If you're a cross-stitcher, you know just how many hours of careful work goes into every piece. Whether you're planning to display your cross stitch at home, gift it to a loved one or sell it to a customer, it's important to display it in the right way.
There are many ways to display needlework, depending on your needs and preferences. If you're looking for long term protection and a gallery-standard professional finish, framing your cross stitch under glass is usually the best option.
Here's our guide to framing cross stitch under glass – when to do it, what the benefits are and how to make sure you get the best results.
Should you frame cross stitch under glass?
In most cases, it's a good idea to frame your cross stitch behind glass – especially if it's a piece you're proud of or planning to keep for a long time.
Here are the top benefits of framing your cross stitch behind glass:
Protect the cross stitch from dust and dirt – if you don't cover your cross stitch, you'll need to take it down to wash it when it gets dirty. Glass seals your fabric from dust, dirt and grime, keeping it looking fresh long into the future.
Prevent wear and tear – left exposed, your cross stitch is vulnerable to knocks, falls, scratches and unravelling stitches. But under glass, your artwork is protected from accidental damage as well as everyday wear and tear.
Prevent UV damage – UV light can damage your artwork and cause it to age quickly. By framing your artwork with specialised UV resistant glass, you can prevent discolouration and fading over time. This is especially important if you're displaying the art in a well lit area.
Keep out insects – materials like wool, silk and cotton are particularly vulnerable to attack from insects. Seal your cross stitch in a frame behind glass and you'll keep out the unwanted creepy crawlies.
Minimise human touch – oils from hands and grime from dirty fingers can all impact your art. Adding the barrier of glass prevents people from touching your work and minimises the amount of handling it gets.
Achieve a professional finish – if you want your artwork to look professional, framing your needlework with high quality glass is one of the best choices. It's how needlework artworks are typically displayed in galleries and museums.
Make it easy to display – professional frames make it easy to display your artwork, whether you plan to hang it on the wall, stand it on your bookshelf or give it away as a gift.
Upsell your artwork– if you sell or exhibit your art, a professional frame instantly makes it more appealing to customers. It means they can take the framed art home and display it as is.
How can I display my cross stitch?
There are many different ways to display a finished cross stitch under glass, depending on your preferences. Here are some common options:
Standard picture frame – traditional picture frames are ideal for flat cross stitches. A single or double mat board can add extra depth to the frame, and will help create space between the glass and your artwork.
Shadow box frame– a shadow box frame uses mat boards and/or spacers to create more space between the artwork and the glass. It's the best option for bulky or three-dimensional designs. For example, if you've used beads or chunky threads. Find out more: What is a shadow box frame?
- Custom frames –custom frames offer many advantages over ready-made options, including better quality, better protection and a more professional appearance.Here at Portfolio Picture Framers, we use gallery standard materials and techniques.
What is the best way to frame cross stitch?
For the best appearance and maximum protection, we recommend using archival quality framing or museum standard framing. For high value or sentimental artworks, we recommend upgrading to museum glass which offers UV protection.
The most common types of glass for cross stitch framing include:
Standard art glass – the most inexpensive option, providing a good level of protection from dust and insects while presenting your artwork in an attractive way.
UV resistant glass / conservative glass – provides a high level of protection from UV light.
Non-reflective glass – reduces reflections and glare, so that you can view your artwork clearly from any angle or distance.
Museum glass – a premium glass option, offering excellent protection from UV light, preventing reflection and glare and enhancing the appearance of your cross stitch piece.
What do you do with cross stitch before framing?
It's a simple process to get your cross stitch or other needlework framed with us at Portfolio Picture Framers. Simply bring your artwork in and we'll take care of the rest. If you already know what type of frame and style you're going for, we'll help bring your vision to life. If you need advice about what type of frame, glass and matting would work best, we can advise you and walk you through your options.
Here are some tips to make sure you get the best framing results:
Cut off tails – long tails at the back of your work can be visible through the fabric, especially if it's mounted on a light coloured board. If you have lots of tails that can't be cut off, mounting on a darker coloured board can help avoid this problem.
Avoid making knots – bulky knots on the back of your work can cause bumps when your piece is stretched out. Avoid making knots or speak to us about ways to minimise the bumps during framing.
Keep an even tension when stitching – even tension will prevent the fabric from distorting when it's stretched for framing.
How do you protect cross stitch?
Framing your finished piece under glass is one of the best ways to protect it, especially if you choose UV resistant museum glass. But there are some extra things you can do to ensure your artwork stays in great condition for longer.
Follow these tips to protect your cross stitch piece:
- Display it away from direct sunlight, as UV rays can cause discolouration and degrade the fabric.
- Avoid displaying your piece in high moisture rooms like your bathroom.
- Position your frames away from areas that collect a lot of dust, such as next to a window you open frequently.
- Use a soft microfibre cloth to clean your frames regularly.
- Perform regular checks to make sure your hooks and frame structure are secure. Take your frames to a professional frame shop for repairs and maintenance if you need to.
For more tips, read our guide to maintaining and cleaning your frames.
What about framing other types of needlework?
It's not just cross stitch projects that benefit from being framed under glass. All types of needlework and fabric artworks can be framed by a professional framer.
You name it, we can frame it at Portfolio Picture Framers. In addition to framing finished cross stitch pieces, we help clients frame other types of needlework projects including:
- Crewel embroidery
- Tapestry framing
- Long stitch
- Ribbon embroidery
- Quilt art
And so much more!
Frame your cross stitch with Portfolio Picture Framers
Do we frame cross stitch under glass? Yes we do! We also frame a wide range of needlework and fabric artworks, as well as paper based artworks, photographs, memorabilia and more. All of our custom framing services are done at our Myaree studio – which means we can offer our clients excellent prices and the highest level of quality control.
Call us today for an obligation-free quote.