Frames for Embroidery – Part 2

Slate frame
My huge slate frame, laced and ready for action!

And I’m back with part 2 of this discussion! This is growing fast!

Scroll Frames

A scroll frame consists of two dowels where you attach your fabric, and two bars that the dowels screw into. They get their name from the fact that you can wrap excess fabric around the rods and scroll the design up as you work on it. Scroll frames come in three varieties: sew your fabric down to the rods, Velcro® your fabric to the rods, clamp (like the clamp on a Q-Snap™) it to the rods, and split rail, where you slide your fabric into the split and then clamp the rod down around it to hold it secure.

Pros: Solid frames that you don’t need to remove your project from just because you’re not working on it at the moment. No worries about hoop lines or creases. Can roll excess up and keep the stitching area as narrow or as deep as the side bars you have.

Cons: On wider rods, especially if there is a lot of fabric rolled on the rods, the middle of the working area can sag. For those of us who like drum tight work area, this isn’t so good. It can be mitigated by clipping or stitching the sides of the fabric to the bars. Sometimes the clamp, Velcro and split rail types can slip. (For this reason I prefer to use the kind you sew your fabric to.)

Slate Frames

Slate frames are the medieval version of scroll frames. In many ways they are very similar. What is different, though is that they always stitch the fabric to the rod, and the rods are actually square rather than dowels. You slip the rod through a slit in the side bars.

Pros: Hold fabric really tight. Can be made in a wide variety of sizes, to suit the smallest work to pieces large enough for waistcoats and other clothing. Historically accurate for re-enactors.

Cons: Can be unwieldy, especially in the larger sizes. Sometimes the pegs used to tighten the fabric vertically can work their way out and pop when you least expect them to. Currently, they can be somewhat difficult to find. The Royal School of Needlework in the UK uses and recommends them for  crewel and silk/goldwork. And Hedgehog Handworks online sells them – though they are now custom made and can take a bit of time to arrive.

Yup. There will be more. 🙂 Stay tuned.

Click for Frames for Embroidery Part 1

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