Needlepoint Finishing - What's up with that?

So you've finished stitching your piece, now what? Now it's time to really finish it! Finishing is the process by which your stitched piece is turned in to something. The beautiful thing about needlepoint is that sky's the limit when it comes to finishing - Ornaments? Of course! Clutch? No problem! Pillow? You betcha! This page is dedicated to talking more about the finishing process & things to know to before you begin. 
Need some finishing inspiration? Check out our hall of finished pieces here!


Finishers - who are they?

Finishers are amazingly talented people who take your stitched piece and turn it in to your desired final product. 


Where do I find a finisher?

Lots of places! Just about all needlepoint stores have finishers. Additionally, some finishers work independently. You can find many of these finishers on Instagram or Etsy. Lastly, you can be a finisher! It's true - many stitchers learn how to items, such as ornaments and patches, themselves. Also there is a whole market of self-finishing items (which are exactly what they sound). These include coin pouches, clutches, jewelry boxes, wallets, sunglass cases, drink cozies (any many more!) These products are designed to have a stitched canvas just placed in to them (no sewing involved!) and can be a really great option, especially for a project you need finished right away.

Many finishers (particularly those who work independently) often specialize - meaning they may only do ornaments, or only do pillows. It's best to make sure you contact the finisher prior to sending your piece.

So I've finished stitching my piece, now what?

Send it to the finisher! Make sure you fill out the finishing form and include it with your piece. Most finishing forms can be found on the finishers website, or the website for the needlepoint store. The form includes many questions about how you want your piece finished. This may seem like a lot, but it's a really good thing- they just want to make sure they get you EXACTLY what you want. If the shop or finisher doesn't have a form readily accessible, make sure you contact them prior to sending to make sure there isn't anything you need to know before. Lastly, some finishers and shops have different forms for different types of projects (example: a form for ornaments and a different form for belts). Make sure you double check and include the right form. It may seem trivial, but it can save a lot of time in the long run!

I've hear about turn rows, what is that?

Great question! Turn rows (also referred to as waste rows, or finishing rows), are extra stitches around your final stitched piece. Some finishers require turn rows for finishing. These rows are used during the finishing process, and when your piece is finally done, you won't see them. Example: say you have an ornament, and you know you want the ornament to be exactly 4in x 4in when done - so you stitch your piece so it is exactly 4in x 4in. If you send that to a finisher that requires 2 turn row for finishing, you will end up with an ornament that is smaller than that 4in x 4in that you wanted. How to prevent this? You would stitch the 4in x 4in that you wanted, and then you would stitch an extra 2 rows around that. 

An important note: Not all finishers require turn rows and not all finished items require turn rows. To know if you need turn rows, you check out the finishing form supplied by the finisher, or reach out to the finisher or shop prior. 

I've sent my piece in, how long can I expect before I have the finished product?

This depends - it depends on the finisher and depends on the item. You can always reach out to the shop or finisher prior to sending to see if they can give an estimated turnaround time. (Please remember, these are estimated times. Since the pandemic, there has been a resurgence of needlepoint, which is amazing- but that has also lead to an increased demand, which includes an increased demand for finishing. Remember to be patient, this is a slow craft after all.) 

What are finishing deadlines?

Most, if not all shops and finishers have finishing deadlines. This deadline is to let stitchers know when the shop or finisher would need to receive your stitched piece in order to turn it around for a desired time. For example, a shop may have an ornament finishing deadline of August 1 for Christmas. This means that if you want to have your ornament back in time from Christmas (and you want that shop to finish it), you would need to have your stitched piece to them by August 1.


How much can I expect my finishing to cost?

This depends on a lot of things. It depends on the item (i.e a pillow will cost more than an ornament) and it depends on the intricacies (i.e. is the ornament shaped, is there a gusset, are there specialty materials etc). Just like the needlepoint piece itself, the finishing is all done by hand.  Some finishers will standardly provide a quote prior to starting to work on your piece. Some you may need to ask if they can provide you with one. These can be very helpful, particularly if you are trying to plan a finishing budget for the year.