Hooping thick fabric(06)


Using the floating technique

What does it mean to “float “an embroidery design ?

It is a technique used when a fabric or item is either too thick or to big to be clamped in the hoop.

Items with weird shapes or areas of a garment that are difficult to hoop .



Why should I use “floating”

Especially smaller home embroidery machines can not make use of the heavy magnetic hoops that multi-needle machines use. Those can pretty much hoop anything but also have limits to what can be hooped.

The hoops maybe too thin or fragile to try and squeeze heavy thick fabrics in.

Even more when a layer of stabilizer and topping are added.

Overstretching the fabric, forcing the hoop frame can lead to damage on both hoop and machine.

What does the floating technique involve

What is needed ?

The good news is you do not need to buy any extra accessories

Everything you have ready for a hooped embroidery project is used for the floating.

Now with that said ,the fabric may be extra thick or fluffy. It could be leather or faux leather that will have hoop marks when hooped the regular way.

Do adapt the type of needle to the type of fabric.

And adapt the type of stabilizer and topping.

The same way you would adapt the supplies as for a regularly hooped embroidery project.




We will take a fluffy thick blanket knit like fabric as an example.

  • Secure a piece of medium stabilizer tightly in the hoop 
  • Mark the area on the fabric where you want the embroidery design (use some painter tape around the area or mark with tailors chalk
  • Place the hoop in the machine and keep the foot up.Spray the marked area of the fabric on the wrong side with temporary glue spray.
  • Stick the area on top of the stabilizer.
  • Make sure that no other pieces of the fabric or garment are in the embroidery are.( Move sleeves,loose hanging rest of the garment)You can keep the out of the way of the embroidery area with some tape or small clamps.
  • For fluffy fabrics or towels you can lay a piece of water soluble on top of the fabric. No need to secure it.Just hold it gently in place till the first parts of the design are stitched.
  • When everything looks fine, nothing underneath the embroidery area or disturbing the hoop movements--> start the machine to embroider your design.

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