Blocking - How to

I mentioned the other day that I block my crewel embroidery pieces. I find that after weeks and weeks in and out of the hoop and my basket, no matter how well I press them, getting all those creases out of the linen without squashing the wool is near impossible.

Nothing beats blocking the linen. It comes up so beautiful and crisp. The best thing is it is so easy!
All you need is:
Cork board - a cheap cork pin-up board is perfect
Thumb tacks
Clear plastic

Start by ruling a lines onto the cork board parallel with the edges. This is just so that you have something to align the grain of the fabric with.
Then cover the board with a sheet of clear plastic.
 1. Place one straight edge along your ruled line and pin it in place with thumb tacks. Note that the embroidery design should be facing up - not down as you would if you pressed it.
Place the tacks really close together and make sure you pull the fabric taut and straight.
 2. Next pin the opposite edge. Again pull the linen taut and make sure that the grain of the fabric is straight.
Then pin the remaining two sides, one at a time.
 3. Wet the piece thoroughly. Is it scary? only the first time you do it - or if you are using yarns you haven't used before and are not sure if they are colour fast. To date I have had no problems with neither Appleton, Cascade House or Gumnut yarns.

Now all you do is wait... and the next day you have a crisp and beautiful piece of embroidery.

Happy blocking,


  1. What a great tutorial! I really need to get back to needlework one of these days! It is such a calm peaceful thing to do.

  2. Great tip. I have a small vintage piece of needlepoint that is awaiting blocking. I think this method will work just fine. Thanks!

    1. I am glad you find this helpful, Jill. The first thing I ever helped block was a rather large needlpoint carpet worked by a group of women of a small country church so I am sure you will be fine. For the canvas you might need a firmer board, like mdf and proper upholstery tacks - try the other stuff first though.

  3. Really useful, thank you! I've just done my first bit of embroidery and was despairing of getting it flat again.


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