Software Lessons

Proper Hooping

Learn to hoop and stabilize fabric properly to get the best embroidery sewing.


Hooping fabric properly is as important to your design as digitizing it. We recommend a two-step method that originated in the commercial embroidery world.  This method is also referred to as "Double Hooping."  It helps you to keep your hooped fabric as taut as possible to allow the best embroidery sewing and avoid design distortion. 

Before you begin hooping, you need to stabilize your fabric.  Stabilizer must be larger than your hoop so it can be caught in the hoop.  It should also be adhered to the fabric, either by spray adhesive or by using an iron-on stabilizer.  The idea is to have the stabilizer as close to the fabric as possible to avoid the fabric shifting while it is being sewn. 

As a general rule,

     If you are working with a knit fabric, adhere cutaway stabilizer.  Knits must be stabilized both during embroidery sewing and for the life of the embroidery once removed from the hoop.

     If you are working with a woven fabric, adhere tearaway stabilizer.  Wovens must be stabilized only while the embroidery is being sewn.

Note:  There are always exceptions to general rules, so make sure you do a test sewout.


1.  Using the Clothsetter, insert the outer hoop into the clamp holes and tighten the clamp. The Clothsetter will hold your hoop and keep it from shifting. It will also prevent damage to both the clamp pins and your work surface.

2.  Loosen the hoop screw.

3.  Place the stabilized fabric over the outer hoop.

4.  Insert the inner hoop into the outer hoop. Using your fingers, tighten the hoop screw until the screw won't turn anymore.  What this process does is calibrate, or measure, the thickness of this stabilized fabric for the hoop. 

It is not necessary in this step to align your fabric for proper placement. 

Note: Don't use a screwdriver to tighten the hoop, because that may cause you to tighten too much, which not only could damage the fabric, but can also damage the hoop and/or the hoop screw.

Note: Stopping the hooping process at step 4, just tightening the hoop against the fabric, causes the worst possible situation in embroidery - slack fabric within a tightened hoop. The loose fabric will be pulled up and down with the needle and your design won't sew well. 

5.  Pop out the inner hoop.

6.  Now, insert the inner hoop into the outer hoop to re-hoop. The inner hoop will stretch the fabric equally taut all around the hoop. 

Make sure you align your fabric in this step for proper embroidery placement.


If you are sewing several items that are the same, for example, five tee shirts, you only have to do step 4 once with the first tee shirt.  The following four shirts are the same thickness as the first shirt, so the hoop will be the correct measurement for all of them them.

If you are sewing only one item, it is worth the few seconds of time time to calibrate the fabric thickness, pop out the hoop, and then rehoop to get your embroidery to sew with as few distortions as possible.  

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