Have you ever been frustrated when your machine embroidery hoop sizes don't match the size it will stitch? The answer to this is understanding the difference between Hoop Sizes and Embroidery fields. Hoop sizes refer to the maximum area of fabric that can fit into your machine embroidery hoop—still, the actual size of the stitched field is smaller.
Buying a machine for embroidery can be challenging, especially for those with little experience in the field. One of the most common questions we receive from beginner buyers is about the difference between the size of their fingers and the embroidery field. To understand why this is a critical component when choosing an embroidery machine, it is essential to comprehend that finger size impacts the space available for embroidery designs and patterns. Different machines may have different maximum dimensions, which should factor in when making this selection. Knowing these details upfront will help you ensure that whichever you choose, its limitations won't hinder your creativity and enjoyment of this activity.
One important thing to understand is that your hoop size and stitching/sewing field aren't the same! To accommodate for presser feet, needles and other tools needed while embroidering within a hoop, there needs to be some extra space, so they don't hit the edges of it - leaving us with an inner margin around our design area.
Hoop Sizes and Embroidery Field
The area that the design is stitched onto is smaller than the hoop it is sewn on.
A customer came to us with a complaint that their embroidery machine did not see the design they purchased from us.
The customer said that their hoop size was 200x140mm (5.5 x 7.9 inch). We know that Janome's (JEF format) machine has a hoop 200x140mm (5.5 x 7.9 inch), but the customer said theirs reads in PES format.
The design size we sold was 138x198mm, which should be visible to a machine with a hoop of 140x200 mm (5.5 x 7.9 inch) without any problems. But it will not show up if the hoop is 130x180mm (5x7 inch) like on some Brother machines.
We asked how the customer knew her hoop was 140x200 mm (5.5 x 7.9 inch). She said she used a ruler to measure it:)
When deciding to purchase a hoop for an embroidery project, it is essential to remember that the measurements given by manufacturers with the hoop actually represent the area where you will be working on your project. While measuring the hoop with a ruler can provide dimensions, it won’t accurately represent the area you will use for stitching or other decorative work.
Some machines have different hoop sizes. Check the manual and test the hoop to ensure your margins are correct.
The main hoop sizes we digitise for are:
80x80 mm (3x3"),
100x100 mm (4x4"),
100x170 mm (4x6.69"),
100x300 mm (4x11.81"),
130x180 mm (5x7"),
140x200 mm (5.5x8"),
140x220 mm (5.5x8.6"),
160x240 mm (6.3x9.45"),
160x260 mm (6.3x10.24"),
180x300 mm (7.09x11.81"),
200x260 mm (8x10.24"),
200x200 mm (8x8"),
200x300 mm (8x12"),
200x360 mm (8x14"),
300x300 mm (12x12"),
The size of the machine embroidery designs is indicated on the product page.
A handy reference of your hoops and field dimension can be vastly beneficial when taking on future embroidery projects! Not only will you save time by not having to measure each part again, but your tasks will also have consistency and accuracy. As tedious as it may sound, taking the time to make a table of information could save you quite a bit. The good news is that this does not need to be done for every project; once the initial table is created, it can be a reference source for all future endeavours.
Explore our Machine Embroidery Library! We've collected a treasure trove of helpful information that will give you the inspiration and guidance you need to take your embroidery projects to the next level. Whether you're just getting started in the exciting world of machine embroidery or have been at it for years, this library has resources that will empower you to make beautiful, unique pieces easily. Don't let anything hold you back - see what we have waiting for you!
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Author: Ludmila Konovalova
My name is Lyudmila Konovalova, and I lead Royal Present Embroidery. Embroidery for me is more than a profession; it is a legacy of my Ukrainian and Bulgarian heritage, where every woman in my family was a virtuoso in cross-stitch and smooth stitching. This art, passed down through generations, is part of my soul and a symbol of national pride.