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needlenthread.com · Nov 18, 2013

Tambour Embroidery How-to Video: The Basic Stitch

We’ve been talking a lot about tambour embroidery recently, and since I promised a tutorial for you, here’s a video on the basic stitch!

The very best way to get familiar with tambour embroidery is just to do it – that is, sit down with a hook, a piece of fabric in a hoop, and some thread, and try it. Work your way through the basic movements of the stitch, until you understand how it works. Start by stitching in one direction – the direction that’s most comfortable for you – and keep practicing in that direction, until you have the movement of the hook down.

From that point, it’s just a matter of practice. And more practice. And even more practice!

Practice until you’re comfortable with the hook. Practice until you can stitch in all directions with it. The more you practice, the more the stitch makes sense, and the easier it becomes to stitch in all directions.

To get you started, then, I’ve worked up a how-to video for the basic chain stitch with the tambour hook.

Before you start, make sure you set up your tambour hook correctly. The knob on the handle and the opening of the hook should both point in same direction. Wherever the knob is, you want to line up the opening of the hook on the same side, right in line with the knob.

Why? Because you can’t see the opening of the hook when you work, but you can always see the knob. And you need to know where the opening of the hook is, the whole time you’re working. The knob will tell you!

While you practice, develop the necessary habit of entering and exiting the fabric vertically. Entering and exiting the fabric at an angle can cause the hook to snag on the fabric.

Tambour Embroidery Video

The video below starts with the thread anchored on the side of the fabric. You can anchor the thread different ways – for example, in this article, you can see how I used waste knots to anchor my threads.

The video begins somewhat far away from the stitching, and then part way through, I zoom in on the stitch and slow the video down, so you can see the movements of the stitch in slow time.

Here’s the video for the basic chain stitch with the tambour hook:

For email subscribers, you can find the tambour video here:

Tambour Embroidery How-To Video: Basic Chain Stitch

Later on, I’ll share some more tips to help you get comfortable with the tambour hook, including information on how to turn and stitch in the opposite direction, how to stitch sharp corners and points, and so forth.

In the meantime, though, if you’re keen to learn how to wield a tambour hook, start by practicing the basic stitch!

You can find more information on tambour embroidery in the Tambour Embroidery Index here on Needle ‘n Thread.

Enjoy the video!

If you’re looking for other how-to videos for a whole range of hand embroidery stitches, you’ll find plenty of how-to videos for hand embroidery right here on Needle ‘n Thread!


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