Canvas tends to become distorted during the stitching process. To bring the finished piece back to the original shape, we use a method called "blocking". For a finished piece that has not been overly distorted, you may skip this step and move on to "setting". To block a finished piece, begin by placing the piece finished-side down onto a soft board (clean cardboard will work). Using thumbtacks, attach the piece to the cardboard. This is done by placing thumbtacks in each corner as you realign the piece to the original shape. Place more thumbtacks along all four sides as you gradually adjust the piece. If an area requires alot of stretching, be sure to sponge the area (lightly) with cold water. You may now begin "setting" the piece.
If the piece has not been badly distorted and you have skipped the first step of "blocking" you need only to "steam-iron" the back of the piece. This should set the piece.
If you have a badly distorted piece and have completed blocking, you may set the piece by using a cold sponge. Simply sponge the back of the piece with cold water and leave it to dry. It may take as much as a week to dry. Be sure to leave it out of sunlight and at room temperature.
Needlepoint must be mounted onto a solid surface to retain the original shape. There are a few different methods of mounting available.
1 -Mount on covered hardboard. Cover a piece of hard wood with material and stitch the piece onto the material.
2 - Mount on hardboard. Mount the piece directly onto the hardboard - no material. The old-fashioned way to mount a piece on hardboard was to lace the back of the piece together. Today, you may choose to use a glue gun, staple gun or even thumbtacks.
3 - Mount on a stretcher bar frame. This frame consists of four straight wooden pieces that are assembled to create a square or rectangle. The canvas is attached to all four straight wooden pieces (flat-head thumbtacks are best, but you may use staples). This frame is available in many different sizes. Be sure to choose a size that is sufficient for your piece.
Once the piece is mounted, simply choose a frame to compliment it. You may use a frame with or without glass/plexiglass, depending on the dust ratio of your area.
Although no longer considered necessary, lining a piece can help protect it. Lining your project consists of adding a piece of material to the back of the piece. Simply sew a lighter weight material onto the back of your needlework.