Friday, November 8, 2013

Needlepoint finishing, step-by-step

Most needlepoint shops have a group of finishers to whom they send items for finishing.  Needle Nicely has approximately 20, though I haven't systematically counted them.  Let's do it now.  I have 5 belt finishers, though the fifth one is suspect since the last belt I sent to them took so long they didn't invoice me for the finishing (say no more).  I have 1 pillow finisher.  I have 1 rug finisher; ditto for bell pull finisher. (We are now up to 8).  Door knob hangers--I have 2, but I have been told that one is quitting in January.  I have 1 Christmas ornament finisher.  I have 1 finisher for needlepoint cuffs.  I have 1 shoe finisher, though I have the information for another I haven't tried yet, but who everyone recommends.  Most shoe finishing is no longer possible, sigh!  I have a flip-flop finisher.  For purse finishing, I have 6 finishers, depending on whether there is leather or shirred fabric, etc., etc. (20 is now our total amount of finishers).   I have lost 1 frame finisher, but still have one I like (another I don't like).  I have a local upholsterer and a local framer I like to recommend.  I, of course--or maybe not so automatically--do blocking and hand sewing.  For instance, I block the flaps for Sophia's purses and then hemstitch the lining down.  I also block, back and then attach the canvases for Pischke's Pockets.  And I block all belts before sending them to whatever finisher the desired style dictates.  I also do the finishing for Voila's key fobs and Creative Needle's jewelry cases. But I try to encourage my customers to do this for themselves.   So our total is now 24.

Things I don't have finishers for:  Trubey has designs for children's wing back chairs.  It has been years since I had a finisher I could rely on/trust to do what I felt was a good job on upholstering these.  Director's chairs, whether adult or for children.  I have the frames, but not a finisher whose work I find acceptable.  

The reality is that finishers are aging out. And because most finishing is done by hand, it is getting more and more expensive.  I just shake my head when customers tell me they are tucking their finished products away to be finished later.  Why?  Finishing is certainly not going to get any cheaper.  And, more importantly, will there be a competent finisher for that item when they do decide to get it finished.  I seriously doubt it. So, go through those items and have finished those you really like.  Give the other stitched canvases to a charity and say a fond farewell.  Get them out of your life.  If they aren't worth the cost of finishing today coupled with your sentimental attachment, they will never be worth the cost of finishing. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post. I hadn't thought that finishers weren't being replaced. I should take a look at my finishing pile more that I have some disposable income.