Blog 112 12/08/2022 A Literary World: The Embroidery Hoop
A Literary World: The Embroidery Hoop
An embroidery hoop is a tool that helps to keep your fabric tightly stretched between its frames as an aid to embroidery or any other form of needlework.
Man’s desire for embellishment is an art form that can be traced back to as early as the Iron Age, and like all textile arts, it shows the evolution of civilization, the desire for beauty, and the need to show one’s wealth and standing in the community. Early man embroidered on everything from silks to animal skins using cotton and linen to extravagant threads of gold. Throughout time, the detail and fabrics became more and more complex and many that survived have now become works of art preserved in museums for all to see. The earliest embroidered fabrics would no doubt have been worked by hand, but the more complicated the pattern and stitching, the more taut the fabric needed to be.
Prior to modern-day hoops, the tambour was used. This was made of wood and later used to make lace, but over time, the frames evolved. Many of them were portable, to enable for carrying from one place to another. They were also adjustable for height, allowing the embroiderer to sit comfortably while working. But embroiderers using the tambour needed to move the embroidery hoop to the new section when working on a large section as they worked which could be a tedious process and certainly interrupted their work.
The adjustable embroidery hoop as we know it today, was invented by Helen A. Harmes, of Washington, Missouri. This patent application was granted on November 17, 1903 as U.S. Patent No. 744,070. This small and practical frame led to a renewed interest in embroidery. She had been living in Washington, at the time, and the idea came to her as she embroidered. Prior to the adjustable hoop, earlier hoops were often made of metal, bone, or ivory while the hoops of today are made from plastic and wood.
Magda Sole Folch (Spanish, 1903 – 1981)
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