There has never been a better time to develop a new crafting hobby – or return to one you abandoned years ago. Many of us are finding ourselves spending a lot more time at home at the moment – even if you’re still travelling to work, rather than being furloughed or working from home, there are far fewer chances to spend time outside of home in your free time, with greatly restricted capacity in pubs, restaurants, museums and cinemas, and many people reluctant to visit them at all.
This being the case, it’s a good time to find something you can do at home – something that helps you deal with the stress and anxiety of these strange times. Embroidery could be the perfect fit!
You can start embroidery without a lot of expensive equipment or materials: all you really need is a needle and thread, and something to sew into. This allows you to practice stitches, experiment with colours and patterns, and get a feel for whether you want to dive into a full project without a big financial commitment – and the shame of putting expensive hobby hardware into the back of a cupboard for the foreseeable future when you decide it’s not for you.
When you want to start your first proper project, embroidery craft kits are available online, and can be delivered right to your door. You can choose the level of difficult on offer, the type of embroidery you want to pursue (needlepoint is very different to surface embroidery, for example) and make sure you’re having the experience you want!
There are plenty of different reasons to pursue embroidery. For one, it’s a great way to make practical items you can use around the home, or create personalised gifts for friends. You can use embroidery to ‘upcycle’ old clothes or even furniture, disguising repair work, or imprinting a sense of personality and style on a plain, cheap foundation.
Pursuing a hobby like embroidery can also be good for your mental health. It requires lots of focus and creative expression, which makes it a good way to endure or reduce stress and anxiety. It can even help you to practice mindful meditation. Mindfulness uses intense focus on a small, repetitive action to help detach you from your worries and anxieties – allowing you to simply note them as thoughts passing through your mind, rather than letting them dominate your thinking. Most meditations have you focus on your breathing, but the intricate focus required by embroidery can make a potent substitute, boosting your mental health even as you create beautiful, personal projects!