STRETCHER BAR EMBROIDERY FRAMES AND ACCESSORIES

Stretcher Bar Frames  |  Brass Thumb Tacks and Tack Tool  |  Corjac Tack Kit

A stretcher bar frame is the perfect frame to work an embroidery project in.

The frame is inexpensive and you are able to get tension on all four sides of the embroidery, so that the fabric can be put in the frame drum tight, this will help prevent the fabric from puckering, and will give you smoother results to your embroidery.

I use a stretcher bar frame to work all my embroideries. I recommend using a stretcher bar frame for the following stitching techniques: Blackwork, Cross-stitch, Goldwork, Modern Jacobean, Needle Painting, Pulled Work, Shadow Work, White Work.

I have written instructions on how to assemble the frame and the best method of pinning on the fabric below.

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Stretcher Bars

Thumb Tacks

Corjac Thumb Tack Kit -

To push in or remove tacks from the frame

1. Assembling stretcher bars into a frame

Assemble the bars into a frame, by slotting the teeth at the ends of the bars together, You may have to use a hammer to push the bars together if you cannot do it by hand. The two sets of stretcher bars can be different lengths to form a rectangle frame.

2.

3.

Pinning fabric onto a stretcher bar frame

1st option

Enlargement

Pin the fabric to the sides of the stretcher bar frame. Pinning the fabric to the sides of the stretcher bar frame reduces the chance of the embroidery thread catching on the tacks when working the embroidery.

Pinning fabric onto a stretcher bar frame - 2nd option

If there is not enough fabric to pin the fabric to the side of the stretcher bars then pin the fabric along the top. Push the pins fully in so that the thread does not get caught around the pins when working the embroidery.

STRETCHER BAR FRAMES

Stretcher bars are wooden embroidery frames in which the fabric can be pulled really tight. The end of the bars having teeth so that you can slot the bars together to form a square frame.

Different length bars can be slotted together to match the size of your fabric. The fabric is pinned onto the bars using thumb tacks or a staple gun, pulling the fabric so that it is drum tight.

You can put a stretcher bar frame in most frame stands (check with the company first to see if the frame will fit the stand - thickness of the bars is 3/4 by 3/4 of an inch or 2 cm by 2 cm) or you can work at a table and support the corner of the frame with a heavy book, weight or a table clamp, you will then have your hands free to work your project.

USING THE RIGHT SIZE STRETCHER BAR FRAME

The sizes of my stretcher bars are standard manufacturers sizes. If you purchase a 12 inch by 12 inch stretcher bar frame, the outside dimensions of the frame are 12 inch by 12 inch. The bars themselves are 3/4 of an inch (2 cm) thick which means when the frame is assembled the inside opening of the frame will be 10 1/2 inch by 10 1/2 inch. My stretcher bars may not fit together with other manufacturers as the the width of the teeth may be different so it is best to purchase at least one complete frame.

There are several points to consider when purchasing your frame

  1. Firstly it best to know what size the stitched area will be. If the finished stitched area is going to be 4 inch by 4 inch. You should have at least 4 inches of fabric around the stitched area on each side, making the fabric size 12 inch by 12 inch. An appropriate size stretcher bar frame will be 10 inch by 10 inch. With a 10 inch by 10 inch frame you have an opening of 8 1/2 inch by 8 1/2 inch which gives you 2 1/4 inches of open fabric around the stitched design. This is the minimum amount of open fabric that you want around the design for easy working.

  2. Do not work on a frame that is closer to the design as the tacks can mark the fabric with holes when pinning the fabric onto the frame, and these holes may be hard to cover when it comes to framing the piece.

  3. If you have a 14 inch by 14 inch piece of fabric the largest frame that you can use is a 14 inch by 14 inch frame as the outside dimensions of the frame are 14 inch by 14 inch. But my recommendation would be to use a 12 inch by 12 inch frame as then you have 2 inches of fabric around the edge to be able pull the fabric very tight onto the frame. You must work out the size of the actual stitched area to make sure that the frame will be okay. The largest stitched area size for a 14 inch stretcher bar frame (12 1/2 inch opening) would be 8 inch by 8 inch. This gives you 2 1/4 inches of open fabric around the design to comfortably stitch the piece.

  4. If you have a larger stretcher bar frame than your fabric, you can still use the stretcher bar frame but you will have to sew strips of fabric to the sides of your fabric to make the fabric large enough to pin onto the frame.

  5. In conclusion the frame size should be 2 inches smaller than the fabric size giving you 2 inches of fabric to pull the fabric tight on the frame. The inside opening of the frame should be 4 inches larger than the stitched area of the design enabling easy working.

If you have the right size frame it will not be necessary to reposition the fabric as you are working the embroidery as the whole design should be accessible to work.

Stretcher bar frames are a great frame to work my embroidery kits in as they are reasonably priced and quick to assemble and most importantly once the fabric has been pinned onto the frame tightly the fabric does not slacken of. It is very important that the fabric is very tight for the Needle Painting kits, Modern Jacobean kits, Goldwork kits, Shadow Work kits and White Work kits as it is easier to work the embroidery on tight fabric and the stitching will work in neater.

It is important to pin the fabric on to the frame by using lots of thumb tacks, the closer the thumb tacks are together the more tension you will be able to get on the fabric (about 1/2 inch intervals). The fabric should be pinned on to the frame in the following method:

HOW TO ASSEMBLE FRAME AND PIN ON FABRIC

  1. Assemble the stretcher bar frame so that it is square using four stretcher bars. You can use all the same length bars to create a square frame or each pair can be a different size i.e. using a 9 inch pair of stretcher bars and a 11 inch pair of stretcher bars to form a rectangle frame. The bars on opposite sides should always be the same length so that the frame does not become warped.

  2. The stretcher bars have teeth at both ends of the bar, these teeth slot into the teeth of the other bars to form a frame, you may require a hammer to help push the bars together. See diagram 1. 2. and 3.

  3. Place the fabric over the stretcher bar frame so that the fabric is squarely placed on the frame, not overlapping one edge more than an other and not askew.

  4. Pin the first side of the fabric onto the frame starting at the center of one side of the stretcher bars, (I like to pin the fabric on the side of the bars so that when you are working the embroidery the embroidery thread is less likely to get caught up on the thumb tacks). Pin the fabric from the center of the bar to the outside edge, then pin the other side of the fabric from the center out. Push the tacks in about 1/2 an inch apart and try to avoid having puckers in the fabric between each tack, you can gently pull the fabric to the side as you are pushing the pins in. You can use a hammer to push the tacks all the way in so they are flat to the bars if you wish.

  5. Pin the second side on the opposite side of the first side. Also begin pinning the fabric at the center of the bar, pinning one side and then the other. This time pull the fabric as tight as you can, it is very important that the fabric is very tight for the Needle Painting kits, Modern Jacobean kits, Goldwork kits, Shadow Work kits and White Work kits. Do not worry about ripping the fabric as the fabrics I provide are strong. To do this, place the frame on a table. With the ball of your weaker hand, hold the far end of the frame down on the table.  With your strong hand pull the fabric very tight. When it is very tight, release the hand holding down the frame and use this hand to pin the fabric in place.

  6. Pin the third side on one of the unpinned edge, pin the fabric in the same method as the first side, it is not necessary to pull the fabric very tight, just pull the fabric gently.

  7. The fourth side is worked in the same method as the third side pulling the fabric as tight as you can. When the fabric is pinned onto the frame, the fabric should be drum tight i.e. when you flick the fabric with your finger it pings like a drum.

  8. You can put a stretcher bar frame in most frame stands (check with the company first to see if the frame will fit the stand - thickness of the bars is 3/4 by 3/4 of an inch or 2 cm by 2 cm) or you can work at a table and support the corner of the frame with a heavy book, weight or a table clamp, you will then have your hands free to work your stitching project.

FRAME SIZES

I offer a range in sizes of stretcher bar frames which can be used for embroidery techniques such as: Blackwork, Cross-Stitch, Goldwork, Needle Painting, Needle Point, Jacobean, Crewel Work, Silk Embroidery and any technique that requires fabric tension.

If you wish to purchase a stretcher bar specifically for one of the embroidery kits that I sell, the stretcher bar frame can be purchased on the relevant embroidery kit page so that you get the exact size that you need.

SQUARE STRETCHER BAR FRAMES

Stretcher Bar Frame (Complete Frame): $9.00 Canadian dollars

Quantity: Frame Size: View Cart


Stretcher Bar Frame (Complete Frame): $10.00 Canadian dollars

Quantity: Frame Size: View Cart


Stretcher Bar Frame (Complete Frame): $12.00 Canadian dollars

Quantity: Frame Size: View Cart


Stretcher Bar Frame (Complete Frame): $13.00 Canadian dollars

Quantity: Frame Size: View Cart


See below for thumb tacks necessary to pin fabric to the frame


RECTANGLE STRETCHER BAR FRAMES

Stretcher bars are sold as two bars instead of four, use two different sizes together to make a rectangle frame.

Stretcher Bar (Half a Frame): $4.50 Canadian dollars

Quantity: Frame Size: View Cart


Stretcher Bar (Half a Frame): $5.00 Canadian dollars

Quantity: Frame Size: View Cart


Stretcher Bar (Half a Frame): $6.00 Canadian dollars

Quantity: Frame Size: View Cart


Stretcher Bar (Half a Frame): $6.50 Canadian dollars

Quantity: Frame Size: View Cart


See below for thumb tacks necessary to pin fabric to the frame


View the   Shopping Cart for mailing costs.

Thumb Tacks

 

BRASS THUMB TACKS

Brass Thumb Tacks: Packet of strong brass thumb tacks approximately 60 and a small plastic tack remover. The thumb tacks have a flat head and a strong pin. Much stronger than the regular office supplies thumb tacks and with a sharper point than the steel thumb tacks in the corjac tack kit.

Packet of Thumb Tacks (approximately 60) with Puller (to remove tacks): $5.00 Canadian dollars

Quantity: View Cart


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CORJAC TACK KIT

Kit includes:

Packet of steel thumb tacks approximately 60: Please note, the thumb tacks are not as sharp and strong as the brass thumb tacks which are sold in the seperate plastic box. Unfortunately I cannot get a kit that sells the pusher and extractor seperately from the thumb tacks.

Magnetic Pusher with Wooden Handle: To push thumb tacks into stretcher bar frame.

Extractor with Wooden Handle: To remove thumb tacks from frame.

Corjac Tack Kit : $18.95 Canadian dollars

Quantity: View Cart


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Tanja Berlin © Berlin Embroidery Designs  

Address: 1481 Hunterbrook Road NW, Calgary, Alberta T2K 4V4, Canada Telephone: (403) 274 6293  Email: tanja@berlinembroidery.com