Hoopla About Hoop Sizes

Hoop sizes can be confusing, mainly because they are designated in millimeters and a good majority of us are not familiar with the metric system.


Snap-Hoop Magnetic Hoop

When I first started in machine embroidery, most of the reference to hoop sizes was for 4x4 and 5x7 hoops. I am embarrassed to admit that I used my embroidery machine for a very long time until I realized one of the hoops that came with the machine was actually larger than 5x7 inches. In actuality, the 240x150 hoop measured 9.45x 5.91 inches.

Why does that matter? Because I thought I could only embroider items up to 5x7 inches and purchased designs accordingly. If you are not sure about your hoop sizes, be sure to check your user manual. You may be able to embroider bigger designs than you think!

It is even more confusing when you realize that 4x4 inches (100x100 mm) is not actually four inches by four inches. It is 3.9375 inches square.

Quick Snap for hard to hoop items.

MM to Inches Converter

In case your manual only lists hoop sizes in millimeters, or the embroidery designs are only listed in millimeters, here is a link to convert millimeters to inches.

100 x 100 => 3.9 x 3.9”

110 x 110 => 4.33 x 4.33”

130 x 180 => 5.1 x 7

150 x 240 => 5.9 x 9.4”

160 x 260 => 6 x 10”

200 x 300 => 7.9 x 11.8”

230 x 300 => 9.1 x 11.8”

360 x 200 => 14 x 7.9”

Hoop Tips

Brand matters:
Embroidery machines primarily require hoops native to their manufacturer. In other words, I can’t use a Brother hoop on my Husqvarna Designer Ruby Royale. And each manufacturer produces a variety of hoop sizes. There are exceptions. 

Manufacturers such as Designs in Machine Embroidery list a number of magnetic and specialty hoops on this site that can be used for specific brands of embroidery machines.

Size matters:

Use the smallest hoop possible for the design you are stitching. That will assure better results, like crisp registration and good stitch quality. If there is too much fabric in the hoop in proportion to the design, it will not be as snug as it needs to be. That will likely cause puckering, stitches may not lie where they belong, and it means you need more fabric too.

Stitch counts matter:

Some embroidery machines have a maximum amount of stitches they can handle at one time. That will determine what designs and hoops you can use, so buy accordingly.


Debbie SewBlest

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