From Jerseys and baby clothes to cross stitches and needlepoint, fabrics and textiles are a common site in the shop, and we always want to make sure that everything we frame is handled correctly. Preservation for valuable or sentimental items is particularly important, and we have some techniques to make sure these items can still be beautifully displayed and enjoyed in a damage-free way.
With items like cross stitches and needlepoints we first make sure the piece is going to be square. During the process of creating needle art, the varying tightness of the threads can often cause the shape of the fabric to be a little distorted. We use straight pins to stretch the fabric over a piece of foamcore to rectify any small issues and remove wrinkles. This also means there is no need for glue or any other permanent adhesive, leaving the piece in perfect condition as well as secure. In some cases it is necessary to stretch and block a piece to square it up. The fabric is lightly moistened and pinned to a board. The damp fabric is easier to manipulate and can then be restretched for framing.For items like clothing, such as valuable signed jerseys or sentimental childhood clothes, we lay out the garment in a way that will display it well. We then attach an acid free mat to a piece of foam core and use thumb tacks to hold the piece in place. The tacks also create holes for use to sew through the foam core. We use a matching thread and stitch the garment down to the backing. Again, no glues or damaging methods are used. If the item should ever need to be removed from the frame the threads could be clipped and the item would have no lasting effects. A quick tip to anyone looking to frame cloth items: it is often best to clean/iron the piece yourself when possible before bringing it in. This minimizes wrinkles and creases. After that, leave it up to our professionals to make sure your fabrics are safe, secure and looking great for your home!