Stretching an oval needlework


Grumbler in Training
Aug 9, 2003
Hi all
Not posted here before, been lurking for years though.
I've been framing for about 22 years, and have just taken the plunge, and started on my own.
So this week I have a Needle work to frame, but the customer wants it in an oval frame with no mount, so any ideas on how to stretch it?

Hey FrameBoy,

A quick (and perhaps incomplete explanation):

Assuming it’s cross stitch and the oval is a horizontal 8 x 10 (‘cause it’s easier to explain), find the dead center of the piece. Travel from that center point up the thread 5 inches and mark that spot with a pin; down five inches, pin; right 4 inches, pin; and, finally, left four inches, pin.

With an 8 x 10 oval blank of needleboard, mark the edges of the board at the 12, 6, 3 and 9 o’clock position lightly with a pencil. Pin or staple the pinned cross stitch fabric at those points. Gradually apply more staples (or pins) at the 1:30, 7:30, 4:30, and 10:30 o'clock positions making sure that you apply even tension so that the “rows and columns” of the canvas are straight and parallel.

Keep going like that until the gaps between staples are filled. Tuck the excess canvas behind the piece and hope that the needle board still fits in the oval frame.

Ta dah!
Thanks, you make it sound so easy.
I thought it might be harder, i'll give it a go.
let you know how it goes.

I am going to assume you meant "no mat", 'cuz "no mount" makes no sense. Is the jargon different in the UK?

I just wanted to add, that I cut a backing board out of matboard to cover the needlework before I put in the points to hold the work into the frame. This keeps the points from possibly going into, and tearing, the needlework.

If the piece is getting no glass, you might want to pad (layer of polyester batting) the piece before mounting. If it is getting glass, don't forget spacers. The rabbet should be lined to prevent the migration of acid from the frame to the needlepoint. TMI?
We call 'Matboard' 'Mountboard' over here in the UK, sorry for the confusion.

It now looks like she might not have it in an oval frame after all, which is a shame I was looking forward to trying something new.

Thank for all the advice though.
The other idea that will help with the excess fabric bunching is too take needle and thread and run a basting stitch around the edge of the fabric, about 1" in from the edge. Then after you have pinned it to the backing board, pull the thread taunt and it will gather up around the oval shape, you can then tie it off to hold in place. Hope that makes sense,

Langley House Gallery