How To Embroider Leaves

Hand Embroidery gives a personal touch to garments, and not surprisingly, leaves make a significant part of embroidered designs. While doing all those floral designs, it’s almost impossible to run away from embroidering leaves. But why would you? They give beautiful detail to your designs. You can find these fantastic and wonderful works of art over. What is even more fascinating is that you achieve them by merely a thread and a needle. Simple, right?

Leaf designs come in different shapes and sizes, and you can make them by hand. It just needs a bit of creativity. Learning to embroider leaves is not as hard as you may think. With enough practice, it comes so quickly to your fingers. And once you do, you’ll find that it is an enjoyable and relaxing activity to get to at the end of a long day.  So how do you stitch leaves? What is your favorite method? Do you have one?

Let’s explore and add some beautiful leaves to our stitching projects, shall we?

How to Embroider Leaves?

Whether you want to embroider leaves on clothing, cushions, beddings, or any other sewing project, the process is the same. You only need to alter your needle and thread’s thickness, depending on the toughness of the fabric you are using. This article explores the different stitches that will help you to achieve that leaf!

What Do You Need to Embroider Leaves

Preparation may go a long way in making your process more comfortable by giving it a smooth flow. Here is what you’ll need to collect before you begin the embroidering process.

1. Embroidery Hoop

It is a sewing tool consisting of two concentric circular rings. The more massive ring contains a metal screw that acts as the tightening device. They may be wooden or plastic and come in various sizes but are generally small enough to control with one hand as you sew with the other. You fix the fabric in between the two rings to make it taut. It eases the embroidering experience.

2. Embroidery Floss

Also known as stranded cotton, it is a type of embroidery thread that is loosely warped and slightly silky. Moreover, it comprises six strands of thread, usually cotton, but they can also be silk, linen, or even rayon. While stitching, you can divide the strands for more detailed output. Do this with your fingernails and pull the strands apart slowly. Besides, they are relatively cheap and come in a variety of colors. You can use other threads for embroidery: crewel yarn, filoselle, matte embroidery cotton, Perle cotton, Persian yarn, Tapestry yarn.  Also, note that threads used in machine embroidery can be typically of rayon or polyester.

3. Embroidery Scissors

These are a particular type of scissors that help to cut the multi-ply embroidery thread. They are relatively smaller than other scissors starting at 3 inches to 6 inches long. They have long thin pointy tips that help to cut threads, especially in tight areas. It results in a neat outcome as the cuts are sharp and precise.

4. Fabric of Choice

Quilting cotton, rayon, linen, osnaburg, and canvas are great fabric choices for embroidery. They shouldn’t be loosely woven. Tightly woven fabrics are the best options for surface embroidery. However, they also shouldn’t be too tightly woven.

5. Embroidery Needles

These have sharp tips and large eyes. However, more acute tips help to go through tightly woven embroidery fabric smoothly. The large eye is to allow the needle to accommodate thick embroidery threads.

6. A Water-Soluble Marker (Or Any Other Fabric Marking Tool)

It helps you draw designs on your fabric before sewing. Furthermore, a water-soluble pen is great as you can easily wash it out with cold water when you finish sewing.

Stitches to Embroider Leaves

There are several stitches that you can use to embroider leaves on your garment. It majorly depends on your design as the different stitches give different looks. Besides, some designs go well with particular stitches and look terrible with another.

1. Fly Stitch

The fly stitch branch is a neat and simple stitch. It can be long or short, even broad or narrow, depending on your preference. Moreover, the fly stitches will give a more densely open look if you stitch the loops closer to each other.

2. Satin Stitch

This stitch is relatively complicated, and you use it mainly for ground coverage. However, it results in a smooth, silky surface. You may want to embroider in two columns with the satin stitch as it gives a fantastic look. For the stem and middle line, use a contrasting color and add them in backstitch. Add the veins using straight stitches.

3. Chain Stitch Leaf

This stitch results in gorgeous broad branches. You can also achieve a lovely gradient if you want to make it colorful or go with one color.  Use a single chain stitch to add the leaves’ outlines and fill them one row at a time.

4. Woven Leaf Stitch

Do you wish for an uncanny look? Try the weave stitch for your leaf. Set your threads loosely on the fabric and weave on them up and down back and forth. At the end of each row, stitch into the fabric to secure the leaf to the garment. All the other times, the needle will be above the fabric.

5. Brick Stitch Leaf

To achieve a brick stitch, do long and short stitches on the first row and equal length stitches for all the other rows. This stitch will look much better if you use different colors of hues close to each other. Besides, it will give a blended look. Thick threads show this transition well.

6. Blanket Stitch Leaf

Leaves embroidered with a blanket stitch give a classic look! You can use a brighter contrasting color to highlight the middle line and provide a more exciting look. The density is variable, and you increase it by setting the stitches very close to each other or decrease by setting the stitches more openly.

Steps to Embroider Leaves

1. Using an Embroidery Hoop

Step 1: Loosen the metal screw on the hoops. It will separate the two rings. After that, place the larger hoop on the side and place the fabric over the smaller ring. Then, stretch it out to have it lying flat and then place the larger ring over the material, sandwiching it between the two rings.

Step 2: Tighten the metal screw a bit and pull the fabric until it’s taut. Continue to tighten the screw until the material is well secure between the hoop. However, it shouldn’t be too tight to allow for the hoop’s easy opening once you finish sewing.

2. Threading the Needle

With a very thick thread, threading the needle may prove difficult. Thus, if you want to go through the process quickly, wet the ends and rub it between your thumb and index finger. It flattens the thread enabling it to pass through the needle eye without much trouble.

Do not double the thread. You do not need a double thread trail while embroidering. Pull the thread through and let a small length hang loose. Knot the other end to secure the first stitch.

3. Stitching

For most stitches, it will require that you do the standard up and down stitching. However, a straight stitch will allow you to push the needle through the fabric several times to make many stitches at once. Nevertheless, the disadvantage of this is that you may not achieve equal spacing, and your stitches may not be as straight and sharp as you want them to be.

Can I Embroider on Knit Fabrics?

Yes, you can! Whether you want to do letters, shapes, or even leaves, your knit garments can take it all. However, ensure that you embroider using a yarn that weighs the same as your garment. If you use a lighter one, it will not blend in, and it won’t cover the original stitches. One that is too bulky, on the other hand, will stretch out the actual stitches.

Can I Embroider Without a Hoop?

You might be hoop-less, but it sure doesn’t make you hopeless. As much as hoops play a significant role in embroidery, it is possible to work without them. If you can find another way of stabilizing your fabric, then you can do without a hoop. Hence, you’ll only need to maintain an adequate level of tension on your piece of cloth to prevent puckering and fabric clumping.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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