Helpful Hooping Tips

Hooping can be the most frustrating part of machine embroidery. These tips will help!

Bigger hoops mean more of everything to handle, as in hoop, fabric, and stabilizer. Here are five tips that will help to make hooping more enjoyable:

Use a Hooping Mat

If you are tired of chasing your hoop around, you will love the Hoop Mat from Designs in Machine Embroidery. I have one (no affiliation) and it really does work. The silicone mat holds your hoops in place and keeps them from sliding around. Some people also have good results using drawer liner or rubber skid-proof rug mats.

The mat’s grid also helps keep fabrics, stabilizer, and the hoop straight for more accurate hooping.

Secure with Double-Sided Tape

This is one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” hacks. If you turn your inner hoop over and place a strip of double-faced tape along the flat edges, it helps to hold stabilizer (or fabric) in place.

Press the hoop down on to fabric or stabilizer and it holds it flat against the back before inserting into the outer hoop.

Applying double-faced tape around the inside edge of the hoop helps keep the stabilizer from slipping in the hoop, particularly in larger hoops.

Hold Layers in Place

Temporary spray adhesives and glue sticks help hold fabrics, stabilizers, and even batting together. Always spray away from your machine and spray the back of the fabric or batting rather than the stabilizer in the hoop.

When everything is hooped and ready to stitch, run a basting stitch to keep it in place.

Anchor with T-Pins

The larger the hoop, the more it will loosen on the sides. No matter how tightly you might hoop fabric and stabilizer, it can still get loose. That is particularly true with extra handling used in quilting, applique, or in-the-hoop projects. If your hoop does not have clips to secure fabric and stabilizer around the edges of the hoop, securing with a T-pin can help.

Use a Magnetic Hoop

Magnetic hoops make it so much easier to manage larger projects, particularly those like quilts and bags that include a layer of batting/wadding and repeated repositioning.