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How to Back an Embroidery Hoop

Once you’re done with your hand embroidery, you’ve most likely put a ton of hard work into it and spent hours stitching. Naturally, you’ll want the back of it to look just as good as the front! Here are two different ways you can secure the fabric and back an embroidery hoop.

Finishing the back of an embroidery will help keep the fabric tight in the hoop as well as giving the back of your embroidery design a neat and clean finish. (No more exposed threads or raw edges; we only like pretty hoop butts around here!) There isn’t a better way between these two different methods for backing an embroidery hoop; it really comes down to preference.

For both of these methods, you’ll want to make sure you leave a few inches of seam allowance around your hoop because you’ll be utilizing the excess fabric.

I think wooden hoops look nicer for display, but you can also use plastic or metal hoops with both of these methods.

This post is one of many posts about how to embroider.

trimming extra fabric around embroidery hoop

How to Finish An Embroidery Hoop With A Felt Circle

an embroidery hoop backed with felt

Note: You don’t need an extra piece of fabric on the back if you are covering the back with felt. For this example I used blue fabric on the back to show you that you can omit the felt, cover the back with a piece of fabric, and only do a running stitch to finish the hoop.

Time needed: 5 minutes.

Finish the Back of An Embroidery Hoop With Felt Backing

  1. Step 1

    Once you trim the edge of the fabric it will be hard to reposition your fabric in the hoop, so make sure your embroidery is centered and where you would like it to be before starting.
    Pull the fabric tight and tighten the screw on the top of the hoop.

  2. Step 2

    Trim the fabric, leaving about an inch of excess fabric around the hoop. Place your embroidery on a flat surface with the back of the embroidery facing up.

  3. Step 3

    Tie a knot in a piece of embroidery thread to secure the first stitch you make and then make a running stitch around the excess fabric.

  4. Step 4

    Once you’ve stitched around the entire circle, pull the stitches tight and tie the tails of the securely in a knot. You can stop here if you decided to add fabric to the back, or you can proceed to the next step to secure the felt on the back.

  5. Step 5

    Trace the hoop onto a piece of felt and cut the circle out. (You can use pencil lines or a water soluble marker to trace with.) Make sure that the felt doesn’t show through to the front of the hoop and trim as needed.

  6. Step 6

    Place the felt circle on the back of the hoop and make a whip stitch (pictured) or blanket stitch around the hoop, making sure to grab the felt and fabric together with each stitch.

  7. Step 7

    Finish by securing the tails of thread with a double knot.

Backing An Embroidery Hoop With Fabric

The second way to finish the back of the hoop is to use a piece of decorative backing fabric and secure it with a hot glue gun. This is my preferred method because I like the look of patterned fabric on the back more than plain felt and I think it’s the quickest and easiest way

Take the embroidery fabric and place it outside of the hoop. Sandwich the embroidery and decorative fabric together. Place the inner ring underneath the sandwiched fabric and then place the outer ring around the fabric.

fabric on the back of embroidery hoop

Next, trim the fabric leaving about an inch of excess fabric. (You can trim the back piece of fabric down to the ring of the hoop if you’d like so you don’t have to glue both layers down.)

Finally, secure the fabric with hot glue to the back of the inner hoop edge! Now it’s time to enjoy the finished product!

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how to back an embroidery hoop