The quality of any embroidery project starts with how well your material and stabilizer are hooped (and the digitizing of the design course). This article teaches you how to hoop your fabric properly, without well… jumping through hoops!
Step 1: Get Your Hoop & Fabric Ready
The first step towards proper hooping is to grab the piece of material that you’ll be stitching on, fold it in half, and give it a tiny bit of pressure. This will give you a measurement of how thick the fabric is when folded, and gives you a visual guideline showing you how to properly pre-adjust the space between each half of your hoop. The idea is that when you pre-adjust the hoop to the right size before hand, you won’t be playing around tightening it after the material is already hooped, which causes hoop burn on the material.
You will then take your hoop and pull on the corner that has the adjustable knob and loosen or tighten it to make the separation between each piece of the hoop roughly the same size as the visually measured folded fabric.
Next, you will place the bottom half of your hoop on the table in front of you so that adjustable corner with the knob is the furthest away from you. After properly laying your material and stabilizer on top of the bottom half of the hoop that is on the table, you will take the top half of the hoop and in one swift motion push it forward and down into the bottom half of the hoop to ‘pop’ it into place. If pre-adjusted properly, there should be a little bit of resistance, but you shouldn’t be fighting with the top piece of the hoop to press it in.
Remember to not tighten the hoop by adjusting the knob after the fabric has already been hooped. I see this all the time with embroidery beginners, they first hoop very loosely, then aggressively turn the knob to tighten the hoop. Many even take screw drivers & tightening the hoop to the max. This is a huge waste of time, causes fabric burn & is harmful towards your embroidery stitch out.
Instead of tightening the hoop by turning the knob after the fact, while the hoop is still on the table grab the material sticking out of the longer sides of the hoop and pull it gently. Then pick up the hoop and push the corners of the hoop in slightly, making it drum tight and machine ready.
That’s it, now your ready to place your hoop on your machine and start stitching!
Embroidery Hooping Basics Youtube Tutorial:
If you’re more of a visual learner, here’s a great quick tip video I put together explaining the process.
Embroidery Hooping Stations, Boards & Systems Make it Easy
If you’ve ever tried hooping with an embroidery hooping station I don’t have to explain the perks to you… If you haven’t well than you’re in for a treat! Embroidery hooping stations, boards & systems are great aids that help you to hooping quicker & easier. Not to mention they make hard to hoop objects (like baby onesies, sleeves, embroidery buddies, socks, etc…) a heck of a lot easier to hoop.
If you’re looking for a suggestion on a top quality hooping station be sure to check out the Echidna Hooping Station which is the only hooping station we fully endorse. These are the only magnet based hooping stations that fit virtually every sized hoop & are not specific to different machine brands. It’s incredibly easy to use & unlike other hooping stations, they don’t require additional add on attachments & don’t cost a fortune. Click here to learn more about the new Echidna Hooping Station now.