Cross-stitching is fun and easier to do than other needlework. It is a flexible craft as it does not follow a strict rule or procedure. Of course, you have to follow patterns but the materials and tools are not too difficult to alter.
Take the case of the needles, fabrics, and hoops. You have the freedom to choose which one works best for you. The same goes for deciding whether to use cross-stitch hoops or not.
Hoops are useful and important in needlework such as embroidery and cross-stitch. They keep the fabric stretched and firm in place. Using cross-stitch hoops prevent distortion of your fabrics as you do the stitches.
Although hoops are important, you may still choose not to use them on your projects. It all depends on your preference or the kind of fabric you are working on. Some fabrics like the Aida are a bit firmer than fabrics such as evenweave and linen.
Because you can choose your fabrics for your project, you can also decide if you want to use hoops or not. Some cross-stitch enthusiasts use hoops regardless of the fabrics they use.
Some cross-stitch crafters opt not to use hoops, especially if they are working on Aida fabric. Again, the decision depends on you. What you have to understand is that using hoops makes stitching easier and precise.
Hoops give you better tension on your fabric. They also help you to see the uniformity of your stitches. It means you are likely to make neat and even stitches.
So, to answer whether you need hoops on your cross-stitch project? Yes, hoops work wonders for your cross-stitch projects.
List of Contents:
Advantages of Using Hoops
- Hoops secure your fabric in place while you work on your stitches.
- You get to make even stitches on your fabric.
- They keep your fabric square up and allow you to see its center easily.
- Hoops give you a better view of the fabric weaves. This makes it easy to know where to put your stitches.
- They prevent your fabric from getting wrinkles or creases. Holding your fabric without hoops tends to crumple or wrinkle it.
How Do You Cross Stitch With A Hoop?
Most cross-stitch enthusiasts use hoops on their fabrics whether it is Aida or linen. The hoops are practical tools for these fabrics as they tend to fray when cut or handled often. To help you understand how to cross-stitch using hoops, read on these tips.
- Prepare the fabric
Before you put the hoops around your fabric, make sure to bind or baste its edges. This will prevent the fabric from fraying. If you do not want to sew the edges, you may use masking tape to secure the edges.
- Determine the fabric center
You need to find the center of your fabric before putting the hoops on. This is to ensure that your design will be in the center of the material.
To do this, you need to fold your fabric in half. Press the edge of the fold to make sure the marking is visible. Then, fold again the fabric in half the other way. Press the edge of the fold to make more intense fold marking.
Mark the center. You can make a small stitch on the center of the fabric.
- Putting the hoops
Get your hoops and loosen its screw. Put the small hoop on a flat and sturdy surface. Then, place your fabric on top of the small hoop. Make sure that you put the center of the fabric in the middle part of the hoop.
Get the bigger hoop and put it over the small hoop with the fabric. Now, the two hoops have sandwiched the fabric. See to it that the fabrics have enough tension. But, do not pull it too tight as it can deform the weave of the fabric.
Next is to tighten the screw of the hoops. Now, your fabric is ready and you may start cross-stitching.
How Do You Do Cross Stitch Without A Hoop?
Using hoops is a personal choice. Some cross-stitch enthusiasts use them to ensure that the fabric is firm and tight as they stitch. Some do not mind holding the fabric during the process. Whether you want to use hoops or not is your decision.
Earlier, you have learned how to use hoops on your fabric. This time, you will learn how to cross-stitch without using hoops.
You will need the following materials.
- Embroidery needle and floss
- Cross Stitch Chart
- Read the Pattern
Get the cross-stitch chart or pattern. The grid of the chart resembles the weave of the fabric. Check on the pattern to know where you will start your first stitch.
- Wash and Press the Fabric
Before you start the actual cross-stitching, you need to wash your fabric first. This is to make sure you will have a clean fabric for your project.
After washing fabric, hang it to dry. Once it has dried up, press the fabric to remove the wrinkles.
- Prep the Fabric
Once ironed, you now need to find its center. Fold the fabric in half, then fold it again the other way. Press the edges to make noticeable markings. Put a small stitch at the center of the fabric.
- Bind the Edges
Since woven fabrics are easy to fray, it is best to sew their edges. You can use zig-zag stitches to lessen the fraying of the fabric.
- Start Cross-Stitching
After you have prepared and marked the fabric, you can now start the stitching. Begin your first stitch from back to front. Then, follow what your pattern tells you to finish your design.
- Finish the Project
Once you have completed the design, sew the edges of the fabric. Depending on what you want to do with your project. If you want to frame it, then you need a suitable frame for it and a backing material or felt.
In case you want to use it like a pillowcase, you will need to attach a thin fabric at the back. This thin fabric will serve as your backing material.
The challenges you might encounter here are the fabric wrinkling and uneven stitches. But if you are an experienced cross-stitch crafter, these might not be a big concern to you.
What Size Hoop Do I Need For Cross Stitch?
Cross-stitch and embroidery hoops are available in ⅜ inch (10mm) deep. Their size ranges from 3 to 14 inches (8 to 36 cm.) in diameter. You can buy hoops in different styles and materials like wood and plastic.
The size of the hoop must be big enough to encase the completed cross-stitch projects. When you buy hoops, make sure that they are a little smaller than your project and fabric. This is to make sure you can sandwich the fabric well and taut.
You must choose hoops that hold the fabric tight. Make sure that there is some fabric excess that hangs outside the hoops.
Buy hoops that are easy to handle. Big hoops are a bit tiresome to use. You need to use both hands to hold and keep them in place.
What Is The Best Cross Stitch Frame?
If you have big cross-stitch projects, you should use frames instead of hoops. There are three types of cross stitch frames.
- Rotating Frames
- Roller Frames
- No-Sew Frames
- Rotating Frames
These frames are advisable for large projects and fabrics. In choosing the right frame, make sure that it is wide enough for the size of your fabric.
The height is not an issue here because rotating frames roll up the fabric to adjust. Rotating frames have sidebars and tapes to hold and secure the fabric. Buy a frame that is a bit smaller than your fabric.
- Roller Frames
You put the fabric in this frame by sewing it to the frame using the attached tape strip. You need to roll up your fabric until the center of your fabric gets in the middle.
- No-Sew Frames
These have the same principles as the rotating and roller frames. The only difference is that this type of frame has roller bars that clip the fabric.
To choose the right frame, consider these factors.
- Easy to use
Whichever you think possesses these properties, then that is the best frame for you.
All frames and hoops are adjustable. However, make sure that you buy those that are suitable for most of your project sizes.
Cross-stitching is a portable hobby. It is a smart choice to find frames that are compact and handy. It means you can bring it anywhere you go.
Choose long-lasting frames. They may be inexpensive, but still using it for years is a practical reason.
Easy to use
Do not get hoops or frames that are tricky to use. Look for frames that only use screws, clips, and rollers to mount your fabric and adjust its tension.
You might still have a few questions about cross-stitch hoops. To help you clarify your concerns, here are some answers to common questions about hoops.
- What is the difference between a cross-stitch hoop and an embroidery hoop?
Embroidery hoops are the same hoops you use for cross-stitch. You may buy them in different styles and materials. Hoops are adjustable, so you can enclose thin or thick fabrics without a problem.
- Can you use an embroidery hoop for cross-stitching?
As explained earlier, embroidery hoops are the same hoops for cross-stitching. Even cross-stitch fabrics are thicker, these hoops can enclose them well. The adjustable screw at the top makes it easier to loosen or tighten the hoops.
How Do You Put Aida In A Hoop?
You know that hoops work wonder in cross-stitching. These tools hold your fabric tight for even and beautiful stitches.
The following are easy steps you can follow to make sure that you mount your Aida cloth well on your hoops.
Buy hoops that fit your fabric. The hoops should be a little smaller than your project and fabric.
- Once you have them, wipe the hoops to ensure they are clean. You do not want your fabric to get dirty, right?
- Separate the hoops and give each hoop a thorough wipe. You may need to loosen the screw on top as preparation for the later process.
- After cleaning the hoops, wash your hands too. This is to make sure you won’t cause the fabric to get dirty.
- When everything is ready, put the smaller hoop on a flat surface.
- Put the fabric on top of the smaller hoop. Make sure that the center of your fabric is in the middle of the fabric. You may check the process on how to find the center of the fabric from the earlier part of this article.
- Once you have placed the fabric, get the larger hoop and place it on top of the fabric. Notice that you are going to sandwich your Aida cloth with the two hoops.
- Press the larger hoop. Make sure that you loosen the screw, so you will not pull the fabric too tight. Once you have pressed down the larger hoop, check if the cloth is taut and square up.
- If you want to adjust the fabric, take out the larger hoop, and make the adjustments. Do not pull the overhanging fabric as it will deform the weave of the Aida cloth.
- After squaring up the fabric, tighten up the screw. Again, do not make it too tight as it might distort the weave of the fabric. Tight hoops can also cause an unpleasant dent on your fabric.
- After you have tightened the screw, you’re done and ready for cross-stitching.
Cross-stitching is one of the easiest needlework you can pursue. There are few variations in the stitches and the materials are basic. This hobby is more flexible than others. You have options to choose your materials and tools.
There is no strict rule on what needle to use or whether you need to use hoops or not. You have more control over your projects and the choice of materials. Take hoops for instance.
These can help you make beautiful creations, but you may or may not use them. The decision of whether to use hoops and frames depends on your personal preference.