For those of you who are in the know, needlework is a labor of love. The hours and hours spent stitching tiny threads into a larger picture are so rewarding when they are finished. Now that you’ve got it finished, you need to frame your needlework professionally at The Frame and I!
It’s really important to frame a needlepoint the right way, because framing it wrong can mean that hundreds of hours of stitching can be ruined or have their life cut short. What are the most important components of a good needlework frame?
- Materials. The materials need to be preservation quality; otherwise they might cause yellowing and staining to the needlework. A professional framer like The Frame and I will only use Alpha or cotton boards to stretch the needlework on. Stickyboards and tape or glue are a no-no, because they leave residue on the art and will ultimately destroy it by causing it to become brittle before its time. The sticky residue often changes color over time as well.
- Stretching. The needlework needs to be stretched to look its best. At the Frame and I we use stainless steel pins to pin the work to the stretching boards. When called for, we will lace the artwork with cotton, linen or silk thread instead.
- Mats or spacers. Mats and/or spacers are designed to keep glass or plexiglas off of the surface of the needlework, and to provide space between the frame and the stretched artwork. Mats add a beautiful visual element that enhance the colors in the work, as well as giving a visual break between the art and the detail of the frame itself. Spacers on the other hand are used when there is no mat. They don’t give any space away from the edge of the frame, but they do still serve the purpose of lifting the glass off the work. They are virtually invisible.
- Glass or plexiglas. This is an often debated subject, and philosophically there are different schools about it. On the one hand we have those who prefer no glass, because the work is a textile. On the other hand though, the needlework is vulnerable to dust, bugs, snags, and UV damage if it doesn’t have glass over it. The best innovation to come along is glass with anti-reflective coatings and UV filtering qualities, like the Art Glass UV pictured in the examples below. It’s nearly invisible at straight on viewing!
- Wire, backing, dust cover and proper hangers for the space. When you frame your needlepoint at a professional frame shop like ours, we make sure that even the back of the frame is perfect!
Give your needlework a fighting chance to survive the ages and become an heirloom.
Put it in a beautiful custom frame from The Frame and I! Our professional framers will treat it with the tender loving care it deserves. After all, you put a lot of time and care into stitching it! So why trust it to stickyboard and big box store frames that don’t fit right? Let us help choose the perfect color and style to make your needlework really shine.
Thanks for reading! Happy Mother’s day to all of you moms out there.