Needle Art Framing Survey

Is this type of framing up or down?

  • Total voters

Mike Labbe

Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Jun 25, 2002
Lincoln, RI
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RESULTS from previous surveys: LINK TO RESULTS

Is needle art framing up or down in your shop?
What percentage of your orders are for needle art?
How do you price needle art?
Do you clean needle art prior to framing?
How do you market this specialty??
Do you have any comments, tips, funny stories to share about needle art?

Discussion is welcomed!

-This survey is intended for framers.
-Your poll selections are anonymous, although discussion is public and encouraged.
-Results represent only a small sample of the industry, and should NOT be used as a planning tool/business plan.
-This survey is purely for entertainment and discussion.
Word of mouth spreads well in this needlework community. Also, keeping a framed sample in the shop always gets comments, of "Oh, you do needlework, I have to bring mine in!" and they do. New owner to my shop, I will be focusing on needlework advertising, demos, etc. soon.
I am going to read the other thread now that i am home. However this poll was a bit confusing to me at question 4 .How do i price needle art? seems to imply the actual value of the work. i think what you wanted to know was some aspect of the services we framers rendor to it.

I alos thin that just asking if NA is up or down in a given shop isn't a true gauge of it's trend. Wouldn't it be more indicative to know how much NA you did previously and How much you do now?

By this i mean if all you did were a few pieces a week and now it has dropped off that may be because it is going else where. I know MANY BIG SHOPS that discourage Needleart since it is very labor intensive and they could do more work of other types in the same time for more pay. so being so discouraged Needleartist take their work to specialty shops who have a mauch higher percentage of their total work in NA.

Some of these same shops consider Needle art Craft type framing and kind of look down their nose at it.

So while i think Cross stitch in particular is off and a lot of other needle art as well ,I also think many shops really didn't encorage it and aren't too sad to see it loose interest and their percenatges aren't a true sampling.
#4. How do you figure the price to frame needlepoints?

"I alos thin that just asking if NA is up or down in a given shop isn't a true gauge of it's trend. Wouldn't it be more indicative to know how much NA you did previously and How much you do now?"

Not if you don't frame them. If you don't ever frame them, N/A seems to apply because you don't frame any more or any less than you ever did.

"I know MANY BIG SHOPS that discourage Needleart since it is very labor intensive "

They would answer "NA"

I don't particularly like needlepoints. I do get a minimum of 1 a month. People that cross stitch are by nature 'do it yourselfers'. We framers tend to fall into that category. Like framers, they often put a low value on labor because the "work" isn't "work" at all. In some cases it's absolutely fun. The proof is in the fact that so many of these things are gifts.

To end my rambling, because of their lack of respect for labor, they are very price resistant. A 1' square piece could easily run more than an hour to stretch properly. You start tacking on labor charges like that and watch the peaceful old ladies get quite belligerent!
We have a ladies group in our community that stretch needlework for a few dollars and then they frame them with Wal-Mart ready mades. I don't know if they are still doing it, if they aren't we sure are not get the business. I won't do it for a few dollars.

I market needle art work by reluctantly admitting that I do it when someone asks...


Dave Makielski
I actually find it very interesting that after all these years and all the education offered that more framers either don't promote needle work framing or don't even offer it. As a stitcher (relieves that stress) and framer I have found that some months anywhere from 20% to as much as 50% can be needlework related. Granted some folks just don't like to stretch and pin or lace but when you are taught how to do this correctly and you practice conservation techniques for this customer base you can and will be well rewarded with a repeat client base.

If it's something that you can live without and absolutely don't want to mess with it, then fine. However, in my humble opinion you're missing the boat and I would teach anyone how to do it correctly so that you could increase your bottom line.

The questions I thought were good as to good basic questions. As to cleaning needlework, I really feel unless you're well versed and extremely knowledgeable/comfortable with the different fibers/fabrics available do not offer this service. At the very least ask your client if there are any hand-dyed threads/fabric used so that you will know what you're dealing with. There are times hand-dyed fabrics will rub off on your hands.

Anyway, just my 2 cents worth this evening,
I love framing needlework. Pinning, stretching. lacing, etc. although not a speedy process, it can be relaxing, almost meditative to me. Having been a stitcher, I can appreciate every stitch that goes into them, and the history and stories about each project, and they always have one, are fascinating.
Word gets around in the stitching community. Our best advertisement!
We used to have a dry cleaner that did a great job on cleaning needlepoint. Very knowledgable and no problems. He went away so I tried two other places. One lost the piece...they "found" it a few days later and the other one shredded the piece. No more "cleaning service" for us! If a piece needs cleaning we recommend they take it to their favorite cleaner.
We have a dry cleaning agency, but have never used them for needlework.

We will hand-wash and press customers' cross stiches ourselves though, as long as DMC or Anchor threads have been used.

We have even rescued machine washed & tumble dried cross stitches!
It is interesting that such a large number of us polled have less than 5% of our jobs as needlework and about the same % don't market it at all. Interesting. Are we missing something or is this just not a viable market to tap? I remember years ago, doing lots of these things. I have seen about 6 in the last year. Are they all getting frames at WM? Is no-one making them anymore? Do they just not like me?

Regardless, I enjoy stretching them and they are good orders when I get them. So I say, Bring'em on! I just don't know who to say that to... any thoughts?
It be interesting to find out if in the US if it breaks down as being stronger in different areas of the country, if there are nw/fabric suppliers nearby , etc. Its hard to find good places here for patterns, many of the places have closed. We even had a national cross stitch show at one time, but it wasn't strong enough here.
This poll is now finished, and I submit the results to you for discussion.

What can we learn from our answers?


Is this type of framing up or down? (declining)
46% About the same
37% DOWN
13% UP
02% We don't frame needle art
02% NONE/Does Not Apply

What percentage of total framing is represented by needle art? (~79% of us said less than 10%)
53% 0-5%
26% 6-10%
04% 11-15%
05% 16-20%
02% 21-25%
03% 26-30%
02% 36-40%
01% 71-75%
04% NONE/Does Not Apply

Do you offer a service to clean needle art, prior to framing?
84% NO
09% YES
06% NONE/Does Not Apply
01% Other (see forum)

How do you price needle art?
65% United Inches
13% Flat/Fixed extra Fee
09% Square Inches
08% Other (see forum)
04% NONE/Does Not Apply

Do you market this specialty? How?
39% We do NOT market this specialty service
32% Phone Book(s)
23% Web Site
19% Newspaper
19% Signage - in business
15% Newsletter
14% Direct Mail
14% Club/Organization
10% Signage - exterior of business
10% Flyers
10% Business Cards
09% Guest speaking engagements
04% Trade Show
04% NONE/Does Not Apply
03% Radio Ads
03% TV Ads
03% Other (see forum)
This has been a very interesting poll.
As one of the few who has seen an increase in this business as well as it being a substantial part of the business (over 25%) I thought that when the poll began, I would be somewhere in the middle range of things. I've stopped to take a good look at why my numbers and experience is so different than others. I do actively promote this business and enjoy doing it. I find it financially rewarding. The folks coming in are of all ages and financial strata. Most are women, many of whom work and do this as an outlet. Some are men who have taken it up as a hobby (some, but not all, are retired).
I appreciate everyone's inputs and hope we can do similar polls in the future to cover other areas of the business.
We handle needle art, clothing, and other textiles. The market seems neither up or down, but steady, a couple of pieces here and there. We do market this and have good response to it, mostly antique articles.