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Embroidery Hoops - Types and Craft Ideas

Embroidery hoops are two hoops, one that fits inside the other used to stretch and hold fabric in place. The larger hoop has a tightening device that allows you to clamp the two pieces together and stretch the fabric that you are working on.  They are typically made of wood, but can be purchased in colorful plastic as well. As the name suggests, they are typically used for embroidery, but quilters, sewers, and even painters have been known to use embroidery hoops.

Embroidery Hoops Types and Materials | Discount Craft Supplies

Embroidery Hoop Types and Materials


  • Hand-held - these hoops usually range in size from 4" to 12".  They are lightweight, portable, less bulky, and less expensive.
  • Quilting - these hoops are 12" or larger, and are used to hand quilt the top, batting, and quilt back together.
  • Spring tension - will not leave marks on your fabric, nor will they leave large creases.  Plastic rings are composed of two parts:  a plastic ring and a metal ring with a spring adjustment on it.  These are lightweight and perfect for taking your project with you.
  • Ballpoint painting - a metal hoop with a metal lip that protects your hand from paint. Useful for projects where you paint on fabric and need the fabric to lay flat and smooth.
  • Machine embroidery hoops -help keep fabric from bunching during machine embroidery; be sure to purchase the hoop that is right for your machine.  Always use stabilizer.

Susan Bates Embroidery Hoops


  • Floor stand - helpful when both hands are needed in sewing, and perfect for large projects like blankets, quilts, or rugs.  Stands usually require assembly.  They allow the hoop to tilt and most have an adjustable height.  Many stands have a removable hoop for smaller projects.  Some stands are foldable or collapsible for easy storage.

Embroidery Floor Stand


  • Wood - wood hoops are lightweight and portable, and make achieving even tension a breeze.
  • Plastic - available in the traditional style with a tension screw at the top of the outer ring, or in spring tension form with a metal ring that fits inside the outer plastic ring. Susan Bates makes plastic embroidery hoops in many neon colors.

Sizes of Embroidery Hoops (measured in diameter)

Embroidery hoops come in a wide variety of sizes, from very small to exceptionally large.  A 5-7" diameter hoop is good for everyday embroidery.  Special projects may require larger or smaller hoops.  For example, embroidering a handkerchief may require a small hoop because it is a small piece of fabric, while a quilt may require a much larger hoop, possibly on a stand.

Embroidery Hoop Shapes

  • Round - The most commonly used embroidery hoops. They are easiest to hold and come in a wide variety of sizes.
  • Oval - Best for wider embroidery and quilting projects. Sizing is much more limited.
  • Square - generally meant for sewing machine use when machine embroidering.

Square Embroidery Hoop

Brands that Carry Embroidery Hoops

More Embroidery Hoop Information and Inspiration

For information on Aida Cloth, the woven fabric typically used in embroidery and cross stitching, visit the aida cloth buying guide.

For information on using embroidery floss, visit the embroidery floss buying guide.

 Inspiration and Uses for Embroidery Hoops

  • Embroidery
  • Cross-stitching
  • Needlepoint
  • Hand Quilting
  • Ballpoint Painting
  • Use hoops as wall art-frame embroidery or fabric remnants

Projects Using Embroidery Hoops

Winter Snowman Hoop Art

Upcycle T-shirt Hoop Art

Beachy Dream Catcher

Embroidery Hoop Memo Board

Embroidery Hoop Memo Board


Find more project ideas with embroidery hoops at!



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