Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Dressing a Scroll Frame

Since refurbishing my scroll frame, that I wrote about in my last post here, I've now attached my linen to the frame. That too was quite a lengthy process. The book Whitework by Lizzy Lansberry, a Royal School of Needlework publication, and Jenny Adin-Christie's video on dressing a slate frame were both very useful guides. These photos are a record to remind me of how I did it.

 To begin, I ironed the shop creases out of the linen and pulled a thread one centimetre from the edges.


That made it easy to fold over a straight hem and machine stitch it in place on all four sides. It's a fine linen and I thought it needed reinforcing. The side hems weren't a problem when the linen was later rolled onto the scroll bars, though it could be the case with a heavier linen.


With plenty of pins to secure the linen in place, I stitched it to the cotton twill tape on the top roller bar, beginning in the centre and working outwards. Years ago someone gave me an unused ball of DMC Cordonnet 100. It's a nice strong thread for attaching the linen. I had to use a little slip of folded paper to coax the dense hard thread through the eye of my needle.


It was awkward stitching close to the wooden dowel and with the pins close by, so stab stitching was the best option. I found it interesting that the stitches are better worked at right angles to the dowel rod.


It's seldom that I use a thimble but this time my fingers soon got sore and out it came.


This is half way with the linen attached to the top and bottom rollers. I was able to roll up the excess linen and tighten the wing nuts to hold it really taut. So far so good.


Along the sides, I attached twill tape to the linen after I had rolled up the excess linen. This might not be the best way to do it, but if the thick tape was attached and then rolled up with the linen, I thought the layers of tape on the sides of the rollers might distort the fabric once it was under tension. It does mean that if  I need to unroll and work on that bit of linen, I'll have to re-attach the sides. For now that is in the distant future and by then I might have other plans for that small strip of linen.


I used Thread Heaven thread conditioner on the rough dry string so that it passed more easily through the tape. And the vicious-looking upholstery needle poked through the thick twill with ease. I was a bit skeptical about it. However, I soon became comfortable working with the long curved needle around the obstruction of the wooden sides of frame.

And here it is, all framed up. Setting up the linen in the scroll frame seemed like a lot of work, but once the string was tensioned, the linen was as tight as drum. There are no creases in sight, and it was well worth the time spent.


Working on the frame is on hold for now because I'm preparing to go to a family reunion in South Africa soon. I will take a couple of small embroidery projects with me. After all, what is a holiday without a little embroidery?

'Till next time, happy stitching! 

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