! It has only caused trouble!

Get a cup and place it behind your machine with your thread in it. This is a replacement to a thread stand.

What the cup and thread stand does, is it lets the thread be relaxed longer before it goes into the thread guides.

You can read more about why you should use a thread stand.
7. Embroidery machine needles.

Your machine will come with some, but you are going to want more just in case they break or bend and they will get dull.

Embroidery needles should be changed after about every 8-10 hours of stitching! If you don't change your embroidery needle it might break or bend and it will eventually get dull. You'll know that it's time to change your needle when either the bobbin thread runs out (the bobbin thread might run out fast and if that is the case ignore this) or your stitching is loose.

8. You’re gonna need a hoop. Your machine will come with a hoop, but you might want to purchase more, like a repositionable hoop.

A repositionable hoop allows you to do designs that are bigger than the area your machine does.

For example, on machines that have a 4 X 4 embroidery space, you can purchase a 6.75 X 4 repositionable hoop.

The only thing with repositionable hoops is that you have to split the design and to split an embroidery design you have to have machine embroidery software.

9. Everything else will come with your machine!

There will be scissors that come with your machine, but you'll probably want to purchase curved ones.

Curved scissors will help get those pesky jump stitches! They will also help if you want to do applique!

10. Patience! There is a big learning curve for machine embroidery, but I know you can do it! Just have patience! If you're having problems, here's a bunch of articles to help you troubleshoot.

Need ideas for projects to do now? Check out these projects!

Be sure to like and leave a comment to let me know what you think! And don't forget to subscribe to get notified for our next blog post!


  1. Thank you so much for your insights! They are very much appreciated and I can’t wait to start Embroidery.

    1. Thank you! Goodluck on your embroidery journey!

  2. Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this website needs much more consideration. I’ll probably be again to read much more, thanks for that info.
    Texas A&M Aggies embroidery

    1. Thank you so much! That is very kind of you!!


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