An embroidery hoop is a tool that helps to keep your fabric tightly stretched between its frames as an aid to embroidery or any other form of needlework.
Though the exact time of its origin is shrouded in mystery, there is evidence of its application since as early as the 18th century. It was used extensively in creating tambour lace, giving it the name ‘tambour frame’.
Appearance and Structure of Embroidery Hoops
An embroidery hoop consists of a concentric pair of frames, one fitted within the other. The larger frame has a screw for tightening the device.
For machine embroidery, the flat spring hoops where the outer hoop is spring loaded with two handles to be pressed together for securing the fabric, fit the bill.
Hoops are mostly made of plastic or wood. Vintage metal, bone and ivory embroidery hoops are also available.
They come in a variety of sizes starting from large to mini versions. The commercial varieties range from 4 to 12 inches in diameter. You should choose a hoop size that is comfortable for you to handle. Ideally, it should fit around your fabric allowing some overhang.
Though the circular hoops are most common, you can choose from other shapes like square, oval, and even hexagonal frames, depending on your project. When you are not working, it is advisable to take the hoop off lest the fabric gets indented with the hoop.
How to Use the Embroidery Hoop
To work with the tool, lay your cloth on the smaller ring, fix the larger ring above before screwing it up to make your fabric taut. For needlepoint, the tool along with the secured cloth can be placed on a tabletop hoop holder, or floor stand to keep both hands free for stitching. Even if it is placed on the lap, it can be easily controlled by one hand, and the other hand can be used for embroidery work.
Magnetic Embroidery Hoops
The modern magnetic varieties of hoops are an easier alternative to the traditional hoops. There are no inner or outer hoops but a flat metallic bottom and a flat magnetic top frame. You just need to lay your cloth over the bottom frame before sandwiching it with the top frame from above. This ensures a hassle free needlepoint experience.
Making an Embroidery Ring: DIY Instructions
You can easily make a hoop yourself by cutting a lidded container appropriately.
- Draw circles around the circumference of both the lid and the container. There should be a tiny gap between their edge and your circles.
- Now cut along the ink line. You are left with the inner and outer ring of your DIY hoop!
- Press them together with the fabric in between and get to work.
Embroidery Hoops in Art and Craft
In addition to their main function, they can be used for decorative purposes such as for creative wall arts, displaying your beautiful earrings and brooches or making fluffy pin cushions.
The brilliant embroidery accessory can be your perfect sewing partner that will stand witness to many a wonderful needlepoint crafts.