ensure that a finished embroidery is mounted correctly to go into a
picture frame it is often best if we can do it ourselves so that we
know that it is mounted onto acid free board with out glues or tape
that can cause acid erosion over time. It also allows us to purchase
a premade frame saving money on custom framing costs. A lot of the
designs that I sell will fit well in 8 inch by 10 inch frames or
larger with a 8 inch by 10 inch mat board.
outlines one method in which an embroidery can be mounted.
will require a piece of acid free board. You may need to approach a
custom framer to purchase a sheet or if you are lucky some good art
stores and craft stores will have them for sale. There are several
types. The type I use is 8 ply which is thick acid free board through
the whole core not just the surface. If you cannot get 8 ply then use
4 ply acid free board, you can glue two pieces of acid free board
together to make it thicker which also makes it easier to pin the
fabric onto the board. There is also acid free foam core, which is
not as easy to pull the fabric tight on as the board can bow but it
is good when there is no other board available. Do not use
regular mat board as the acid in the paper will leach into the fabric
and threads and rot the fabric and thread over time - generally in a
space of 6 - 10 years the fabric becomes discoloured going brown and
will start rotting.
a piece of acid free board on which to mount the embroidery. If you
have purchased a frame you can cut the board to fit into the frame.
Measure the opening at the back of the frame and cut the acid free
board 1/8th of an inch (3 mm) smaller. For instance if you have an 8
inch by 10 inch frame then you can cut the acid free board 7 7/8 by 9
7/8 inches, this allows a little room for the fabric that is wrapped
around the edge of the board. Place the board into the back of the
frame to make sure it is not too big or too small.
the embroidery over the board making sure that it is central.
Measure from the sides of the actual embroidery to the sides of the
board, the fabric showing on each side of the embroidery should be
the same measurement. Also measure from the top and the bottom of the
actual embroidery to the edge of the board, the fabric showing at the
top and and the bottom of the embroidery should be the same
measurement but it does not have to be the same measurement as the
sides of the embroidery.
dress making pins with large heads pin the fabric to the edge of the
board so that the fabric is central. When pinning on the fabric start
on one side at the center and pin out to the corners. Then do the
same for the opposite side pulling fabric tight. Do the same for the
other two sides. Check the measurements again, if one side has a
wider fabric edge then repin the side taking one pin out at a time,
pulling the fabric and repining it. Continue checking the position of
the embroidery repining the fabric on the board so that it is very
tight and central, with no puckers and so the design is not warped on
the board. Once the embroidery is pinned in place, hold the frame
over the embroidery to check that the design fits nicely in the frame.
the fabric to the back of the board using a very strong upholstery
thread. It is easiest to use the thread single so the thread should
be strong enough that you cannot snap it with your hands. Use a
needle with a sharp point and long shaft so it is easy to hold such
as a chenille needle. Cut a very long piece of the upholstery thread,
about 1 yard or 1 meter long and thread one end into the needle and
knot the other end.
one side of the fabric to the back of the board (I usually do the
wider side of the board first) and start the thread in the fabric on
one side of the board. Work about three back stitches in one spot
about 1/4 of an inch or 6 mm long to anchor the thread. Take the
needle across the board to the fabric strip on the other side of the
board and do a back stitch through the fabric for a length of
about 1/4 of an inch or 6 mm long. Pool the thread at the
center of the board so that it is less likely to catch on the dress
the thread back to the opposite side and work another back stitch
about 1/4 of an inch to 1/2 and inch (6 mm to 12 mm) to the right of
the previous stitch.
switching back and forth from one side of the board to the other
side of board working a back stitch through the fabric. The back
stitches do not all have to be worked at the same height, it is
better to vary the positioning of the stitches so that there is not
excessive pulling on one thread of the fabric. When the thread is
crossed over the previous stitch a herringbone effect is created.
Pull the stitches very tight as you are working. When you start
running out of thread, go back to the first stitch and pull the
stitch and consecutive stitches tight pulling up any slack, you will
find you will have more thread to work with.
you run out of thread as you are working across the board, do not
finish the thread off, instead cut a new length of thread and tie the
new thread to the end of the old thread with a couple of secure
knots. Thread the other end of the new thread into the needle and
continue working the herringbone stitch.
may have to start a new thread several times using this method,
always pull the stitches tight before knotting the old and new thread together.
herringbone stitches on the back of the work should be very tight
like guitar strings. When one side has been stitched then finish the
thread with several back stitches in one spot and cut the thread.
the two strips of fabric on the other sides of the board in the same
method. If the fabric that you are sewing to the back of the board is
really thick you may want to trim a square of fabric out of each
corner so that the fold at the corners are flatter. Otherwise you can
just fold the ends in and fold the fabric over.
first two back stitches at the beginning, at the top and the stitch
at the bottom and also the last stitches at the top and bottom can be
sewn through the layer of fabric on the side that you are working on
and through the layer of the side already laced. This will help stop
the fabric from pulling into the center of the board.
can take out the pins of the first two sides that have been
herringboned if you find that the thread is tangling on the pins.
the second two sides have been herringboned then the all the pins
can be removed. When the pins have been removed there should be no
puckers in the fabric on the front of the work and all the
herringbone stitches should be tight.
Tips | Home
Page! | View