What is the best embroidery hoop to use?
When it comes to embroidery hoops the simple answer is, it really does come down to personal preference.
Starting out on your embroidery journey, it’s wise to experiment with a range of different embroidery hoops. It will help you to find out which one works best for your sewing style, and the type of fabric you prefer sewing onto.
It’s important to remember that all embroidery hoops essentially do the same thing. Hold your fabric in place to allow you to sew. As long as your hoop does this, you will be able to start your embroidery without a problem.
There are many types of embroidery hoops, they are most commonly made from either wood or plastic.
Wooden Embroidery Hoops
Wooden hoops are my personal favourite. They are easy to use, lightweight, and can come in a variety of different shapes. Oval, square, and your more traditional round are all widely available. They also come in a wide range of sizes that will suit most projects.
They can be made using a range of different woods and this is where the quality of the hoop will differ.
Bamboo hoops are cheap and great if you are just starting out to keep costs down while finding out if you enjoy embroidery. However they don’t always grip the fabric tightly enough. As a result, you constantly need to pull the fabric taught. Wrapping the frame can eliminate this problem to a certain degree but it’s not always a perfect fix every time.
One more thing to keep in mind with a bamboo embroidery hoop it the hoop itself is prone to splinter. This can leave you with a rough and sometime splitting edge depending on how well the hoop has been made.
Beech wood hoops are always my personal go-to. Along with being easy to use a lightweight they have a very smooth finished and will not splinter. Other thing that is great about theses hoops is they can be stained a darker colour or painted if you wish to really make them unique against your embroidery project.
Beech wood hoops generally grip perfectly keeping your fabric nice and taught throughout your project without having to re tighten the frame. This saves so much time and stops your design from getting distorted. It’s a win win.
Plastic Embroidery Hoops
Plastic embroidery hoops generally come in similar shapes and sizes to the wooden hoops with the difference being they are plastic.
However, how they are used does varies slightly.
Standard Plastic Embroidery hoops are exactly the same as wooden hoops and work in the same way the only real different is they are plastic.
Flexi Plastic hoops are as the name suggests flexible. The outer hoop is stretched over the inner hoop to fall into a ridge that keeps your fabric in place. These can be great for beginners as it is easier to get the fabric nice and tight for sewing onto. I personally find the hoops a little stiff and they hurt my fingers getting the fabric in the hoop. However, once the fabric is secure, they are great.
Spring Tension Embroidery hoops are another option. They are secured with a spring mechanism that holds the fabric in place. I’ve personally never used one of these hoops. As a result I’m unable to comment on how well they will hold the fabric or how easy they are to use.
If you are looking for a way to embroidered on larger areas there are options available to you in the form of a snap frame. These can also be brought in plastic or wood.
Considering the hot topic in the media recently of plastic and the harm it does to our planet, a wooden hoop is naturally going to be the more eco friendly, and parts of it, biodegradable friendly.
However, if you will be using one hoop for lots of projects and not just one you can argue that a plastic hoop will be more efficient, over time it is less likely to break, splinter, or get damaged from general wear and tear. It then no longer becomes a single use plastic. It really is your choice and personal preference which hoop is right for you.
I hope you found this post useful feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or are unsure.
Ready to start sewing?
If you’re ready to get started with embroidery why not have a look at our embroidery kit range below.
We offer both PDF kits or Complete kits containing everything you need to get started.
All Embroidery Kits
All Embroidery Kits