Best embroidery hoops and tapestry frames
Using the right embroidery hoop or tapestry frame can really improve your needlework and make it more comfortable and enjoyable for you too.
Let's be clear - you don't have to use a tapestry frame or embroidery hoop to get started with embroidery or cross stitch. You can get to know the basics in small projects while simply holding the fabric in your hand, especially if you are working with aida or plastic canvas. But for softer fabrics like linen and other embroidery fabrics, you'll find it far easier if you can keep the fabric taut and upright in an embroidery hoop. And many cross stitchers say that it's much easier to keep their stitches neat and even if they use a cross stitch hoop or cross stitch frame to stretch their fabric while they work. If you are a complete beginner, learn the basics of the hobby before you buy an embroidery hoop or tapestry frame in our cross stitch for beginners or embroidery for beginners articles. But once you've been well and truly bitten by the stitchy bug, you'll want to improve the experience and the fine finishes of your stitches by using an embroidery hoop or tapestry frame.
Embroidery hoops consist of an inner and outer ring which holds the fabric between them to give you a nice taut surface to make your stitches through. Embroidery frames usually stretch fabric between top and bottom bars of the tapestry frame, and often let you roll and scroll the fabric to help manage tension on larger projects. But with embroidery hoops and tapestry frames, you will need to hold them in one hard, leaving you free to stitch with the other. And that is where tapestry frame stands and embroidery hoop stands come into play...
The stands clamp onto your embroidery hoop or tapestry frame, holding in in place and leaving both hands free to stitch. You can have one above and one below the embroidery hoop or tapestry frame, to work the stab and stitch method which makes needlework so much faster once you get the hang of it! Having two hands free for stitching and not having to balance the fabric makes for much more relaxing and comfortable experience even if you don't want to go super fast. But which option would work best for you? Have a look through the options below and see which one suits your style of stitching, existing embroidery hoops and tapestry frames and preferred project size. And prepare to step your stitching up a level.
11 top embroidery hoops and tapestry frames
1. Embroidery hoop stand
When you are looking for a stand to hold your embroidery hoop, think about how you like to sit and the size of projects you work on. This embroidery hoop stand from Hawthorne Handmade is great if you prefer to sit and stitch in a chair. You can tuck the wooden lip under your legs, and adjust the height and angle of the embroidery hoop to suit your stitching position. You can also use it with small tapestry frames, or Qsnap embroidery frames – the clamp will open up to a width of 4cms. It also offers 360° rotation so you can have it at any orientation that suits you, and makes it simple to check the back of your stitching too. The embroidery hoop is not included – just clip in your own embroidery hoop or tapestry frame!
2. Q Snaps tapestry frame
They may not be the most elegant tapestry frames, but Q Snaps embroidery frames are loved by crafters for their simplicity and how light they are to hold. Available in lots of different sizes, they are also very adaptable embroidery frames, and you can buy extra plastic lengths to slot in and make them bigger, and even add section to give them legs to make them more of a lap table tapestry frame. The plastic tubes come with ribbed covers that slot over your work and hold it securely but softly in position. They are easy to use even if you have joint issues that make adjusting a wooden tapestry frame hinge hard to manage. And if your doggo chews a section of your tapestry frame, just slot it out and buy a replacement part rather than forking out for a whole new embroidery frame.
3. Elbesee easy clip embroidery frame
The Elbesee easy clip embroidery frame is a bit of a halfway house between the Q Snaps and the traditional wooden tapestry frame that you need to sew your project into. The frame itself is made of wood, but the horizontal struts have a plastic grip that wraps around it and will hold your fabric onto the bar without the need to sew it into position. As long as the tapestry frame you buy is wide enough for your project you can easily adjust the length up and down along the fabric length, clipping in and removing the fabric with the easy clips. They are available in five different sizes to suit the scale of the projects you prefer to work on, and are a popular cross stitch frame.
4. Elbesee rotating mini clip tapestry frame
Unlike the the Elbesee easy clip embroidery frame shown above, this mini embroidery frame is not made of wood, but uses moulded plastic instead. This makes it far simpler to make it adjustable, and make the tapestry frame much lighter too, and a great option to serve as a cross stitch frame for smaller stitches. The levers let you adjust the distance between the two horizontal bars to 4cm, 6cm, 10cm or 14cm, and the horizontal bars are 20cm long and come with easy clips to secure your fabric in place. This is an inexpensive cross stitch frame with 4 different length options that will work with most cross stitch projects – just not the really big ones!
5. Bamboo embroidery rings
Embroidery rings are just another way to refer to embroidery hoops – but what makes these embroidery hoops a cut above wooden hoops is that they are made of bamboo! As well as being a fast growing and renewable alternative to wooden embroidery hoops, bamboo makes for a much lighter embroidery hoop, too! Here you can order embroidery hoops from 3 inches to 18inches if you want a large embroidery hoop, our choose a set of different sizes to save money on individual embroidery hoop prices.
6. Elbesse hand rotating tapestry frame
The Elbesse hand rotating frame is a traditional style of embroidery frame, where the needlework project is attached to the tapestry frame by loosely tacking it onto the attached fabric strips at the top and bottom of the embroidery frame. This tapestry frame does still give you scope for movement, even once the fabric is attached, as the top and bottom bars of the embroidery frame can be rotated to scroll through the length of your project. An extensive range of sizes is available to suit your typical project size, with a lovely polished wood finish. The Elbesee hand rotating tapestry frame is shown in the picture in combination with the Elbesse embroidery frame table clamp, which is a good choice of stand for your embroidery frame if you prefer to stitch sitting at a table. This can be added on to your purchase of the Elbesse embroidery frame at Looming Mad Crafts.
7. Elbesee Posilock embroidery frame floor stand
We love the versatility of tapestry frame or embroidery hoop this stand gives you. Being a floor stand, you can use it whowever you like to stitch, and the Posilock system makes it very stable once you are set up, even if you are working on a large project with a lot of weighty fabric – which makes it a great choice for quilters as well as a tapestry frame. You can even use the stand with hoops if you want to – large embroidery hoops or small ones. This gives you the versatility of a two handed stitching experience, whatever the size of your project and however you feel like sitting and stitching for that particular day. The stand comes disassembled for easier postage, but is not the most portable once put together, so, beyond moving it out into the garden on kind weather days, this is not an accessory to get out and about with. But it will make all your at home needlework sessions a lot more liberating!
8. Siesta Lapman tapestry frame
Here is a tapestry frame that is designed to be taken out and about with you and is a popular cross stitch frame. The Lapman tapestry frame comes complete with a padded carry case, that will keep your project clean and safe when you are not working on it, and can be folded over on itself when stitching to provide a soft padded surface to sit on your lap. The tapestry frame inside is secured to the carry case by an elasticated strap, to provide extra stability when the Lapman embroidery frame is in use. The fabric is attached to the tapestry frame with simple plastic clips, and the scrolling top and bottom bars on the tapestry frame ensure you can get the correct fabric tension and secure placement.
9. Spring embroidery hoop
These spring loaded embroidery hoops from are available in two sizes and are popular cross stitch hoops because they are quick and easy to use. The cross stitch hoop frame is made of brightly-coloured plastic, and has a channel running around the internal diameter for the metal spring bar to sit inside. The metal bar can be squeezed to make it smaller and then slotted inside the hoop, where it is released to spring back to its original shape and hold the fabric securely inside the cross stitch hoop. It's easy to add and remove your fabric every time, so there is no temptation to leave it in the hoop where it could be marked and stretched over time. Simple and effective.
10. Guofa adjustable embroidery hoop stand
We like the finish on this embroidery hoop stand from Guofa, made from natural beech wood and with smooth, freely-moving adjustable joints. The embroidery hoop is help between two small clamps, both mounted in an sliding channel so that different sized embroidery hoops can be clamped securely into the stand – up a maximum of 11inches diameter. As well as round embroidery hoops, the stand works with square and oval embroidery hoops, too. The embroidery hoop is help securely, but the narrow width of the base is not as stable as we'd like, and we recon most needleworkers looking for a table stand would get on better with a table clamp embroidery hoop stand. But this does have the benefit of being able to hold two hoops at the same time, which is fun if you want to work on two projects alongside each other, or even if you want to share the stand with a different stitcher at the same time – though we recon you'd need to be very close friends to make this work!
11. Floral embroidery hoop
It's always good practice to bind the outer part of your embroidery hoop as this sits on the front of your work and can mark it in the long term. But it's never the thing you want to do when you are itching to get stitching. Save time and add a beautiful temporary frame of Liberty fabric to your work in progress with these lovely embroidery hoops from Stitch Kits Crafts. Starting from a 3 inch embroidery hoop all the up to 9 inches if you prefer a large embroidery hoop, you can also get embroidery hoops in an oval shape with the same treatment. These are such pretty embroidery hoops to use while you are stitching, and they make perfect frames to finish and display your finished project, too.
Hannah has worked on Gathered for 2 years, since our launch in 2019. At school Hannah learned to knit collaborating on dorcas blankets – now she edits our knitting section. She inherited her love of stitching and embroidery from her talented grandmother, and her passion for thread led her to be Editor of The World of Cross Stitching for six years. Card making is a more recent passion, developing from her position as editor of Cross Stitch Card Shop. She loves using kinetic techniques to make cards that move – she was editor of Papercraft inspirations magazine for over four years, creating loads of card making video tutorials at www.youtube.com/PapercraftTV.