How to Bind an Embroidery Hoop




Introduction: How to Bind an Embroidery Hoop

About: I'm a community manager here at instructables! Mountain hermit by day, stitch witch at night. Not a fan of social media, but sometimes you can find me on Twitter at @makingjiggy ^_^

Have you ever had a wooden embroidery hoop that never seemed to fit together right? Or embroidered on a wooden hoop and had to constantly tighten the screw and pull at the fabric?

Binding your hoop will fix these problems and more!

To bind an embroidery hoop, you wrap a strip of fabric, ribbon or twill tape around one of the rings of the hoop. This extra bit of fabric will slightly increase the thickness of the hoop, upping the friction inside. This means the hoop will hold your fabric tighter for longer!

Binding is something that will allow you to use hoops that are slightly warped or off, as oval hoops and larger wooden hoops tend to be. Binding the inner ring of these hoops will allow the outer ring to stretch out more evenly.

Binding a hoop is also a great for extremely fragile fabrics, as a wooden hoop is not the softest tool ever made. Same goes for large embroidery pieces where you're moving the hoop around quite a lot and hooping over the stitches.

If you like this instructable, please check out my Hand Embroidery Class for even more in-depth instructions!

Here's some of what I cover in the class:

  • two sampler patterns and a final maker-themed pattern to help you learn 11 new stitches
  • video and photo walkthroughs of each stitch
  • instructions for transferring embroidery patterns
  • how to finish your embroideries and frame them in wooden hoops
  • washing, blocking and drying embroideries
  • instructions for making your own custom patterns

Step 1: Tools + Materials

  • Fabri-Tac glue
  • scissors
  • clothespins
  • wooden hoop
  • sewing needle + all purpose thread
  • 1/2 inch wide cotton twill tape or other fabric or ribbon of choice - get 3+ yards!

I love to use 1/2 inch wide cotton twill tape for my hoop binding. It's easy to use and fits them really well.

Cotton is your best choice for binding material here - you don't want any fabric or ribbon that's silky or slippery.

Binding does take quite a bit of yardage - I bought three yards of twill tape and only finished three hoops with it. Keep that in mind while shopping. :)

Step 2: Starting the Binding

Place the end of the binding at an angle inside the embroidery hoop so there's a small tail of binding hanging over the outside edge. (You will figure out the angle as you go, it's easy to adjust!)

We want to start and end our binding in the inside of the hoop so we avoid bumps on the outside.

Use a clothespin to fold over and hold down the end of the tape on the outside of the hoop. :)

Step 3: Winding the Binding

Begin to wind the binding around the hoop.

There is one goal here: NO OVERLAPPING!

Overlapping will lead to lumps and bumps you don't want. It's better to have a little bit of space between your wraps than to stack them on top of one another.

(If you do find yourself overlapping and you're unable to fix it, keep the overlapping on the inside of the hoop!)

Use additional clothespins to hold your finished wrapping into place.

Step 4: How Your Bound Hoop Should Look

See how smooth the tape is? That's what you want. :D

Step 5: Keep on Winding Until You Reach the Start

Hopefully things went well and your ends line up nicely. If not, try moving the twill tape around the hoop, scooting it around to make extra room.

Now we'll tuck the short tail under the long one and sew or glue it closed!

Step 6: OPTIONAL: Secure the Short End With Glue

I find that it's easiest to secure the shorter tail end to the inside of the hoop first with glue.

Trim the shorter tail so the ribbon does not extend past the edge of the hoop.

Apply a little glue and hold the ribbon in place for a moment to tack it down!

Step 7: Secure the Long Tail

Fold the long tail over the short tail and line up the sides of the ribbon so it's not overlapping the neighbors. Don't cut the end quite yet!

Securing with Glue

Apply some Fabri-Tac to the short tail and press the longer tail down into place. Hold it until it's secure! Then trim the end.

Securing with Sewing

Thread a needle and sew down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side of the ribbon. Don't worry about pretty - as long as it's tacked down to the ribbon under it, that's all that matters! Once it's sewn, knot the thread and cut off the excess twill tape.

Step 8: BOOM! You Just Finished Binding a Hoop

Assemble the hoop and stare at all that majesty. :D

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    5 years ago

    I have tested a number of materials for binding a hoop, because I have had a series of embroidery machines, and stabilizing fabric as it is embroidered is super critical. The best I've found for the job is surgical tape that sticks to itself instead of the skin. You can find both name brand and generic in drugstores and dollar stores. It's slightly stretchy, and you won't need the clothes pins; as soon as soon as you do your first loop around, it sticks to itself. Best yet, it's very slightly sticky, which helps keep the fabric in place as well. An additional bonus is you won't gum up your hoop, and it lasts practically indefinitely.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Mind blown! That's so smart. I have never considered that. :D


    5 years ago

    I'm going to caution against using the sticks-to-itself surgical tape. Since it only sticks to itself; the only difference it will make is in not having to sew the ends. I used this when our dog had an injury to his leg. It was the only tape I could wrap around his leg that would not stick to his fur. The only way it would help in the wrapping is if you overlap the wraps and the instructions repeatedly say not to do that. Also, it is more expensive than the other suggested products.


    6 years ago

    jessy you are blowing my mind this solves so many of my embroidery problems. also it makes the hoops look like cute cushions, A+