Framing Needlework in Round Frames

At last! The lovely needlework project you have slaved over is now finished! Needlework is, indeed, a fascinating hobby and one that requires a lot of careful and precise work. Once finished, the next best step is to frame it so that loved ones and friends can enjoy it. Framed needlework not only work as excellent decorative items – you can also give these as gifts. You can personalize the gifts by adding your initial or by embroidering the name of the recipient.

Here are the steps to framing needlework onto round frames:

Find the right picture frame. With this project, it will be useful to choose a round picture frame with enough depth to accommodate the thickness of the embroidered work, matting boards you want to add and the glazing (if you ever decide to add one). Ideally, the rabbet depth (or the recessed area inside the frame that will house the contents of the frame) should be at least ½ inch deep.

Opt for some matting. Matting boards are not just for putting some space between the glass and the needlework; it can also act as a frame within a frame. Two layers of matting will have a more visually interesting effect. The matting should complement the main colors featured in the needlework. You can purchase the matting from the frame store.

Wash the needlework. The needlework may have some smudges due to handling. There may also be some build-up of oil (from your hands) and dust. Before you wash your needlework, make sure that the threads you used will not fade when the needlework is washed. To wash, get some liquid soap for babies (or a really gentle soap) and place it in a bowl of lukewarm water. Zone in on problematic areas, where there are obvious marks and gently rub some soap on the mark. Mix the solution and then lay the fabric into the bowl. Do not rub, wring or squeeze – just allow the fabric to soak on the soapy mixture and wait up to 10 minutes. Rinse under runner water until no suds appear. Lay the fabric on a clean towel and then lay another towel on top. Apply gentle pressure to the layers and then allow the fabric to dry.

Iron the fabric. Get a clean white piece of cloth, fold it in half and lay the embroidered fabric between the fold. The fabric should be laid upside-down. Put the iron on medium heat but remain mindful of the effect of the heat on the fabric. When ironing, do not use a back and forth motion. Rather, push the iron in one direction. Once done, take the embroidered fabric out and check whether there are remaining wrinkles. Gently iron directly on the wrinkled fabric, carefully avoiding the areas with embroidered threads. Do not overdo the ironing. Most of the wrinkles will be gone when the fabric is properly mounted into the backing board.

Mount the fabric. To make things easier, buy a frame that is already fitted with a mounting board. Lay the embroidered fabric upside down and then place the mounting board over the fabric. Make sure that the embroidery is placed at the center. Fold the fabric over the board. Sew the edges so that they are attached in a zigzag design – attaching from side to side and then top to bottom. Seal the corners of the fabric so that it follows the circular shape of the board.

Complete the framing. Lay the matting boards. The order should be as follows – the glazing, the matting board with the largest opening, the matting board with the smaller opening, the mounted needlework and then the backing board. Close and then hang the frame where it can be admired.

7th Oct 2015 Eric Morgan

Recent Posts