Avoiding Sticky Hoops

I am always surprised by machine embroiderers complaining about sticky hoops when they use spray adhesive. I have found a simple solution. If you don’t like sticky hoops, DON’T SPRAY IN THE HOOP.

Spray adhesives are useful in several ways. They help keep the stabilizer and fabric joined together for easier hooping. They are also particularly useful in keeping fabric applique pieces in place while stitching, for in-the-hoop projects, and for patching stabilizer tears.

I never spray in the hoop. Ever. There really isn’t any need. Spray the back of the item you are trying to adhere and finger-press it to the hooped stabilizer. But be sure to spray away from your hoop and machine.

Spread out a sheet of paper, a paper bag, old table cloth, or scrap fabric upon which to spray. Many people use a cardboard box as a sewing room spray booth. Whatever you decide to use, make sure it is not near anything important and in a well-ventilated area.

Another way to easily secure fabric is with Lapel Stick. It is used just like a glue stick. Apply to the stabilizer or the back of the fabric and it holds nicely in place.

If you do not have either of these adhesives, school glue sticks works really well too. Use the purple kind as it dissolves over time or can be washed away. I have seen people using scotch tape to hold fabric in place, but prefer painter's tape if I have to use tape at all.

Occasionally, tackiness from hooping adhesive stabilizers will stick to the hoop or bed of your embroidery machine. They can easily be removed with a little bit of acrylic nail polish remover on a cotton swab or paper towel. Be sure to use the kind for acrylic nails. I have never had it damage any of my hoops or equipment.

Do you have any tips on using adhesives in machine embroidery?

Debbie SewBlest

Comments (3) -


I use a cardboard box for spraying on the back of fabric, too.  ALDI lets customers take home empty boxes from foods, and the boxes from bread is just the right size for me.  I place a layer of paper in the bottom of the box.  When the layer gets gummy from spray, I put another layer in place (instead or on top of the old layer).

If I need to clean my hoops or machine bed, I used denatured alcohol.  It was recommended to me by my dealer.  It works and doesn't remove the shiny surface on my machine.

Great tips, Debbie!


I use Sulky KK 2000 (green cap) since it doesn't gum up my needle; hand sanitizer on a paper towel cleans my hoops right up!

Sorry, I did not get notified that I had a comment—Great tips, Carol!

Hand sanitizer is another great idea!

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