Hoop selection

Hoops are needed to hold the fabric tight while stitching on your machine. They are available in different sizes. A representation of the selected hoop is displayed in the design window. This provides a guideline for sizing and positioning designs. You can show or hide the hoop at any time.

Depending on the selected hoop type, the boundary of the working area within the hoop may be displayed as a thin red, blue, or dotted line. If any part of the design lies outside the stitching area, a warning appears when saving. This prevents you from accidentally stitching outside this area and damaging your machine by hitting the hoop with the needle. See also Supported hoops.

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If your embroidery is too large or contains a number of designs spaced around an article, you can split it into multiple hoopings. Each one contains an object or group of objects that can be stitched out in a single hooping. See Multi-hooping.

Click View > Show Hoop Template to show or hide the hoop template. Right-click for settings.

Hoop templates

When it comes to stitching out, it is important to align the fabric squarely in the hoop, with even pressure on all sides, and fabric patterns and weaves running perpendicular to the hoop. Otherwise, fabric bias allows stretch. This can distort stitching and result in puckering. Each hoop contains vertical and horizontal centering marks on the frames. These help with aligning both the fabric and the design.

Janome hoops also come with a clear plastic template overlay. These include alignment lines, with tiny holes which allow you to create positioning marks. Positioning templates for all Janome hoops are included in the software. Hoop templates can be toggled on or off independently of the hoop itself.


  • Templates are displayed with alignment and registration guide markings. This allows you to align the design in the hoop on screen, relative to the markings.
  • Templates are printed with alignment and registration markings. This allows you to cut out the printed design and align it in the hoop with the physical template.

Click View > Show Hoop to show or hide hoop. Right-click for settings.

Click View > Show Hoop Template to show or hide the hoop template. Right-click for settings.

Select hoops

Whenever you create a new design, a single hoop representing the one you attach to your embroidery machine appears by default in the design window. As you position objects, the hoop position adjusts automatically so that it is always centered around objects in the window.

  • Choose your machine. The hoop list is filtered to display compatible hoops.
  • The Hoop Type droplist on the Context toolbar shows which hoop is currently active. The list is automatically filtered according to the selected machine type. Only those hoops supported by that machine are available. Select the smallest hoop which fits the design.
  • Click the Show Hoop button on the View menu to display the current hoop.
  • Alternatively, right-click the Show Hoop button and select a hoop from the droplist. You can also use this tab to select the current machine type.
  • Click the Show Hoop Template icon to toggle hoop template display.
  • The selected hoop is saved with the design in native EMB file format. When the machine reads the stitch file, the stitching area is limited by the selected hoop type.

Hoops used with AccuFil® have two hooping areas. AccuFil® is software and machine firmware which works in tandem with stitch quilting designs using AQ and ASQ hoops. The red area is the maximum embroidery area available for normal embroidery. When used with AccuFil®, only the area within the blue dashed line should be used. For further information, talk to your Janome distributor.

Click View > Show Hoop to show or hide hoop. Right-click for settings.

Center hoops

By default, the software will ensure that your design is always centered in the hoop. However, you can use the manual option to lock the hoop position. This means it won’t automatically center while you are digitizing. If you are creating a single hooping, however, always turn on auto-centering to ensure that the design will fit within the selected hoop.

Some embroidery machines will always center the design. Set your software to match the exact behavior of the machine.

To set the hoop center...

  • Select Software Settings > Embroidery Settings > Machine & Hoop or right-click the Show Hoop icon.


  • In the Position panel, specify how you want the hoop centered:

    Automatic centeringThe hoop always centers itself around the design center.
    At start needle positionThe hoop centers itself around the start needle point. All Janome machines need the 'At start needle position' checked. When using this option, you should also turn off the ‘Maintain Automatically’ option in Auto Start and End. See also Start & end design.
    ManualAllows manual placement of the design anywhere in the hoop. Only suitable for machines which allow off-centering of designs within the hoop.
    Set hoop centerAllows an arbitrary hoop center to be created by digitizing a point in the design window.
  • Click OK.
  • If you have selected Set Hoop Center, click a point in the design window where you want to center the hoop.

If you want to off-center the design, turn off 'Maintain Automatically'. You might do this to set up continuous designs or for special placements such as pockets. Use this with machines that allow you to maintain start and end connectors. With machines that always start in the center of the hoop, make sure automatic centering is set to the start needle position. See also Start & end design.

Use Customize Design / Context > Background and Display Colors to set colors, fabrics, or articles as design backgrounds.

Background colors

Set the color inside the hoop to match the fabric you intend to stitch out on. You can also set a background color outside the hoop by way of contrast. See also Backgrounds.

  • Select Customize Design > Design Background or right-click the design window and select from the popup menu.
  • To select a color inside the hoop, choose the Solid Color option. This allows you to set separate colors inside and outside the hoop. Select a color from the palette or mix your own.

  • Set the color inside the hoop to match the color of the fabric you intend to stitch out on.

Use Context > Rotate Hoop Left 90° to rotate selected hoop in 90° increments to the left.

Use Context > Rotate Hoop Right 90° to rotate selected hoop in 90° increments to the right. 

Rotate hoops

The Rotate Hoop tool allows you to rotate the hoop for ease of digitizing. The attachment mechanism is indicated, both on screen and printed worksheets. You can thereby tell the orientation of the design with respect to the hoop and decide how to position it. Rotate the current hoop by means of the icon or popup menu.

Click View > Show Hoop to show or hide hoop. Right-click for settings.



Custom hoops

If you are using the MB-4 machine or 'Others', you can define your own hoop and save it for later use. Right-click the Show Hoop icon to open the dialog. Notice the 'custom hoop' controls on the right.

Custom hoops are needed because new hoops become available for sewing machines more frequently than the software is updated. Also some machines include hoop adapters for third-party hoops which need to be defined in the software. Click the Create button on the Hoops tab. Two main types of hoop can be defined or edited in the software – Rectangular and Oval.

The software records the embroidery area of custom hoops to stitch file  which can then be read by multi-needle machines to determine the stitching area. On the other hand, the stitching area of single-needle machines is determined by the selected hoop type. If the file contains a ‘non-standard’ (custom) hoop code, the hoop size is automatically based on the design size which is used to limit the stitching area.

If you open a EMB file which contains a custom hoop not included in the hoop list, or if the hoop has the same name as a listed one but different type and/or settings, the software creates a new custom hoop with the same characteristics and tags it with a system-generated name.