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​How To Prepare Fabric for Framing​


1. ​Cleaning your fabric. 

By cleaning, drying, ironing and stretching your completed cross stitch, it will be in the best condition for framing.

Washing removes dirt and skin oils that remains on the surface after stitching.  Lux flakes is perfect for washing

needlework, cross stitch, silk fabrics, and quilts.

Important: Test your threads and fabric before washing to make sure the colours do not run.

Gently wash your finished piece. Don't wring the fabric to dry it - gently roll it in a clean, white, fluffy towel.   Lie the

damp fabric flat to dry inside, away from sunlight. Alternatively, hang with pegs evenly spaced along the top edge.

​2. Ironing and stretching the fabric.   

To avoid stains, make sure the towel, fabric and iron are completely clean before pressing. Lay the cross stitch with the design side down on a clean, fluffy white towel. This will avoid compressing the design when it is ironed.  Lay a white or cream-coloured tea towel, muslin cloth, or piece of calico fabric on the back of the cross stitch, and iron on a low to medium heat setting.

To remove stubborn creases, if your threads and fabrics are colour-fast  you may be able to safely use steam while ironing. Stretch the fabric evenly while ironing to get rid of extra-stubborn creases.

3. The Correct Boards to lace needlework over.   

You shall be stretching the needlework/fabric over two boards that have been prepared by your Guild framer. First there is a rigid acid-free foam board, which has had it's edges sealed with an inert sealer tape. Then a 4ply 100% cotton mounting backing board fastened to the foam board   The cotton layer the layer your fabric lays upon, with proven archival properties.

4. The Lacing Process itself


  •  Centre the cross stitch on the foam-core board with the design facing outwards, and pin it in place with sharp stainless steel pins. Start in the middle of each edge and pin towards the corners to apply even tension. These pins will be removed after lacing.
  • Turn the board over. Along the long edges, fold the extra fabric over the back of the foam-core board.
  • Using a strong, neutral-coloured sewing thread, and needle with a strong eye, hand sew the two folded edges together in a zig-zag pattern, tightening the fabric evenly as you sew. Use enough tension in the thread to keep the design lightly stretched.
  • Stitch at least 2cm (1") from the edge of the fabric. This will avoid the fabric fraying and help maintain an even tension.
  • Start and finish about 2cm (1") from the edges of the foam-core board. Too much tension at the corners can round the corners of the foam-core board and distort the design.
  • Fold the extra fabric towards the back on the shorter sides, keeping the corner folds neat. Hand sew the two edges together, once again keeping the tension even.
  • Try to avoid catching the lacing and fabric underneath, as this can make the tension uneven.

Area Serviced: Picture Framing Tauranga

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