Frames, like cutters, also come in many shapes and sizes. Beginners usually start with a hoop for about $30CAD.
They might progress to a lap frame (starting at around $120CAD) next. There are many different styles of lap frames, some with gripper strips and some without. Some also swivel 360 degrees, some do not. You pay according to the features.
Then, if they want, they can purchase a floor frame ($300CAD plus). Floor frames can be round, square, rectangular, octagonal, you name it! They can tilt and swivel 360 degrees if you want…for a price. I have a rectangular floor frame with gripper strips to hold my linen backing in place while I hook.
Having said all this, some people hook with no frame! For the majority of people it is easier with a frame.
The frame can be a determining factor in the size of rugs you hook, but doesn’t have to be if you chose carefully. I have seen people with hoops hook large pieces. However you risk the weight of the rug breaking your hoop or frame if you are not careful. I have had this happen with some of the weaker hoops I’ve used. This is more of an issue if you hook wide cut or primitive and have a very heavy rug on your frame.
The determining factor for frame size in our house was the size of the space we had for me to hook. It is an 8’x12′ area ringed with windows and bookshelves of wool and fibre. I had room for a floor frame…just.
My frame is the rectangular frame made by Keith Small of Impressions in Woodwork in St. Mary’s, Ontario, Canada. It has gripper strips around the edges to hold my backing taut and in place for hooking.
There are also large frames sold in Nova Scotia called Cheticamp frames. These are large floor frames 18″ x 40″ and longer. They are ideal for larger rugs, if you have the room for them. They start at $400CAD.