Embroidery machines are wonderful because you become a designer—a creator—an artist. The challenge as I’m sure many of you have discovered—is having the right tools to execute your creative ideas. Traditional hoops don’t always fit your needs. I understand this challenge—I face it daily in my sewing room. That’s why I try to solve these challenges with helpful tools that address specific challenges. The question of the day seems to be, “If I already have Magna-Hoop, why do I need Snap-Hoop?” Magna-Hoop, Magna-Quilter and Snap-Hoop are very different hoops. So let’s take a look at the differences and similarities.
|Fits in a standard hoop||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Stabilizer is required for hold frames in hoop||No||No||Yes||No|
|Hoops small items (coasters, straps, etc)||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Holds a quilt sandwich with no additional stabilizer||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Diminishes the size of the sewing field||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Is recognized by the machine||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Eliminates hoop burn||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can tug on fabric and not distort fibers||Yes||Yes||Maybe||Maybe|
|Handles delicate embroidery projects||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Best for:||Quilt blocks, continuous embroidery, knits||Quilting||Small items||Towels and continuous embroidery|
|Minute fabric adjustments are easy to make||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Just like selecting stabilizer, selecting a hoop depends on many factors: the size of the item to be embroidered, the weight of the fabric, the size of the embroidery design and the intricacies of the embroidery design. You should understand that the best tension you’ll ever achieve will be in the smallest standard hoop available for the design. With that being said, that doesn’t mean that the smallest standard hoop can handle the rest of the job – weight and bulk of fabric or size of the item.
This is how I evaluate an embroidery project. I look at the fabric and determine its limitations – possibility of hoop burn, bulk and weight of fabric. Heavy towels go in Magna-Hoop Jumbo. Velvet, silks and sheers perform well in Magna-Hoop, Magna-Hoop Jumbo and Snap-Hoop.
Next, I evaluate the embroidery design. Does it have an intricate outline? If so, a standard hoop, Magna-Hoop, or Magna-Hoop Jumbo might be the best choice. Snap-Hoop is definitely a possibility here and a test stitch-out will verify the best selection.
Ninety percent of my embroidery projects on knits are now done in Snap-Hoop. I just fuse polymesh stabilizer to the wrong side of the fabric and secure it in Snap-Hoop. I can stitch close to the neckline without stretching or distorting the stretchy fabric.
If your focus is on small items – cuffs, collars and the like, then Magna-Hoop is the right choice.
Examine the embroidery tasks you do on a regular basis. Use the table above to determine what hoop is best for you when you answer the following questions. Do you lean towards quilting projects? Do you find yourself monogramming towels all the time? Is fashion embroidery your forte? Do you struggle with getting items hooped squarely? Do your hands hurt from the repetitive act of hooping? I am happy to say my hands are now pain-free after using Snap-Hoop, Magna-Quilter and Magna-Hoops on a regular basis.
Why do you need one of these hoops? You don’t NEED one, but they sure do make embroidery a whole lot easier to accomplish.