How to Block a Tapestry

Written by cynthia myers
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After weeks, or perhaps months of work, you have finally finished a needlepoint tapestry. Once you have set your needle aside, your work is not quite complete. You need to block your work to make it look its best. Blocking a tapestry smooths and straightens the fibres and makes the tapestry look crisp and fresh. Even if you worked your tapestry in a frame, it will look better after blocking. While you can pay someone to professionally block your tapestry, you can complete this process yourself with a little patience and time.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Scissors
  • Spray bottle of distilled water.
  • Plywood
  • Blotting paper
  • Tape
  • Flat-headed tacks
  • T-square
  • Heavy books

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Trim all loose threads from the back of the tapestry.

  2. 2

    Spray the back of the tapestry with distilled water until the tapestry is damp but not soggy.

  3. 3

    Cover a piece of plywood that is larger than the tapestry with blotting paper. Tape the paper in place.

  4. 4

    Lay the tapestry face down on the blotting paper-covered plywood. Put one tack in the middle of the top side of the needlework. Put a second tack at the middle of the bottom side, pulling the fabric taut and keeping it square. Place tacks alternately in the top and bottom, working outward from the middle and always keeping the fabric taut and square.

  5. 5

    Lay another layer of blotting paper on the tapestry and set heavy books on top of this to weight down the tapestry. This will help it to dry flat.

  6. 6

    Set the tapestry aside for several days to dry completely. Remove the books and top blotting paper and check that the tapestry is dry. If it is, remove the tacks and turn the tapestry over. Your work is now blocked and ready for hanging or sewing into a tapestry pillow.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use regular tap water to dampen your tapestry. Tap water may contain minerals that may stain your work.

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