This trick keeps your hoop secure and fabric taut, allowing you to work more efficiently than ever.
various sizes of wood embroidery hoops
Credit: Janelle Jones

If you've made a few stitches by hand, you know: an embroidery hoop makes all the difference. It's an essential tool in the technique. It holds your fabric taut as you stitch, which allows for even stitching and prevents puckering and, in the end, results in a clean design. What's more, it's circular shape and sturdy material lends itself to all manner of projects beyond what can be done using just a needle and thread. The best thing to do is bind your embroidery hoop.

Why? We're about to let you in on a little secret: Wrapping the inner ring of your wooden embroidery hoop helps to protect the fabric and to ensure the hoop has a secure grip of that fabric. That means no re-tightening the screw or adjusting fabric, you will find yourself working more efficiently, and extending the usability of your hoop.

To bind an embroidery hoop, you wrap a strip of cotton fabric, ribbon, or twill tape around the inner ring of the hoop and secure it into place. Binding your hoop will protect delicate fabrics like silk, chiffon, tulle, and sheer lace. When working with fabrics such as these, the binding keeps the seams from puckering and stretching out of shape as you work as well as prevents creases. It's also something that will allow you to continue using hoops that are slightly warped or bent with use, which tends to happen with oval hoops and larger hoops over time. This way, the rings join evenly without gaps or shifting out of place.

Here's what you will need: an embroidery hoop, craft scissors, cotton twill tape, and fabric glue or a sewing needle and all-purpose thread. To start binding your hoop, separate the inner and outer rings and cut a length of binding material. You can use bias tape, twill tape, or a ribbon of your choosing (which makes for a good use of leftover supplies), but we find that cotton twill tape works best. (Specifically, you will need 1/2-inch twill tape for an average 6-inch hoop.) You can glue the end to the hoop or hold it with a clip, but this is unnecessary. Once the wrapping starts, it will overlap this loose end and keep it in place. Wrap the binding securely around the inner ring, at an angle and avoiding overlap, to cover the ring entirely. To secure the tail end, use one of two options: dab a few drops of fabric glue or thread a needle and make a few stitches, securing it with a knot; trim the excess with scissors.

To reassemble the embroidery hoop, adjust the screw of the outer ring so that it fits loosely over the inner ring with binding. Place the fabric over the inner ring, centered for design placement, and press the outer ring down over the fabric and inner ring, making sure that it's pulled taut. Tighten the screw to secure the fabric. Your hoop is now ready to use in your next embroidery project.


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