Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question beyond or need any help with your needlepoint project, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What do I need to know about wool?

The new wool, is a pure "made in France” wool of the highest quality and hand processed. It is sold in 5 gram skeins (.17 oz) and is available in over 350 colours.

The wool strand is quite fine and is normally worked with several thicknesses (double, triple, etc.) depending on the canvas size and the design itself. One can also mix several colours in a needleful, thus producing an interesting blend.

May I iron a blank canvas?

If the canvas is new, it is starched and stiffened, so it is not a good idea to put heat to it. If you wish to paint or embroider, you must stretch it on a frame. If the canvas is old and has lost its stiffness, it is easier to iron it, but it is still better to stretch it on a frame.

Why should I use a frame?

It is not possible to needlepoint without a frame. The canvas must be stretched taut and both hands are needed to work. When you pull a needleful through a hole, the wool is correctly positioned on a stretched canvas. But if you hold the canvas (without a frame) in your hand while pulling the needle, it will lose its shape and the stitches will be uneven. Canvas is a very loose weave and it cannot be handled like a piece of cloth.

May I dust a tapestry with a vacuum cleaner?

Absolutely. We even advise you to do it, on the condition that you use a very soft brush so as not to damage the wool.

May I work the design first, then the background?

This is not advised. Needlepoint is beautiful if it is worked all at once, starting from the top and going towards the bottom. In this way, all wool ends are well anchored in the back in a regular fashon. This is impossible when the needlepoint is worked haphazardly. (See The Secrets of Needlepoint, by Dominique Siegler-Lathrop)

May I use a magnifying glass if I have a problem with my vision?

Of course. There are some special magnifying glasses that attach around your neck so your hands are free to work. There are also magnifying glasses with a light.

Is needlepoint exclusively for women?

Not at all. In the Middle Ages, tapestries were woven by men only. In our day, needlepoint is definitely for both men and women.

May I paint a canvas myself?

Absolutely. Be very careful, however, to use indelible paint.

If I am a beginner, may I start to work on a large piece?

Of course. The technique for needlepoint is neither difficult nor does it take a long time to learn. Once understood, you can start anything that you want, an armchair, or a rug or wall panel.

Must I put my needlepoint on a frame?

Yes, absolutely. (See the answer to the question Why should I use a frame?)

Which is the smallest canvas dimension requiring a frame?

All canvases, no matter what the dimensions, require a frame. There are frames that fit any and all dimensions.

Is it possible to mix different materials (wool, cotton, etc)?

Yes, it is quite possible to use different materials. Do not forget, however, that tapestry, or needlepoint is inherently a work made of wool. Wool is the most durable of all sewing materials.

In order to finish an old needlepoint I need to match some missing wools. Is that possible?

Please contact us! We will be glad to try and match our wool with the colour you are missing. We have a large array of colours to choose from.

Do tapestries fade in the sunlight?

Yes, the sun causes everything to fade. Though wool is treated against fading from the sun, it is better to not expose such works to too much light. Take careful note also, that the moon causes fading even more rapidly than the sun.

Do moths attack needlepoint?

All wool is subject to attack by moths. New wool is always mothproofed, but it is still a good idea to spray finished needlepoint about once a year.

Is it possible to reproduce identically an old armchair needlepoint covering in order to replace it?

It is possible to copy the old design, to get the original colors by looking behind the tapestry and thus to reproduce the original as closely as possible.

May I wash my finished needlepoint, and if so, how?

If your finished needlepoint is really dirty, and you are sure that the painted design is absolutely waterproof, you may wash it in warm water with a special soap for wools. Then stretch it out on a plank and nail it or staple it down and let it dry.

My needlepoint has a spot on it. How can I clean it?

Get a clean wet cloth and a little soap (special for wool) and clean the spot.

How can an entire tapestry be cleaned?

Avoid dry cleaners, if possible. Dry cleaners clean with chemical products which can rid the wool of its moth proof and light proof attributes and also cause damage. Send the tapestry to a specialist, or wash it yourself in the bathtub, using special soap for wool. The problem is not the cleaning but the drying. The piece must be stretched out in its original form on a board and pegged down until it is completely dry.

If you can think up more questions, do not hesitate to address them to us.

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