A long time tapestry kits fan...
I started doing needlework when I was a young child of about eight. The simple, but pleasurable act of creating a lovely article with a needle and yarn soon had me hooked. And hooked for life! My very first tapestry kit was of a friendly tiger, filled with hues of yellow and orange, which when completed my parents framed and gave it to my aunt as a birthday present. Tapestry kits were soon to become my favourite needlecraft.
Since then, I have always bought rather expensive, incomplete tapestry kits with which to make cushion covers. Once all the hard, but fun, work is done, I still have to find and buy a matching zipper, a correctly sized filler cushion and material for the back of my new cushion. My last cushion tapestry kit I bought from the UK, ended up costing me over US$200 (£120) by the time I had finished! How many good quality cushions could I have bought from the local decor store for that? Admittedly, I would not have had the pleasure of doing the project. In the end, I found myself only doing one or two kits per year, as my house could only take so many cushions, my friends and family were getting very tired of cushions as presents and my finances would only allow for just a few of these tapestry kits per year.
Having gotten bored with the 3 month project involved with each cushion covers, I then completed the obligatory dust collecting, tapestry wall hanging. I then started to look for other interesting and more importantly - fun, useful and usable tapestry style projects to do.
This 12" x 12" cushion tapestry kit (above) cost me over US$200!
Why the move to plastic canvas?
In my search for a complete tapestry type kit, that would take me about 1-2 weeks (un-rushed) to complete, that wasn't hideously expensive, that didn't look cheap and was something that I could use and display - I found, well, nothing!
This is perhaps when our Company truly started to take form. In our searching, we came across a lot of different kits offering plastic canvas products. From bookmarks to tissue box covers. We soon found that the difference between tapestries and plastic canvas is not that great at all. Most tapestry kit fans may not yet realize, that the basic stitches used in plastic canvas are often identical to those used in tapestries! I fully agree that some of the plastic canvas products are simply awful in style and are remnants of the 1970's at best. But then, so are some tapestries!
We started to see the light bulbs coming on in our minds, as the possibilities for bored tapestry kit makers loomed in our thoughts. Kittens playing with balls of yarn are not everyone's perfect idea of a subject matter, but that seemed to be what was mostly available to plastic canvas fans. Until now.
Step in Framous Kits........
Our designs are modern, contemporary and even some more traditional. The plastic canvas kits can be completed within an un-rushed week or two, kits provide everything - just add your own photo. They're washable, giftable, three dimensional and great fun to make. They use the same stitching as your usual tapestry kit and come with complete instructions, online help videos, etc. So what are you really waiting for?
The actual differences are:
Plastic canvas kit:
- The mesh is made from rigid, but flexible, plastic.
- The mesh is not printed with the pattern to be stitched onto it. The holes are counted for stitch placement. A seperate printed pattern is provided, preferably in colour.
- The rigidity of the mesh allows for many different types of stitches to be used. Stitch names include, amongst others: half cross stitch, cross stitch, long stitch, gobelin stitch, continental stitch, reverse continental stitch, backstitch, straight stitch and french knot. A combination of different stitches is often used to good effect in a single project.
- Edges of the mesh can be sewn with an overcast stitch. The pattern can be worked right up to the edge of the plastic mesh.
- No frame is needed.
- Completed plastic canvas kits can make 3D (three dimensional) objects that hold their shape and can stand by themselves.
- The mesh for tapestry kits is made from canvas and behaves like fabric.
- They mesh may or may not, depending on the specific kit, be printed in colour with the pattern to be stitched onto it. Either the colour print is used or the holes are counted, for the allocation of the stitches. If the stitches are to be counted a separate printed pattern should be provided.
- Tapestry stitches are more limited and usually the same stitch is used for the entire project. common stitches are the half cross stitch and the tent stitch, sometimes known as the continental stitch.
- The edges of the mesh cannot be sewn with an overcast stitch. The pattern stops some distance from the edge of the canvas mesh.
- Tapestry kits are best done on a tapestry frame to keep the canvas mesh taut. (additional cost)
- Tapestry kits need to be finished in some way, eg. mounted in a frame or made into a cushion. This could be a fairly large expense and so this is often where a project stalls and never gets finished. (additional cost)
- The mesh is measured in holes per inch.
- Both plastic canvas kits and tapestry kits can use the same yarn, though it is often better to use acrylic yarns for plastic canvas as the don't flay as much.
- Yarn thicknesses are matched to the mesh size.
- Needles are matched to yarn size.
- Same type of needles are used for both plastic canvas and tapestry kits.
- Additional embellishment can be added to finish off the project in the form of petit point (fine needle work) or by sewing buttons, rhinestones or other interesting items on.
Breathe a big sigh of relief - at last you have something new to make!