Embroidery Basics: The Machine Embroidery Hoop
Machine embroidery is one of my favorite hobbies! I love the precision you can achieve! One key to getting that precision is properly hooping the fabric and stabilizer.
The embroidery hoop consists of two rings —the outer ring (with the screw) and the inner ring. The fabric/stabilizer is placed between these two rings. The compression between the two rings as the screw is tightened holds the fabric in place.
There is are alignment marks on both the inner and outer rings. These alignment marks should always match up when hooping.
The hoop bracket attaches the hoop to the machine. The two bracket pieces are squeezed toward one another and then fitted over the bracket on the module arm.
The hoop’s screw fits into the gap in the outer ring. Loosening this screw allows the gap to get wider. The bigger the gap, the easier it will be to hoop the fabric. Tightening the screw reduces the gap, anchoring the fabric between the inner and outer hoops.
Use caution when tightening and loosening the screw – the nut can separate from the screw if it is loosened too much.
The Hoop Template
The hoop template is a plastic grid that fits into the inner ring of the hoop. The marked lines indicates the center of the hoop’s embroidery field. The gridlines help you to hoop your fabric accurately for perfect placement of your design. Some hoops have clips that attach to the template; these are placed into the center notches of the inner hoop. Be sure that the word “BERNINA” is right side up when you hoop.
The Hooping Process
Whenever possible, it is best to hoop your fabric and stabilizer together in the hoop. Spray one side of the stabilizer with temporary adhesive spray and adhere it to the back of your fabric in the area to be embroidered.
Loosen the screw on the outer ring (the looser the screw, the easier it will be to hoop your fabric), and place the outer ring flat on your work surface.
Place the inner hoop with its template over the fabric to be embroidered. Pick up the fabric, stabilizer, and inner ring and position them inside the outer ring so that the fabric sits flush against the work surface as you do so.
Gently smooth any wrinkles from the fabric and then tighten the screw. One of the most important factors in successful hooping is that the screw be tightened so the fabric/stabilizer is held firmly in place and will not shift during the embroidery process.
After the screw has been tightened and the fabric is taut, pick up the hoop in push the inner hoop down ever so slightly.
Once you have hooped your fabric, you are ready to place it on the machine and get to the fun part!
Good Hooping vs. Bad Hooping Examples
Good hooping: The fabric should be smooth and flat within the hoop.
Bad hooping: The fabric should not pucker or bubble within the hoop.
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How do you recommend we clean our hoops of gunk?