How to keep fabric taunt when embroidering on a hoop
This is a question I run into all the time… How do I keep my fabric taught inside the hoop while embroidering?
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Tips to keep your fabric taunt while stitching:
If you use a wooden or bamboo hoop, try using needle nose pliers to help you tighten the screw once you have your fabric in the perfect position. Tightening the screw with your fingers often isn’t tight enough to hold the fabric down.
Try different fabrics in your hoop, sometimes a lightweight cotton or silky fabric just wont hold once you push your needle into the fabric. Try denim, or a heavy weight muslin.
Change your needle to something smaller so that the needle glides through the fabric. Also make sure the needle is sharp! A dull needle will push the fabric up, loosening it every time you push it through. If the needle is too large for the thread count of your fabric or has a large eye, it will require more force to puncture the fabric therefore reducing the tension and making your fabric loose in the hoop.
Products to try for success while stitching:
Wrapping your wooden hoop with bias tape is a game changer for many embroidery artists, here’s a really pretty set of bias tapes that will make you not want to put your hoop down. I have a tutorial on TikTok on how to wrap your own hoop here: https://www.tiktok.com/@nanabumblebee/video/7048345083640319279?_t=8afVCsj6vOM&_r=1
I’m in the UK and buy Milward hoops. They are plastic but the kind of click together to give a tighter fit. These always stay taut.
Interfacing or using two pieces of cotton to stitch through helps hold the piece tighter.
Try a smaller hoop, I use the 3.5 inch hoop from this set of spring tension hoops for projects when something wants to slip on me. I find that the more fabric that is sitting beyond the frame, the less it tends to slip.
Q Snap frames are amazing at holding fabric in. There’s one in the photo above with the embroidery piece I’m working on. That piece has been in the Q Snap frame for well over a year and has not moved once. Once I got the tension just right on the Q Snap frame, it has never loosened.
Consider Nurge hoops, Some people swear by them. They have a hook on the top that can help keep the fabric taut. While they may be a little more expensive, some people swear by them.
Embroidery should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience, and having your fabric slip in the hoop can be frustrating. By following these tips, you can keep your fabric taut and enjoy stitching without any interruptions.