Our business philosophy here at EMS / Hoop Tech is basically, “Take care of the customer and they will take care of you”. And over the years that philosophy has served us well. From the very first product, the Cap Frame, we recognized a genuine need for a product to help embroiders sew better, more consistently and more profitably on finished ball caps. And we were rewarded with an overwhelmingly positive response from people in the industry. People recognize a product that works, and that’s the kind of products that we wanted to build at Hoop Tech. So over the years, at small businesses and large, at trade shows and other industry gatherings we continually asked business owners, embroiderers and technicians the question, “What is it that you want to sew, and what tool can we make to make that possible? “ Simply posing those questions to thousands of people has led us to 20 years in the aftermarket embroidery accessory business and products like, Quick Change window frames, the ICTCS Clamping Systems, PR-600 & Slim Line Clamping Systems, Pocket Clamps, Shoe Clamps, OEM parts for Machine Manufacturers and countless other custom applications for businesses large and small.
We hope to continue to supply innovative and creative solutions to the embroidery community for many years to come.
All Hoop Tech Products, from the original EMS style Cap Frame to the newest addition to the Hoop Tech family, the Dream Frame, have always been manufactured right here in the America. Hoop Tech is a proud to display the made in U.S.A. stickers on all of its products.
Located in Fairfield, Ohio just a few miles north of Cincinnati, we assemble our products and ship them throughout the United States and the world.
EMS / Hoop Tech started in 1994 by Mark Mason & Nick French. Mark was the full time owner of a Dry Cleaning Business and part time embroiderer and Nick was a full time embroidery machine technician working for a local Embroidery Service Company. They started out buying, repairing and selling Embroidery machines and equipment. At this time the business was located next to the dry cleaning business in a 10’ x 40’ side room.
1997, the first EMS / Hoop Tech product was the EMS style cap frame. The cap frame was conceived out of a need for a better way to sew finished caps more reliably and consistently than was available in the market at that time. Through collaboration, entrepreneurial spirit, and a lot of trial and error Nick and Mark developed a working design and the EMS Cap Frame was born. It took several years to work the kinks out of the product and refine the manufacturing process, but after that it was clear that the “new cap frame” was a better mouse trap and the Embroidery Industry took notice. In the beginning, Mark and Nick were fortunate to associate themselves with a tireless marketer, promoter and salesman named Mike Meade who single handedly put the EMS Cap Frame on the Embroidery map.
1998, The first Cap Frame patent was issued for the EMS style design and Hoop Tech began to build their own plastic molds and started to produce plastic hoops as an aftermarket alternative to OEM hoops.
1999, A second Cap Frame patent was issued based on improvements to the design due to better manufacturing practices.
2000, The Cap Framing Gage with T-bar stretcher was introduced. The T-bar held the hat in place and assisted the cap framer to stretch the cap down over the Cap Frame before it was clamped in place. The Framing Gage patent was issued in 2001. Also in 2000 EMS/Hoop Tech introduced a new way of holding garments & fabric on an embroidery machine, it was called the “Gator Clamp”. Before the Gator Clamp all commercial embroidery was done in traditional round plastic hoops which limited embroidery to products that could be “hooped”. The Gator clamp changed all that. The Gator Clamp used a flat, top & bottom frame that clamped the fabric and held it in place with springs. This early design was a big bulky heavy single size fixed window unit. It wasn’t long before the bulky Gator clamp design changed to a smaller lower profile design called the TCS (Tubular Clamping System), still a single fixed window but smaller and lighter.
2001, Mark Mason sold the dry cleaning business and he and Nick French devoted their full attention to EMS/Hoop Tech.
2001, The TCS Clamp evolved into the ICTCS which used the TCS frame design and added the ability to change window sizes. This interchangeable made the product more versatile and a better value. There were (6) windows available with the largest window size being 4.5” square.
2001, The Quick Change was invented. It was the first sticky backing sewing window product that had interchangeable window sizes. The Quick Change gave embroiderers multiple window sizes at affordable cost.
2002, Patents was issued for the Gator Clamp as well as the Quick Change.
2002, The ICTCS-2 was introduced which was a larger version of the ICTCS-1. It had (7) windows with a maximum window size of 7.5 x6.0”
2003, The ITCS-3 was designed to fill a need for a larger sewing window, 13”x9”. This clamp was rail mounted due to the large size of the frame.
2003, Nick French retired to pursue other interests and his love of auto racing.
2004, The First of the Slim Line series of clamps was introduced as the PR-600 Clamp. This drive rail mounted clamp was designed so that the entire clamping mechanism was only 1” high so that it would fit completely under the needle bar of embroidery machines. It had multiple window sizes with a maximum window size of 6 x 5”. The PR-600 Clamping System was initially exclusively marketed for the Brother PR600 embroidery machine, but would eventually be offered to all machine brands as the Slim Line Series.
2004, A patent was issued for the ICTCS Clamping System
2005, A larger version of the PR-600 Clamp, the PR-600-2 was brought out which came with (2) windows and increased the maximum window size to 11.5 x 5”
2005, The Slim Line-1 was offered to the general embroidery market early in the year with the same window sizes as the PR-600, and the Slim Line-2 followed later with (9) window sizes and the largest window available in a clamping system 13” x 9”.
2009, A patent was issued for the Slim Line Series of Clamps.
2012, The first major redesign of the EMS style cap frame was introduced as a solution to the problem of sewing finished caps on embroidery machines with thick sewing heads, like the brother PR Series and the Baby Lock. Named the “Dream Frame” its new features include clips to hold backing, bill retaining strap and it’s the easiest Cap Frame to hoop that Hoop Tech has ever built.
2012, The Fort Worth ISS Show was the first time that EMS / Hoop Tech had its own booth at an Industry Trade Show.