Frames and trestles

About two weeks ago I was cruising the internet looking for a slate frame. I had intended to purchase one from the Royal School of Needlework. However, according to their website, they are temporarily out of them and I needed one immediately to begin the Marriage Pillow project. On a lark, I decided to check Ebay. I searched for “slate frame embroidery” and up came a seller, BWH Designs,  who produces both a 24″ and an 18″ frame.The frames looked good in the photo.

I wrote to inquire about what wood the frame is made from and the shipping costs to Germany. His reply came back quickly telling me the wood was beech and the shipping would be £20 for one frame and £26 for two frames.

The BWH frames  cost £64.99 each. The RSN frames are £75. Shipping from BHW is £20 for one; the RSN is only £15 (to Germany. I don’t know about the UK or other European countries). So total cost for an RSN frame with shipping is £90 and for the BWH Designs frame with shipping is £84.99.

The BWH frames are £5 cheaper in total and I could get them immediately. On the listing, the frames are described as follows: BWH Designs originally made these frames for the “Royal School of Needlework” who are renowned for only using the best and for producing some of the best work in the world, as well as training some of the most famous embroiderers to be found.

I decided to take the (slight) risk and order two 24″ frames sight unseen. They arrived a little over a week later. They are exactly like the ones I used at the RSN this summer. They’re beautifully made and the service from BWH Designs was first rate. I am so pleased. If you’re looking for slate frames and need them now – or just want to save a few Pounds/Euros, I recommend these. He makes other needlework frames and it’s worth your while, if you’re in the market for a frame, to check out what he has to offer. He also makes wool organizers, flower presses and tabletop easels among others things. His products are high quality, his service first rate and he answers emails promptly. What more could I ask for?

I’ve been having a spot of bother with the IKEA Molger towel stands I have been using as trestles. They were too high to use the way I wanted to and the temporary fix wasn’t working – the frame kept sliding off and falling with a very loud crash to the floor, scaring my husband and causing me to say things I really shouldn’t say. I knew what to do to fix it, but was just being lazy. Well, with the arrival of the new frames and the Marriage Pillowe, I decided it was time to get organized.

All that needed doing was to drill 4 more holes in the towel racks so I could raise and lower it according to what I needed. I marked new holes 5 cm apart, Steve drilled them and now it works perfectly.

Tomorrow I’m going to frame up the Marriage Pillowe and get started on that. I haven’t forgotten about the design from the beautiful plate and I’ve made great progress on the Royal Persian Blossom. All of that coming up later this week! Now, back to my favorite pastime, stitching!


17 thoughts on “Frames and trestles

  1. That was the post from heaven for me:-)
    I’m looking at buying a slate frame as well:-) I was going to get the RNS one but will now take a look at your supplier. Many thanks on the the fab idea of using The Ikea towel stands as trestles…I’m going to try that as well:-)
    Take care,

  2. Towel Racks…hmm. Thanks for the idea. I’ve been using a small stand meant to hold a scroll bar on one end and the arms of my chair on the other. Your idea is definately better.

  3. Great information, Kathy. I’m really happy to have this supplier as a viable alternative to RSN. I love the idea of the wool organizers, too.

  4. I stumbled upon your blog from a photo of your work on the pinterest site, and i am glad i need i have practically been through your whole blog, i love all your work it is all so neat!

    I have just started doing a little embroidery so you blog is good inspiration for me.

    I have added you to my reader so i will be reading all your posts.

  5. Kathy,

    I am so glad I found your blog! I got there by way of Coni, the Spinster Stitcher her very self. 🙂 She just had a list of all the blogs that she follows and I just had to add yours to my favorites list. 😀

    I really love the frame and trestle set up you have. What a lovely idea. I will have to check your frame shop out and see what’s there.

    You were lucky to go to RSN! How long did you go to classes? Your embroidery is just lovely. And why do the stitchers work on a flat surface, instead of lap stands and such that are on an angle? I am sure there must be a legitimate reason for doing so.

    Hugs and Love,

    • HI Jennifer!
      Welcome to the Unbroken Thread! I went to RSN classes for 8 days over a two week period and it was just wonderful!! The slate frames you see us all using keep the linen twill really drum tight – when you tap the linen is sounds like a drum. Why do we work on flat surfaces? Hummmm…. no special reason but that’s the way the trestles work and I can rest our arm on the frame, which lets me stitch longer. However, sometimes I do angle the frame so the far side is higher and that’s also comfortable. The more I use slate frames the more I love them.
      I’m so glad you enjoyed reading and will watch for you in the future!
      Liebe Grusse,

  6. Kathy,

    Quick question –

    Did you get the No Sew Frames or the ones that have the webbing to sew onto?

    Hugs and Love,

  7. Hi, I am looking for a tambour frame and stand, similar to this one, I am a embroider , doing constant bead work for evening wear. I am based in the uk, could you advise me, where to purchase one, as the ones selling on ebay, are not the professional type I am looking for. Looking for a frames and floor stand. Frame which can stretch to almost any size as it’s a lot of beading for large gowns as you can imagine.



    • Hi Pam,

      Glad to help! The frame is a slate frame and you can purchase them from the Royal School of Needlework. Since you’re in the UK shipping will be more reasonable. Here’s a link to their 24” frame.

      The “trestle” is made of two towel racks from IKEA. i don’t know if they’re still available though but you could check online. The RSN also sells trestles but they are VERY expensive. However, if you are a professional it might be worth it.

      Let me know if I can help any more!

      Liebe Grüße,

  8. So excited to find your website. I’m just beginning Tambour, and trying to source a stand for the slate frame. Thank you for sharing your idea regarding the towel racks, wow!!! (Brilliant)…
    Your work is beautiful!!

    • Dear Risa,
      Glad I could help with the trestle idea! Slate frames are very difficult to find if you’re looking for a reasonably priced one. The RSN has them in the UK but in the USA I don’t know of anyone who sells them currently. The supplier that was making them has stopped. I’ll be sure to let you and all of my readers know if I find someone!
      Liebe Grüße,

    • Hi Terri,

      I haven’t lived in the USA for almost 20 years and I don’t know of any reliable supplies for either a frame or a trestle. However, you should look at Mary Corbet’s web site Needle’nThread. She has many articles about both frames and trestles and lives in the USA so she might have information that will help you!

      Liebe Grüße,


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