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How To Bind Your Embroidery Hoop

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In this short tutorial I am going to show you why and how to bind your embroidery hoop.

bound embroidery hoops

Why To Bind Your Embroidery Hoop

You might be wondering why you should bind your embroidery hoop. There are several reasons for this.  

1. You might embroider on a delicate fabric such as silk or organza. Both are very slippery and fine. To get a nice embroidery finish you want the fabric to sit as tight as possible in your hoop. But, an unbound hoop might not hold these fabrics tight enough and tension might loosen when you stitch. A bound embroidered hoop will give some more resistance and so, reducing slip of your silk or organza.  

2. Some hoops can have rough or sharp edges which can damage your fabric, especially if you use finer fabric for your embroidery project. Binding your hoop will protect your fabric.  

3. If you plan to hang your embroidery with the frame, a bound frame in coordinated colours looks really pretty. It is a great alternative to painting the hoop or using the plain frame.

What you’ll need

  • Scissors
  • Double sided tape, fabric or craft glue such as PVA – to secure your fabric to the hoop when you start binding
  • Needle and thread – to secure your fabric once your have finished binding the hoop. A curved needle is easier, as you can bring the needle ‘around’ when stitching against the hard hoop. You could glue the fabric at the end, but sewing is less messy and neater.
  • Strips of fabric – See the next point for further detail

What Fabric To Use And Preparing The Fabric Strips

As you are binding both the inner and outer hoop, the fabric for binding the hoops cannot be too thick. You still need to be able to fasten the screw at the top to fix your embroidery fabric. I tend to use cotton, which works well.  You want to have some stretch in your fabric strips so that the binding is as smooth as possible without any bumps and creases. To achieve this cut your fabric on the bias, which means you are cutting it diagonally. You can also buy ready to use bias tape. If you use bias-cut fabric strips use a width of between 2.5 – 5 cm (1.5 – 2 in).

Another option is to use some light weight cotton such as cotton lawn and tear or cut your strips. If you choose this method make sure you tear or cut along the cross grain. This is the line between the two edges or selvedges of the fabric.

If you have a piece of fabric without the selvedge in tact and don’t know where the original edges are, take the fabric in both hands and pull it in different directions. You’ll find the biggest stretch on the bias (diagonally), then a medium stretch on the cross grain (side to side) and very little to no stretch on the straight grain (top to bottom). For this option us a narrower width of about 2-3cm (0.8 – 1.2 in).

The length of the fabric strip will depend on the size of your embroidery hoop and the width of your fabric strip.   In this tutorial I used some Liberty Cotton lawn torn into strips of about 2cm (0.8 inches) wide. The length of my strip is about 3 x the circumference of the embroidery hoop. While winding I overlap the fabric by approximately 1 cm (0.4 inches)

Binding your hoop

To bind your hoop stick a small piece of double sided tape to the edge of the outer hoop just underneath the screw. If you are using glue, place a small drop of glue instead of the tape. Take one end of the fabric strip and stick against the tape or the glue. Start winding the fabric strip slightly angled around the hoop. If you have more than one fabric strip, wind one strip to the end and then cover the end with the next fabric strip. Make sure you keep both fabric strips tight. At the end fold over the end of the fabric strip and secure it with a few stitches.  Once finished with the outer hoop continue winding fabric around the inner hoop in the same way.

I have created a short online tutorial on Skillshare. The class is absolutely free to watch.


I hope you found this tutorial helpful.

If you are interested in hand embroidery techniques, you might be interested in my hand embroidery class ‘Contemporary Hand Embroidery 101: Foundational Stitches and Techniques’. I created this online class with the beginner in mind that covers everything you need to know to get you started with hand embroidery. Learn more.

I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.

Happy Stitching!

You might find the following posts helpful to get you started with your embroidery journey.

6 Essential Supplies For Hand Embroidery

How To Start And Finish Your Embroidery Thread

Quick Trick How To Thread Up and Knot Your Embroidery Thread

8 Tips To Be More Productive When Crafting

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  1. I have been embroidering for years! And just recently learned about binding the hoop! Thanks for the tutorial. I’m going to try this!

    1. Hi Robin, So glad you will try the tutorial. Let me know if you have any questions! Happy Stitching! Heidi

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