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TEXTILE, EMBROIDERY & NEEDLEWORK FRAMING

 

Often very fragile, embroidery and needle art needs to be handled carefully, and framed correctly using preventative conservation materials and techniques (non-invasive and reversible). 

Read the article - Things You Need to Know About Framing Your Needlework & Questions to Ask Your Framer

Instructions on "How to Stretch Your Needlework"

Our Needlework Services Include:

 

The 2009 Triennial Award Winner Category: Group SA Branch Australian Lace Guild

Correct Stretching of Needlework

Extending needlework
Needlework with extensions
Laced needlework
Pinned needlework
Back of pinned needlework
Pinned needlework
Laced needlework

Correct techniques which are reversible and inert (won’t harm or discolour threads, fabric or ribbons) are -

 

  • Lacing

  • Pinning - with stainless steel, pearl head pins

  • Spacers or matboards should also be used to create an “air-space” in between the items inside the frame and the glazing, so they don’t touch

 

Incorrect Stretching of Needlework

Lacing onto MDF
Stapled onto board
Stapled onto wood
Stapled onto wood

2024 and this is still going on. These two were glued down onto sticky board by an Adelaide framer who "has been a tradesman (carpenter) since before I was born". Another reason why carpenters should not be framers. They are not equipped with information on caring for art.

Rusty staples into MDF
Needlework stapled to MDF
Fabric stapled to MDF
Damage to fabric by stapling
Incorrect stretching of embroidery
Incorrect stretching

Incorrect materials and techniques which should never be used for needlework framing - 

 

  • MDF or masonite should not be used anywhere inside a conservation framing package - it is highly acidic. If your frame feels unusually heavy, it might be an indication that your needlework is mounted onto MDF or masonite.

  • Stapling - can damage and break fibres in fabrics and ribbons and become rusty

  • Hot glue and epoxy glue - extremely difficult to remove when set, especially in fabric fibres. Only a qualified conservator can remove glue like this, which is a very expensive exercise.

  • Tapes – strong double-sided tape contains acid, which can discolour items and leave adhesive residue.

 

STEAM BLOCKING

Some needlework comes in to our studio very warped and “parallelogram” shaped. This is quite normal for needlepoint, and is easily rectified.

The first step is to colourfast test the fibres. If the fibres pass the colourfast test and don’t run, then we proceed to steam block the needlepoint. This can take several days, depending on how warped the needlepoint is. The process involves steaming, stretching and drying, and then repeating, until the needlepoint is perfectly straight and dry.

The end result is well worth the wait! 

If the fibres are not colourfast, then dry-blocking is the best option.

 

Fibre testing
Steam blocking
The finished needlework
Before steam blocking
Drying after steam blocking
The finished frame
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