Hoops are the most difficult to choose among embroidery products. It's hard to tell what the product is like before using it. So, I've used almost everything I can buy on the market.
The best in terms of cost is bamboo hoop. And the bamboo hoops turned out to be better than I originally thought for how cheap it was. The smaller hoops are especially fine. But as the hoops become larger the bamboo hoops struggled to hold the fabric well. In my experience, 3 to 4-inch hoops are good, and up to 6-inch hoops are fine, but the larger bamboo hoops I don’t recommend. If you are using a large sized bamboo hoop, it would be better to wrap the hoop with a masking tape or something of that like.
But, the advantage of using a bamboo hoop is that when decorating the wall, you can stain the hoop to change the color. So, when you're done, and want to place it on a wall, it's a good choice in terms of cost.
Solid Wood Hoops
Most solid wood hoops are usually made of breech wood. Although I found it a little expensive among the wood hoops I used, the hoops from the Klass&Gassmann company made hoops that I think were personally good. In some hoops, there were cases where the fabric was not firm and tight even when the screw was turned. The hoops from this company however held the fabric very well and when the screw was tightened so did the fabric.
Rubber hoops are mainly used for decoration rather than embroidering. It is possible to do embroidery with a rubber hoop, but when the fabric becomes loose, it is a lot harder to make the fabric firmer than it is with a wooden frame.
The fabric should preferably be cotton/cotton blends or linen. Fabrics that do not stretch and fabrics that are not too thin are generally good for embroidering. Any medium weight fabric is a good choice and cotton or linen fabrics should be used without washing.
Commercially available bobbins are paper, plastic, and wood. Paper is not recommended as it will be wrinkled and torn if the thread is wound and unwrapped a few times. Since solid wood is expensive, plastic bobbins are the most common. There are two types of plastic bobbins, general bobbins and rod-shaped bobbins. For general bobbins, it is suitable for the #25 threads or thin ones, and for the rod-shaped bobbins, it is good to use thick threads like DMC 5 yarns.
There are two types of tracing paper used for drawing embroidery patterns on fabrics, the stationary type and the water erasing type. The stationary type tracing paper has the advantages of being cheap and having clearly visible lines when drawn. However, this tracing paper is not easily erased, so it isn’t recommended to use it on a white or light color fabric. And when embroidering on the fabric with this tracing paper, the lines may keep spreading onto the fabric, making the fabric messy. Therefore, it is recommended to use the tracing paper that dissolves in water for professional use whenever possible.
The water erasing paper does have the disadvantage of unclear lines when drawn. However, after drawing the pattern, you can make the drawing clearer by drawing over it with a water-based pen.
Markers (Water based)
It is recommended to draw the pattern onto the fabric with a water-based pen and it is a good idea to make sure that the pen erases easily in water. This is because some pens do not erase easily, even with water. So, when you are removing the water pen marks off after finishing your embroidery, you should softly erase with a wet cotton swab.
This is all the information I gathered on embroidery based on my own experiences. I hope this article helped you! If you are interested in embroidering, but were too worried to start, I personally can recommend you to try it out. Embroidery is not as difficult as you may think, and I think it is a very charming hobby.
By Sue Kim