A Guide For Hand Embroidery On Denim – Quilted Sewing

Denim is undeniably one of the world’s most beloved fabrics, appreciated for its versatility in both handcrafted and machine-sewn creations. People of all ages embrace denim clothing and have incorporated this rugged material into various aspects of life. From fashion to home decor, denim’s ubiquity knows no bounds, and when paired with embroidery, it becomes even more exceptional.

Embroidery, although adaptable to various materials, finds its true essence when gracing denim. It’s not uncommon to encounter denim products adorned with intricate hand-crafted embroidery designs, adding an artisanal touch to the fabric’s rugged charm.

In this article, we delve into the art of hand embroidery on denim, covering everything from the fundamentals to advanced techniques. Whether you’re a newcomer to denim embroidery or a seasoned enthusiast, we encourage you to read on, as you’re bound to discover some unique insights.

We’ve structured this article into distinct sections, each detailing the steps you’ll need to follow. By the end of this comprehensive guide, you’ll possess the expertise required to master the art of hand embroidery on denim. So, without further ado, let’s embark on this creative journey into the world of denim embroidery.

Getting The Best Denim Fabric To Start With

Of course, the first thing you will need to make hand embroidery on denim is “denim fabric”. Remember that there are different types of denim fabric available out there so you must buy the basic version of it. Also, if you have an old denim cloth that you don’t need now, then you can also utilize that to practice your hand embroidery skills. Don’t forget to wash and dry your fabric before working on it.

If you are on this page, then most probably you are new to embroidery on denim with hands and that is why we are recommending you to use an old denim fabric. If you want, then you can also buy second-hand denim fabric from the market, which is actually a better option than using your old denim clothes for embroidery.

Things You Will Need For Hand Embroidery

So, we are done with the fabric and next are the things you will need for making the embroidery. Since we are not using the sewing machine, you will need a couple of more things to get the work done. Here are the most important things that you should definitely have with you before starting your work else you might face issues with your hand embroidery.

Embroidery Thread – Regular stitching thread will not work with embroidery, so you must get threads that are made specially for doing embroidery. The best thing here is that you can use these threads on any fabric you want, so they are not limited only to the denim. You can also buy 100 color embroidery threads from Amazon for about $12.

Embroidery Needle – It doesn’t matter if you are making embroidery with hand or sewing machine, you will definitely need an embroidery needle. If you have bought an embroidery sewing machine, then you will already have the embroidery needle else you can buy one from Amazon or the local market.

Scissors – Scissor is a very useful tool when it comes to stitching. While making embroidery, you should definitely have a scissor with you as it will help you in cutting the excess thread after making the stitches. If possible, use a small scissor made specially for stitching.

Tracing Paper or Printer Paper – These papers helps you in putting the exact embroidery design on your fabric so you can make stitches on it. First, you must make a design on the paper, and then you need to put the paper on the fabric and use a pen, pencil, or chalk to draw the exact same design on the fabric.

Straight Pins (Optional) – There are a lot of people out there who use straight pins even while working on a sewing machine. These pins help you in keeping the fabric in place, specially when you have a layered fabric. Though they are completely optional, if you are new then you should use them.

Select A Placement For Your Embroidery

When you are ready with everything that we have mentioned above, its time to select a good placement for your embroidery design. Well, it depends on the type of cloth you are using and also on the type of seam you want on your fabric. If you are using jeans then you can make your embroidery design along the waistband, on the pockets (inner part), the bottom of the side seam, etc.

If you are using a t-shirt, then you can use the entire chest part since it is the most popular place for t-shirts to have a design. If you have a denim jacket, then you can make your design under the collar on the backside, on the shoulders, or on the sleeves. Remember to pick the spot on which you can easily make the stitches.

Getting Started With The Stitch Pattern

If you have a design pattern in your mind, then there are various methods to get your design on the fabric. The first method is by using a pencil, chalk, or pen to draw the embroidery design directly on the fabric. It also depends on the type of fabric you are using which pattern will suit it best.

Another method is using a water-soluble paper which can be pinned on the fabric with the design printed on it and you can just start stitching on the paper. Once done, just pull out the pins and wash the fabric to remove the paper.

The third option is to transfer the embroidery design pattern from the tracing paper to the fabric. Take a piece of normal paper and make your design on it, then place the tracing paper on fabric and your normal paper on the tracing paper. Just trace over the entire design with your pencil (with a little force) and the design will get transferred to your fabric.


How To Select The Best Pair of Thread and Needles

As we told above, there are different types of embroidery threads and needles available out there and you must buy them according to your needs. If you are new to it, then we will recommend you go with Chenille Needles since they are strong and have sharp point that can easily pierce the denim fabric.

Just like the right needle, you must select a good thread for your embroidery design. Make sure the thread you are using is durable and can be washed. Polyester threads are the most common thread type for fabrics like denim, cotton, and silk. These threads come in a wide range of colors so you can buy them according to your needs.

Start The Hand Embroidery On Denim

You’ve got all things required for hand embroidery on denim and you have the design transferred on the fabric. It’s time to begin the stitching process. Since we are not using a sewing machine, you need to manually do the stitch type as per your needs. There are different stitch types in which you can sew an embroidery.

Straight Stitch – This is one of the most basic stitches and it is also known as “running stitch”. First of all, you need to make a few stitches with the thread on the outline so you don’t run out of the line while filling the design. To make this stitch, you need to push the needle from back to the front side and then again to the back while keeping a little distance between the stitches.

Back Stitch – If you are using a tracing paper, then back-stitch is probably a good choice for you. Unlike the straight stitch, in this stitch, you need to make a simple stitch first and then skip the entire stitch making another stitch at the end of the first stitch. You need to repeat this process until the whole embroidery design is filled or the borders are made.

Split Stitch – Split stitch is one of the best embroidery stitches and it looks better than other stitch types too. In this stitch, you need to make a straight stitch first, and then you need to make the second stitch right from the middle of the first stitch. The same process needs to be followed for other stitches until your entire embroidery design is done. You can use different threads to make this stitch.

Check The Final Result & Fix Errors

Once the design is completed, you must make two or three knots on the backside of the fabric to keep your stitches in place. You can also use scissors to cut-off excess threads from the fabric manually because sewing machines parts and functions come with the option to do that automatically. If you have an iron with you, then we will recommend you do quick ironing of the stitches to make them flat.

Check the final result on the fabric and see if there are any fixes that need to be done. Most probably, you will end up with good looking embroidery design on your denim if you have followed the steps mentioned above. Making mistakes is a part of learning and if you have made any mistake, then you can correct it by making some additional stitches on it.

Quick Tips For Hand Embroidery On Denim

Don’t Throw, Repurpose Your Denim – Almost every household has clothing made from denim. Once you are done wearing them, people often throw them out. Instead of doing that you can do embroidery design on them and use them for some other purpose. Don’t forget to take body measurements for clothing before using them for other apparel. For example, jackets, jeans, and other denim products can be turned into pillow covers, tote bags, decorative items, and many more.

Choose A Simple Embroidery Design – Floral embroidery designs are the best when it comes to making embroidery on denim and even on other fabrics too. These designs can be simple as well as complex according to user preferences. A simple search on the internet will get you a list of hundreds of floral embroidery designs to choose from.

Keep Experimenting With The Stitches – There are different types of stitches that can be made on the denim fabric. Instead of using only the three stitches that we have mentioned above, you can try some other stitches too like superimposed seams, hems, bound seams, and many more. Keep experimenting to get more unique ideas for embroidery on denim.

Final Words

So this is all about how to make embroidery on denim with hands and we hope you have found our embroidery on denim tutorial useful. There are many other ways and tools available out there that can be used to make embroidery on denim but we will recommend you to learn doing it first with your hands and then use some tools or machines.

We will keep this post updated with more ideas to make embroidery on denim with hands, so keep visiting Quilted Sewing to know about it. If you are facing any issues in making embroidery on denim jacket, shirt, pants, vest, etc. then you can ask us for help via the comments below and we will guide you about it.


Hannah Nelson

Hi, there! I am Hannah Nelson, your host on this website. I started this blog to teach my lovely readers how to master the art of sewing effortlessly and how to turn this hobby into an income generating business.

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