In part 4 of this series on Organizing Your Embroidery Business I am going to be talking more about the Hooping Area how to set it up so that it will run efficiently. I am also going to show you the basic process of hooping.

In part 1 of this Organizing Your Embroidery Business series, I showed you a floor plan and in part 2 I talked about The Receiving area and what you needed to Process your Orders. In part three I talked about the Hooping Area and the Tools and Equipment that you need.

Setting Up Your Hooping Area

When you are setting up your hooping area there are some important points that you need to think about.

  • The space that you have to work with
  • How many embroidery machines you have
  • How many machine operators you have that are not doing their own hooping
  • How many people you have that are actually hooping
  • The different types of items that you are working with that need hooping

This may sound like a strange criterion, but it all depends on the size of your embroidery shop and your product mix. I have different hooping setups for different types of products. The standard left chest or right chest logo is hooped in one area and on one type of hooping equipment, the large jacket backs or sweatshirt fronts are hooped on another type of equipment and the caps are hooped on a cap hooping device. This means that I would have 3 distinct areas set up for hooping. Each one of these areas use different types of hoops or hooping frames, different type and size of backing and/ or topping.

After you have determined what you are going to be hooping, you can set up your area with the right supplies. I purchase my backing by the rolls and cut them into pieces to size for each situation, with the exception of the cap backing. I purchase that in 4 inch x 8 inch cuts as well as by the 250 yard roll. I need the 250 yard roll for the designs that embroidered on the front and sides of the cap at the same time.

I also purchase the topping by the roll, usually a 25 yard roll and cut that to size. I cut 8″ strips 2″ wide, 3″ wide, etc to keep on hand at all times. You only need to have enough topping to go through the part of the hoop that is going to have your embroidery. You want to make sure that it is cut wide enough that you can catch it into the sides of the hoop while you are hooping it. If you purchase cut squares of topping, cut them into strips so you are not wasting unnecessary yardage.

Setting Up The Hooping Area

In each area, I have the appropriate backing, topping and hoops set up for the hooping. If you are a small shop and do not have a specific spot that you can keep set up for your hooping, keep your supplies on a shelf or in a box that is easy to move to your area when you begin to do your hooping.

In my large shop, I had 3 people hooping at all times. In a home shop you are only going to have 1 person hooping and that may be part time. If you have more than 1 person hooping, you must have individual areas set up for them. You can have a large hooping area set up in one location of your shop or you can set up individual areas on a table in front of each machine. I have 3 different hooping systems because there are 3 different types of hoops. On my 15 head embroidery machine we still use a flat table for many of our items. This takes the old style hoops that sit inside of spider frames. We set up for embroidery machine using the tubular frame for shirts fronts or sleeves, and that takes a different hooping system. We also have second brand of machine with different hoops which takes the third hooping system.

I have 3 HoopMaster hooping systems, one for each style set up. This is a huge timesaver. I also have an All in One hooping system for my t-shirt & sweatshirt backs, and the Third Hand Cap hooping system for my caps. The initial outlay for all of the hooping systems was quite a bit of money, but the time that it saves is worth every penny. This is what you want to think of when you are purchasing your hooping systems. You can get one system with a lot of different templates that will work if you have a small shop, but for a larger shop you will need to have all of the time saving items that you can use in order to work efficiently.

Items Ready for Hooping

As I mentioned in part 3 of this series, the items that are ready for hooping are sitting in a staging area after they have been logged in and counted. When they are ready for hooping, they are moved to the hooping area. After they are hooped, they are placed on a shelf in a basket if it is a small order or in a cart if it is a large order. I have 2 different sized carts that I use for this purpose. Sometimes the orders are so large that they take several carts but I always want to keep all of the items together for the same job so that none are missed during the hooping or embroidery process.

Here is a video on the Basic Hooping Process. This will show you how to hoop properly for basic hooping of your garments.


In the part 5 on “Organizing Your Embroidery Business”, I will talk about the Organization of the Finishing Area.