Whether you use a machine or embroider by hand, getting your fabric in a hoop to start the process can be time consuming, depending on both the fabric used and the area you have to work with. Traditional screw clamping mechanisms take more time to prepare, as compared to more modern methods using snaps, magnets or adhesives to hold fabric in place for embroidery.
Hoops that use magnets eliminate the need for tightening clamps, which prevents the possibility of hoop burn on fabric. Simply hoop the stabiliser, place the metal frame on the inside of your hooped stabiliser, place and centre your fabric on the stabiliser, lay the appropriate sized plastic frame on top of the metal frame inside the hoop and then place your magnets on all four corners of your plastic frame. Magnetic hoops are great for thicker, hard-to-embroider fabrics or fabrics that are difficult to hoop with traditional methods. Magnetic hoops are designed to work with specific sewing machines and should not be used with machines not listed by the manufacturer.
Snap hoops are the quickest way to prepare fabric for embroidery. Simply place the fabric over the hoop and click the snap clamps in place. Snap hoops are often used in hand embroidery as well as machine embroidery. Some snap hoops have a plastic frame that you can place over the fabric to be hooped, which fits inside the hoop and has a single handle that moves to snap clamps in place, ensuring a tight hoop of your fabric. This feature can be useful if you have difficulty pressing the snap clamps in place.
To prepare fabric for embroidery, some manufacturers have used adhesives on frames to hold fabric securely. The frame attaches to the sewing machine so that it is secure. To use the frame, place adhesive over the frame, place the fabric centred on the frame and press down so it will stick to the adhesive. This method of "hooping" is particularly useful for delicate fabrics that can tear easily under the tension of traditional hoop methods.
When doing embroidery, you must use a stabiliser on your fabric. Spray-on stabilisers are faster to use than cutaway or tearaway stabilisers, which may have to be cut to the size of the frame being used or need to be removed later. Keep in mind that spray-on stabilisers tend to create build-up on your embroidery hoop over time and are to be used for temporary stabilisation.
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