Can You Embroider Without a Hoop? A Guide about Hoopless Embroidery

Are you looking for ways to avoid embroidery hoops because they cause too much difficulty? To explore more on this, you must exactly know what an embroidery hoop is.

After this, you will be able to point out the flaws of using it. This will motivate you to brainstorm alternatives to an embroidery hoop. This short-term process will help to clear out all your confusion regarding embroidery hoops.

embroidery without a hoop

Can You Embroider without a Hoop?

Yes, you can embroider without a hoop. Embroidery is done without a hoop when you cannot find a suitable hoop easily. Also, when you don’t have a hoop, you will have to consider other embroider ways. 

The best part is that embroidering without as hoops as possible. 

To prevent the fabric from distortion, you have to maintain a reasonably good tension on your fabric. Besides using hands or something else for this whole embroidery process, you can also use a scroll fabric instead. The fabric scroll can be easily created by using basic craft materials or can be bought. 

The fabric scroll works similarly to a hoop. While stitching, you can switch your attention elsewhere without risking your fabric. 

Besides, you have more options too. If you have neither a fabric scroll nor a hoop, you can always use your hands. Keep your fabric between your fingers and your thumb embroider using your hands. Extend it as you stitch to sustain the pressure in the fabric and to minimize damage. 

However, if you are using your hands for the first time, your fingers will get sore. But as you continue to do this, your fingers will get used to it, and your finger muscles will eventually get relaxed. 

Embroidery without a hoop is a tough job, and only practice can help you to master it.

How to Embroider without a Hoop?

1. Using hands

As already discussed, hands are a great option if you want to avoid a hoop. Some people are worried that using hands can make your work less attractive when compared with that worked with a hoop. This is a myth as if you know how to embroider using hands, and your work will appear far better. 

embroidery using hands

If you are not a seasoned embroider, you can first try hand embroidery on a patch. This step-by-step approach will help you to embroider using your hands.

Mark your fabric– before starting, you must always mark your piece of cloth where the embroidery needs to be done.

Start stitching– there is nothing unusual in hand embroidery. You can simply start stitching. You must keep in mind that the amount of tension applied must be appropriate at all times. 

Steam blocking– once your stitching is complete, the stitched area normally appears to be tight compared to an unstitched area. To get rid of this, it is preferable to gently steam the fabric’s backside using an iron. 

Let it cool and repeat the process until your stitching is complete. 

2. Using fabric scroll frames

If you don’t want to use your hands, you can always use a fabric scroll frame. A scroll frame is very helpful to maintain the appropriate tension needed during embroidery. Since it is hands-free, it is less tiring. 

embroidery using fabric scroll frames

Most models of the scroll frames are adjustable, and they come in tabletop or standing designs too. The embroidery process remains the same when a scroll frame is used. The only difference is that the scroll frame is being used in the replacement of a hoop.

3. Applying fusible interfacing material to the back of the fabric

As many problems are created when using a hoop, most people apply fusible interfacing to the fabric’s backside. This helps the fabric to remain the same, and the fabric is neither overstretched nor under stretched.

embroidery by applying fusible interfacing material

 When this method is applied, the sheet of fabric gets a little heavier and thicker. It is best for intensive needlework as ending and starting the thread becomes very easy. Thanks to the second backing layer of the hoop that made this possible. 

Finally, your fabric is safe from all kinds of distortion if you are using this method. Furthermore, it prevents your fabric from fraying too.

However, this method appears to be much more convenient, but there are some drawbacks too. The fabric stays the same doesn’t mean that it will not pucker. If the thread is pulled tightly, the fabric can be damaged. 

To avoid this, you should be gentle when handling it. Also, if the fabric is held too hard in your fist, it will crumble, and then ironing it won’t be possible at all. 

Machine Embroidery without a Hoop:

Now, most of the modern embroidery machines come with the hoops that are included as accessories, which help you to create an even amount of tension on the fabric that prevents it from wrinkles.

But, if you want to embroider without a hoop you can still create effective designs with the best stitching quality. All you have to do is to find a method that creates an equal amount of tension in the fabric, and one of which is using a scroll fabric.

The scroll fabric plays an effective role in maintaining the fabric’s tension, and it enables you to confidently without worrying about the puckering of the cloth.

What is an Embroidery Hoop?

An embroidery hoop is a structure that includes a pair of circular or elliptical coaxial rings. It holds the cloth to provide comfort while sewing the lace in the fabric. Do you know that embroidery hoops are also known as tambour frames? 

embroidery hoop

This name was given because of its historical background. Back in 1700, the tambour hoops were widely used for laces. As time passed, annotations were made into this tambour structure. Gradually, it was converted to what is now commonly known as an embroidery hoop. 

The main thing that differentiates the old and the new hoop is the material. Previously, metals, bones are ivories used, whereas nowadays, plastic and wood are given priority.

Why is an Embroidery Hoop mostly avoided?

Selecting an embroidery hoop that is the most suitable for your fabric is the daring part. The interesting point is that this challenge not only encounters beginners but is also faced by experienced and professional embroiders. 

Now the question arises that why embroiders spend a lot of time exploring the right hoop? This is because obtaining an inappropriate hoop can damage your fabric. Not only this, you can face a complete project failure as a consequence too. 

When talking about the perfect match, size is the main factor. If you end up getting the wrong hoop size for your fabric, issues will be created. To adjust the size repeatedly, you will adapt the hoop accordingly. 

Each time, these adjustments will cause damage not only to the fabric but to the stitches as well. Moreover, if you need to embroider on a tiny area, for example, the collar of a shirt, the hoop cannot be used. This is because the hoop will not fit in this difficult area.

 Similarly, if the embroidery project includes a fabric with an uneven surface, it will not fit into a hoop frame. 

What is an Embroidery Hoop used for?

The main element that decides the success of your embroidery is the hoop. The hoop is where you put your fabric to maintain stability while you’re stitching. Moreover, its major responsibility is to keep the fabric tight. 

While moving along the stitch, the hoop prevents your fabric from getting damaged. As you can see, an important part of the embroidery is being done by the hoop. So can it be replaced? 

A common substitute for this embroidery hoop is the DIY hoop that can be created with recycled materials. It can be formed from a throw-away plastic container. 

Difficulties in using an Embroidery Hoop.

The tricky part is attaching the fabric with the hoop. This is because you must know how tight or loose the attachment should be. However, to avoid damage, this part should be done with perfection.

 A list of steps is therefore used to perform this part accurately. 

Prepare your hoop– you should focus on the size you need for the embroidery and find a suitable hoop accordingly.

Loosen the hoop– a metallic screw opening is present to adjust the hoop. Sometimes, this screw is made of plastic too. After unscrewing the screw, get rid of the hoop.

Place the fabric– an inner ring of the embroidery hoop is the perfect spot for your fabric. One thing that needs to be ensured that the fabric is well spread.

Fix the outer ring– the fabric should overlap all dimensions of the hoop. You should maintain the position of the fabric while tightening the screw. In the end, close the ring but make sure that the fabric is well spread and is intact. 

Secure the fabric in place– the final check is to adjust the final tightness. To avoid hoop marks while stitching, it should not be too tight. On the other hand, it should not be too loose to prevent crumpling of the fabric. 

After all these steps are carried out, you can start with your embroidery. This was a detailed guide for attaching the fabric to the hoop. If you want to skip this time-consuming process, you should avoid using a hoop. 

Imagine that this is only one part of the whole process. If this is too difficult, how tough will be the whole process? To avoid these problems and to save time, people usually prefer other alternatives. 

Moreover, the worst part is that success is not guaranteed even after following all these steps if you are a first-timer. Therefore, it is important to consider other options available except for a hoop.


If you have read all the details mentioned in this guide carefully, you will be sure by now that using a hoop is not an easy task. Most people still want to use it because of the perfection that it provides.

On the other hand, some people prefer hoop less embroidery to avoid all the difficulties in handling it. Moreover, it can be seen that there are many alternative methods available if you don’t want to use a hoop. 

All these methods have their pros and cons. You can now embroider using several methods according to your choice. Depending on the type of embroidery you are doing, your selection may vary. Sometimes, several embroideries are not possible without a hoop like needlework.

What can I use if I don't have an embroidery hoop?

If you don’t have an embroidery hoop, you can create one using recycled materials. If you don’t want to create a DIY embroidery hoop, you can use a scroll frame—the scroll frameworks similarly to a hoop.

If you don’t have that, too, you can use the traditional method of embroidery. You can use your hands to embroider while applying a decent amount of tension to the fabric.

Can embroidery be done by hand?

While advanced sewing machines can fabricate clothing and products in various ways, you can accomplish customized implications by embroidering by hand. Hand embroidery starts with a bit of fabric firmly extended by hand, applying a reasonable amount of tension.

When the first stitch is created, the craftsman will make choices about the thread’s color and the type of lace used. Hand sewing results in a remarkable body of artwork each time it’s created. All you need to embroider by hand is a practice that helps you to reach perfection overtime. 

Can you take embroidery out of the hoop?

Once your embroidery is complete, you can remove your embroidered work from the hoop. Remember to always remove your embroidery hoop without first putting off your embroidery for the day.

Especially before storing it for any amount of time. If the embroidery is not taken out of the hoop carefully, a hoop may end up leaving a crease in a fabric that is irreversible or very difficult to remove.

Can you embroider with regular thread?

There are various threads, but by far, the most common thread used is the regular sewing thread. The only concern you might find is that the regular thread is a little denser, and it can pile up as your embroider.

In other words, you may have more regular thread exposure than you would have with normal embroidery varieties. You can also use Embroidering thread for usual sewing. However, embroidery threads are less costly and can go in and out of every fabric.

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