Tapestry Mounting

If a thing is to be done, it should be done well. So, I decided to leave the mounting to people who can do it better than I. Still, what I did may be instructive for newbies out there, so I will share it.

  • Step 1: The frame
  • Use a needlepoint frame a bit bigger than the tapestry to be mounted. Fit the corners snugly and tap a small nail into each corner, top and bottom sides, to keep the frame rigid.

  • Step 2: The backing and felt cushion
  • Cut a square of cloth for backing that complements one of the colors in the tapestry of sufficient length and width to be nailed to the frame. Cut a piece of felt a little less than the length and width of the tapestry.

  • Step 3: Preparing the backing
  • Iron the backing cloth to ensure it is smooth and straight. Iron a hem around the cloth to prevent unraveling of the fabric.

  • Step 4: Attaching the backing
  • Use a staple gun to tack the backing cloth to the frame. Make the first tack midway down the length of the frame on one side. Pull the backing cloth on the other side tightly to the frame, make sure the cloth between the frame sides is taut and apply a staple to tack it down. Continue tacking one side, pulling the fabric taut, then tacking the other side until both sides are done. Fold the fabric at the top frame as neatly as possible, pull tight, and tack. Repeat at the bottom of the frame.

  • Step 5: Basting the tapestry to the backing
  • Employ a very fine thread (silk if you have it) of the same color as one of those used in the tapestry. Starting from underneath, leaving a three or four inch tail, pass the needle through the backing and into the top hem of the tapestry. Since the hem should not be visible when the mounting is finished, it’s okay to take big basting stitches.

    Before basting the side of the tapestry, insert the felt for cushioning. The basting stitches under the tapestry can be large; those on the top side should be really tiny and should be placed between the warps in the same space, a few dots down, from which the needle emerged. Do this until the side is basted down. Repeat large basting stitches on the bottom and tiny ones up the side.

    Take the basting stitches back up to the top and half way across the top hem of the tapestry. Do a line of very fine basting stitches down to the bottom hem. Cut the thread and leave a three or four inch hem.

    Do a line of tiny basting stitches across the width of the tapestry; start half way up side. Ensure there is a three and four inch tail on both ends.

    Finally, tie the tail ends of the basting thread on to another thread, ensure it’s snug, then snip to a one inch length.

At the end of this, the tapestry is mounted on a frame and backed, but I think I did something wrong. It’s possible the top and bottom hems should have been folded under, I don’t know. Either way, I decide that mounting is something that should be best left to experts. In the future, when I have time to study it in depth and perfect my skills, I will revisit it.