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Machine Embroidery Hoop Sizes: What You Need to Know

So you want to get embroidering but you’re not sure about embroidery hoops and frame sizes? We’ve got all the helpful information you’ll need to understand the tools of the trade.

What are hoops used for?
Hoops and frames are designed to keep your fabric taut, reduce slippage, and offer varied options when it comes to fabric and material weights. Different hoops and frame sizes allow you to complete different projects on different materials and objects like clothing, quilt squares, and more.

You’re only limited by your hoop! Every machine has a maximum embroidery field, which means you can’t embroider anything larger than that designated space.

What is a hoop’s maximum embroidery field?
Every machine has a maximum embroidery field, which you may find listed in your user manual or machine brochure, or on the product listing. Your embroidery field may also be referred to as the embroidery “area”.

For domestic market frames and hoops, the number listed as the “hoop size” matches the size of your “embroidery field”. This means that if you’re using a 100mm x 100mm (4” x 4”) hoop, you can stitch designs out at that size.

For commercial hoops such as the Maggie Hoops, “hoop size” is different to your “embroidery field”. For example, a 130mm x 130mm Maggie hoop size has an embroidery field of 100mm x 100mm.

Most Brother machines come with hoop templates that indicate the embroidery field of the machine. You can also purchase these separately. Look at our handy tables comparing Brother Machines Hoop Sizes to see what dimensions are available on specific machines.

Embroidery Designs

How do I know my embroidery design will fit in my hoop?
There are a few ways you can identify an embroidery design’s size. The embroidery file may be named after the size it’s meant to be stitched at. Alternatively, you can view the design’s final complete dimensions on your machine or in a digitizing program. If you have purchased the design online, such as one of our Echidna design packs, try looking at the product page for more information.

How do I know which hoop size to use for an embroidery design?
If you know what size your embroidery design is going to be once it’s stitched to completion, you should choose a hoop size with an embroidery field that allows for that size. For example, a 95mm x 95mm design can be stitched out using a 100mm x 10mm (4” x 4”) hoop. Using a hoop size that is closest to your design size is best, because the less fabric you have between your design and hoop, the less the fabric will move.

Some embroidery designs have been digitized for a specific hoop size. For example, designs made to fit a 4” x 4” hoop will look best at that size.

You may be able to resize embroidery designs directly on your machine, or in an embroidery software such as Hatch or Embrilliance. Every embroidery design is created and digitized differently, so resizing designs is not a one-answer-fits-all process. It depends on the design, and how much you’re looking to alter the size. Using an embroidery program gives you more control over things like maximum and minimum stitch length, stitch density, and stitch type.

What if my design is larger than my hoop size or embroidery area?
If your embroidery design is larger than your stitch area, you may be able to split the design into multiple hoopings. Alternatively, if your machine allows it, you can purchase and use a larger hoop. You’ll often see measurements and sizes listed in imperial. If you’re looking for a quick imperial to metric conversion for embroidery, check out our Domestic Machine Embroidery Hoop Sizes chart where we’ve listed a number of domestic machine embroidery hoop sizes available for different brands and machine models.

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