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How to do hand embroidery on denim?

You don’t love embroidered denim. It is the choice of all. And why purchase those embellished jeans or other denim when you embroider yourself?

You will see embroidery everywhere. On the runway, at big-box stores, in clothing departments, and everywhere in between. Yes, you can get those astonishing pieces hanging at the stores, but why not take pride in one making yourself? It will be fun and interesting.

In this post, we will discuss how you can embroider denim. It is a great way to revamp your wardrobe with customized and beautiful embroidered clothing.

Which Denim Item to Choose for Embroidering

First things first, buy a fresh pair of jeans. Take out that denim jacket you haven’t worn in a while. Or maybe, by a second-hand piece from your nearby store in town or online. Gather your embroidery stash to get started.

Whatever you choose, it is better to first know the embroidering basics on denim.

Transferring the Pattern to Denim

The first challenge you might come up with when stitching on denim fabric is taking the pattern to the fabric. The fabric is too thick for tracing, and it is usually too dark to see the markings. There are ways to cater to this situation.

The first is to use white or yellow carbon transfer paper. This method is useful, but the lines are difficult to see as they smudge.

The second method is the tracing paper method. This method also works but can be risky as the paper can tear as you work.

The third method is to use a water-soluble stabilizer which will soak away once you are finished stitching. With this method, you can print the design onto the fabric and adhere it to the denim.

You have to be cautious when embroidering over areas where there is a seam. Look carefully at how the pattern lays over the seam. This will help you to avoid gaping in the stitching where the fabric has varying layers.

How to Choose The Needle and Thread for Denim

Denim is a strong and thick fabric. It would be best if you chose a thick and strong needle. I good example are the Chenille needle with sizes 18 to 22. They are strong and sharp. The size of the thread is also dependent on your project specifications.

Many embroidery threads are compatible to work on denim. But if you want fine outlines, then better choose a thread that is both washable and durable. In case you realize the thread is a bit old and worn than usual, try to use shorter thread lengths and coat them with a thread conditioner.

How to Stitch on Denim

Whilst you are thinking of using the hoop depending on the size of your embroidery project and placement, you can embroider denim without a hoop because the denim is stable, strong, and thick.

Be cautious when you hold denim and stitch it without a hoop. Hold with a firm grip to avoid any hand cramps or strain injury. Take breaks often!

When embroidering on denim, parts such as pockets and the leg of the pants, often require working at different angles and hands at an open edge. It becomes easy to embroider with this method; dipping the needle through the fabric whilst keeping it to the front.

When you are stitching the front pocket of jeans, make sure that you don’t stitch through the actual pockets. It would help if you pulled them out while you work, examine them, and see whether they stay.

If you get into an area where it becomes hard to pull the needle through, try using a different needle size or work with a needle puller.

It is because most embroidered denim items are worn and laundered. Be cautious and never make large stitches that will snag easily.

Stitching Ideas for Embroidering Denim Items

Beautiful and elegant florals are popular opinions for denim jackets and jeans. You have the option to work with pre-made floral embroidery designs. You can either use them just as they are or you can create your own design by grouping them.

Geometric designs like the satin-stitched triangles are easier and require less time. They are a great way to add some embroidery to a corner area.

Other good options include tattoo motifs, cute patterns, emblems, and much more. A bonus tip here is to embroider them with fill stitching to make them more appealing.

To add a bit more charm and a more subtle effect on the overall look of the design, stitch borders along the bottom hem of a jacket around the front pockets of jeans.

Ideas for Placing the Design

Once you have selected your design to embroider, take the time to choose the placement for stitching. Not all design patterns are ideal for every location of denim.

Hems and pockets are good places for stitching as well as along the side seams.

You can also do symmetrical embroidery at the front of jeans, especially under the front pockets.


When doing hand embroidery on denim, there are endless opportunities, to begin with. All you need is to know the tips and techniques and find the best placement for your design. If you still have any questions about the topics, feel free to reach out to us on our website Migdigitizing. We will be happy to assist you.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for general education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. It is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal, tax or any other advice specific to you the user or anyone else. TurtleVerse does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information and shall not be held responsible for any action taken based on the published information.



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