Skip Navigation Website Accessibility
220 S. Wabash Ave. Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 431-9588
Framing An Oversize Rug With Tassels

Framed oversize rug with tassels
While most rugs are meant to be walked upon, some area rugs are actually works of art and look better hanging on the wall. Like most things made from fabric, they collect dust, grime and environmental pollutants. They absorb these things and degrade. The best way to keep them in good condition is to showcase them in a shadowbox frame. The one, above, was hand made and brought in to our shop for that express purpose. Since it has tassels at the short ends and the visual narrative of the decorations run top to bottom (the long way), the client wanted it framed in a vertical orientation. Regardless of the orientation, it was necessary to sew down each of the off-white tassels, on top of sewing down the rest of the rug.

Detail of sewn-down tassels on rug

The frame we used was an Omega 84273 Pewter Cub 1 3/8" wide with a silver beveled lip. Frame size is 82 3/8 x 39 3/8. In order to provide a proper platform upon which to sew the rug, we built a wood stretcher to fit inside the frame. Upon that we stretched some nylon window screen and, over that, a fabric that was selected by the client and the frame designer. The rug was sewn down onto the fabric-and-screen-covered stretcher. Each individual tassel was, also, sewn down.

Coroplast backing of the finished, framed rug

To glaze this composition, we used .098 clear plexiglass. Generally, this is too large for glass. Also, glass is very heavy, can break and presents a hazard to the contents if it does so. Once we secured the stretched rug into the frame, we covered the back with a sheet of corrugated polypropylene or Coroplast. This prevents the rug from being poked from the back, is waterproof and does not peel off over time, like a paper dust jacket held on by double sided tape. The Coroplast sheet is screwed directly to the wooden stretcher using 9/16" Lathe Screws, which come with their own built-in washer.

Hanging hardware detail of framed tassel rug
Detail of hanging wire hardware before Coroplast sheet is fully screwed into place (hence the weird angle).

Frame design by Dana L. Fisher, MCPF
Framing and sewing executed by the whole Flax Frame Team
Photos by Brian D. Flax, CPF
Images by kind permission of our client GG.