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How to frame & display antique lace

Updated February 21, 2017

Antique lace is a type of delicate material often hand stitched or crocheted to get the beautiful appearance. The problem with antique lace is that it can fall apart or become damaged over time. Framing the antique lace will not only keep it from being damaged by the elements, but also allows for beautiful displays.

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  1. Prepare the lace. Depending on the lace, it might need cleaning to remove dirt. Clean the lace by hand to prevent damage to the lace and allow it to dry on a flat surface. Iron any wrinkles out.

  2. Stitch the lace onto the acid-free mat board. Black coloured boards are best for light coloured lace. Use white or cream for darker lace colours. Never use an acidic mat board because it can damage the lace. It should only require about three to five stitches at the top to hold the lace in place and one stitch on each side and the bottom. Exact numbers of stitches will differ depending on the size of the lace. Use a large needle to get through the mat board.

  3. Put a spacer in the frame. Place the spacer at one side of the glass frame and press it into place. Repeat for the other side. The spacer should have an adhesive material to keep it in place. This will prevent the frame from touching the lace directly. Frame spacers are usually available for purchase from a professional framer. Buy a spacer to fit the frame. Use a clear spacer to keep it from being seen.

  4. Put the lace and mat board into the frame and close it according to the type of frame. Usually, the back is set onto the glass and frame and then a tab is pushed to hold it in place. The spacers are already in place along the glass.

  5. Display the framed lace in a location which is out of direct sunlight. Never put the lace where it is in the sun or the UV light might damage the lace.

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Things You'll Need

  • Washing powder (for delicate fabrics)
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Mat board or similar support material
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Spacers
  • Plexiglas frame

About the Author

Helen Jain has been writing online articles since December 2009 for various websites. She has studied English and psychology and hopes to get a Ph.D. in English in the future.

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