Durkee Hoops: Five Secrets to Hooping | Colman and Company Blog

Durkee Hoops: Five Secrets to Hooping

There are several tips and tricks to make exceptional embroidery designs. However, nothing will have a bigger impact on your results than proper hooping.

Choosing the right Durkee Hoop for your embroidery project is the first step in developing brilliant, professional embroidered products!

More than anything else, the secret to fantastic embroidery designs rests in perfect hooping. Poor hooping often makes an excellent design look substandard, when there is actually nothing wrong with the design.

Durkee Hoops

Durkee Hoops, when properly applied, will help prevent common annoyances like registration problems, puckered fabric and design misalignment. The right hoop has an tremendous effect on the quality of the finished product.

Of things to look out for when hooping for embroidery, choosing the correct size is on top of the list.

Durkee Hoop sizes are the secret to success

The first rule in choosing the right Durkee Hoop for your embroidery project is measuring the design area.  The embroidery hoop must be as close to the design area as possible.

A hoop that is too large for a compact design and you will be sewing on too much material. The chances are much higher that the fabric will move during stitching. Excess movement in the fabric during embroidery is the leading cause of unsightly puckering.

Commercial embroidery machines can help you with the size hoop. Once you place the design in the system, some programs will recommend the correct size Durkee Hoop. Many machines will determine the sizes based on the embroidery design you want.

5 Secrets to Better Hooping +1

Durkee Hoops are key features in commercial embroidery, but there are five secrets to make hooping better:

  • Wash the fabric prior to applying any embroidery.

Putting it through a wash cycle will help pre-shrink the fabric.  fabric that is not pre-shrunk before embroidery will usually pucker after the first wash. Always use the same wash cycle that you will use on the finished piece later.

  • Use the right stabilizer, topping or backing.

The Durkee Hoop is only one part of the equation. To prevent puckering, stretching or other deformation, use the right stabilizer to support the fabric. Water-soluble topping, laid over stitches-observing fabrics, will prevent the stitches from being absorbed into the fabric.

  • Always use quality embroidery supplies.

After going through the trouble finding the right Durkee Hoop, don’t sidetrack your progress by using low-quality supplies. Embroidery thread is just as essential as the fabric, backing and hooping. Polyester embroidery thread has the durability and performance to ensure the best results every time.

  • Test everything to find the right combination of features.

Using a sample fabric, backing and thread, hoop everything together and try a test run to see if this is the ideal combination of elements for your design project. This will help you know if your choices were right for the design. Keep trying until you find the right combination of materials. Perhaps a tearaway backing is stronger, or a slightly smaller hoop will keep the fabric. You don’t want to find out when it is too late.

  • Change needles regularly.

It is an excellent idea to change needles after about 8 hours of continual use. A worn or bad needle could start looping or missing stitches.

    • +1 – Use a Hooping Device like the All in 1 Hooper – it will absolutely make your life easier and your work more productive!


“Hoopless” embroidery—still needs Durkee Hoops

When  fabric is slick, a design is too small or the item is hard to hoop, some commercial embroiderers will go with “hoopless” embroidery. This is actually a misleading term.  Every embroidered item (with very, very few exceptions) will use a Durkee Hoop.

“Hoopless” refers to hooping the backing or stabilizer, not the material itself. The main material may be “loose,” but attached to a peel and stick backing or by applying a coat of spray adhesive. Either way, the result is the same—the fabric is stable for embroidery.

So, if you ever hear the words “hoopless embroidery,” you still need to reach for a Durkee Hoop. No matter what kind of embroidery you choose, you will still have to hoop, and hoop right.

Colman and Company have the right Durkee Hoop for any type commercial embroidery machine. For more information on hooping your items properly, visit www.colmanandcompany.com or call 800-891-1094.