Framing Quaker Tapestry

Framing Quaker Tapestry embroidery and using conservation materials and techniques.

The Quaker Tapestry embroideries have been delighting audiences since they were first created over 35 years ago. Textile conservation techniques have improved significantly since the panels were first mounted in the 1980s. You should not lace textiles onto board because this would do more harm to the fabric.

We began to remount and frame the Quaker Tapestry in 2011 and this major conservation work was completed in 2014. Bridget Guest, the General Manager and textile expert, lead the small team of volunteers through this painstaking, yet  rewarding process…

“We researched and designed this project over two years after consulting various experts. The result is the perfect solution for preserving the embroideries…..”

We have shared our film of the mounting process. Follow this link to watch the filmThis ‘kitchen table’ film will show you how we mount and frame the Quaker Tapestry.

The 77 Quaker Tapestry panels are now within a frame. They are easy to display and transport for our touring exhibitions.

To design the frame for the mounted embroideries we worked with a conservation picture framer. Together we’ve designed a double frame which includes a backing frame – in black – which fastens to the wall and a more conventional second frame at the front, in a natural wooden finish. We can access the embroidery by dismantling the frame.

TOP TIP – to calculate the size of your backing board and mount:

The Quaker Tapestry panels are 635mm (25 inches) wide and 535mm (21 inches) high. We cut our card to 735mm (29 inches) wide and 640mm (25 ¼ inches) deep. This makes the base cushion 50mm (2 inch) larger all the way round and allows for a window mount to be added on top of the embroidery before it is framed. The window mount will look better if it is slightly larger at the bottom so we made the bottom margin 55mm (2 ¼ inch). You could add an even larger margin at the bottom if you wish.

The materials are all acid-free – the backing board and the window mount at the front. The window mount prevents the acrylic (or glass) from touching the embroidery.

We use acrylic instead of glass within the frame. The acrylic has an ultraviolet filter to prevent light damage to the fabrics. The acrylic also helps to keep the weight of the panels to a minimum for display and travelling.

For framing Quaker Tapestry kits

This ‘kitchen table’ film will show you how we mount and frame the Quaker Tapestry.   For a small embroidery you will only need to use the ‘Foam board’, rather than two different pieces of card together. You can still use the cotton bump and calico, which will give the desired effect of a cushion to sew your embroidery on to. If you decide not to use the cotton fabrics over the foam board, you can leave the T-pins in the foam board because they will not rust (use plenty of pins!). Your picture framer will add the window mount before framing with glass or acrylic.

We hope you enjoy watching our film and that you find our techniques and tips helpful.
Keep in touch and let us know how you get on with your framing!

© Quaker Tapestry Ltd
Registered charity number: 1035077

“Who would have thought a wash-day could be so much fun, I have learnt such a lot today!”

Jill, volunteer, Care & Conservation of the Collection Team