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Needlepoint/Continuing repair on needlepoint


QUESTION: Hi again Henry- your last reply had no place to send follow up question, so will start new connection re my chewed needlepoint stool cover.  I have secured the tear in canvas and the edges per your instructions and am ready for the next step.  Your guidance has been invaluable - many thanks!  I will include close up of front and back of damage area to date.

ANSWER: Hi Terry,

It's looking good so far... :-)

Just checking to see if you located any other weak spots or missing stitches...?  If so, you should probably take care of them first.  Let me know if you find anything, and get a couple of pics and I will advise.

If the rest of the canvas is all good, you will need to get a needlepoint needle and start the slow process of pulling out the stitches around the chewed edge.  Please start on the row that is furthest from the split you basted together.

Using the needle, pull out the stitching - you should do this from each side of the canvas. Basically, pull one stitch out from the front, flip the canvas over, pull from the back, flip back to the front and pull out the next stitch, etc.  Be careful at the start - you want to avoid disturbing the canvas threads as much as possible.  In the end you will be trimming the canvas threads back, but for now you want to leave them intact.  You will want to un-stitch the thread from each row back about 1-1.5 inches from the damaged part of the canvas.

After each thread is un-stitched a ways, and there is a good 1 to 1.5 inches of intact canvas between the stitching and the torn ends of the canvas, you are going to secure each thread to the back side of the canvas just like you do with regular stitching.  However, since the tail of thread you will be working with is going to be short, you will probably need to run the needle under some finished stitches, then thread it with the loose end of the thread and then pull it through to secure that thread.

I know it's tedious and will take a while, but this is exactly how I would do this.  Try not to do too much at once, as the monotony could lead to sloppy work. When you get done, you will have a nice, intact section of canvas to which you will anchor your new piece of canvas.

Contact me when you get about an inch away from the split, and we'll deal with that.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi again Henry-  I am following your instructions and am making steady progress unstitching the threads and have good canvas remaining.  Once I get to an inch from split, then what is next step?    With thanks and wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving--
PS- there were no weak spots or missing stitches  on rest of piece--

Hi Terry,

Glad to hear you are making some good progress.  I may have a different, easier, idea in mind for the split than I did before, but not sure.  Please send some pics of your progress (a couple of the front and a couple of the back, over all and close up); if need be, start a new question to send a good selection of pics.  I will consider my idea further while eating turkey and mashed potatoes... and you will take a well earned break and eat turkey and mashed potatoes.


After I check out your pics and awaken from food coma, I will provide instructions for the next steps.


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Henry Babcock


I learned needlepoint, knitting, sewing, etc. from my grandmother over 35 years ago. I can answer most questions on the subject of needlepoint. I know about producing needlepoint as well as cleaning, repairing and restoring.

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Almost 40 years using needle and canvas.

AS Marine Diving Technologies, SBCC 1998
BA Environmental Studies, UCSB 1993

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