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mounting and framing cotton pictures

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  • mounting and framing cotton pictures


    just wondering if anyone has any tips or advice - I make embroidered and appliqued pictures which I've been framing. So far I sew the picture then cut mount board to size then lace the picture around it to stretch and secure it before putting it in a frame. Problem I'm having is the mountboard and the fabric together becomes quite thick and I struggle sometimes to frame the finished picture to the extent that sometimes I'm having to leave the glass out of the finished framed item. Should I be using a thinner mount board - but then wouldn't it warp? Also is there a better way than lacing the picture which I find a really really tedious job. I'm trying to make my pictures look as professional as possible and also I don't really want to frame all my pieces as it makes the sale price a tad too high sometimes. Ideally I'd quite like to come up with a way of just having the picture and a mount so it is ready to frame but would still need to 'stretch and stiffen' the picture somehow? I'd really appreciate any ideas, thanks.
    Netty x[email protected]/

  • #2
    I'm having trouble picturing it...can you post some pics or make an album in your profile? I have never framed anything like this before...


    • #3
      You need a box frame not an ordinary picture frame. The sides are deeper and are used for mounting 3d objects such as dried flowers etc so would be better for the sort of thing that you are describing. They tend to be more expensive mind unless anyone knows of a cheap source.

      "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci



      • #4
        Originally posted by cosmic grammie View Post
        I'm having trouble picturing it...can you post some pics or make an album in your profile? I have never framed anything like this before...
        hi I've added my flickr account to my signature which will direct you to my photos - I've no idea how else to attach them on here, hope it helps.

        Bodrighy, I have used a box frame for some of the pictures but am still struggling, so maybe I'm just doing something obviously wrong - no idea - this framing malarky is all new to me to be honest.
        Netty x[email protected]/


        • #5

          I've made one or two fabric applique pictures & put them in ordinary photo frames & they look fine.

          I pressed the picture when it was finished & spray starched it.
          Then trimmed the picture to the exact size of the frame back or glass.
          I laid the picture into the frame just like you would a photo & put the frame backing into place.

          As the fabric isn't being turred to the back there's very little bulk inside the frame - it might be a bit harder to fasten the clips at the back of the frame but that's about all.




          • #6

            I have been picture framing for 33 years, so I might be able to advise.

            Hand stitching the fabric over the card is the correct method for stretching all fabrics. However many commercial framers cannot be bothered to do this, they use a very sticky double sided tape (available from Lion - see below). 4 strips of tape are fixed to the back of the card, then one edge is fixed and the opposite side is then stuck whilst bending the card slightly. This is then repeated for the other 2 sides. This method can be acceptable when you are trying to minimise the time taken for stretching and the fabric is square and relatively stiff (not soft and floppy). I very rarely use it as it cannot be undone and it is difficult to get precise positioning and keep the fabric lines straight and square.

            If you choose a picture frame that has a deeper rebate to accomodate your thicker work. Fabrics should not be framed without glass. There are some plastic box sections that can be be stuck to the glass under the rebate and comes in 1.5mm, 3.0mm, 6.0mm and 9.5mm depths, they are all 4.5mm wide. These come in 5 foot lengths and are available in clear, white or black. It is called EconoSpace and is available from Lion Picture Framing Supplies Ltd. They are based in Birmingham and have a branch in Hayes, west London. Both sites have trade counters or you can order from their website or by telephone. If you are doing this regularly type of framing regularly then this will be a godsend for you. For dispatch by post the 2 smaller sizes are supplied in 100 foot bundles and the larger ones in 60 foot bundles, alternatively you can buy any quantity from a trade counter. Their website is They are quite used to supplying relatively low value amounts, but it might help if you request their trade catalogue.

            Hope this helps.



            • #7
              Lacing is the best way to secure the fabric, I normally use grey board which is cheaper. The as said above find deeper rebate frames, takes some searching but the results will be better. You can leave the glass out as some textile artists do problem then is the dust getting onto the work.


              • #8
                a quirky quick frame that you could consider for some projects, is to use your embroidery hoop to frame the item. ive seen a few on etsy like this, it keeps the tension and hoops are generally no more than £1 for a standard wooden one. however i would only consider doing this with smaller fun projects, as long term it wouldnt give much protection to the fabric obviously, so not suitable for a valuable project that a lot of time has been invested in.


                • #9

                  Grey board might be cheaper but it is not acid free. Over time the acidity will soak into the fabric and might discolour it. You would do better to use an acid free mountcard. I would suggest using an alkaline buffered board as this is used in all of the cheapest mountcard. You would not need to have a pure rag board (made from cotton fibres) or lignum free board (the wood pulp is treated to remove the lignum).



                  • #10
                    are you able to build up the back of the frame with some wooden strips ? this would give you a little extra depth to play with -tho you would then have to re-think how to seal and finish up the back - maybe cut a piece of hardboard the same size as the back of the frame and glue /tack into place ?


                    • #11

                      It is possible to do this but in time and materials but it is usually cheaper to buy a deeper rebate frame. If you do fix strips to the back then make sure they are narrower than the back of the moulding and the are glued and nailed to the frame.

                      Sealing the back should not be a problem. High quality sealing tapes are available upto 75mm wide (see Lion in an earleir post). An alternative is the old method of applying glue to the back of a frame and then covering this with damp brown craft paper. As the glue and paper dries, it becomes taught across the back. The only trouble with this method is if you transport the frame frequently, then you may damage the paper.



                      • #12
                        many thanks for all your replies and help, you've certainly given me ideas and much food for thought. Sorry I couldn't thank you earlier but I've been mostly offline the last couple of weeks due to a very ill laptop. thanks again Janette
                        Netty x


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