“Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern; it will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that - one stitch at a time taken patiently and the pattern will come out all right like the embroidery.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Expertise is precious. So many people would love to be creative. It’s been shown that arts and crafts such as embroidery are becoming increasingly popular.

Have you thought about doing embroidery?

If you’ve finished embroidering, you might want to display it in a nice frame. That’s what we’re looking at in this article.

Why Frame Embroidery?

Embroidery is undergoing a resurgence in the UK. While it was considered a bit old-fashioned, practised only by grandmothers, more and more people are choosing to embroider in their spare time. From cushions to clothing, an embroidered pattern is a great way to personalise textiles or make a present for a loved one.

Why should you frame embroidery?
You don't want to display your embroidery permanently in a hoop. (Source: palichka)

If you’re making a present out of your embroidery, you might want to put it in a frame first. Framing your hand embroidery means that it’ll last longer and it’s also a better way to display it. Framed embroidery looks much better than loose embroidery. It’s also much easier to hang up in a frame and show off the embroidery techniques you've been learning.

So why should you frame embroidery yourself?

For one, professional framing can be quite expensive. Not only do you have to pay for all the materials, but you also have to pay the professional who puts it all together. You don’t want to pay a fortune for framing, especially if you spent the time making the embroidery yourself. After all, doing it yourself is a large part of the enjoyment when it comes to embroidery. Of course, it needs to be enjoyable, too.

Framing allows you to choose your materials, for one.

Since you chose your fabric and thread, you may also want to choose the best way to display your creation.

Why not make the most of this opportunity to add a personal touch. Framing your embroidery designs is a way to further personalise your work and you can do so with pearls, ribbons, spangles, etc. Have fun with it!

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Accessories for Framing Embroidery

Like with embroidery itself, you need the right gear for framing it. Get your workspace ready because you don’t want to be partway through the process and realise that you’re missing something important like scissors, card, or embroidery needles.

What do you need to frame embroidery?
Get everything ready before you start framing your work. (Source: katetsib)

To frame embroidery, you want to start by finding a frame. Just like with paintings, a frame can also hold embroidery. It’s what draws our eye to the work so you should make sure that it matches the tastes of the person who’s receiving the embroidery. There are frames you can personalise. These neutral-coloured frames are often cheaper than other frames and you can then decorate them. Make sure they’re the right size, too.

You should also get cotton wool as you can use it to add relief to your embroidery. This also needs to fit within the frame. You can buy it and cut it at home if it’s too big. It is cotton wool, after all.

You’ll then need a piece of card the same size as the inside of the frame. However, the card can’t be too thick or you won’t be able to close the frame. You may even find some suitable card lying around that’ll do the trick. You needn’t break the bank looking for some card.

The card used in calendars often does the trick.

You’ll also need some basic arts and crafts materials like:

  • Scissors
  • A utility knife
  • Glue
  • A ruler
  • Pins
  • Tape

You’ll find all of these items in a haberdashery. Whether you need stuff for sewing, knitting, crochet, patchwork, scrapbooking, or embroidery, you can find them in arts and crafts shops and haberdasheries.

If you can't find the embroidery supplies you're looking for, consider looking online.

Made a mistake?

Learn how to remove embroidery.

Framing Your Embroideries

To frame your embroidery, you need to put it onto rigid support (the card). This needs to be cut to the internal measurements of the frame. Your fabric needs to be about 5cm bigger on each side of the card. You can then cut it to size once you’ve got your frame. Place your embroidery onto the card. If you want to add relief, you can place cotton wool between the card and the fabric. Turn everything over. Fold the overhang of your embroidery design onto the card and glue it down.

Pay particular attention to the corners. Cut the corners if you can’t fold over the fabric. You don’t want any irregularities once it’s all framed. To make sure the fabric doesn’t come off, you can always glue bits of paper over the top. Again, make sure that they’re not covering the corners.

Now you just have to put your embroidery in your frame and you’re done.

Some people may want to make their frame from scratch. To do this, you’ll need pieces of wood and some good wood glue. You need to cut the wood to the size you want and cut diagonal joints at the edges. Glue the edges together and let it all dry for around 5 hours.

Discover how to embroider eyes.

Framing Your Embroidery Projects without Glue

There’s another way to frame embroidery. You can do this without glue but it’ll still take some time. Start by checking that the edges of your embroidery are uniform. The overhang needs to be the same on the left and the right and the top and the bottom. This will allow you to centre your embroidery.

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How can you frame embroidery without glue?
You can use thread to hold your embroidery in place. (Source: NicolePina)

To avoid creases, iron your embroidery. Once it’s flat, place your embroidery onto the card. The overhang will allow you to position your embroidery nicely in the centre of the frame. To attach it without glue, you’re going to need to sew it down.

With a needle and thread, start on one of the larger of the sides. Sew the two larger sides and then do the smaller sides.  This will give you a sort of grid.

Make sure that you opt for a solid thread and pass two or three times if you need to. You don’t want to break a thread. Otherwise, your embroidery will hang.

As you can guess this technique isn’t for beginners. However, if you get it right, it will hold your embroidery in place and you won’t have to worry about your embroidery coming loose, either.

If you’re doing this for the first time, start with a small project. The bigger the embroidery, the harder it will be to keep in position as you attach it to the card. Once you’ve got the technique sorted, you can move onto bigger projects.

Should You Frame Embroidery with or without a Glass Pane?

Whether or not you use a glass pane is down to each embroiderer. There are advantages and disadvantages to using one.

Should you put glass over framed embroidery?
Depending on the thread you use, you may want to think about whether or not you use a glass pane. (Source: You can use thread to hold your embroidery in place. (Source: bluemorphos)

Some choose not to use a glass pane for the following reasons:

  • Humidity: the humidity can get trapped behind the glass and damage the embroidery. You’ll need to take the frame apart, clean it, and put it all back together.
  • It can flatten the embroidery: if you want your project to have some relief, you don’t want to flatten it behind the glass.

However, there are also advantages to having it behind glass. The glass protects the embroidery from dirt and dust. Some argue that the glass makes the whole thing look more “finished”. Of course, this is a matter of taste. After all, the decision is yours.

With many different hand embroidery stitches (cross stitch, back stitch, crewel stitch, etc.), it can be difficult to get started. If you need help with embroidery stitches, needlework, and finding embroidery patterns, you might want to consider getting help from a private tutor. You can start with cross stitches before moving onto other stitches like the stem stitch, satin stitch, chain stitch, backstitch, and running stitch, for example. You can then move onto ribbon embroidery, machine embroidery, embellishing, Hardanger, Blackwork, etc.

There are three main types of tutorial available from the tutors on Superprof.

Face-to-face tutorials are great for getting bespoke and tailored tuition as you're the only student in the class. This service comes at a cost and face-to-face private tutorials tend to be the most costly per hour. However, they're also the most cost-effective as every minute of a session is spent helping you learn.

Online tutorials are similar but your tutor won't be there in the room with you. While these are usually better for academic subjects, if you've got a good webcam, microphone, and internet connection, there's no reason a talented embroider couldn't help you learn remotely. Online private tutors tend to cheaper than face-to-face tutorials.

Finally, group tutorials are good for those on a budget as the cost of the tutor's time and experience will be shared amongst all the students in attendance. While you won't get as much one-on-one time with your tutor, you will pay less per student per hour.

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