"Using an Embroidery Hoop"


A wrapped hoop is a wonderful tool and can increase your stitching skills.

Have you ever wondered why some stitches do not look right after you were so careful stitching them?  Maybe you have thought of working on a hoop. But then you have heard all the horror stories about the hoops leaving marks on the embroidery fabric and how wooden hoops damage stitches.  

To prevent the wounds to the linen, the distorted warp and woof, your stitches or other problems wrap the hoops. Use 7/8  inch wide single fold white bias tape that has two 1/4 inch folded edges. You can get it at the fabric store and I have a picture of what I used below.

Wrap the inside hoop around its outside edge with the tape flat against the hoop. Overlap the ends of the bias tape and stitch them. I had to do this because my hoop has an inside handle as can be seen above. I could not wrap over the handle so I lined the outside edge of the inner hoop so no wood would touch the fabric.

Then I started wrapping the inner hoop over and under the top and bottom edges of the hoop. I overlapped the edges of the bias tape for good coverage.

At first I bundled the long strip of bias tape so that it is easier to hold. Then I just kept wrapping.

When I needed to start a new piece of the bias tape or I had finished the hoop I turned under a fold on the end of the tape to prevent raveling, then turned it inside the hoop and sewed the tape all around it edges. Then I wrapped the outer hoop. Remember to finish the tape on the outside of that hoop.

A Little More

Don't leave your project on the hoops when you are finished stitching at the end of each session. You can loosen the holding hoop only, but I like to remove the fabric from the hoop.

Leave the top hoop about 1/8 inch higher than the bottom hoop when in use. The top hoop will keep the fabric clean. You can always take the bias tape off and wash it!!

If I have stitches that are raised or could be crushed,  I place a small piece of muslin over the stitching before I place the hoop over them. You can tack the muslin to the fabric to prevent the edges from getting caught in your embroidery. And I have never seen the hoop ruin the stitching, it may squash it temporarily, but it has always recovered. This is a good reason to wrap and to remove the hoops after each stitching session.

Wash the embroidery if you can. Do not iron the piece if there are smudges or dirt on it as ironing may set them. If you can not wash it to remove any dirt or smudges use a white eraser that you can get at the office supply store. Lay the fabric on a flat surface to erase the marks. It may take several attempts to remove them.

Use light weight spray sizing while ironing to remove the hoop marks, use a medium hot iron with NO steam, you may need to iron several times to completely remove all hoops marks. I always iron on the back of my embroidery. And if I have to iron on the front of the embroidery I cover the stitches with a piece of unbleached muslin before ironing.

The hoop may improve your stitching and the bias tape will help grab the fabric and keep it in place while you stitch, the wrapped hoop will not damage your stitches, just remember to remove it whenever you finish stitching for the day.  ©1999, Linda Fontenot  www.OvertheMoonDesigns.com www.AmericanFolkArts.com