Do you use an embroidery hoop for cross stitch

Do You Use an Embroidery Hoop for Cross Stitch?

Embroidery hoops are essential for doing cross-stitch. To keep the tension right, hoops will help you while you stitch. It is also easier than stitching in hand because you don’t have to fight with fabric. To keep your fabric out of dirt and oil, stitch in the hoop. You can also frame your cross-stitch in an embroidery hoop. You will find different variations of finishing and they are inexpensive. If you are a beginner stitcher, hoops will be a nice addition to keep your tension consistent.

Many experienced stitchers use hoops for their projects. Hoops have many different variations. Hoops have a variety of shapes and sizes for practical and decorative purposes. We have discussed, in this article, different kinds of embroidery hoops, the difference between different kinds of embroidery hoops, shapes, size measurement, cost, methods of using embroidery hoops, tips and hacks using embroidery hoops, etc. You will get some basic ideas for using embroidery hoops while you cross-stitch.

Key Takeaways

  • Variations of embroidery hoops and differences between them.
  • Cost, shapes, size measurement, and different methods of using embroidery hoops.
  • Tips and hacks for using embroidery hoops.

Do You Use an Embroidery Hoop for Cross Stitch?

Yes, using an embroidery hoop for cross stitch is an amazing experience. It’s like having a trusty assistant that keeps your fabric taut and your stitching smooth. If you’re into cross stitch, this tool is a must-have. It works very simply all you need to do is place the fabric between the two hoops and tighten the screw or fastener to secure it in place. This keeps the fabric from bunching up or sagging while you work your magic with the needle and thread. Not only does the hoop make your stitching look neater, but it also prevents accidental puckering and helps you maintain consistent tension throughout your project. Plus, it’s so portable that you can stitch on the go without any hassle. Some stitchers prefer to work without a hoop, but many swear by it for better results and a more enjoyable stitching experience.

5 Methods of Using Embroidery Hoops

Methods of using embroidery hoops
Methods of using embroidery hoops

To keep your fabrics and threads, in good condition, wash your hands before using your embroidery hoops.

1. Using Screw Tension Embroidery Hoop

Loosen your screw to separate the inner ring from the outer ring. Place your fabric on top of your inner ring, then press it down, so that you can see the ring below. Check if the fabric is in the right place, if your fabric is slipping a little, then the position is right. Then, place your outer ring on top of your inner ring, to fit it perfectly, press it down, you can use both hands for this. Use a flat surface to line up your rings. If the outer ring is loose, tighten the screw. The tension between the fabric and the rings should feel right. Place your hoop and tug your fabric from all sides. If your rings are coming loose, push them back. Even out any bumps. Stop pulling so tight to avoid uneven ends. Tighten all the screws, if it’s needed, use a screwdriver.

2. Using Flexi Embroidery Hoop

Take your flexi embroidery hoop, separate the rings, take your fabric, and place it on top of the inner ring where the ring is visible through the fabric. Then, take the outer ring and then press it down. If your fabric is not centered, take out your rings and then try placing them again.

3. Using Spring Tension Embroidery Hoop

To separate the inner hoop and outer hoop, squeeze the metal handles of the inner hoop. Choose a flat surface. Place your fabric on the outer hoop from where you will see the ring. Hold the handles of the inner hoop and squeeze them to secure them with the outer hoop. You have to be careful while using this hoop, as the handles spring out of the hands. When the fabric is loose, try to stretch out the inner ring. As the handles are big, threads catch on them very frequently. Keep them on a hard, flat surface.

4. Using Metal Embroidery Hoop

Take out the inner and outer rings of the hoop. Take the inner ring, and place your fabric on top of it, so that, you can see the shape of the ring underneath. The metal embroidery hoops are vintage, so very careful while using this. Place your fabric over the outer ring, and use your both hands to press it down. Placing your hoop on a flat surface will help to line up the rings. If the fabric is loose, tug at the edges of the fabric by holding the inner ring. Once you have your fabric taut, you can start stitching.

5. Q-Snap Embroidery Frame

q snap has 4 pieces that fit together to form a square or rectangle. When assembling, try to assemble two pieces, but do not assemble them at a time, then assemble two other pieces, so, you have two sections. These two section fits together. Place your fabric over the Q-snap frame. While you are placing down the fabric, you will see the shape of the frame underneath. Make sure your fabric is in the right place. You have 4 q – snap clips, press them down to secure the clip. If you have to tighten your fabric, grip opposite sides of the frame, then rotate them from the inside to the outside of the frame. Then turn your frame 90 degrees, so you can grip the other two opposite sides. Repeat this to make sure the clips are turned towards the outside.

4 Kinds of The Embroidery Hoop

4 kinds of the embroidery hoop
4 kinds of the embroidery hoop

There are several kinds of embroidery hoops, 4 of them is the main kind of embroidery hoop. We will discuss about this below:

1. Screw tension hoop

This embroidery hoop has an inner ring, an outer ring, and a screw mechanism. You can control the tension by tightening or loosening the screw. These hoops have many sizes, shapes, and materials. They are easy to find and they are inexpensive. They are used for stitching and framing.

2. Flexi hoop

This hoop has an outer ring and an inner ring, the outer ring is made of vinyl and the inner ring is made of hard plastic. The outer ring slides and stretches around the inner ring, this sliding action is very challenging to control, you often have to remove your fabric to get it placed again.

3. Spring tension hoop

The inner ring for this hoop is metal, while the outer ring is plastic. When you squeeze the inner ring, it will be smaller, so that, you can place it into the outer ring. These hoops are always round to create tension. The smaller hoops will keep the hoop very taut, the larger hoops will be a bit looser. If it is possible, try to avoid spring tension hoops for hand embroidery.

4. Q Snap

This hoop is made of thick plastic pipes. Q- snaps have many different sizes, such as, square or rectangular in shape. These hoops have good gripping because the frames are thicker and they are comfortable to hold onto. They have heavyweight than traditional embroidery hoops. Q- snap frames have add – ons and with your extension kits, you can make q-snap frames larger. It is better to purchase lap stands, table stand, or floor stands to work with it. You can also make your accessories for your q snap out of PVC pipes.

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Difference Between Wood, Plastic, And Metal Embroidery Hoops

Difference between wood, plastic, and metal embroidery hoops
Difference between wood, plastic, and metal embroidery hoops

Embroidery plastics are made of wood, plastic, and metal. Metal hoops have an outer ring to control the tension and a cork lining on the outer side of the hoop to prevent the fabric from slipping. They are usually antique.

You will know you have one in good condition if they keep the fabric taut without fiddling with handles, but if your hoops have metal rust, it will stain your fabric. wood and plastic both are very popular hoops. You can use embroidery hoops for stitching. You can also use bamboo embroidery hoops as they are made of natural sources, and easy to use. If you have wood embroidery hoops, you can paint them and add other embellishments. Be careful while you use them, as you may get wood splinters. Plastic hoops are very comfortable to work with because of the various colors they provide. Use plastic embroidery hoops for framing your finish projects, because of their smooth surface there is a chance of slipping your fabric.

1. Shapes of embroidery hoops

The most common shapes for embroidery hoops are round. They also have oval, square, or other shapes. It’s not necessary that you have to use square hoops for square patterns, although, they look nice for framing.

2. Usable embroidery hoops

Some of the common embroidery hoops are screw tension, flexi hoops, spring tension, q-snap, metal, wood, and plastic. Screw tension, wood, and plastic embroidery hoops are easy to use, have low cost, are easy to stitch with, and are easy to frame. Flexi and metal hoops are difficult to use, they are expensive, and you will get splinters but they are easy to frame. Spring hoops are not easy to use, inexpensive, they are not easy to stitch with or frame. Q- snap is easy to use, they are expensive, they are easy to stitch with but they are not easy to frame.

3. Size measurement of embroidery hoops

Select your embroidery hoops that are 2 inches bigger than your fabric. this will leave some space for your fabric. you can measure your hoops by diameter. They have a wide range of sizes, such as 1-inch hoops for jewelry patterns or 12-inch hoops for quilting. If your project size is 12 inches, use embroidery hoops of sizes between 6 inches to 12 inches. When you are cross–stitching with embroidery, if you are done with one section, remove your hoops and place them in the new section. This size is manageable and it will provide you space for more stitches. If you have embroidery hoops that are more than 12 inches, use a lap stand or floor stand to work with it. If you purchase cross-stitch kits that are with embroidered hoops, then you do not worry about the sizes.

4. Cost of the embroidery hoop

The price of embroidery hoops is between $1 to $30. Round, small hoops with common materials are less costly than hoops that have irregular and larger shapes. You can also use used embroidery hoops because they are less expensive, but they will serve you as a new one.

5. Buying embroidery hoops

You can buy your embroidery hoops at a local craft store and also on the Internet. The places from where you will get your embroidery hoops are Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, thrift stores, etc. If you do not know whether to buy an embroidery hoop or not, then, buy an embroidery kit. Many of them are available at local craft stores or online which are less than $10. The small kits are for beginners, so you can try them too if you are opting for cross–stitch with embroidery hoops.

9 Tips and Tricks for Using Embroidery Hoops

9 tips and tricks for using embroidery hoops
9 tips and tricks for using embroidery hoops

When you are using embroidery hoops, I find that following these tips and tricks can really help you out in one of your embroidery projects:

  1. Fabric size does not depend on embroidery size and shape: The fabric should be bigger than the embroidery hoops.
  2. While stitching hold your embroidery hoops: To avoid tangled up floss with the hoop hardware, place the screw, clasp, and hanger at 10 o’clock. If you are a left-hand stitcher, then keep your screw, clasp, and hanger at 2 o’clock. While working with spring tension hoops, place your hand that is not working in the clasps as the hardware for this hoop is underneath the fabric.
  3. Stitch in the ditch (Aka stitch in the well): This method should be applied only when your hoop is very small and you have to bury a lot of thread under your stitches, in this situation, you flip the hoop, take your threads to the back of the hoop and bury your threads.
  4. Keeping cross-stitch project in the embroidery hoop: Do not leave your cross-stitch project in your embroidery hoop for a longer time, as this will distort your stitch, although, if you have a smaller hoop and fabric, then you can keep your stitch in the frame as long as you want.
  5. Too small fabric for embroidery hoop: There is not enough tension when your fabric is too small than the embroidery hoop. When only an edge is inside your embroidery hoop, re-center it by taking the fabric out. When more than one edge is inside the embroidery hoop, use a smaller embroidery hoop.
  6. Fabric slipping or sagging in the hoop: When your fabric is slipping or sagging inside the hoop, this means the fabric tension is loose. By flipping the embroidery hoop, holding the inner ring, and tugging the edges of the fabric, you can make sure that the fabric doesn’t slip. Screw tension embroidery hoop will let you tighten the grip of the hoop on the fabric, so your fabric will not slip. Some of the screw mechanisms have flathead or Philips head screws.
  7. Extra fabric around embroidery hoop: You can roll the edges of the extra fabric, and hold them together with your hoop. If you still have too much fabric left, then use binder clips. Roll the fabric to the inside towards the hoop, and use larger binder clips to hold the fabric in place.
  8. Getting rid-off embroidery hoop marks: You will have embroidery hoop marks after finishing your project. There are three kinds of embroidery hoop marks: transfers, impressions, and old-fashioned dirt. In transfers, embroidery hoops leave some colors on the fabric. If your embroidery hoop has been decorated with stain, paint, or other colors, then this would happen. Impressions generally happen because of the removal of the hoop from the fabric which leaves folds or creases. This can be easily removed by washing or ironing your cross-stitch project. Dirty hoop marks occur when you are stitching with dirty hands. Dirty hoop marks will show when a hoop is left in the hoop or left out in the hoop between the stitching.
  9. Washing fabric: Wash your fabric thoroughly several times to remove color transfers and dirty hoop marks. Do not wash, if your fabric is hand-dyed and not colorfast. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid transfers and dirty hoop marks. If your hoops are decorated, use them only for framing. So you do not have to take out your fabric, after finishing your projects, you can frame them. Avoid dirty hoop marks by not putting them away while you are stitching and by avoiding dust, dirt, and pet hair. Wash your hands every time before you start your projects.


What can be used instead of an embroidery hoop?

A picture without backing or glass works well instead of the embroidery hoop.

Should I cross-stitch in my hand or hoop?

You should use an embroidery hoop because stitching can give you hand cramps. For your stitching convenience for a longer time, your embroidery hoops are necessary. Embroidery hoops can also be used to frame your finished cross–stitch process.

How much fabric do I need cross- stitch?

Divide the number of stitches by the count of fabric, for example, if you are stitching over 2 threads on linen, you want to divide the count of your fabric in half before calculating.

Final Thoughts

As we have discussed in this article, using embroidery hoops is essential while doing cross-stitch. This will help you in creating more polished artwork. As we already know, several embroidery hoops have been in the market for cross-stitch. Each has its benefits and downfall. No matter which embroidery hoop you will be using for cross–stitch, you also have to keep in mind about marks and stains that will be in your fabric from embroidery hoops. You can also use your hoops as frames for your finished projects.

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Hey I’m Sherry Howes an expert in sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. With a passion for fiber arts and a talent for crafting, I Have spent years improving my skills and sharing knowledge with others. Whether teaching a class or creating a new project, I’m always excited to share my love of crafting with the world. I like researching new techniques and trends in the crafting arts community.

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