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How to prepare your embroidery hoop

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When I was thought embroidery, we weren’t thought these steps and then you can imagine bunch of 16-year-old girls in Art school complaining that the fabric is not tight enough and is slipping out of the frame. Also, we didn’t have a seat frame at the time. So, all the stitching had to be done different way. One of the ways was to hold the hoop in one hand and stitch with the other. Or the hoop laid flat on the table, when we stitched with both hands. It was very annoying.

To avoid these problems and mistakes we have simple guide for you. A real-life changer. In this guide you will find important steps to take before starting the fun part – STITCHING.

embroidery Hoop Binding

Before you start the fun part you will need your embroidery hoop, flat headed screwdriver, white or cream bias binding or long scraps of calico, sewing thread and needle (we prefer to use curved needles, but more skilled can use No.7 embroidery needle).

Your hoop is very important part of your embroidery equipment. It is the frame of your blank canvas. It needs to be prepared this way so your stitching can go easy.

Take your hoop apart. Now take the bias binding and start wrapping the inner ring. Keep your wraps neat and tight.

Once you wrap the whole ring, cut the bias little bit longer, fold it on the inner side of the wrapped ring and secure with catching stitches using curved needle.

This way you won’t have bump where the rings sliding into each other.

Now we have our hoop ready for next step. The Fabric.

  1. Place your inner ring on the table and cover it with the fabric you wanted to stitch with pattern facing to you.
  2. Now place outer ring over it and press so they slide into each other.
  3. Your fabric should be stretched. If not, give it a pull on each side. Stretched correctly, it should sound like drum when you tap on it.

Tighten the screw just a few turns and pull the fabric on each side to stretch it till it sounds like a drum. Then tighten the screw properly.

If your pattern is bigger than your hoop and you don’t have a large frame, you will have to stitch through a hole. This is an easy and practical way how to stitch larger pieces on a hoop, where you won’t damage your already stitched areas, which would happen if you had to move the fabric in your hoop.

Stitch In a hole

For stitch in a hole follow the same steps as stretching

1. Take a square of calico larger (by at least 3inchs) than the ring frame and place it over inner ring. Then place the outer ring and push it over until edges are level. Then tighten the screw.

2.Once tighten pull the loose edges of the fabric until the fabric in the hoop is drum tight.

3.Then mark out a square in the fabric just larger than the design area you need to stitch and cut out this square.

4.Re-tighten the fabric. by pulling edges outside the hoop.


5.Using a basic running stitch in a contrast colour, stitch the marked-out fabric for the piece over the hole, making sure the area you want to stitch is accessible via the hole in the calico.

You are now almost ready to stitch. We will now explain how to keep you hoop and stitching from getting dirty and grubby. This is called ‘dressing a hoop frame’.

There are many options how to protect your hoop.

  1. Tissue paper. Put the paper over the piece before you put the second ring over it. Tighten as you would the fabric and then tear a small hole to work through.
  2. Cling film, this works the same as tissue paper except it’s see through. It may cause static.
  1. My preferred option is shower cap. You can put it over the whole hoop while you are not working and it can be reused from project to project.

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