Using some sort of embroidery hoop or frame for stitching has a lot of advantages. There are people who prefer stitching without a hoop and there are some cases where a hoop is not needed or it is not possible to use it. In this article, you will learn how to set up an embroidery hoop.
The benefits of using embroidery hoops
- equal tension of the fabric makes it easier to get stitch tension right
- if used with a stand, you can use both hands for stitching
- some stitches like knots are easier to do on a surface with a tight tension
How to set up an embroidery hoop
To put your fabric into the hoop, separate the two rings of the hoop first. Then, put the fabric on the smaller ring and slowly fit the larger ring over the other one.
Make sure you position the pattern so that it‘s right in the middle and all lines are in the stitching area of your hoop. There should be no creases in the fabric anymore. If there are creases put on the larger ring again. Now you can tighten the screw so that the fabric stays in place.
Watch the video below and follow the process to set up an embroidery hoop and some other hoop versions out there:
Get even more embroidery tips for beginners in the comprehensive beginner guide.
Why is fabric tension so important?
The most important thing to know about tension is: if your fabric is stretched unevenly it has the potential to ruin your whole piece.
Imagine you take your piece of fabric and put it in a hoop. Now, pull on the left, then pull on the bottom. Then stitch on it for hours and what happens when you get the fabric comes out of the hoop? Right, it will take its former shape. So the previously perfect round shape you stitched on, will tilt towards the right and top. Oops.
This is why it is very important to adjust the fabric evenly after you have put it into the hoop. If you see the fabric doesn’t sit right in the hoop: take it out and set up again. I loosen the tension of the hoop a little bit when the first try was not successful.
In the image below you can see the difference between a hoop with an even (left) and uneven tension (right). The pattern of the fabric on the right side is tilting upwards.
Online course: Embroidery hoop toolbox
This course shows you how to avoid common mistakes that can cause problems with your embroidery and how to use hoops to make your embroidery shine!
Do you want more tips and tricks on hand embroidery?
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