Wrapping Your Hoop

Rissa Peace Root 2009

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I know it sounds tedious, but wrapping your embroidery hoops, especially if they are made from wood, protects your work. Wooden hoops can leach chemicals into your work, which should not be a problem if you never leave your work in your hoop  when you are finished stitching. More importantly, wrapped hoops leave fewer marks on your fabric.  Also, it is easier to get your work taut on a wrapped hoop.  There is no better investment than a quality wooden hoop, with a screw type closure that can be tightened with a slotted screw driver.  A good hoop is a wise investment.

I was worried that the technique was too simple for an article, but I feel strongly that a well wrapped hoop is an important tool in your arsenal.  Since most of my wooden hoops are substantial, I like to use 1" satin ribbon in lengths from two to four yards, depending on the size of the hoop to be wrapped.  Since color is unimportant, you can often find remnants of quality, double sided satin ribbon in craft and fabric stores for as little as $0.99 per reel. 

For this 8" hardwood hoop, I used approximately five yards of ribbon, cut into two equal lengths; one for the inside of the hoop, and one for the outside.

Start the process by wrapping the ribbon around your hoop twice and securing it with strong thread. 

I like to wrap in two layers.  On the first pass, I make overlapping wraps going from left to right.

I wrap twice and add a few stitches before turning and going back in the other direction.

Once I go back from right to left, I do not allow the wraps to overlap, which allows a very smooth surface. At the end, I take the last wrap and secure it with thread.  Make sure that you put any stitching on the correct side; keep it in the inside for the inner loop and the outside for the outer loop.  That way, the bulky areas with stitching will not come into contact with your fabric when stretched over your hoop.

I use the same right to left and left to right method for wrapping the outer hoop.

It does not have to be perfect or even pretty, it just needs to be functional.  The ribbon wrapping will help protect your work from excessive creasing, as well as contact with raw wood..  Depending on your frequency of usage, you may need to re-wrap your hoops every couple of years.  Just clip the threads, re-wrap and sew to secure using the same ribbon, unless it is damaged from use.

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