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Framing A Cross Stitch
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Framing A Cross Stitch

You could frame your completed cross stitch yourself, perhaps with an old, attractive fram you already have, but as the frame is so important to the finished appearance of your work, it does require skill and experience to choose one. Only professional framers have the range of products and the knowledge to advise you on the most suitable frame.

Take great care in choosing your framer. This is a very important part of how your work will be presented so it is best to take your time with selecting a framing professional. Make sure your chosen framer is used to working with textured embroideries as they are a very different medium to paintings and prints. For example, glass should not touch the embroidery or your stitches will be flattened, so allowance must be made for this in the framing process.

I have found it invaluable to talk to the person who is actually going to do the work. Difficulties can be discussed and an expert opinion sought from them. Many framing stores offering framing, subcontract the work do that you do not have direct contact with the framer, which makes it much more difficult to put things right if they do go wrong.

If you are not sure where to go in your local area, you might like to ask the advice of other embroiderers or an embroidery teacher you know. A local specialist shop may offer framing, but do not assume because it is a needlework shop that it will offer the best service.

Always ask for an estimate and, if you are not satisfied, take the time to shop around. Some shops offer a 'preparation for framing' service, but this will be an additional cost. Check on the method to be used as this may prevent unsuitable glues, for example, being used in the framing process, thus ruining your work. If you are not sure, it may be safer to prepare it yourself.

Preparation for Framing

I would recommend talking to the framer and choosing the frame before cutting the card on which you will mount the sampler. Then you can measure the lip of the frame (the small indentation where the frame will cover the work to be framed) and make allowance for this in the overall measurement. If you do not, the frame may cover some of your stitching making the sampler look cramped.

You should decide how much space you will need around your stitching, before you start. With a craft knife, cut a piece of acid-free card to the required size. You can buy the card from art supply shops. Place your cross stitch over the card and secure it using map pins inserted into the sides of the card. These short pins with large heads will keep your work in place. Make sure that it it evenly positioned on the card by measuring the borders as you pin. Now you can lace your cross stitch using extra long thread.

Start the lacng from the centre of each side of the work. Thread a long length of extra long thread in a 22 tapestry needle and secure it firmly at the centre of one side of your embroidery. Take it over to the centre of the opposite side and catch the edge by passing the needle through once. Return to the first side 1 inch further along. Repeat this process to the corner. Leave the thread loose.

Repeat this process all around the cross stitch fabric, starting in the middle of each side. The ends of the threads can now be gently tightened until there is no slack and then fastened off. The pins can be removed and the corners tucked in and stitched down neatly.

Non-reflective glass is probably best avoided when framing cross stitch as it seems to deaden the appearnace of an embroidery and can cause the texture to appear distorted.


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