The hoop skirt has several full circle hoops and 3 open hoops. The hoops are made of hoop steel; hoop steel is a actually "spring steel" and is called so because it want to "spring" back to it's original shape and this is important. Using "spring steel" for hoops means you can sit with relative ease and pass through narrow doorways without risk of bending or denting your hoop skirt. The "spring steel" hoops collapse and then spring back into shape when you stand or get through the doorway.
A hoop skirt can feel surprisingly light when worn.
To create full circle hoops it's best to use "hoop connectors" that will join the two cut ends of the hoop steel. Slide the "hoop connector" onto one cut end of the steel; then feed the "hoop steel" through the casing; leading with the "hoop connector" which has smooth rounded ends that won't catch on the casing. When the steel is through the casing slide the back end of the "hoop steel" into the open end of the "hoop connector"...that's it! "Hoop connectors" are great if you have to travel or store your hoop skirt because the hoops can come apart, get coiled up tight and the "hoop connector" can keep the coil small. This hoop skirt fit in the outside pocket of my suit case where it could easily be checked out by airport security if needed.
The open hoops need to have the ends of the cut spring steel blunted as they'll be very sharp. There are two options for this; you can apply "bone tips" - also known as "U" tips. This requires two pairs of needle nose pliers or you can use "plastic ends", which can be sewn through so you can secure them in place.
You can find all of these supplies on the Farthingales Hoop Steel Page