Will putting a hoop over my work damage it

by Sara clement
(Yorkshire UK)

I have returned to doing cross stitching from years ago and never used a hoop or frame. But now I am, and like it feel my work is neater.

However, my project is a bit bigger than the frame I'm using, and not sure about moving it over areas of fabric I've already worked.

Will it damage the stitching I've already done? If I take it out of the frame then the new stitching may have a different tension.

Any advice. Thank you.

Carol answers...

Thank you for asking your question, Sara.

Normally it is fine to move your hoop to an area where stitching has already been completed. I often do this when working cross stitch.

As long as you don't put the work away after your session with the hoop still on it, the stitches will not be damaged. Any signs of squashed stitches will be removed once you wash your finished piece.

You may like to bind your hoop with a narrow tape or finger bandage first, to alleviate and risks of splinters from the wood catching on the threads.

If, on the other hand, you are working a design that has raised stitches, such as velvet stitch then I would suggest either using a hoop that is big enough to fit the whole design or a square or rectangular frame instead.

Rectangular frames are often used for needlepoint, but there is no reason why you cannot use one for other types of needlework. Sometimes, if they are wide enough, they have the benefit of being able to balance across the arms of your chair, leaving both hands free to pass the needle through the fabric. This can prevent any issues from holding the hoop for long periods, such as repetitive strain injury.

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