Setting Fabric onto your Embroidery Hoop

Embroidery Hoop

How to Stretch Fabric onto An Embroidery Hoop

While you don’t really need an embroidery hoop to create your stitches it definitely helps to have your fabric stretched out. It makes it easier to stitch and because your fabric is taut you have much less of a chance of creating uneven stitches which can sometimes result in some wonky lines & shapes. It can also result in some warping of your fabric if your thread tension isn’t consistent. So unless you’re a pro at it I highly recommend using a hoop.

Stretching your fabric onto an embroidery hoop is actually pretty simple. Your stretched fabric should have a nice surface tension similar to a drum. Start with a smaller hoop around 6″ or smaller when you first start off. They’re much easier to hold in your hand while you stitch and you don’t necessarily need a stand.

If you start with a larger hoop that’s okay, but you’ll find that it’ll be just a wee more difficult to handle as you learn to hoop your fabric, but not by much You’re also going to find that a larger embroidery hoop means it could feel a bit clumsier to hold and a stand might be necessary to keep your hand from cramping up while stitching, especially if you have arthritis.

With that being said, let’s hoop some fabric which is fast and easy!

Here’s What You’ll Need

  1. Embroidery Hoop
  2. Fabric that is at least 1.5 to 2 inches wider than your hoop on all sides.
  3. Screwdriver (optional but helpful)

Your fabric needs to be a bit larger than your hoop to work. The extra bit of fabric will be folded over after your stitches are complete to finish things off. I sometimes push it and go with an extra inch on all sides but 1.5 inches is more comfortable.

When you select your fabric make sure it’s not stretchy or too thick.

By the way, take a peek at my post with some additional basic information you’ll need on fabrics, needles, and thread if you haven’t already. Or for a full list of supplies you’ll need head to my supplies post.

Just Follow These Simple Instructions

  1. Loosen the screw on the hoop.
  2. Separate the hoop into 2 pieces and lay the inner hoop on your table.
  3. Center your fabric on top of your hoop.
  4. Set your outer hoop over your fabric and press down to set it back in place.
  5. Tighten your screw.
  6. Pull the edges of your fabric to tighten it.
  7. Re-tighten your screw.

Video Tutorial

Easy peasy! While the instructions are simple, here’s a video tutorial for clarity. Enjoy!


Once your fabric is set up and you start working take a moment from time to time to pull the edges tight again as it can come loose. This will happen as you push your needle in and out but it if gets really annoying you can try some Edmunds EHT-1 Stitchers No-Slip Hoop Tape to line the inside of your embroidery hoop. It will create a grip to help keep your fabric in place.

Also keep in mind that if you’re using thinner fabric you’ll have to tighten your fabric more often so you could also simply use thicker fabric.

Now I’m going to jump from hooping your fabric to how to finish off the back of your embroidery hoop once you’ve finished stitching your masterpiece!

Simply turn your hoop over and using at least 4 strands of thread loosely back stitch all the way around your fabric. Pull your thread as you go to bring your fabric closer to the center. While only one row of stitches is needed to hold things in place, I tend to add a little extra, just to be sure.

You can stop here, or if you prefer a cleaner look you can cut a piece of felt that is a little smaller than the back & add a blanket stitch to it along the edge. You can alternatively hot glue the felt on but there’s something kind of nice about the adding the blanket stitch to it.

Whichever method you chose you’ll never really see the back, but the cleaner it is the more professional it will look.

❤️ Thanks for sticking with me and see you in another post!

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