Cap Hoop for Brother SE400 Embroidery Machine

Brother SE-400 Hat HoopIf you want to personalize caps and hats with designs such as logos, initials, names, you’ll need a cap hoop.

The cap hoop attaches to your regular 4×4 inch hoop and holds the bill of the cap firmly in a clamp outside of the embroidery frame. The cap itself is attached to the hoop with adhesive stabilizer. Some people also pin the cap for extra security.

The only negative that people report is that sometimes they can’t get the embellishment as close to the brim as they would like. However, this seems to be a limitation of all home embroidery machines and not the particular hoop.

Brother SE400 Cap HoopThis Cap Hoop clamps to 4×4 inch embroidery hoops and will work with the Brother SE400, SE350, SE270D, HE120, HE240, Innovis 500D,  Innovis 900D,  Innovis 950D, LB6770PRW, LB6800PRW Embroidery Machines.

Where To Buy The Cap Hoop

Cap hoops for the Brother SE400 are hard to find, but Amazon finally got a reasonably priced one back in stock. To check the availability and price and get started embroidering your caps, click here:

Buy Brother SE400 Cap Hoop

Here’s what one reviewer had to say:

Great — 5.0 out of 5 stars, May 15, 2010
By LatinaSunRise (Manhattan, NY), Amazon Verified Purchase
Used it on my Greatgranddaughters hat and it works great… Doing a few more. Amazon you guys are great.

How To Embroider A Cap With The Brother SE400

  1. Cut a piece of adhesive stabilizer slightly larger than the cap hoop frame and pull the backing off. Stick the stabilizer to the bottom frame of the cap hoop. Try wrapping the stabilizer around the edges of the cap hoop, if it doesn’t stick tightly enough.
  2. Using a water-soluble pen, mark the center of the design on the cap.
  3. Loosen the back strap on the cap. Unscrew the thumbscrew on the hoop clamp to and slide the cap bill under the clamp. Using the markings you made on the cap and the template grid, arrange the cap so that the center of the design aligns with the center of the hoop.
  4. Before you tighten the clamp, make sure the sweatband and backing are pulled away from the embroidery area so that you don’t stitch it to the cap. You may have to tape or pin the sweatband to keep it out of the way. The buckram (stiff backing) under the sweatband also has to be pulled back. If necessary to pull it back neatly, cut the buckram an inch or two where it is stitched to the cap bill on each side. Tighten the clamp with the thumbscrew.
  5. Starting in the middle and working out to the edges, press the cap down firmly against the adhesive stabilizer. The cap must be as flat and smooth as possible.
  6. Clamp the cap hoop to the regular 4×4 inch hoop on the side opposite where it attaches to the embroidery unit.
  7. Turn the SE400 on and set it up for embroidery as usual. Turn the embroidery unit on and attach the regular 4×4 inch hoop with the cap hoop attached. You may have to remove the foot and/or shank to do this. Use the curser keys to center the needle and begin to embroider your design onto the cap. Remember, the design must be rotated clockwise a quarter turn because the cap is hooped sideways and you want the design vertical.

Using the cap hoop is easier to show than to write about. Someday, maybe I’ll get a camera and make a video. Practice a few times on an old hat or cap and you’ll have the hang of it in no time.

To check the availability and today’s price of the hoop at and get started embroidering your caps, click here:

Buy Brother SE400 Cap Hoop

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Our Readers Respond ...

  1. lois says

    very educational information about the Brother se400. I learned a lot.. Can’t wait for my mine to come. I ordered mine today.

  2. Esther says

    Just received my SE400 for Christmas. I’ve been sewing and doing machine embroidery for years. It was just time for a new sewing machine. I have a Babylock Embroidery Machine, so the embroidery feature was not the most important part of the SE 400 for me. I have the new machine set up, but can’t get the needle threading feature to work. Or it works, but won’t get the thread through the eye of the needle. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Esther

    • Kamala says

      Hi Esther,
      Also, make sure the pressure foot is down; the needle is all the way in and all the way up (press the Needle Position Button first); the thread is threaded correctly through all the steps on page 34-35 of the manual, and the you firmly press the needle threader lever down as much as possible.

  3. Ken says

    I was wondering, I have as far as the stailizer is concerned, will tear away sheets combined with temporary spray adhesive work–instead of the self adhesive stabilizer you suggested–as that is what I have. Thank you. K.

  4. Kimberly says

    any suggestions on how to keep my thread (both main thread and bobbin thread) from breaking? i get a few stitches going on my hat then the thread breaks!

    • Kamala says

      Hi George, I’m sorry I don’t have time to shoot the video now because I started a new job that’s very intense and leaves me little time for embroidery. My favorite tutorial on beanie hats is from Urban Threads. Maybe it’ll help even though she’s also making the beanie from an old sweater. But the appliqué designs are very cute.

  5. Janet says

    I am trying to buy the cap hoop for the Brother SE400 but I just can not find any one that is willing to send to the UK please can you help!
    Kind regards

    • Kamala says

      Hi Janet, I’m sorry I don’t know anything about international purchases. I suggest you try the hoopless method. Basically the cap hoop makes it easier by holding the visor tight during stitching. But you can get by without it. The basic method is to hoop self-adhesive stabilizer in the regular hoop. Then adhere the cop to the stabilizer without hooping it. You will need to pin and/or baste the cap securely to the stabilizer because I’ve found that sometimes it doesn’t hold and it’s a disaster if it comes loose. There are tutorials — I don’t remember where — just search for hoopless embroidery.

  6. Jill says

    I am considering buying the brother 400se. I was wondering if it will monogram or do appliques larger than 4×4??

    • Kamala says

      No, it won’t. The 4×4 inch maximum embroidery area is a physical limitation of the hardware. It is theoretically possible to split a large design with software and stitch it in pieces. The success of this method depends on your skill at rehooping and positioning exactly to get the pieces lined up, and on the design — a design that you can split in an open area will be easier. I don’t know how this would work with an appliqué. If you really want to do larger designs, I think you should look at the PE770. It’s a few hundred dollars more, but you’ll be happier in the long run.

  7. Amber says

    I want to embroider my sons’ names on the back of their baseball caps, just above the back opening. Will this hoop work for that purpose?

    • Kamala says

      Hi Amber,
      No, for backs just use the regular hoop, but don’t hoop the cap. Hoop sticky back stabilizer and then lay the opened hat on the sticky stabilizer. Sometimes pins are required. (You probably dont want to try to hoop the hat, what with the bulk of the sweatband inside the sides of the hat.)

  8. Debbie says

    I just received the cap hoop that was listed on amazon and it is too wide (6 1/2 x 4 1/2), to fit my current hoop (5 1/2 x 7), on my se400. I will have to return it and try to find another one somewhere else. I have tried to attach it by turning it around but it will not work. Do you have any other suggestions as to where I can order another one?

    • Kamala says

      Hi Nancy, I’m going to shoot a video. I just haven’t gotten to it yet. I did write an article over on Squidoo with more photos that you might find helpful in the meantime. Check it out here: How to Embroider a Cap.

      • Nancy says

        thanks, the one i got does not fir my machine. I used your link but I think they sent me the wrong one. It says it is for the pe models

        • Nancy says

          I just looked at your wonderful article. I can see from the pictures that mine is wider then my 4×4 hoop. :(

          • Kamala says

            I just checked the link and it says it’s for the SE400. That’s where I bought mine. So they sent you a bigger hoop, one for the 5×7″ hoop maybe? Some PE models like the PE500 have a 4×4″ hoop and would work. I think I’ll change the link to a different company. If they send the wrong size, that would explain some of the negative reviews.

  9. Linda says

    Hi Kamala,
    O.k., this picture is a little dated, I can not fit the cap hoop I got with the hoop the SE400 came with. I have ordered a large hoop in hopes this will work, do you think this will. I just bought a new machine. Thanks.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Linda,
      Sorry to take so long to answer. I’ve been away visiting family and didn’t have a moment.
      Did you order the cap hoop through the above link? That’s where I bought mine and it fits. Amazon offers a cap hoop from different vendors and I’m not sure about some of them.
      The cap hoop fits in the outer hoop that comes with the SE400. You don’t use the inner hoop. It’s a tight fit. I had to loosen the screws on the outer hoop and press firmly. Here’s a photo.

      I’m working on a video tutorial that’ll make the process of embroidering caps clearer.

  10. Beverly says

    I am hoping for that video. I bought the hoop but am having a hard time with the part where it fits into the larger hoop.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Beverly, I just ordered a new cap hoop and cap blank. They should arrive next week and then I’ll make the video.

  11. Renee says

    I received the SE-400 as a gift for Christmas. I am very much still in the learning process but have had so much fun. and want to experiment on caps. My machine came with a 4 x 6 3/4 hoop not a 4 x 4. Will the cap hoop work with this size or do I need to also purchase the 4 x 4.

    • Kamala says

      Yes, this is one of those things that’s easier to show than tell. I’m still planing to make a video, but it’ll have to be after the holidays. I’ve moved back to the States from Italy, but I’m still getting settled and a lot of my stuff is stored across the country. Also, I’ve never made a real video before, so I have some learning to do. But it’s definitely something I want to do.

  12. Ssue Eckert says


    When I hit the click here button to order the cap hoop for the SE-400, it states that the hoop is for the SE-350 and the SE-270D. Will this work with the SE-400?

    • Kamala says

      Yes, this hoop will work with the SE-400. Amazon is a bit out-of-date with the description. The SE-350 is an older model, now discontinued. But it’s the same machine as the SE-400 except that it doesn’t have the USB port. So all hoops for the SE-350 will work for the SE-400.