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

Are you looking for ways to avoid embroidery hoops?

embroidery without a hoop

Can You Embroider without a Hoop?

Yes, you can embroider without a hoop!

If you cannot find a suitable hoop easily then you can embroider without one.

It’s very important to maintain reasonably good tension on your fabric. This prevents the fabric from being distorted. And, instead of using your hands, you can use a scroll fabric instead. A fabric scroll works very similar to a hoop.

Also, some people only use their hands by keeping the fabric between theirs fingers and thumb embroider using your hands. You then extend it as you stitch to sustain the pressure in the fabric (and minimize damage). 

Most people who do use their hands only, if you are using them for the first time, will have sore finegers—just be aware of this. Obviously, its only temporary. The more you embroider without using a hoop the more your fingers will get used to it. 

Embroidering by hand (without a hoop) is harder to do but with practice you can master it.

How to Embroider without a Hoop?

1. Using hands

Some people are worried that using hands can make your work less attractive compared to working with a hoop. This is, of course, a myth.
For most projects—if you do know how to embroider using hands, and are practiced at it—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.

First, Mark your fabric. Before starting, mark your piece of cloth where the stitching will be done.

Next, Start stitching. There is nothing unusual in hand embroidery—you can simply start stitching.
You should keep in mind that the amount of tension applied must be appropriate at all times. 

Finally, Steam blocking. The stitched area will appear to be tight compared to unstitched areas.
To alleviate this, 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. Scroll frames for needlepoint are very helpful to maintain the appropriate tension needed during embroidery. Since it is hands-free, you’ll find that it will also be 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 is still the same when a scroll frame is used. The only difference is that you are using a scroll frame instead of a hoop.

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

Using a hoop can create a host of problems, so most people apply fusible interfacing to the fabric’s backside. This will help the fabric remain the same, 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. This method also prevents your fabric from fraying as well.

However, there are some drawbacks. If the thread is pulled tightly, the fabric may become damaged (or pucker). Be gentle when handling it. If the fabric is held too hard in your fist, it will crumble, and then even ironing it won’t be possible at all. 

Machine Embroidery without a Hoop:

Most modern embroidery machines come with the hoops that are included as accessories. This can help you create an even amount of tension on the fabric and prevents it from wrinkling.

But, if you want to embroider without a hoop you can still create effective designs with great stitching quality. Just find a method that creates an equal amount of tension in the fabric similar to the scroll frames discussed earlier.

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. Embroidery hoops are also known as tambour frames (click this link to get a selection of ideas on amazon.com).

embroidery hoop
Clicking on the image will show you selection of Tambor Frames on Amazon.

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 difference is the material. Previously, metals, bones and ivory was used, whereas today you only find plastic and wood mostly.

Why is an Embroidery Hoop mostly avoided?

The wrong hoop can damage your fabric and the stitches as well. And, if you need to embroider on a tiny area like the collar of a shirt, the hoop cannot be used—since 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 hoop is where you put your fabric to maintain stability while you’re stitching—its role is to keep the fabric tight. 

While moving along the stitch, the hoop is will prevent your fabric from getting damaged.

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

Here is a brief video that shows you how to make a DIY hoop from recycled materials.

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.

 Follow these steps: 

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. Be careful because this screw may be made of plastic. 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. Make sure 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 now 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. Because, the worst part is that success is not guaranteed—even after following all these steps—if you are a first-timer. Therefore, you may want to consider other options.

Conclusion

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.

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.

FAQs
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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