Stretching Oversize Needlepoint

Doug Gemmell

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Have a 20 X 45" needlepoint to be stretched. Need suggestions on what to stretch it on. The needlepoint board we normally use doesn't come oversize. Did a search and the closest thing I found was "Framing Oversise Crossstitch" where they were using foamcore. We need something beefier for this guy. One of our suppliers suggested 1/2" gatorboard and stapling the needlepoint canvas to the back. Opinions on using gatorboard for this or other options are greatly appreciated.
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Jim Miller

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Block it properly and then stretch it like a canvas.

To reduce stress on the weave of the fabric, you could first stretch a fiberglass screen to the stretcher bars, and stitch the needlepoint to that all around its perimeter.

I would not suggest using a board for art that size, especially an invasive board such as Gatorfoam.
 

Lori Drugan

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If you cover the front of the gator board with 4 ply then I don't have a problem with that option. Just keep in mind gator foam or mighty core, which ever you go with is not acid free, so you need to line it with an archival material.

Lori
 

FramerDave

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What Jim said.

For something that size, use wooden stretcher/strainer bars either sealed with polyurethane or frame sealing tape. Needlepoint will need a lot of pulling and stretching to get it looking right, and just about any board you use won't be up to it.
 

Framing Goddess

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If you wanted to still use (and piece) the needleboard, you could back it with a shallow (1/4",) wide strainer bar. I wrap my needleboard with rag paper and you could still do that here, as well as using batting behind if you wished. That way you could still pin and staple into the needleboard and are using what you have on hand.

edie the blisteredfingersfromstretchingneedlepoints goddess
 

Jim Miller

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Originally posted by Creative Chicks:
...Just keep in mind gator foam or mighty core, which ever you go with is not acid free, so you need to line it with an archival material...
In framing we have two gas-impermeable barriers that are practical for most applications: glass and metal. Unfortunately, neither of them is practical for this job.

If one or two layers of 4-ply alphacellulose board are used, that would stop direct chemical migration for a decade or two at least, but would not stop gaseous chemical migration, which could come from the expanded polystyrene core of Gatorfoam. Especially in a closed-up frame, that could be a bigger problem.

How much preservation do you want? If 10-20 years is enough, with the possible problem of off-gassing, then Gatorfoam/MightyCore would be an OK substrate. But staples will not hold in its edges, so you might want to lace the needlepoint.

If you must use a board backer, fluted polypropylene would be much better. You should still line it with alphacellulose, for a smooth surface and to pad the edges, but it would not cause any chemical problems over time. You would have to lace it, as well.

Another possible mounting board would be 1/4" acrylic. With sanded edges, it would be among your best choices for preservation purposes.
 

HB

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Use Stretcher bars - coated with Acrylic, then put a 4 or 8 ply rag board on the face before stretching.
 

Doug Gemmell

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Great...I like the coated stretcher/strainer bar ideas. Strong and good conservation method. Thank you all so much for your insight.
 
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