An embroidery hoop or (earlier) tambour frame consists of a pair of concentric circular or elliptical rings. The larger ring has a tightening device, usually in the form of a metal screw. The artisan repositions the hoop as needed when working over a large piece of fabric. Embroidery hoops come in various sizes and are generally small enough to control with one hand and rest in the lap. Hoops were originally made of wood, bone, or ivory; modern hoops are made of wood or plastic. Hoops may be attached to a table-top or floor stand when both hands must be free for sewing, as in making tambour lace. Standing floor frames and lap frames allow the crafter to keep both hands free for working, which increases the speed and precision of work performed.
Very thin plastic hoops are also used