Whoever you are, please stop!


Cliff Wilson

I have the name of your gallery! (but, i'll be polite and not mention it.)

Customer has been having her needleart (cross stitch) sent out for framing for years. (friend of a friend) It is mostly starting to be very wavy so she brought it in for me to fix. (She said I wasn't around before, but she'll come to me from now on because I'm convenient.)

I took the first two apart to "restretch." First of all, no glass, but mats. The mats are a mess. Bainbridge linen mats all warped from exposer. I'm sorry, unglassed needleart I understand, but "open air" mats????

Then, when I pry the mat off the mounting board (more on that later) the needleart is Stapled to this VERY hard paper board. (not sure what the board is, but it's heavy!) I guess I could understand stapling, like a canvas with Stainless Steel staples on stretcher or strainer, but this thing is laid out on the board and stapled on the face with copper staples that were clearly done with a pneumatic stapler with so much force that it has severed the threads of the piece in many places. Ok, I can at least take the staples out. (BTW, anyone know what this heavy Paper board is? )

BUT, please, please, please stop attaching the mat to the mounting board (and needleart) with white glue!!! I have finally disentangled the piece and am remounting it, but that glue will never come off the piece and it is already caused threads to pull, etc. One of these pieces was done in the last year, so this is an ongoing practice. PLEASE STOP. If you have to attach the mat to the mounting board, just hinge it please!!!?


P.S. this is more a rant than anything. Although I have the name of the gallery, I have no evidence that they are a Grumbler.

[ 02-18-2004, 11:07 AM: Message edited by: Cliff Wilson ]
It's called Needlepoint board.
Less, how is it supposed to be used? seems too hard for pinning and (although I haven't tested it) it looks like acidic wood pulp?

Probably Upsonite.

Sorry, got interupted.
Upsonite or Upson Board was a standard for mounting needlework when I got in the business in the 70's. It came from the building industry where it was used (unsuccessfully) as a soffitt board. Attaching textiles with staples was not uncommon. I for one am guilty of the practice, but have since learned the error of my ways. At least they used copper staples.

I still see it on reframe jobs. Because of its thickness and density it was used quite a bit by the galleries in NYC to create duplex mats, either fabric wrapped or gilded.

[ 02-18-2004, 12:12 PM: Message edited by: wpfay ]
I purchased the same product and when it arrived I thought, there's no way I would use this for any stitchery. It is very difficult to cut and my impression is also that it is a wood pulp product. I am interested to hear if that is the case and if anyone has any ideas as to possible alternate uses for the product. Otherwise it's going to go in the fireplace for kindling.

Amy McCray
Upson board makes a great Bulletin Board. You can cover it with fabric and just frame it. Takes pushpins like nobody's business. Where do you find it nowadays though? Every once in a while someone wants a bulletin board made.

Richm: I assume you meant a "Chimney" fire. Otherwise you may be referring to Van Morrison's song "Tupelo Honey", in which toward the end he sings, "You can take all the tea in Chiney..." ;)

:cool: Rick
Are you sure the framer did the mounting? Guess we used upsom gypsum for years of needle point. Like others we didn't know the error of our ways.

Back to the framer part, maybe the customer did the mounting and brought it in just for the frame. Never say never.
Are we talking needlepoint, or cross stitch?
They are cross stitch.

The framer did them. They are done the same and they have a dust cover and "Gallery" sticker on the back.

I'm still confused. How was this board supposed/intended to be used?

Upsom is an insulating board for the housing industry. If you can crumble pieces of it, it's probably Upsom.

Otherwise, if it is hard and dense, it could be a 3X chipboard or the rare and elusive 6X.

Don't be too hard on the framer. I retired my stapler not too many years ago (I'd rather not say how many years, but a Grumbler sent me the first stainless pins I ever had) and we used to pad needlework with fome rubber from the mattress shop down the street.

Now we use the stuff in the paper shredder.

I don't think I ever glued a mat to the needlework, though.

[ 02-18-2004, 06:27 PM: Message edited by: Ron Eggers ]
The framer should be shot. :D

I don't know what kind of board you have, but I'll share this with you.

Needlepoint only: The way I do it anyway.

Crescent's 11W (acid free) Needlepoint board has a white face paper and a grey core and is about 1/4 thick. I guess you could use SS staples or lacing for the purest.

I use 11W because I don't like the idea of using stretchers or strainer stock, and foam is not stable enough.

You could add a layer of 2 or 4ply as an added barrier if you're concerned about it's "acid free" integrity.

Now with 8 to 12 ply's, perhaps those are strong enough to stand up to stretching. In fact, the last one I did with 8-ply, and it worked great.

I don't think there is any easy way to mat a needlepoint, because of its thickness. I will add foam spacers to the needlepoint board, so that the mats will sit flat. For that matter, I try to create an air gap, which has it's own set of problems.

If I were to mount a needlepoint with mats and without glass, I would use linen mat boards, foam spacers, and probably a lot of tape and glue to try to help prevent the mat board from warping. The glue and tape however, would not be near the wool. If I don't use mats, I make sure that I line the rabbet with Lineco's metal tape.
Ron; your comment "Don't be too hard on the framer. I retired my stapler not too many years ago (I'd rather not say how many years, but a Grumbler sent me the first stainless pins I ever had) and we used to pad needlework with fome rubber from the mattress shop down the street" ,makes me wonder are we the oldest needlework framers around ,the ones with the best memories.or just the only ones that admit the truth?
I remeber that chipboard well I think they also called it Newsboard. The fact that it had a "white Facia cover" was supposed to make it safe for needlewoek.Yeah right!
I think the only redeeming property was that STAPLES ,of any kind, held in it's edges well.(Man was it dense,You'd have to score and rescore it to cut it.LOL)
The point being things are always changing (for the better THANK GOD)And things like this were state of the art at one time. Now any framer worth a darn shudders when this stuff is even metioned.I think Regular Corrigated Cardboard is tha only thing that may be worse,and I can rmember when some suppliers sold a white faced version of that as filler also .(But I'll bet none will admit it)
Before we cast stones we need to check dates and what was being taught at the time.I just had a reminder of that in one of my post.
I've even seen (though not in my shop) a form of mount substrata that was formed by adhereing two layers of Lien on either side of thin WOODEN laths.And yes I think if you check with some conservation historian you'll find that was accepted at one time a LOOOOOONG time ago.
"We're not just getting OLDER we're getting better" At least we hope so.LOL