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How To Frame Cross-Stitch

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Here is a framing overview and guide to learn cross stitch. I included even some basic details, this is to inform you as to why Im making these suggestions.

For instance in #8 I point out that glass is perfered to plexi-glass, and then I say why, because knowing why is better than Im a framer and I am telling you you want to use glass so listen to me. If someone told me that, Id be inclined to use plexi just because the framer was being rude.

Make sure that the cross stitch is laced around the backing board, not pinned on it. The pins can rust and discolor the fabric.

Use High quality thread that has a neutral Ph, un-dyed cotton is the best.

Acid Free Foam Core or Museum Board is the best backing board.

On dark fabrics, especially larger count, use a black museum board, the board will show through in the unstitched areas, and white can look unfinished, likewise on white or light colored fabric, white museum board or Acid Free Foam Core (usually a cream color) looks best.

No matter what your framer tells you, the only dark backboard that is truly Acid Free is museum board. If they try to convince you otherwise, theyre trying to sell you a cheaper backboard for the same price as the more expensive acid free foam core.

Black acid free foam core is not dyed with the expensive museum dyes, and therefore it can bleed and the dye does lower the Ph to acidic.

Mats should be bigger than or equal to the size of the width of the frame molding. In other words, a molding that is 3 thick needs a 3 or bigger mat all around. Smaller mats will make the picture look overly compact due to an optical illusion from compact lines.

Always go with at least a double mat, this keeps the piece away from the glass and helps prevent mold.

Do not starch the fabric, not only does this make it hard to lace onto the board but starch also attracts miniscule bugs called Potato Bugs, which will eat the fibers of the fabric, damaging the piece irreversibly.

Glass is heavier and breaks easier than plexi-glass, however its chemical and physical properties make it easier to see through than plexi-glass, which means it doesnt distract from the picture as much, use plexi-glass only when necessary.

Non-Reflective glass can make the colors look less vibrant, so it is also recommended only when it is necessary.

UV protective glass can usually be gotten for a little extra price, however since all light, including indoor lighting, gives off some UV rays, this will stave off the dulling effects of all lighting.

To get the best color from your piece(s), daylight light bulbs are best (as a side note you can get these at pet stores because they are also healthier for birds). However these give off slightly more UV rays, so UV Protective Glass is better for pictures displayed in this way.

There is a science to matting your picture. The bottom mat should be the most predominant color in the area you want to draw the eyes to. The top mat is either a darker version of the same color, a neutral, or the second most predominant color in the same area; this is to make sure that the eye doesnt jump between focus points, which would make the picture look busy.


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