Stretching Projects

ChanSeptember 10, 2004

I mentioned that I had finished a project to a coworker who asked if I "stretched" my own. Since I've been cross-stitching since I was 13, I was embarassed to admit that I didn't know what she was talking about! What does stretching entail, why is it important, and how do I do it? I've always just washed them (gently by hand, of course!), pressed them, and attached them to acid-free cardboard-type stuff before framing them. Can anyone help me out?



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What your doing is fine,i do the same and have been doing it this way for over 20 yrs,and so far so good.I think what she's referring to is,actually stretching it on stretcher bars(i could be wrong though,)What you and i do is pretty much the same,only i think it's called blocking.The most important thing that we do is to wash and iron ours.Do you frame your own??? I do.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2004 at 12:49PM
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I do frame my own, and I probably don't do it "properly," but I'm okay with I just enjoy doing them; once I've given them away, what the recipient does with them is their business, not mine! Thank you so much for the info and the quick reply: I appreciate it!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2004 at 3:58AM
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Chan - I did a needlepoint lighthouse for DH a few years back, and when it was done it had stretched out of shape from the pulling of the yarn. I had it professionally framed at Michael's and I think they stretched it before they mounted it to get it back into shape.

My cross stitch has always been fine to wash and press when it's done - I usually press it when it's damp, and stretch and pull it back into shape myself, then mount a piece of cardboard.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2004 at 11:37AM
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Here are some nice instructions for the lacing technique.

I would not be good at stretching my own and have it centered so I take larger projects to the needle work shop in my area. He is the most excellent framer for needle work and stretches it perfectly centered on the board. For smaller projects my friend who has a framing and matting business stretches and frames them for me. She centers it over the board and uses sewing pins all along the back to hold the fabric taught and in place. Then I think she uses an acid free mounting type tape for fabric, forgot what she called it. This holds it tight against the board and stretches it very nicely. If I had an interest in learning how to do this myself she would show me how but I would rather do the stitching and have someone else do the stretching and framing.

Here is a link that might be useful: cross stitch lacing

    Bookmark   September 15, 2004 at 9:13PM
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I gave up on cardboard after it started staining the fabric so I went to Michaels and bought acid-free mat board and stretch over that. You can get a sheet of white for about $35.00 and get at least 8 8x10" backer boards from the sheet, a lot more if you do smaller projects, a versatility when it comes to strange shapes or sized mats.

Right now I am not too happy with Michaels. My mother had original school pictures of my deceased sister framed without my prior knowledge and no duplicates to replace those pictures. Michaels used double sided tape and foam core board so I can't get the pictures off the mat board without ruining the pictures--I need the frame for a huge Hummel.

I have tried needlework with stretcher bars with the end result of only using them for needlepoint. I'm a hooper at heart for everything else.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2004 at 7:52AM
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