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Different embroidery stands and why you need them

When you make bigger embroidery projects the ergonomics of your work starts to become more and more of an issue. In order to prevent aches and headaches you need a stand that supports your project so that you don’t need to hold the embroidery frame in your free hand. This has the added benefit of letting you use two hands, one above and the other below the canvas. So, I decided to write a post dedicated to the embroidery stands.

This post has been made in collaboration with Etsy Scandinavia.

Most of us have started doing embroidery by holding a fabric either free or in a hoop and so did I. Free fabric works fine if you have a small project and you can keep your stitches from pulling the fabric out of shape. A hoop helps to keep the fabric from wrinkling and you can stitch more tightly. After a day or two of stitching, you can be sure to notice the strain in both hands: the right from holding the needle and the left for holding the hoop (or vice versa).

I decided to get an embroidery stand midway through my silk cap project. I wanted a stand that would be flexible enough so that I could work both sitting on the floor, at a table, or on a couch. This allows me to change my work position reducing strain and also take advantage of the best light. The stand needed to be sturdy to be able to keep still and that meant a heavy base.

The best place to look for options for embroidery stands is Etsy. If you type in “embroidery stand” you get pages and pages of options to choose from. Do you prefer to sit at a desk? Do you need an embroidery stand with a light? Do you need a stand that you can take with you to historical re-enactment (so made to the style of Medieval embroidery stands)?

Hoop Floor Stand

The first embroidery stand I bought is this Nurge Embroidery Hoop Floor Stand. This is good for holding your hoop steady while you stitch. The adjustable stand can be sat next to your seat and you can work with the hoop in the optimal height for you. You can even position the stand on the table, in case you need a table for your other tools. The stand is very sturdy but still lightweight so that you can easily move it out of the way.

Right now I’m decorating a blouse with chain-stitch embroidery and this hoop stand holds my hoop:

Embroidery Frame Stand

There are projects, though, where you want to see the whole project at once, like when you need to compare different areas of the pattern with each other. Or it might be that the multi-colored design forces you to jump around the canvas a lot and moving a small hoop around the fabric gets cumbersome. When I started working on this big needlepoint pillow, I decided to buy my second embroidery stand.

The second stand is this Needlework Table and Lap Hands-Free Stand. It has been handmade in a small workshop in Ukraine and I use it for my bigger embroidery projects. The rectangular frame is well finished and it is supported by two legs. The frame has plastic clips that attach the fabric securely from the top and the bottom. The extra canvas can be wrapped around the top and bottom beams and the wooden handles make it easy to tension the canvas. The two joints in the legs allow you to adjust the height to the optimal stitching level. I prefer to stitch cross-legged on the floor but you can position this stand on the couch or on the table as well.

Getting this frame almost doubled my embroidery speed as I could work so much faster using both hands. The frame is sturdy enough so that I can rest my top hand on the frame. This further reduces strain on my arm and shoulders. Once in a while, I switched my hand positions so that a different hand was on the top and bottom. I noticed I could stitch for hours, losing myself in the relaxing work.

Besides needlepoint, this stand works for cross-stitching, soutache, ribbon embroidery, beading, and even tufting. The clips can easily be removed and you can even alternate between projects. The whole frame can be taken apart, so storage is not an issue. I sewed a simple little pouch to store all the pieces securely.

Both of these stands were worth every penny I spent. They will probably last the rest of my life and save me from so much pain which would be a result of not using them.

Do you own an embroidery stand? If so, what kind of stand is it? What do you think are the most important things when you consider buying one?

Happy sewing and see you soon!


I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.

One Comment

  • JustGail

    I have several floor stands. Three are cheaper wood ones from a chain store, one is a K’s Creations stand. The K’s is my favorite right now, I can tilt the hoop in all directions not just up/down. And it holds the project in the position I put it, and is easy to swing aside to get out of the chair. The wood ones are ok, but not nearly as adjustable as far as positioning the hoop, and one of them doesn’t stay in place very well (so why do I still have it?!). I’ve thought about getting a table and/or lap stand for when the floor stand is a bit much, still thinking on it.

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