Making Picture Frames for Cross-Stitch is fun
One of our best needlework clients recently brought us a few of their delightful cross-stitches in for framing. Each one of her relatives was to receive one of the masterpieces for a Christmas present. The needle-works had been stitched throughout the year in Canada and saved up until the client returned to Brisbane for their Christmas vacation. The horror story of having a prized piece framed at another picture framer overseas was tearfully conveyed by the client. The job didn’t meet their expectations so they decided to save up their pieces until they could visit Fix-a-Frame again. It was reassuring to a new staff member who had overheard the conversation that our business had been so highly acclaimed.
We set about producing another first-class job.
One of the designs in shown below.
With each design the client consulted with one of our team to discuss their requirements.
In this example the combinations of colours in the matting were muted and greyed tones designed to recede from the needlework and to harmonize with the decor where the piece was going to hang.
The small inner fillet had hand-finishes applied to make it reflect the variegated browns and ginger tones in the cats. The outer mat border has cut with traditional 45 degree bevel but the mid matting was cut with a reverse bevel to provide the clean edge required for mounting the inner fillet.
You can see the mat detailing in the close-up below.
The needlework itself was pinned to Artcare foam board using stainless steel pins and then laced with a heavier mercerized cotton thread across the backing.
The glazing chosen was Museum Glass for both its protective and anti-reflective qualities.
Needle-works and all fabrics are susceptible to fading due to the nature of their construction. The fabrics used are normally organic and therefore affected by chemical changes more than some synthetics. The colors in fabric are also prone to fading when exposed to UV light because often the fabrics are dyed with transparent dyes rather than colored using light-fast pigments. The ways to minimize any loss of color due to fading is to choose a glazing material that filters UV light. The Tru-Vue range of Conservation glass, Museum Glass and Optium Acrylic have the necessary UV barriers incorporated into their construction making them the obvious choice.
There are several other considerations when it comes to protecting needle-works and any fabric art works from rapid deterioration. These include using archival mounting boards and archival matting. Avoiding the use of harmful adhesives or low-grade materials like standard dress-maker’s pins. Even though the pins may not come into contact with the fabric for long it makes sense to use stainless-steel or rust-less pins to ensure there is no staining caused by the oxidization of the metal that contacts the fabric.
Suitable backing and sealing techniques should also be considered to provide the protection required behind the frame. In this example we used an acid-free foam board that was pinned into the frame and then sealed with an adhesive backing tape. Over the years we have used a variety of sealing tapes including brown gummed Kraft tape. (“Kraft” being the German work for Strong)
The sealing tapes provide a secure way of holding the entire frame together preventing bowing and providing a barrier to inclusion of dust and insects.
Bump-Ons are placed in the lower corners of the frame where it contacts the wall to help promote air circulation which helps with eliminating mold growth. The bump-ons also help to prevent the frame from marking the wall where the picture hangs.