I can't tell you how many times people ask me the question 'What do you need an Embroidery Hoop for?', so I thought I'd show you all!
An embroidery hoop is an essential item if you want to do freemachine embroidery on fabric that is not very thick. It consists of two pieces of circular wood, the inner one is a whole circle, the outer one has the ability to become tighter / looser with a tightening screw.
The best piece of advice I was ever given was by a lady named Hillary, a tutor of mine when I did my Fashion Degree (cough) some years ago now. She was an embroiderer, belonging to the Embroiderers Guild, and was very patient with me when I was learning.
She told me to wrap bias-binding around the inner circle of the embroidery hoop, very tightly, as pictured below.
Why do this? It protects the fabric you're working on, avoids stretching it and pulling it out of shape.
Place the outer ring on the work surface as above.
Lay the fabric on top.
Lay the inner hoop on top, then press it down inside the outer hoop, making sure the fabric is evenly distributed.
Your fabric needs to be really taught, so that if you flick it the noise is drum like.
Carefully guide the hoop under the needle and foot, making sure the fabric is at the bottom.
I hope you've found that helpful, I have a range of different sized hoops and it really helps keep the fabric taught on the larger ones!
Have a great day!