A Cross Stitch Hoop will hold your aida cloth or fabric taut and straight to help insure even cross stitching. It will help you avoid puckering or loose threads in your cross stitch project. It also simply helps you see the overall project at a glance to make sure you are correctly stitching and using the right floss colors. Plus, it is always fun to watch the beauty of the image “unfold” right before your eyes.
There are a few cross stitch tools that are fabulous to own, but an embroidery hoop is an essential tool for most cross stitch projects. The hoop size depends on the project.
Selecting the Right Size Cross Stitch Hoop
Handi-stitch 5 Piece Hand Embroidery, Quilting and Cross Stitch Hoop Set – 5 Inch to 11 Inches (Sizes 11.2″, 9.4″, 8″, 6.5″ & 5″)or 12.7-28.5cm – Various Colors and Size for all needlecraft needs!!!If you are making a small cross stitch ornament, you probably will not even need a hoop. Often the strength of the aida cloth is sufficient for these types of smaller, fast projects. However, if you do want a hoop, it would only require a small 3″ or 4″ cross stitch hoop.
If you are stitching a cross stitch picture, or any of the larger projects like a tree skirt or stocking, you will definitely need a hoop. Again, the size will depend on the actual design, but ideally you want a hoop that will surround the image design.
You really don’t want to use a hoop that will not completely encompass the entire image. Using a smaller hoop results in having to move it while you are stitching and at some point, you would be pressing the hoop together over sewn stitches. That will press down the floss, as well as the aida cloth, and can distort the design you are so lovingly stitching. However, in some cases that is simply not avoidable. If you must use a frame that cannot surround the entire image, avoid pulling the fabric once the hoop is tighten down. You will need to carefully iron the back side of the project when you are finished stitching.
For large pictures, I would recommend using a standing tapestry floor frame instead of a hoop.
Types of Cross Stitch Hoops
There are two types of embroidery hoops used for cross stitch. The tension hoop is tightened with a screw and is the one most commonly used. It will hold a variety of cloths weight taut while you stitch. However, there is also a spring hoop that some believe is easier to use, but could only be recommended for light weight fabrics.
Either of these hoop style come with two hoop pieces that fit together, one hoop inside of the other.