Every now and then I end up with a particularly troublesome embroidery hoop that won’t keep my fabric quite as taut as I’d like it. This issue can be caused by an imperfection in the hoop, particularly thin or smooth fabric, or the type of wood that’s used in the embroidery hoop. Bamboo embroidery hoops are particularly prone to this issue because the wood is very smooth. This situation isn’t just one you run into with inexpensive hoops - I’ve found artisan-made wooden hoops can also be vulnerable to this problem if they have a very polished finish. The cause comes down to there not being enough friction between the hoop and the fabric, which causes slippage, particularly while stitching. So how do you remedy this frustrating problem? There’s actually a very quick and easy fix - binding your embroidery hoop.
Binding your embroidery hoop simply means wrapping fabric around either the inner or outer hoop ring to create additional friction and padding between the hoop and the fabric you are stitching. Here’s what you need to bind an embroidery hoop:
long, narrow strips (no more than 1-inch wide*) of white/beige-colored cotton fabric OR twill tape
a hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
a sharp scissors for cutting fabric
your embroidery hoop
*Note - If you are binding a small hoop, 3 or 4 inches in size, work with a narrower strip of fabric.
To begin, remove the inner ring of your embroidery hoop from the outer ring and set the outer ring aside. Put a dab of hot glue on the inside circumference of your inner ring and attach your fabric strip at an angle.
Once the glue is dry, begin wrapping the fabric strip around the inside hoop ring. If you run out of fabric, simply glue the end of the strip in place (always apply glue to the inside circumference of the inner hoop) and start a new strip where you left off.
Once you’ve wrapped and glued your fabric strips around the entire inner hoop, trim off any excess. You are now ready to put your embroidery fabric in place and start stitching.
Watch the timelapse below to see me bind this 8-inch embroidery hoop.
As an alternative to binding the inner ring of your embroidery hoop, you can bind the outer ring of your embroidery hoop instead with a decorative piece of fabric or even ribbon (as long as it isn’t too smooth or satiny in finish).
Reducing Slippage While Displaying Embroidery Hoop Art
If you are using a smooth wooden hoop to display your finished embroidery hoop art, an alternative to binding the hoop is adding a piece of felt between the embroidery hoop and the embroidery project. This step not only adds friction and prevents slippage over time, but it also protects the back of your embroidery stitches and gives your needlework a cleaner look. Visit this link for instructions on how to finish the back of your embroidery hoop art.