How Long Does it Take to Learn Embroidery?


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Embroidery is a beautiful art form that makes a simple needle and thread look complicated. If the most you’ve ever done with a needle and thread is patch a hole in your pants, you may be wondering how long it takes to learn embroidery. 

Basic embroidery stitches like the running stitch and the backstitch are quicker to learn than more complicated stitches like the french knot or the coral stitch. Beginners can learn embroidery more quickly by mastering one stitch at a time before moving on to learning another stitch.

When you’re learning embroidery, it’s important to take things one stitch at a time 🙂 As cliche as it sounds, keeping this motto in mind will not only keep you from getting overwhelmed, but will speed up the learning process as well.

Ok, so let’s dive into some actual numbers here.

When I first started learning embroidery, it took me about 5 minutes to learn how to do a running stitch and a backstitch. These are the most basic embroidery stitches that are commonly used in embroidery projects.

blue embroidery stitches on a mountain patterned embroidery fabric
After about 5 minutes, I was off to the races. This is what I made my first time sitting down with an embroidery project.

5 minutes is pretty good, right? Well, the tricker part of learning embroidery wasn’t related to the mechanics of these basic stitches. It was learning how and where to place them.

This is where embroidery kits with printed patterns come in. I bought this nature embroidery kit that included a hoop, 3 pieces of cloth with patterns printed on them, and enough thread to complete them all. 

embroidery kit from amazon with 3 projects
This is the embroidery kit I got from Amazon that’s shown in the picture above. My first embroidery project!

It was actually really cheap given everything it included and how big the fabrics were.

This was a HUGE help because it let me focus on the actual embroidery techniques instead of worrying about the design and where everything should be placed. As a beginner, I really suggest it!

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Alright, so basic stitches with patterns and all of the supplies included, you’re looking at a 5 minute learning curve. To be honest, it took me longer to learn how to thread the needle than it did to learn the stitches.

Threading needles is the bane of my existence!

When you first start embroidering, you may start off a bit slow since your hands aren’t familiar with these movements yet, but you’ll get faster as time goes on.

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Now, what about embroidery projects without patterns? And, what about the larger population? 

To get some information, let’s look at some of the facts surrounding beginning embroidery tutorials. These facts can give us great insights into how steep the learning curve generally is for the majority of people.

Let’s start with Skillshare. Classes on Skillshare are designed to give you the skills needed to complete a full project by the end of the class. 

So, if we’re looking at beginner classes, the assumption is that you start at a basic level and you learn the skills needed to complete the class project. This is why looking at the length of a class can be helpful in gauging the amount of time that it takes to learn a particular skill.

Of course, it may take more time to actually execute the skills you learn. Embroidering a large piece of fabric takes time, even once you’ve mastered the stitches. 

But, looking at a class length can give you an idea of how long it might take to learn the embroidery skills covered in that class. 

When we look at Skillshare’s beginning embroidery classes, they generally run anywhere between 15 minutes to 2 hours. This is not a long time given the quality of projects that these classes walk you through.

skillshare beginning embroidery classes

For example, this Cute Embroidery Cacti class is 18 minutes long and teaches you all of the skills you need to create this adorable embroidery project. Make sure to grab a Skillshare free trial to take this class for free!

cute embroidery cacti skillshare class

Again, remember it will probably take longer to practice your skills and actually complete all of the stitches, but all of the actual instruction you need fits into a quick 18 minutes.

We see the same numbers on YouTube! In general, the beginning embroidery tutorials are less than 30 minutes long. Check out this beautiful embroidery tutorial below.

You may be encouraged by these numbers. As you should be! Personally, I have found basic embroidery to be easier to learn than other art forms. See that I said “basic” embroidery. This brings up an important point.

Learn the Embroidery Basics First

When you’re learning embroidery, it’s important to learn the basic stitches first and not take on complicated projects that require a lot of advanced skills. Mastering the basics will help you build a strong foundation that will make the learning process quicker and easier.

We all look at complicated embroidery projects and dream and drool over being able to create them. Remember, one stitch at a time.

The embroidery kits, beginning Skillshare classes, and YouTube tutorials are really important for building up a strong foundation in the basic skills you need to know for embroidery. For me, they were a game changer.

Do not start off with a patternless fabric that requires 20 different threads and 15 different stitches. When you’re just starting out, make it as easy on yourself as possible.

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As you can see from the projects in the beginning embroidery Skillshare classes, you can still make some dreamy projects with just the basics! I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to create those adorable little cacti.

Once you’ve mastered the basic stitches and your skills grow, add in more stitches. Advancing your skills and learning more complicated techniques will seem like a natural progression instead of a chore that’s needed to complete a specific project on your first go around.

It doesn’t take long to learn basic embroidery. With the right materials, classes, and focus, you’ll be able to create cute embroidery projects in no time. If you start with the basics and keep yourself from getting overwhelmed, the learning process can be fun instead of time consuming and stressful.

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Diana Fitts

Diana has been an artist for over 25 years and has training in drawing, painting, digital drawing and graphic design. Diana's latest obsession is digitally drawing with Procreate and creating t-shirt designs with Canva. Diana has experience selling her art across a number of platforms and loves helping other artists learn how to make money from their art as well.

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