How to Know What Size Embroidery Hoop I Need?

Big hoops on machine embroidery (1)

Embroidery hoops come in all sorts of sizes, which can make choosing the right one for your project a bit confusing. So what what size embroidery hoop will work for your embroidery business project?

Let’s jump right in!

What Do Embroidery Hoop Sizes Mean?

hoops to fit an embroidery design on a bag (1)

The size of your hoop is measured straight across the middle, called the diameter.

Hoop sizes are usually given in inches, but sometimes, you might also see hoop sizes in centimeters, especially if you’re buying from a shop that’s not in the United States.

Some common embroidery hoop sizes:

  • 4×4
  • 5×7
  • 6×10
  • 8×8
  • 8×10

Why Does Size Matter?

What size embroidery hoop matters in order to keep your fabric tight and smooth while you stitch.

If your hoop is too small, it just won’t fit right and everything will bunch up. This makes it really hard to stitch neatly and can even damage your fabric.

If your hoop is too big, it’ll be too loose and floppy, and your stitches will be uneven.

What Size Embroidery Hoop Should I Use?: Factors to Consider

what is the best size embroidery hoop (1)

Alright, so you know why what size embroidery hoop you choose matters, but how do you actually choose the right one? There are a few things to keep in mind:

Project Size and Design Complexity

what size embroidery hoop (1)

This one’s pretty straightforward. When it comes to what size embroidery hoop you need to choose the bigger your design, the bigger your hoop needs to be. If you’re stitching a little flower, a small hoop will do just fine. But if you’re working on a big landscape scene, you’ll need a larger hoop to fit everything in.

If your design is super detailed with lots of tiny stitches, a bigger hoop will give you more room to maneuver and see what you’re doing.

A good rule of thumb is to leave at least an inch or two of space around your design in the hoop.

Fabric Type and Hoop Grip

Different fabrics act differently in hoops, so what is the best size embroidery hoop for one fabric may not be the case for the next.

Some fabrics, like linen or cotton, are pretty sturdy and can handle being stretched out in a hoop. But others, like delicate silk or stretchy knits, need a bit more care.

Delicate fabrics might be better in a smaller hoop to avoid damage, while stretchy fabrics might need a larger hoop or one with a tighter grip to keep them from slipping and sliding around.

Personal Comfort and Maneuverability

Stitching should be fun, not a workout! So make sure you choose a hoop that feels good in your hands.

If you have smaller hands, a giant hoop might be awkward and uncomfortable to hold. And if you’re working on a big project, a smaller hoop might mean constantly repositioning your fabric, which can be a pain. 

How to Measure for the Right Hoop Size

what size embroidery hoop should i use (1)

Now that you know what to consider when choosing what size embroidery hoop to use, let’s talk about how to actually figure out the right size for your project.

Grab a ruler or measuring tape and measure the width and height of your design. This will give you the design size. Then, add 1-2 inches to each measurement to give you a little wiggle room to work with and helps keep the fabric nice and taut in the hoop.

Remember, you don’t want to go too big with your hoop. If there’s too much empty space around your design, it can be hard to keep the fabric tight, and your stitches might end up looking wonky. So try to find a hoop that’s just a bit bigger than your design, but not so big that it feels like you’re wrestling with a hula hoop!

Considerations for Design Placement

Most of the time, you’ll want your design to be the star of the show, right in the center of the hoop. This gives it a nice, balanced look, like a bullseye.

Sometimes, you might want to get a little funky and place your design off to one side for a more unique and artistic vibe. However, there’s one important thing to remember when you’re getting creative with placement: the frame!

If you’re planning to frame your finished embroidery in the hoop, make sure you leave enough fabric around the edges of the design. This extra fabric is what you’ll use to attach your work to the hoop backing, whether you’re using glue, stitching, or another method.

Common Embroidery Hoop Sizes and Their Uses

Big hoops on machine embroidery (1)

Embroidery hoops come in a wide range of sizes, but there are a few common ones you’ll see most often when it comes to what size for embroidery you have to choose from:

Small Hoops (3-5 inches)

Small hoops, usually ranging from 3 to 5 inches, are the perfect starting point for beginners or anyone with smaller hands. They are lightweight and easy to handle, making them ideal for learning the basics of embroidery without feeling overwhelmed.

These petite hoops are perfect for…

  • Beginning your embroidery journey
  • Creating patches
  • Adding unique flair to pocket designs
  • Personalizing baby clothes with adorable motifs
  • Working with delicate fabrics like silk or lace

Medium Hoops (6-8 inches)

Medium hoops, usually around 6 to 8 inches across are great for most projects whether embroidering by hand or using a machine.

Medium hoops are great for…

  • Adding a fun design to your towels
  • Stitching a custom logo onto a T-shirt
  • Creating a beautiful piece of framed art

Large Hoops (9 inches and above)

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to tackle some bigger projects, then it’s time to bring out the big guns – the large hoops!

These hoops, measuring 9 inches or more across, are a great choice for…

  • Quilts
  • Big wall hanging
  • Free-motion embroidery, where you move the hoop around freely to create unique designs

Keep in mind that these larger hoops can get a bit heavy and unwieldy, especially if you’re stitching by hand. You can use a handy contraption called a hoop stand to hold the hoop for you, leaving your hands free to stitch away without getting tired.

Embroider the Perfect Size For You with Ricoma!

Still wondering “What size embroidery hoop should I get?” Compare our embroidery machines to fit your business, enhance your designs with our powerful Chroma digitizing software, and learn everything you need to know about hoops on our crafting YouTube channel.

Ricoma is your go-to resource to start your creative business with confidence and ease every step of the way!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like