Cross stitching is a time-consuming craft that creates some of the most intricate and beautiful pieces of artwork around.
Cross stitch is an age-old needlework craft, and older frames were often used to secure lace down in order to cross stitch a pattern. Having a frame to keep the fabric in place makes the cross stitching craft much easier, and more enjoyable.
There is quite a wide range of choices, so which is the best cross stitch frame to use? The best cross stitch frame to use for your artwork is one of high quality, one that can keep your work secure and firmly in place while you place your stitches. The frame needs to be strong and sturdy, and not break under and stretch or pressure.
Now, we have some more modern frames and tools that make the needlework process much easier. There is a wide range of frames, hoops, and stands to choose from, which help keep your cross stitch material firmly in place while you work your magic.
The Right Cross Stitch Frame
There are different types to choose from, basic hoops which have been used for ages, a standard and adjustable wooden or plastic square frame, or floor standing frames which offer a completely hands-free experience.
When working with a cross stitch frame, it is best to ensure the frame offers an even tension around the material, so there will be no clumping or slagging, which could make the needlepoint process extremely frustrating.
The most efficient, and easiest frame to use is one that does not need to be held at all times. Other than the floor stand frames, there are cross stitch frames that sit over your lap, which can be turned over when work needs to be done in another area.
This helps to give your hands a break, and it lets you focus more on the craft at hand rather than trying to hold your work in the right position.
What Are Cross Stitch Frames?
Cross stitch frames make the needlework craft so much easier. The cross stitch frame, which can be in almost any shape but usually in a round or square shape, is used to keep a piece of fabric stretched in the center of the frame. This fabric is pulled to an even tension, which allows for the crafter to create stitches and patterns easily on the fabric.
Cross stitch frames come in all shapes and sizes, but they really do help to create even, professional-looking cross stitch pieces that are enjoyable to create.
There are different materials which cross stitch frames can be made from, whether it be bamboo or plastic, the choice is usually left to personal preference, availability, and price.
What Makes A Good Cross Stitch Frame
There are quite a few factors that go towards making a good cross stitch frame. As cross stitch is such a delicate craft, you want to make sure the frame you use can properly allow for the right care and conditions for you to work easily and with no fuss.
Here are the factors you should look for when deciding which cross stitch frame is the best fit for you:
When purchasing a frame, make sure to check if the size of the frame can be adjusted to suit different sizes of work. This saves you some money having to buy different size frames for different projects.
As well as looking for size adjustability, if you are buying a floor-stand frame, check that the height and angle can be adjusted as well. Having a fixed stand can be difficult to work with, especially if you need to work in different areas of the fabric.
Some people prefer handheld frames, but for those that don’t, there are frames that allow you to work on your cross stitch using both hands. These frames usually come in the form of stands that are placed on the floor and adjusted to the right height, but there are also some frames that can be placed on a desk or between your legs while sitting down.
Working hands-free can come in handy with larger projects where a lot of stitching is required, and holding a large frame can become tiresome.
It is fairly obvious that there is no point spending money on a new cross stitch frame which won’t end up lasting long at all. Many frames are made from durable beech wood or PVC, which can withstand constant use while still keeping the correct tension throughout.
If you are on the move often and want to carry your cross stitching project with you, it will be worth your while to find a frame that is easy to travel with. This will mainly be applicable to smaller frames, but there are some out there that can be assembled and unassembled easily, which are lightweight and fold up compactly for easy travel.
7 Best Cross Stitch Frames
With there being so many options of frames to use, it can become quite confusing deciding which is the best one for you and your cross stitch needs. Below are various types of frames, but all are of high quality and are all easy to use and adjust to suit your needs.
1. Goncharoff Tapestry Scroll
This embroidery scroll frame might seem simple at first glance, but it offers crafters a seamless cross stitch experience, with tension and size adjustability to suit all levels of crafting and all types of projects.
The Goncharoff Tapestry Scroll is made for cross stitch and embroidery. The bottom and top of the fabric are held in place by the scroll design, with clips available to keep the fabric firmly in place.
Made from organic, finely polished beech wood, the frame is warm and pleasant to the touch, and is completely splinter-free, which helps to improve the needlework experience overall.
Included are round fastening clamps, which help the crafter perform quick and easy fabric repairs, as well as the frame offering tight tension abilities, with no damage done to the cloth.
The embroidery frame has been created to ensure that no loose stitches are left on the fabric, and the scroll frame can be adjusted to suit both large and small projects, with the maximum size being 30 x 40cm. The frame itself has additional frame holes, which is what allows for the change of size in the stand.
What makes this stand so useful is that it is completely interchangeable with all of the other Gancharoff frame models, so you could start the ultimate collection to fulfill all your cross stitch needs.
The frame is smooth, easy to use and easy to adjust. You will be able to use it for many different projects, and thanks to its durable design, it will last through many projects as well.
2. Frank A. Edmunds Universal Craft Stand
This is the ultimate accessory for avid crafters. The stand can be used for so many different hobbies and crafts if paired with the right attachments.
Frank A. Edmunds is a well-known supplier of hoops, stands and frames for needlework, cross-stitching, and other similar crafts, so you can be assured this product will be of high quality.
The craft stand has been constructed from American hardwood which is incredibly durable. The stand measures 37.5’’ and is able to hold stretcher bars, hoops, and scroll frames, in many different shapes and sizes.
Not only is the stand adjustable to hold one of the wide ranges of craft frames that could be used, but the height of the stand is also adjustable, as well as the angle and position for left hand or right-hand use. When not in use, the stand can be folded away compactly and stored in a safe space.
The attachments do not come included with the stand itself, but they are easy enough to be found to purchase online, and this allows to you purchase the accessories you need, without having to buy a package deal and pay for frames and other tools that you will never use.
For a cross-stitch frame that allows you to work with both hands, encouraging better stitch control, this is a truly worthwhile product. Its versatility and adjustability make it a stand out frame, and its ease of use and comfort it allows crafters is difficult to match elsewhere.
3. iRookie 7pc Bamboo Round Embroidery Hoops Frames
Hoops have been used for embroidery for many years, and there is no reason that they do not perform well now. Compared to other, more modern stands, hoops do fair on the simpler side.
However, they are practical and easy to use and can accommodate for smaller projects that are easily held in the hand.
This 7 piece set comes with embroidery hoops measuring 4.7’’, 5.9’’, 7.9’’, 9’’, 10.2’’ 11.8’’ and 13’’, ensuring there is a frame for every one of your craft projects.
All 7 of the hoops are made from high-quality bamboo, free from burr. The bamboo is safe on your hands while doing cross stitch, and are smooth and environmentally friendly. The tension adjusting screws on the hoops are made from stainless steel and are very easy to loosen and tighten during the project.
Not only are these hoops great for cross stitch, but they can be used for crewel, handcraft, embroidery and ribboning.
The 7 piece set is a good choice for someone starting out with cross stitching, or for the person who wants the more traditional approach to needlework. The frames are durable and sturdy, and offer even tension around the tapestry for perfect stitching throughout.
4. Needlepoint Embroidery Tapestry Scroll Frame
If you are wanting to expand your cross stitch frame collection from your beginner selection, this might be the perfect frame to move on to.
It offers a large surface of work, with stable framing that ensures seamless stitching from start to finish.
The tapestry scroll frame is made from natural and organic beech wood. The wood is well polished and smooth, ensuring that no harm is done to your hands during the cross stitching process. It is perfectly suited for both cross stitch, needlepoint, bead embroidery, and handcraft.
Plastic holders help to easily fix the tapestry onto the frame in the beginning, as well as allow for easy removal of the project from the frame once the work is finished. There are adjustable holes along the frame which allows you to change the size of the frame according to the size of your project.
The frame is lightweight, easy to assemble and unassemble, and perfectly portable. There are no tools required for assembly, and it can be done on the go. It is a good choice for the crafter who likes to travel with her hobby.
While it is a fairly simple frame, it serves a great purpose and gets the job done effortlessly, allowing for the correct tension to be kept during the project, all while being smooth and gentle on the hands.
5. Adjustable Wooden Standing Leg Embroidery Frame
Combining the best of hoop frames and standing frames, this adjustable wooden standing leg embroidery frame is incredibly useful, allowing you to concentrate and work on your cross stitch with both hands.
The embroidery frame and hoop are made from beech wood and are free from burr. The wood is smooth and splinter-free, being safe for your hands while cross stitching.
The height of the frame is adjustable and can stand between either 31 – 42 cm in length. The embroidery hoop has a diameter of 21cm and the hoop thickness measures 0.5cm.
There are a few ways to use the hoop. It can either be placed on a desk and worked on there, or the foot of the frame can be placed between the legs when sitting down for added stability.
This allows you to work on your project with both hands, without having to worry about holding a frame while stitching.
To make the hoop stand even more helpful, it has been designed to allow for the hoop the rotate 360 degrees, meaning you will not have to adjust the whole stand to work on different areas on your project, you simply rotate the hoop to the right placement.
For smaller projects, this is the ideal stand. It offers a hoop frame on a stable stand, giving you the freedom to work efficiently and precisely, thanks to it being hands-free and adjustable to your desired height and tension.
6. Needlework Floor-Standing Type Stand
This floor stand is stable, versatile, and the perfect addition to the crafter’s collection who wants to tackle larger, more detailed artwork.
Made from organic beech wood, the floor stand is light but durable, and smooth on the hands, with no risk of splinters or irritation.
Plastic holders help to easily fix the tapestry to the stand in the beginning, and when the work is done, the plastic holders are easily removed to allow for the work to be taken off the stand.
Perfect for cross stitch, tapestry, and embroidery, the stand frees up your hands and allows you to fully immerse yourself into your artwork, without worrying about holding up and constantly adjusting a frame.
While the frame itself might be lightweight, it is very durable and feels like a good quality product. You are able to adjust the frame in many different ways to suit the work you are doing, as well as your height and angle. You are also able to flip the work on the stand to have access to the back of the project if needed.
Sturdy, durable and adjustable, this floor stand is the answer to larger cross stitch projects. It will hold your project in place, accommodating many sizes, and giving you the freedom to adjust the work to suit you and your crafting conditions best.
7. BaouRouge Universal Clip Frame
This universal craft frame is made for many different crafts and is perfectly suited to be used from cross stitching and other needlework hobbies.
The frame is made from durable PVC tubing, and measures 8’’ x 9.8’’. It includes clips which hold the fabric in place, allowing for the correct tension to be achieved for optimal working conditions.
The inner ribbed surface of the clamps allow you to adjust the tension to your needs, and the clips can be rotated outwards to tighten the tension of the work. If you are working with a larger piece, the fabric can be moved around to allow you to work on different areas of the fabric.
It is easy to clean as it is made from PVC and only requires a light wipe with warm, soapy water to be cared for. It is as easy to use as it is easy to care for.
For a portable and lightweight cross stitch frame, this is a good option. The PVC is really durable, and the adjustments available allow the frame to accommodate for many different projects and size of work.
Should I was my cross stitch piece before framing?
You should always wash your finished cross stitch artwork before framing it. While the piece might look clean, there might be residual oil on the fabric and stitching which can over time turn into stains. Washing the piece also removes stubborn creases and any hoop or frame marks made on the material during stitching.
Is cross stitch the same as needlework?
Needlepoint and cross stitch are very similar crafts, but there are one or two big differences between them. Needlepoint stitching is done on gauze or canvas, materials with more holes than fabric, whereas cross stitch is mostly done on fabric.
However, both are embroidery crafts and often interchange between each other, requiring most of the same tools and accessories to be done.
Can I iron cross stitch pieces?
It is not a good idea to apply hot iron directly to your finished cross stitch piece. Instead, place a dry towel onto your ironing board. Unroll the cross stitch piece and place it face-down onto the towel, placing it into the right shape.
Iron over the fabric with a warm iron, pressing the work down from the back to remove wrinkles. The towel underneath the stitching on the fabric helps to keep the stitches from being crushed by the hot iron and preserves their shape and texture.
How do I make a cross stitch pattern?
You might have a custom picture that you are wanting to turn into a cross stitch project. To create a pattern using a picture of your own, you will need to trace your design or photo onto a piece of grid paper.
To complete the pattern, you will need to fill the grid in to indicate the stitch placement, stitch type, and thread color. In the end, you will have a complete pattern to get working on.
How old is cross stitching?
Cross stitching and other needlework can be traced back as far as sixth century BC. Needlework has been around as long as the fabric it is worked on has been available. There have even been pieces of embroidery found preserved in Medieval churches and ancient Egyptian tombs.
Cross Stitching Frames
A good, durable cross stitching frame is key to helping you properly cross stitch a pattern with ease. There are many factors that go into making a cross stitch frame worthwhile, with many variations of cross stitch frames to be found.
Depending on what you are comfortable with and what your level of proficiency in cross stitch is, there is the perfect cross stitch frame for you.
The end project might be incredibly detailed and beautiful, but the journey of cross stitch and the craft itself is the really special part, and you should give yourself all the right tools and accessories you need to properly enjoy the pattern you are working on, and a cross stitch frame can really help you achieve this!