Framing Needlework


PFG, Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Nov 19, 2002
United Kingdom, West Sussex Coast. (Bottom centre)
I am interested in how things are (generally) done in The States in comparison to here in UK

How would YOU prepare for framing, say..........

1. A 10" x 10" cross stitch on 14 count (holes per inch) aida, pretty run of the mill.

2. A much more elaborate piece on a high count linen.

3. An antique sampler with absolutely no spare fabric around the design.

4. A newly completed sampler with not really enough spare fabric around the image.


For the newly completed sampler...when there is not enough room around the edges, I think you need to use a sewing machine and add cloth. Stitch a strip along the sides as far away as possible from the needlework and then you will have something to stretch. Be sure to point this out to the owner of the piece and charge for it!

1 & 2 I would prepare the same way. Thread count has nothing to do with it. I would wash (yes, wash, if it can be) & block before mounting. IMO agin, when a stitcher works the needlework, oils from the skin get into the fabric. In fact, I had a customer bring in something she had done elsewhere, before she was a customer of mine. There were yellow marks all over the fabric which weren't there when it was originally framed. I thought they might have been caused by skin oils, so I took it off it's mount, washed it, and the marks vanished.

#3 I would sew the stitchery to a piece of washed 100% cotton muslum.

#4 same as #3, or sew strips to perimeter.

Run-of-the- mill stitchery I would give the customer the option of lacing or pinning to acid-free board (Artare).

Antique, or heirloom quality work, I would lace to a museum quality board. No option given to the customer on this.
Rebecca, Hi

OK this is what I would do.

1 & 2 the same, lace across artcare board, (we use artcare as standard) #5 crotchet cotton and a size 24 tapestry needle for No 1, slightly thinner crotchet cotton and needle for No 2. Thicker board if 20 x 16 or over, or several pieces stuck together.

No 3 There is only one way to prepare an antique sampler where there is no spare fabric. In fact the edge of the fabric is usually part of the design. Full support sewing, maybe to mount (mat) board covered in fabric, but I usually find a good colour or finish within the artcare range. Love their rice paper boards.

No 4. Anything (new) with no spare fabric, sew on an extension, as per Bill suggests above, (or get the customer to if you are sure they will return and not take it elswhere -to be botched!) Unless that is the customer wants to see the fabric's edge, maybe s/he has frayed it, etc, deliberately, if so then as per No3.

The reason I am asking is that the norm over here envolves adhesives, staples and plenty of 'out of sight out of mind' methods.

Standards in the states seem much higher, not that anyone would admit to bad practice on these pages!

What do you see when you REFRAME the work of others' though?

For #3, antique etc. I think lacing is way too stressful. Stitch to washed fabric and wrap edges of mounting fabric around 8ply alpha cellulose matboard. I pad the matboard with Insulate -needlepunched poly padding.

Sometimes stitching is too stressful, in which case padded sink mount/pressure mount can be useful.