Tools That Will Keep Your Canvas Taut

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Stretcher bars and frames are two tools that are often used when completing needlepoint projects. Both tools are designed to apply tension to a piece of needlepoint canvas fabric. The tautness of the fabric will make it easier for a crafter to keep stitches the same size than if they were to sew while holding a piece of loose canvas in their hands. Learn how these two tools are used and decide if purchasing one will aid you in your crafting efforts.

Blocking And Finishing

Blocking and finishing are two steps that will restore the shape of a piece of canvas. When working with a loose piece of canvas, the fabric can become wrinkled or lose its shape. Blocking and finishing involves dampening, reshaping, and pinning the fabric.

With the use of stretcher bars or frames, the blocking and finishing steps may not take as long to complete. This is due to the minimal amount of stretching that canvas may incur while stretcher bars or frame pieces are secured to it.

Stretcher Bars

Stretcher bars are sold in pairs. The length and width of a piece of canvas will determine the stretcher bar sizes that are needed. Grooves that are located along the ends of each stretcher bar are necessary to interlock all of the pieces together.

After purchasing the canvas that you will be using to complete your next needlepoint project, measure the length and the width of the canvas. Purchase two sets of stretcher bars, making sure that one set matches the length measurement of the canvas and one set matches the width measurement of the canvas.

Assemble the bars so that they form a square or rectangular frame. Line up your canvas so that each edge of the fabric extends to the edge of one of the bars. Use staples or tacks to mount the canvas to the stretcher bars. Prior to securing each edge of the canvas, pull it as taut as you can.

Needlepoint Frames

Frames are adjustable and usually consist of two roller bars that are designed to attach to the top and the bottom of a piece of canvas and two flat side pieces that attach to the sides of a piece of canvas. Strips of fabric tape are secured to the top and the bottom frame pieces.

Sew the top and the bottom of your canvas to the fabric tape strips. Use the roller bars to scroll the canvas upward or downward. This will allow you to hone in on a specific area where you will be adding stitches.   


21 July 2021

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