Did you know you don't have to hoop your fabric?comments (5) April 1st, 2008
One day I was giving one of my customers a lesson on her new embroidery machine and she was telling me that she always has trouble when she’s trying to hoop tricky fabrics like leather, knits, loose wovens, and velvets. Even when I’m trying to be careful, when I snap the two frames together to secure the fabric in the hoop, I usually cause some sort of trauma to the fabric. Often, rub marks referred to as “hoop burn” or even worse, a dreaded hole can appear when you remove the fabric from the hoop. We all have the natural tendency to pull and tug to smooth out the excess fabric that inevitable gets trapped inside the embroidery area. This can distort the grain of the fabric and cause it to stretch. By the time you're ready to start your machine, you’ve already set yourself up for a disaster.
I recommend trying this simple “hoopless” technique the next time you embroider on tricky fabric.Hoop appropriate stabilizer firmly. Using a ruler and a washaway pen, mark the center of the hoop. Mark the placement of your embroidery on your fabric. Spray the stabilizer with a temporary adhesive spray like 505 Temporary Adhesive Spray or KK 2000 and position the fabric in the hoop. (Use the guidelines that were drawn on the stabilizer to help you get your fabric in the hoop accurately.) Gently smooth the fabric against the stabilizer to anchor it firmly in the hoop.
This technique will also allow you to embroider very close to the edge of a garment or other project where it won’t fit in the hoop. You can also embroider on items that are too small to fit in a hoop like a cuff or collar.
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