Decoding Finishing: Ornaments

Decoding Finishing: Ornaments

We’ve been delinquent on our blog posts, but I am determined to bring them back with renewed vigor in 2024! 


One of our most read blog posts over the last few years has been our decoding pillow finishing blog post. I have realized over the past few years that pillows aren’t the only thing that can confuse folks during the finishing process. Expect to see other categories of finishes decoded over the next few months. Don’t see one you’re interested in? Comment on this post and we will make sure to cover it in a future post! 


This post is a love letter to ornaments. It is one of the most common and beautiful needlepoint finishes we see at Third Coast. There is nothing quite like decorating your tree with your special needlepoint ornaments!


Despite their small size, ornament finishing comes with an outsized number of decisions. Let’s outline the terms that you’ll hear, use, and see when finishing and needlepoint ornament. 


Backing Fabric: This is the fabric you will select the be on the backside of the ornament. Typically, one side will be needlepoint, the other side will be fabric. However, there are some instances where you will finish an ornament with needlepoint on both sides! 


Two-sided ornament: Needlepoint on both sides. This can be a canvas that is designed to have two sides, like a two-sided sweater, or can be a duplicate stitch (the same design twice). 


Cording: Cording wraps around the outer edge of the ornament and finishes in a loop. The loop typically comes out of the top center of the ornament, but can be positioned on either side of an ornament if you need a wider opening (think if you were going to hang the ornament on a door knob or the like). You can do one color for cording, or multiple! See these ornament finish examples below for cording options and placement! 


Embroidery: Depending on the finisher, you can typically add embroidery. There is generally an additional fee for embroidery, and of course, you’re limited on how much you can fit!


Cookie: A needlepoint ornament consists of two pieces, making a cookie. In the most simplistic of terms, the needlepoint on the front is attached to a piece of board and on the back. 


Puffy: This ornament finish will have some batting in the front between the stitching and the back board to give it some volume. This is the most common type of finish (shown on the London and Ireland rounds above). 


Flat cookie: This ornament finish will not include batting between the stitching and the back board. This is best for when you want to use the finished needlepoint as a coaster or finish it in acrylic! This is not common for traditional ornament finishes. See below for example!


3-D Ornament: This is exactly as it sounds - a three-dimensional finish! Can be made to look like an object (think shopping bag, gingerbread house) or simply be a carousel shape (like this ornament).


Welt: A welt is a small round piping surrounding the border of the ornament, typically done in the same fabric as the backing fabric used

Tags: finishing

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