Not all embroidery hoops are created equal. I'm looking at you, unfinished bamboo hoops (the common craft store hoop). This is because some hoops have nicks or uneven tension between the inner and outer hoops. If you're stitching and you find your fabric coming loose or warping, you might want to consider wrapping or binding your embroidery hoop.
Binding, also known as wrapping, is an inexpensive way to make any hoop work a little better. By wrapping your hoop with a layer of fabric or tape, you're creating an even surface around the hoop, and thus creating even tension between the inner and outer hoops.
So, how do you bind an embroidery hoop?
Here's what you'll need:
Let's wrap a hoop:
1. Choose a wrapping material. This can be twill tape, bias tape, or fabric scraps. Twill tape is available in a package or spool and comes in various widths. Bias tape, often used to hem dresses is another great option because it is meant for curves. If you don't have either of these options, fabric cut into a long rectangular strip .5 to 1 inch wide will do the trick.
2. First, separate the two hoops. You can wrap either the inner or outer hoops, or both. I usually find that wrapping the inner hoop is enough. Using the inner hoop and the wrapping material, bind the inner hoop. Start by holding the wrapping material along the inner portion of the hoop at an angle, then wrap your binding material around the hoop. You may need to hold the end of the wrapping material for the first few wraps. Be sure to overlap the wrapping material by about half too it's width each time.
3. As you wrap, make sure the wrapping material is laying smoothly on the hoop. If you find any lumps, bumps or wrinkles, unwrap that section. You want a smooth surface so that you're creating even tension when the outer and inner hoops are sandwiched together.
4. When you've wrapped your binding all the way around the inner hoop, use your needle and thread to stitch the end to the binding to the wrapped hoop.
5. Now you're ready to use your hoop! Just like you normally would. Place your fabric on top of the inner hoop, and sandwich the outer hoop on top. With the binding in place and the tension adjusted, your fabric should stay firmly in place.
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