This is a review of the Singer Darning and Embroidery Hoop.
- Part number: 171074;
- Darning Foot Part Number: 171071;
- Dimensions: Overall length 125mm, external diameter 63mm, internal diameter 50mm.
A two-part metal hoop comprising a sprung bottom section over which is stretched the fabric and a top section into which it snaps to secure the fabric and keep it evenly taut. The top section also features a long handle with a slot down the middle along which runs a small rivet whose underside is shaped to hook securely into a rectangular hole to the right hand side of the chromed needle plate/bobbin cover of the 222k.
This embroidery hoop is designed just for the 222k – the aperture into which the attachment is secured does not exist on the 221k, which has the shorter, half-moon plate/cover more common to the Singer family. Of course it is possible to use the hoop without anchoring it but as the correct use of the hoop is to gently guide it with the fingertips it is much easier to control the hoop’s progress with the end tethered securely as it can then, when in use, only describe a small circular movement appropriate for the surface area contained within the hoop.
I tried the darning hoop with a number of different darning solutions including a Hopping Foot 80251 and the one which came to me included with the hoop, the Darning Foot 171071.
I could not try the Spring Needle Clamp as it is not compatible with the needle bar of a 222k, nor with a Stoppax Darning Attachment and a Darning Spring as I have yet to acquire those two items.
The hopping foot did not give me sufficient room for manoeuvre within the cramped confines of the foot so the foot 171071 was the best.
Well, I say it was the best…it was an absolute beast to get the foot attached with the hoop in place but if you put the foot on first then you cannot move the foot high enough to slip the hoop underneath it and into its working position. (Edited to add: Further tests confirm that the tiny 121094 is perfect for use in this context.)
The hoop was, in use, ok and worked well but would require a great deal of practice and some very steady foot control before I would attempt anything like monogramming with it. For this, I prefer to use hand embroidery and a larger, wooden hoop and for larger machine-mended darns I prefer to use the same wooden hoop as I do for my hand embroidery. Depending on the nature of the darn, I also prefer to use the normal foot and pivot the work so that I am constantly sewing forwards across the area I am darning. This degree of freedom is only possible if the hoop itself is free.
But back to the 222k Darning Hoop, what is my conclusion? Well, if I’m honest I think it’s a bit of a gimmick. For the size of darn it handles I can do it quicker by hand.