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Cross Stitch Hoops And Frames
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Cross Stitch Hoops And Frames

If you decide to use an embroidery hoop for your cross stitch project, always use one that is big enough to hold the complete design comfortably. This will ensure that the hoop never needs to be placed over any stitching and will therefore avoid spoiling the completed work with pulled or snagged stitches.

Cross stitch hoops, also known as flexi-hoops, are used to hold the fabric taut whilst stitching and are necessary to produce even stitching. Use a hoop only if the area to be stitched fits easily inside it. if the hoop has to be moved over existing embroidery, the stitches risk being flattened and distorted by the pressure of the hoop.

To prevent your cross stitch fabric from slipping about, it is recommended to bind the inner hoop with white bias binding secured with a few stitches. Another way to protect your work from hoop marks is to place a piece of tissue paper between the fabric and hoop and then tear away the middle section to expose the area to be worked. Cross stitch hoops tend to leave crease marks that are almost impossible to remove, so always remember to remove the hoop every time you finish working.

For pieces of work which are too large to fit into hoops, rectangular embroidery or cross stitch frames are suitable to use. These consist of two wooden stretchers at the side and two wooden rollers at the top and bottom, held in place with wing-nuts or pegs. The rollers each have a piece of webbing fixed to them on to which the fabric is stitched.

Cross stitch frames come in many sizes including large free-standing floor frames. Some have the added benefit of a magnifying light. After the side edges of the fabric have been bound with tape or hemmed to strengthen them, the top and bottom edges of the fabric are sewn to the webbing which is attached to the rollers of the frame. It is important to ensure that the fabric is placed evenly in the frame because if it is sewn in unevenly it will become distorted. The frame is then assembled and the side edges stitched to the stretchers with very strong thread.

A quicker and easier, though just as effective, way of keeping your fabric taut, is to use ready-made rectangular frames which are available in a variety of sizes from needlecraft shops. The fabric is stapled straight on to the frame (or attached with drawing pins), saving a great deal of time and effort. These rectangular frames have a number of advantages - there are no protruding corners to catch your thread on, they are lighter to hold, easier to store and more portable. For very large pieces of work, where the overall size would make it impossible to hold the entire framed piece comfortably, a roller frame would be more appropriate.

Determining whether to use a cross stitch hoop or cross stitch frame, as well as which type to use, for your next project is worth taking time over. It is important to find one that you are comfortable with.


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