Helpful Hooping Hacks

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

When Bonnie asked her Facebook group what they liked least about embroidery, hooping and design placement topped the list.

Here are four 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 Dime (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 (Look Mom, one hand!).

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

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 like 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, pinning can help.

Regular straight pins will work but T-pins are sturdier and the “T” on the end helps hold everything from shifting. Insert the pin through both layers of fabric and stabilizer on top, against the hoop, right where they come out of the hoop. Then, insert the pin along the hoop to keep layers tight and flat.

Get a Grip with Pencil Grips

If turning your hoop screw is painful or awkward, this simple item helps tremendously. Slide a pencil grip onto the tightening screw. The soft grip makes tightening and loosening much easier.

What tips do you have for hooping?


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  • Valerie - April 07, 2023

    Nice ideas— thanks for sharing

  • Ruby - February 02, 2023

    Thanks for the sharing your know-how!

  • Dee - September 22, 2022

    Thanks for the sharing your know-how!

  • Debbie Henry - March 02, 2021

    Thanks, Sharon!

  • Sharon Bolin - February 18, 2021

    I love your pencil grip tip! Great idea.

  • Debbie Henry - February 04, 2021

    Thanks for the great tip, Linda!

  • Debbie Henry - February 04, 2021

    They work BevM and are very inexpensive.

  • Debbie Henry - February 04, 2021

    Thanks for reading, Maxine!

  • Debbie Henry - February 04, 2021

    You will love the matt, Ann!

  • Ann Weidt - February 03, 2021

    Enjoyed this blog and will be looking into a new mat by “DIME”

  • Maxine evenson - February 03, 2021

    Interesting all differant ideas help

  • BevM - February 02, 2021

    Thanks for the tips on hooping. I was looking to buy sewing hoop grips, but couldn’t remember where I saw them. I will try the pencil grips!

  • Linda Ballard - February 02, 2021

    I purchased a Master Hooper years ago. It does wonderfully with the four smallest hoops. For large hoops I just slide a piece of plywood next to the Hooper and it takes even the largest hoop my Dream Machine 2 uses.

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