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Needlepoint/Puppy damage to old needlepoint foot stool


Chewed needlepoint
Chewed needlepoint  
Chewed needlepoint
Chewed needlepoint  
QUESTION: Hi Henry- my puppy gnawed on end of needlepoint stool that my mother did about 40 years ago. I am pretty handy with needlework & do not live any needlepoint shops, so thought I would needlepoint a patch and slip in under original, then sew into place.  Do you have any more ideas??  I would appreciate your suggestions.

ANSWER: Hi Terry,

Whoa, that some serious damage. Naughty puppy!  lol

Yep, when she was a pup, mine got a hold of a pillow my grandmother made - put a nice, jagged hole in there.  Took some serious work, but I was able to repair it.  She's 14 now, so she never does stuff like that anymore. heh

I am hard pressed to make any recommendations that don't involve removing the piece from the stool.  I just don't see how any patch could be affixed at the edge where it's been pulled away from the stool.

It really depends on how much you value the stool, how much time and/or money you want to put into the repair.

If you can remove the piece - or pay for an upholsterer to remove then replace after the repair - the repair would be fairly straight forward.  With a complete restoration, the needlepoint repair would be the most expensive component, so if you can do that yourself, a restoration may not be that expensive.

If you get back to me with what you might be able to do, I can give you better advice on how to carry out repair of the needlepoint part.

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

QUESTION: Thanks, Henry!  I could remove the piece easily as just tacked on.  I do know how to needlepoint and would like to try to patch as best I can.  If successful, I would likely find an upholsterer to replace the piece.  With that plan in mind, I would greatly value any needlepoint repair advice you might have--
With thanks again,

ANSWER: Hi Terry,

Excellent! Glad you are up for the challenge.  Let's start by getting the piece off.  If you are going to get an upholsterer to put it back on to the stool after it is repaired, you might take the time to look around now and get some quotes.  Since it will be so easy, the removal might just be included in the price for the entire service, so be sure to ask about both options (remove/replace, or just replace).

Once the piece is off, flatten it out a bit, get some good pics, including close up views of the damaged edges, and send them to me.

We'll take the next steps after that.

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

Needlepoint damage
Needlepoint damage  

Needlepoint damage
Needlepoint damage  
QUESTION: Hello again Henry-  went to local excellent upholsterer who agreed I could easily remove the piece which I have done. He can absolutely replace it when patched up.  I have attached pics - damaged area is 5x2".  I have 10ct canvas & very dark blue tapestry wool choices arriving next week.  My thought was to needlepoint a rectangle larger than damaged area, then tack it in, but unsure how to handle the edges on original piece.  Anyway, you are the expert, so I will await your advice.  As always, I am most grateful to you!!  Please let me know if you need any further pictures or information.
Thank you ,

Hi Terry,

Just a heads up on a few things:

Sometimes I may take a couple days to get back to you, but I will get back to you, so don't fret if you don't get an immediate reply.

This is going to be a bit of a process, so instead of me laying it all out there in one swoop,  we'll take it step by step.

Lastly, please try to find a spot where you can work on the piece, but when you're not working on it, the piece can be left undisturbed.  You just don't want to be moving the piece back and forth, possibly causing more problems.


Good pics of the piece now that it is off the stool.

The first thing I'm going to have you do is secure the large split that is starting to creep into the middle of the piece.  Get a sewing needle and some white sewing thread (anything highly visible against the blue background), and just baste that split closed.  Doesn't have to be pretty, just want to stabilize that split so it doesn't grow any more.  We'll come back to that a little later in the process...

Next, since it has been cut for upholstering to the stool, you will need to stabilize the edge of the piece all around to prevent any fraying or unraveling of threads or canvas.  Get some wide bias tape, fold it over the edge of the canvas, so it is on the top and the bottom, and sew it into place all the way around the edge, except where the damage is.  This can even be done with sewing machine is you want.

After the bias tape is in place, securing the edge, it's a good time to look over the whole piece for any other weak spots that should be stabilized, missing stitches, moth damage, etc.  Go ahead and baste up any weak spots and put a couple of loose stitches in with sewing thread just to mark the missing stitches, moth damage etc.

Go ahead and get yourself set up with a good work area that can be left undisturbed, baste the split closed; get that bias tape secured around the entire edge.  After you get that done, take some pics, front and back, of the work done so far and post them here.

We can assess the process and make corrections, if needed, before getting too deep into it.

If any of this is confusing or unclear, let me know, and I will try taking some pics, or short video, to explain.

OK, time to get started!


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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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