5 Tips for Easier Machine Embroidery Hooping

5 Tips that Stop Machine Embroidery Hooping Issues

QTT or Quick Tip Tuesday comes out every Tuesday. 
Either watch video or read the article below. It’s the same info!
After all, it’s all about crafting with machine embroidery!

5 Quick Tips to Better Hooping

Have you ever been embroidering and realize your design wasn’t lining up correctly? 

The outline was off or the sections of the design didn’t align as they should? 

And it might even be a design you’ve embroidered out many times before. 


Most likely it’s your fabric and/or your backing sliding in the hoop.

Why? On your home embroidery machine, the hoop is square. The corners can be tightened down nicely, the sides not so much. Especially the longer sides and larger hoops. 

And you don’t want to crank the screw down too tight or you’ll get a hoop burn on your project. 

So what are you to do? 

Today, I am giving you five simple solutions or tips to help you keep your machine embroidery designs looking great. No more shifting fabric or backing while embroidering.  

Inspect your hoop

Tip #1: Inspect your hoops – often

Pull the inner part of your hoop out and inspect both sections of the hoop. And I mean all of it! 

Run your finger inside, outside, on all aspects of your hoop.  You’re feeling for nicks, dings, and scratches. Anything along the hooping area that might prevent it from hooping tightly. 

Put the hoop back together, tighten down the screws, and hold it up to the light. The light will shine through any gaps in the hoop. 

Make sure you check your hoops weekly, if you drop one, if something runs into it, if you’re using it with a clamp, and anytime you think there could be a problem with slipping of your backing or fabric. 

So tip #1 is inspect your hoops – often.

Tip #2:  Use anything your manufacturer gives you to help you hoop better.

For instance, my larger hoops came with magnets to assist with hooping. They help hold the hoops tight and keep the fabric and backing from slipping.

Now, this may be silly to say, but many people don’t bother to use the magnets, because it doesn’t seem like they do anything. But they really do help. 

To test this: Put the magnets on the hoop and pull the fabric slightly. You will feel how much tighter your hooping is with the magnets, especially in larger hoops and along the longest sides. And of course, you never want to pull on your fabric or backing when hooped. 

Make sure you’ve hooked the magnets correctly, so they don’t just fall off. Some magnets snap or clamp onto a magnetic strip on the hoop.

So tip #2 is use anything your embroidery machine manufacturer gives you to assist you in better hooping.

Tip #3: Use the right size hoop.

You want to use the smallest hoop you can for your project and design together. Not all embroidery machines have multiple hoops, but when you do  – use the sizes to your advantage for proper hooping. 

By using the smallest hoop that fits the design and project you have less space and material between the edge of the design and the hoop’s edge. The more fabric between the design and the hoop, the easier it is for the stabilizer and fabric to move. 

So tip #3 is to use the right size hoop, which is always the smallest hoop you have for the project and design.

Tip #4: Use double-sided tape

The double sided tape I use comes in a roll and is called Express-It tape. 

There are lots of different double-sided tape available that work great with your embroidery hoops. 

Make sure the double sided tape you choose is acid-free and solvent free. 

Acid-free because you don’t want your hoop yellowing. And you don’t want the tape acid eating away your embroidery hoop over time. This causes hooping issues.

Solvent-free, so you don’t have sticky gunk on your hoop that you’ll need to clean up later.  

The double-sided tape goes on the back of the inner part of the hoop. Put the tape down, press it smooth, then remove the paper on the back of it. Stop on each corner so the tape doesn’t overlap over the side of the hoop. 

The double sided tape sticks to the fabric and helps hold it in place. It doesn’t hold the backing or stabilizer at all. You can use the tape for about four to five different hoopings, depending on the fabric you’re using. 

When you need to replace the tape or no longer need it, just pull the tape off of your hoop. 

When using double sided tape, make sure the backing and fabric are smooth and where you want them before hooping. 

Tip #4 double-sided tape just make sure it’s acid-free and solvent free.

Tip #5: Stopping –  stopping your fabric and backing from moving. 

There are two methods for stopping your fabric and backing; clipping and pins. 

The pin method should only be used on projects that can be pinned. Either because the fabric doesn’t show pin holes or the project isn’t showing or using the material outside of the hoop. 

Fabric such as leather and vinyl will show pinhole. 

Method 1 – pins: You can use safety pins, t-pins, quilting pins, or regular pins. The pin has to have something on the end of the pin so that it doesn’t slide into your hoop. Or the thickness of the pin needs to be thick enough that it won’t slide into the space between the inner and outer hoop.

I prefer my quilting pins because of the length, thickness of the pin, and the flowery top makes them easy to use. I find the longer the pins are easier to manipulate in out of the fabric without hitting the frame.

All you do is slide the pin from the top of the fabric, through the fabric and backing, then back up again. Just like you’d pin anything else, just very close to the hoop. Make sure you put pins all around the hoop for maximum benefit. 

Do not jab into your fabric or hit your frames because you do not want to nick your frame, which can cause hooping issues later.  

Method 2 – clips: You can use binder clips, chip clips, or large fabric/quilting clips for this method. 

Binder clips can be found online or in most stores in the office supply area. They come in many different sizes to suit your needs. 

This method doesn’t put holes into your fabric. 

Once you hoop your project clip the fabric up to the hoop. Put clips all around your hoop for maximum benefits. Make sure you don’t clip onto the hoop itself, and the clip is on the top side of the hoop. 

If you clamp the hoop itself with the clip you could scratch your embroidery machine, get the clip stuck on the machine, or cause other issues. 

An advantage to the clip method is you do not have pin holes in your project. Disadvantages of the clip method include stretching the material on the outside of the hoop, not being able to get close enough to the hoop frame to stop slipping, and the project fabric being too bulky to clamp.  

That’s Tip #5  stopping your fabric and backing from moving.

What hooping trick will you try today?

Now you have 5 tips and trick to help prevent your backing and fabric from slipping. And giving you better results on every project! 

Do you have a hooping technique you just love, then share it in the comments below? 

Now go hoop that perfect project. 

Happy Embroidering!

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