“Why Won’t That Hoop Fit My Machine?” Part 1

Buying a sewing machine or sewing/embroidery machine, for most of us, is an emotional as well as intellectual decision.  When you create on this machine, you will be giving a piece of yourself to the project, whether or not it is for yourself or for a gift.  That’s why we all like as many options as possible to come with our machines, to give us as many choices as possible, and tend to feel a bit disappointed if we don’t have everything we want.  On the other hand, sewing machine manufacturers tend to market machines based on features, so they make it very tempting to move up the line of machines to get as much as possible.  It’s human nature to want the most! 

When it comes to sewing/embroidery machines, we tend to advise the customer to buy the machine you can afford to buy that accommodates the largest hoop size.  There are several reasons for this.  First, generally, the larger the size of the hoop, the more stitches you can use in your design.  Entry level machines usually have a stitch limit of about 50,000 stitches, which sounds like a lot, but in the world of embroidery, is an average amount of stitches.  Second, the larger the hoop the less hoopings will be required to complete a design group.  This saves you time, both in stitch out and in design placement and composition.  Third, who doesn’t love those large, eye-catching designs?  Designs are sold by their size, so a small hoop limits what designs you will be able to purchase and use.

So, when a new hoop comes out, why can’t every sewing/embroidery machine use it?  There are several reasons a hoop will not be compatible with all machines, but one of the most obvious reasons is the distance between the needle and the inside arm of the machine body.  The smaller the distance to the right of the needle, the more hoop size is limited.  For example, look at the pictures below.  I used three hoops for my demonstration:  the 360 X 200mm hoop (14” X 8”) that comes with many machines, the 360 X 260mm hoop (14” X 10”) that fits the Husqvarna Epic and Epic 2 machines and the Pfaff Creative Icon, and the 360 X 350mm turntable hoop (14” X 13”) that fits the top of the line machines.  Look for part 2 of my demonstration in photos in next week’s blog.

The three hoops I used for this demonstration. The pink tape on the left side of each hoop is 1/4″ allowance needed for the stitch out area on the left inside of the hoop.
The 360 x 200 mm (14″ x 8″) hoop comes included with many embroidery machines.
The 360 x 260 mm (14″ x 10″) hoop fits the Husqvarna Viking Epic, Epic 2 and the Pfaff Creative Icon.
The 360 x 350 mm (14″ x 13″) turntable hoop fits most top of the line machines.

While waiting for Part 2 of this blog, check out these chart links based on your sewing/embroidery machine (Husqvarna Viking or Pfaff) to see what fits your specific machine.  When buying a new machine, no matter whether or not it has embroidery, the best advice is to buy as much machine as you can afford.  Once you have the features, you will use them all!  Happy Sewing!

Husqvarna Viking Hoop Chart (the link will not take you to the exact page. You will need to go to page 88 of the flip book. Sorry!)

Pfaff Hoop Chart (the link will not take you to the exact page. You will need to go to page 76 of the flip book. Sorry!)