Selecting the right size slate frame for your project

Mythic Crafts has a range of sizes for frames available, but what size do you need for your project? If you can't find a frame for your project, we're always happy to work with you to build a frame to your requirements.

So What Size Do I Require?

This has been one of our most common questions on Etsy. If you're still not sure what size you need, please send us a message with your project size and we'll be more than happy to help you figure it out!

In short, your fabric must be narrower than the Working Area Width of the frame, usually by at least 30mm (1 ¼"). Your fabric can be longer than the length, however, if you're working with fragile threads (eg: Goldwork), beads (eg: Couture), or raised work (eg: Stumpwork) your project should fit within the maximum length.

All of our frames list their "working area" in the description, here's a direct comparison. The width is considered between the two Side Bars and the length between the Top/Bottom Bars.

Frame Size

Working Area Width
mm (inches)

Working Area Length
mm (inches)

250mm (std) 170mm (6.69") 84-194mm (3.31-7.64")
300mm (std) 218mm (8.58") 100-230mm (3.93-9.05")
350mm (std) 268mm (10.55") 100-280mm (3.93-11.02")
400mm (std) 318mm (12.51") 100-330mm (3.93-12.99")
450mm (std) 368mm (14.48") 100-380mm (3.93-14.96")
500mm (std) 418mm (16.45") 140-430mm (5.51-16-92")
550mm (std) 468mm (18.42") 180-470mm (7.08-18.50")
600mm (large) 520mm (20.47") 224-514mm (8.82-20.24")
700mm (large) 610 (24.02") 314-604mm (12.36-23.78")
850mm (large) 770mm (30.31") 474-764mm (18.66-30.08")

Your fabric width must be smaller than the Working Area Width, however, it can be longer than the working area length, as you can wrap excess fabric around the end bars. Your fabric will stretch as you lace it to the side bars, different fabrics stretch different amounts, so I can't offer a good suggestion for a margin, however, 0mm (1 ¼") is a good starting point.

When considering the length of the frame, it will depend on your embroidery style. If your embroidery is fragile (eg: Goldwork), has beads (eg: Couture/Tambour) or is raised (eg: Stumpwork) you'll want to make sure the whole project will fit within the length of the frame so you don't need to roll your embroidery around the bar, which might damage it. If you are needle painting, cross stitching or working other flat embroidery styles, you can safely wrap excess fabric around the end bar.

Rear side of frame shown with Aida cloth wrapped around it.

If you're looking for a more rectangular shape frame, you can purchase Standard sized frame parts by themselves to mix and match. A Side Bar's adjustment range from the table above stays the same no matter what size End Bar it is used with. Likewise, the width is the same for a 500mm End Bar whether it is used with a 250mm Side Bar or a 550mm Side Bar.

Available Classes of Frame

 Slate Frame Sizes

Our frames come in 3 classes shown above:

  • Standard (25x25mm end bars and 10x25mm side bars)
  • Large (30x30mm end bars, 15x30mm side bars)
  • Enormous (45x45mm end bars, 30x45 side bars)

The "Enormous" frames are purely custom order for the largest of frame requirements.

We have stock sizes of Standard and Large frames. The Standard size goes to 550mm (21 ¾"), and Large from there to 850mm. The Large size bars are thicker and therefore can handle more tension without bending, which is required as the bars are longer.

Bars are only compatible within the same size class. You can't use a Standard End Bar with a Large Side Bar - it won't fit. However, you can use any Standard Side Bar with any Standard End Bar.