I started out hooping on a table as there were no hooping devices when I began my career in embroidery. I was a hard sell even when I received one with a machine purchase which I  ended up giving it away...I still hooped on the table.

Then I wrote an article for one of the trade magazines about hooping aids. I did a test drive with most of them in my shop...and I couldn't part with the Hoopmaster.

Check out the Hoopmaster at a trade show. Most of the machine companies now sell them with their machines. You can find a schedule of the industry trade shows on my News and Events page. If you already have a machine and just need the Hoopmaster, use the link on my LINKS page to contact the company.

If you have a Hoopmaster,
here are some starting numbers to use for placement using the Hoopmaster system. Please remember that these are only  starting points. Placement may change for different brands and sizes of garments as well as for different sized logos. We suggest that you use the guide below to determine where the logo should be placed on your first shirt. Then place a chalk mark or piece of tape on your first shirt where the logo will be stitched. Next put the inner ring and backing material in your fixture. Pull your shirt over the station until your shoulder seams hit the top of the station. Adjust your fixture so the center of the hoop is over the mark when you push the hoop down. Then look at the number the fixture is circling and the letter at the top of the collar. That letter is very important because it sets the height of the logo on the shirt. You can then document the letter and number for future jobs. (If you use my HART FORMS, be sure to place your placement information on the job sheet.)

                     For the Lady             For the Gentleman

Small             C - 11                        C - 15
Medium         C - 11                        C - 15
Large            C - 15                        E - 19
XL                 C - 15                        D or E 20
2XL               E - 20                        F - 20
3XL               E - 20                        F - 24
You can usually use this same setting for three sizes of shirts. Start with the middle size for your setup. That will usually work for one size larger and one size smaller (For example, if you have medium, large, and extra-large shirts.)

Make your mark on the large and set up the fixture. You should be able hoop the medium and the extra-large at the same placement. If your garments vary by two or more sizes from the shirt you first marked, you wil want to mark that size and check the placement again. A good starting point is 19 for many shirts but you really have to verify this. Once you have the placement for a logo on a certain brand of shirt it is very easy to set up. You can not make a generic chart that will fit all brands of shirts and all logos. Shirts and logo size vary too much, as does customer preference.

To place a design on the left and right chest use the grid on your HoopMaster. First find the placment on one side, then note the number the fixture is circling and the letter at the collar of the shirt. Then use the same number and letter on the other side of the garment when hooping. Remember that you should verify all placements before you stitch. Remember the old adage: MEASURE TWICE, CUT (OR STITCH!) ONCE.Visit HOOPMASTER for more information on this hooping system.


The following information is from one of my  books on professional embroideryThese books are true reference books that will be welcome on the bookshelf of any embroidery business, large or small, new or established. One entire chapter of Professional Embroidery: Stitching by Design is devoted to logo placement on almost any type of goods or garments you will embroider.

Left Chest Placement
Measure down in a straight line from where the shoulder seam and the collar or ribbing meet...7-9" for men's and 5-7" for women's garments. Measure over from the center of the shirt to that line. Place the center of the design at the intersection. When the shirt has no placket or other construction device,  measure down the center of the shirt, parallel to that first line. You can also make a template of a placket using cardboard or plastic and use that as a guide.
For a child's garment measure down about 5" and over about 3".

Center Back Placement
Back placement is dictated by the size of the designs and the garment. Zip, snap or button the garment  if required and place it face down on the work table. Measure 3 to 4 inches from the seam at the bottom of the collar. Add half the height of the design to find the center. It will usually  be 8 to 10 inches down from the center back collar seam to the center point of the design.

For a child's jacket the center will usually fall between 5 and 8 inches down from the collar. A distance of 2.5 inches from the collar to the top of the design is a good rule of thumb. Add half the height of the design to find the center of the embroidery. As with any design placement, use a model or a mannequin to verify your decision. An actual size sew out placed on the back is a good way to visualize the finished product.

Use the snaps or button on garments as a guide for all garments that are the same manufacturer and style . Between the second and third snap/button works well. Use the bottom of a V-neck as a guide.

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