Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Needlework System 4 Floor Stand Review


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Ahhhh. My search for the nonpareil of floor stands for embroidery frames and hoops has come to a stand still. I am a happy and comfy two-hander once again! I saved until I could afford the Needlework System 4 floor stand, hoping that I had finally found the “perfect” embroidery stand, the cadillac of hoop holders, the dream tool for two-handed stitchers. Finally, after several months of tucking away the funds, I could justify the purchase. So here’s my review of it, and a few photos…

The Needlework System 4 is everything I hoped it would be: it’s uncomplicated, durable, easy to use, versatile, and provides firm “hold” on my embroidery frames.

When I began to consider a new floor stand, I asked myself some questions:

1. Where do I plan to use it?
2. What do I want it to do?
3. How long do I expect it to last?

#1 – Where do I plan to use it?

If I’m going to invest in a floor stand, I want to be able to use it ANYWHERE (with the exception of the car!) For in-home use (or to take to guild meetings and so forth), a floor stand should be portable and versitile – I should be able to use it wherever I would want to stitch: a living room chair, an upright table chair, or even comfy on the couch – depending on the project, these are the places I stitch.

Needlework System 4 Embroidery Floor Stand

It fits easily up a living room chair. The height is adjusted by moving the main length of the stand forward. After adjusting the height, it is just a matter of adjusting the slope of the frame in the clamp.

Needlework System 4 Embroidery Floor Stand

It works just as easily at a regular upright kitchen chair. When I sit in an upright chair to stitch (for those “intense” projects where I need a good-sized table close at hand), I put the main bar of the stand straight up at a 90 degree angle to the floor. The frame and clamp can be adjusted for slope, or left flat (parallel to the floor).

Needlework System 4 Embroidery Floor Stand

And at the couch, it’s great. I can pull the stand forward, with the long front foot of it under the couch (the front foot is long – only about half of it showing there – and just over an inch high – so there’s good balance, and it can fit under just about any furniture).

Needlework System 4 Embroidery Floor Stand

So, yep, the stand works wherever I would sit to stitch.

#2. What do I want the stand to do?

When I embroider, I use stretcher bars for the most part, so I want the stand to hold my stretcher bar frame firmly, without any instability, and without constant shifting in position while I stitch. I do not want to have to adjust the slope of the frame continually, or re-tighten the clamp on the stretcher bars! The Needlework System 4 stand is the only floor stand I’ve ever tried (out of many!) where, once everything is set and tightened, I don’t have to readjust, even after a long time of stitching, moving, turning the frame, and so forth.

Needlework System 4 Embroidery Floor Stand

Needlework System 4 Embroidery Floor Stand

The clamp is a simple vice set-up, made out of thick plastic, with a large screw on the top. The stretcher bars fit between the two layers of thick plastic, and, to tighten, you just turn the large screw on top.

Needlework System 4 Embroidery Floor Stand

On the neck of the clamp, there’s an place to adjust the slope of your frame. There are metal teeth in this adjustable joint, so that, once you tighten the clamp in the position you want, it doesn’t move. In the photo, the joint where the teeth are is unscrewed, so that’s why it looks uneven where the teeth meet. When the joint is screwed tight, the teeth fit together evenly.

Needlework System 4 Embroidery Floor Stand

I also want to be able to turn my work while it’s on the stand, without having to readjust screws or anything like that. I can!! I can turn my work 360 degrees, without any part of the stand impeding the turn. I can even turn it one-handed, while holding a camera, as you can see in this video:

The turning mechanism doesn’t loosen up, either, so wherever you position your frame horizontally along that turn, it’s going to stay there!

#3. How long do I expect it to last?

Well, if I’m going to invest $300 in the two components – the floor stand and the frame clamp – it better last a LOOOOOONG time! The Needlework System 4 has a lifetime guarantee. I spoke to three shop owners before selecting one to purchase from. Out of the three, all of whom have sold many of these stands, only one had a return for paint rubbing off. The company apparently replaced the stand.

Other features I like:

There’s a scroll frame component available (I don’t use scroll frames often, but…)

You can use the stand sideways, slipping the front foot under the side of a chair or couch, and clamping your work on the side rather than the top.

It’s super-duper light, and, by unscrewing one screw, it disassembles into an easily carried package. (They also make a travel stand, which folds into a smaller package and fits in carry-on luggage).

Needlework System 4 Embroidery Floor Stand

You could buy two stands for Really Big Projects, and clamp one stand to one end of the project and the other stand to the other. But….! Well, you can use sawhorses or tressles for the same effect, and a bit cheaper!

So that’s the stand. I do like it! It’s been a pleasure to use, every single time I’ve used it. I haven’t had one instance of it feeling insecure or unstable. I haven’t had any problems getting it to adjust to “just the right place.”

All that being said, it is a rather hefty investment as needlework stands go, but if it lasts through my stitching days, I know I’ll be glad I got it!

If you have a NWS4, drop a comment and let me know if you have had equal success with it, or not! If you have a different type of floor stand, why did you select it and what do you like best about it?


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(131) Comments

  1. Mary, that is without a doubt in my mind, the most comprehensive review of a needlework stand I have had the pleasure to read. You covered all the major questions I have be debating in a concise and to the point fashion.

    I’d love such a system and with your help I may just be a bit closer to getting one!

  2. Mary, your new stand looks great. Thank you for providing a detailed review.

    You have the same kitchen chairs that I do. 🙂

  3. I’m glad you all like the review on the stand. I LOVE the stand!
    I’m going to provide a list of online shops where you can find it…

    Well, Ginger, all I can say is – we must have good taste!!!

  4. Mary, thank you for the wonderful review! I’ve just started using a slate frame and am thinking about buying another stand that just has a clamping mechanism and I like what I see with the NS4 especially the ability to turn the work 360 degrees.

    Do you have a feel for how big of a frame the stand will support?

    I’ve done some cursory checks on Lowery stands. Can you compare the NS4 and Lowery? One thing I like about the Lowerys (I think) is that there’s a table clamping version. Is there something comparable with the NS4?

  5. Hi, Margaret –

    Yep, they have a table clamp, and they also have a lap stand, although I have no idea how comfortable the lap stand would be.

    You can see all their products and accessories here:

    Needlework System 4 Website and I bought mine through Needlepoint Alley in FL, because their website is one of the few that has a regular shopping cart feature, so it was easy to order. The websites I had seen to that point were all similarly priced.

    However, they don’t have them in stock – they have them drop shipped from the company. So it takes about 10 days to 2 weeks to get them.

    Since then, I realized that Threadneedle Street carries them as well, and they also have all the components available on their website. Their order form is not as “easy” – BUT – this is the clincher – they sell the stand and clamp for $247 as opposed to (I almost went into shock) $310.

    So – I would DEFINITELY go through Threadneedle Street. Even if they don’t have them readily in stock, I’m sure they can have them drop-shipped to the buyer, and for $60 bucks, it’s REALLY worth the wait. $60.

    $60 is half the cost of the table accessory!

    Anyway, live and learn! I was going to make this “mistake” the topic of a whole new post – and I still might, since people don’t read the comments as often as they do the posts!

    Needless to say, in the future, I will be much more inclined to scour before buying. I don’t understand that big of a price difference!

    I saw the stand in a shop in KC, which is a little over 2 hours from me, and it was $300 for both components (the stand and the clamp). It wasn’t worth the $10 to drive to KC to buy it, but had it been $247, I certainly would have!

  6. I have ordered a travel stand, frame clamp and table clamp from threadneedlestreet.com. I just wanted to comment that the shipping costs are really reasonable ($9 from Washington to San Diego) and the owner says that UPS rates will be going up on 1 February. Also, I’ve ordered from Threadneedle Street before and have received really good service and quick delivery from them.

    Side note: They also carry Hardwicke Manor hoops (the best!) and the prices aren’t bad.

  7. Mary, thanks so much for this review. Having just trashed my Gripit Legend wooden floor stand, which I could no longer tighten, I’m ready to order a Needlework System 4. My local needlework store doesn’t carry them. Of course I want to find the best online deal. Did you pay #310.00 plus shipping?


  8. Never mind. I found your post with the information about Threadneedle and I’ve already ordered.

    Thanks so much for all the information.

  9. It arrived this morning, assembled in a couple of minutes, literally, and I can lift it with one finger! It’s wonderful. Thanks again for steering me to the System 4.

  10. Hi Mary….I just want to thank you for this great review of your needlework stand…I’m deciding whether to get one of these myself and have been checking them out. It’s so nice to read something from another “buyer”…You’ve convinced me..ha ha..


  11. Well, Mary . . .

    I’m now convinced that the System 4is the one for me. I plan to order it today, and I’m ordering the extension part and the Q-snap frame as well.

    This is an early birthday present to myself . . . . whooopieeee!

  12. I went and bought it…I got the QSnap frame and the Scroll Frame….They were wonderful at Threadneedle to work with and the price was right….. I may just have to go back another time and get the chart and light holder….Arlene

  13. I’m glad to hear you got the stand, Arlene! I hope you like it as much as I like mine!!

    Alexis! Happy early birthday – what a great gift! You’ll love it, I’m sure!

  14. Mary,
    Today I received a Needlework System 4 Travel Floor Stand and Frame Clamp. For some reason, I am not able to turn the frame to end threads. I don’t know if I am missing a part, if I should adjust a part, or if I should do something else. I hoped you could help. I am sure it is something simple I am not doing.
    Thank you.

  15. Hi, Nancy – the turning on mine was pretty tight at first. Right now, mine’s put away, so I can’t look at the individual parts. I think there’s a bolt on the back of the clamp, where the turning mechanism is, with a bunch of stacked washers in there. Perhaps if you loosen the bolt slightly, it’ll help!

    You could also contact the manufacturers – they’re pretty communicative, and could let you know.

    I hope it works out – it’s a gem of a stand!

  16. I am extremely happy with my frame stand, clamp, and scroll frame, which I got over 6 years ago. They get daily use (I usually needlepoint a minimum of 2 hours/day.) In addition, I have extra scroll bars & rods so I can have multiple projects on scroll frames at one time.

    Like you, I particularly like the ease of turning my stitching without having to having to adjust the frame clamp, stand or scroll frame setup. In fact, I had hand surgery 2 years ago on my left hand to remove bone spurs and regraft the thumb ligaments and NEVER had to stop stitching. My rehab therapist even credits my full recovery of range of motion and flexibility to my continual stitching and, of course, her good care.

    During the past 6 years, I've only encountered 1 minor problem, which Darrell quickly fixed (within 10 days?) at no additional cost other than shipping. What could be more reasonable?

    I'm so happy with his products that last year I also got the travel stand. It fits into my rolling duffel & I avoid withdrawal trauma while away from home!

    Happy stitching everybody!

  17. Thanks for the great information on the System 4 stand.

    I’ve hated my articulated wooden stand for years: even with the addition of extra wing-nuts and sandbags, it’s unstable.

    Now I won’t have to try to build a better stand myself!

  18. I just got one of these as my big Holiday Gift to myself and I LOVE IT! I found out about this stand here at your site and decided to just go for it. It makes working on projects so enjoyable, easily some of the best money I have spent.

  19. My Christmas present to myself arrived today and I am totally besotted! The NS4 is absolutely perfect — and I will relegate my sit-upon and old clamp to the attic. It is so lightweight and easy to turn. Now to see if it makes a difference in the quality of my work . . .

  20. Thanks so much for sharing and posting about this NS4 !
    It was of great help reading your feedback on it on a previous post, taken a look at the video and reading everyones coments on it. I was searching for a stand but was very confused and overwhelmed by the many kinds and brands out there. Search is over, received mine 2 days
    ago (got the lap/table stand -wich by the way has been upgraded with a sturdier base than the one on the picture on their site-with the stretcher bar clamp).
    After comparing prices, got mine from http://www.stitchersparadise.com , great customer service , was shipped straight from the manufacturer. I'm sooo looking forward to using it this weekend for continuing with the Long and Short stitch lessons !
    I see myself using it everywhere. Went for this style instead
    of the floor one because I have a very busy pre-schooler and the lap/table style will be completely out of her way ! 🙂

  21. I purchased my NS4 Travel floor stand from ThreadneedleStreet.com about 2 years ago now. I use scroll bars instead of the frame clamp. I have the large scroll bar head that handles 24" – 40" scroll rods since that's what I mostly use. I've been toying with the idea of getting the medium scroll bar head that handles 18"-30" scroll rods and the frame clamp with an extension piece.

    Mine is in great shape. Maybe a bit of paint scuffed off of it. I use it about every three days for a couple of hours. (I'm a time-starved working mom)

    One thing that I will note is that when I first got it, I worked on my older pieces that are already attached to scroll bars that worked with my old stand. HOWEVER, after a few months of being on the NS4 stand, those old scroll bars began cracking the wood at the threading posts. The older EZ Frame scroll bars that I own are thinner in thickness than the NS4 ones are. The NS4 scroll rods are about 1/2"-5/8" thick. Very sturdy indeed.

    Once the older bars cracked, it became hard to keep the tension in the fabric. In one case, I was about 3/4 of the way finished with a very large project, so I've taken it off the old bars and mounted it on the new ones.

    K's creations scroll bars also work with the NS4 stand and do come in a wider range of widths. I'm purchasing more scroll rods, and getting ready to package up my old ones with the old stand for sale. I did love the old stand, but I haven't used it enough to justify having two since I got the NS4. I do love the way the NS4 stand rotates. The most striking thing about it is that the stand is so light in weight!

    I did just put a new project on it this week on the 30" scroll bars –the first time I've used them. Did I also mention that I drag this frame to EGA meetings to stitch? The stand folds without a hitch and can pack in a canvas tote that I made for it, but the head with scroll bars is more unwieldy. I've made a bag for the head unit with 24" scroll bars attached (my most common project size) so that I can just slip it in, fold up the stand, and go. I made the bag after a vacation trip that I took it on. Even if you take the scroll bars off the head, it's still a bit large. It would fit in a carry-on without the bars (though my favorite size bars wouldn't), but I'd probably just take it apart and pack it in a suitcase.

  22. Thanks, AJ, for the information! The bag for carrying your equipment is a clever idea! I don't travel with mine much, and I don't have the travel stand, but it would be nice to have a bag to pack the stand away in. I'll have to look into that!

    I'm looking forward to getting a couple sets of the scroll frames in the upcoming months. Mostly, though, I use the clamp with stretcher bars, and gosh, I love it!

    Thanks again for stopping in!


  23. I have a padded frame stand bag in black from Hug Me Co. in the original longer size. Because I'm short (5' 4") & the bag is long, I wish the shoulder strap could be snapped on both ends of the rather than just on 1 end; the bag hangs down the long way and can drag, especially on stairs. I've considered getting the shorter travel-size bag but right now my needlepoint dollars are going for canvases & threads! Here's a link to the Hug Me Co.


    The original-sized bag holds my original-sized NS4 stand, the clamp head (in an inside pocket w/ velcro closure), & the scroll bar "jaws" head with room to spare. The bag is double zippered so the clamp head of the scroll frame can protrude through the bag opening in the center where the zipper sliders meet.

    When I'm home, I use the bag to store my travel NS4 stand and whichever head I'm not using.

    I have a second tote bag that accommodates the scroll bar/side bars set-up without having to disassemble it (sorry I'm traveling & don't have it with me to check the brand-name; will post later if you're interested). Both bags were purchased at Stitches by the Bay in Monterey CA, a couple years ago when June McKnight owned the shop. I would think that Colleen Greenlee, the present owner, would be pleased to assist you.

  24. Thanks for a great review Mary! I am seriously considering this stand. How big of a project have you been able to work on with that stand? I use mostly stretcher bars but do use q-snaps occasionly.

    Thanks in advance and happy stitching,

  25. Hi, Carol –

    I've actually been able to use a fairly larger stretcher bar frame on it – 30" x 18" is the largest I've tried, but I'm sure it would accommodate larger. It's kind of a reach, though, when they get really large, so I find I have to sit in a regular (kitchen-type) chair, not on a low couch, to be able to reach comfortably to the middle of the project. Alternately, I've also used the stand sideways, which works well for larger pieces.

    I really like the extension piece, too, and runs for less than $20. It's a useful bit of equipment, if you're planning to invest in the stand.

    Eventually, I'm going to get a q-snap holder and a scroll frame one, too….

    Hope that helps!


  26. Thanks Mary! That really helped. I ordered it and can't wait to get it. I did splurge for both clamps (stretcher bars and q-snaps) and the extension. Can't wait to get it – may have to call in sick for a couple days to play with it when it comes. LOL Thanks so much for your quick reply and your great blog.

    Happy stitching,

  27. Oh that is awesome to hear Mary! Thanks so much! I ordered mine last night and should have it by Monday according to the lady at the shop. I went with your recommendation on where to buy. The lady I dealt with was fantastic!

    Thanks again,

  28. Hi! I am thinking of getting one of this system4 for myself. I just want to ask, is there anybody who tried using the frame clamp for a q-snap frame that is fairly large (22" to 24")? I'm asking because the q-snaps holder they offer accept only up to 17" q-snap and I am currently using 22" for large projects, I am not so fond of scroll frames…

  29. The frame clamp doesn't work that great with the Q-snap. The weight of the rest of the q-snap tends to slowly "roll" the whole thing down towards the floor. If you rest the front of the q-snap on you, this helps eliminate the rolling, but I wouldn't say it's the ideal way to hold q-snaps, and I think the problem my be further aggravated by the larger size of the snaps you're talking about….

    Hope that helps,

  30. Mary: Thanks so much for posting this wonderful review about this system. It sounds like exactly what I need. My question for you is, how high up can you adjust the stitching to sit?

    I have to use very strong glasses in order to stitch and need the stitching 8-10" from my face. I'm currently using an old lap stand and still have to bend over so far to see the stitching properly that I can only stitch for a couple hours before I have a terrible neck/shoulder ache from bending over to see!

  31. Hi, Vicki –

    The back spine of the stand – from the floor to the frame clamp – is 34". If you're sitting in a regular chair, up straight, and you keep the stand upright and pulled towards you, your work will end up rather high. You can also buy the arm extension, which can then be adjusted quite a bit higher, so there's plenty of room there for height. If you were sitting on a couch using it, unless you're very very tall, if you had it upright, your work would probably be around your chin or nose, I think….

    It's a great little stand!


  32. Mary:

    Thanks so much for the reply! It really sounds like this system is the one for me; I just need to find the $$ to order it!

    Happy Stitching!

    Vicki in CO

  33. Hi Mary! I finally ordered this NS4 and can't wait for it to arrive. i ordered it with the Large Scroll frame. Thanks for the review!

  34. Mary: Thought I'd let you know, I ordered the stand with the regular scroll frame and extension shortly after I posted in February. I LOVE it so much that today I ordered the large scroll frame. Finally I have the perfect stand for my stitching! Thank you again for the wonderful review!

  35. Hi Mary,
    I am eager to purchase the NS4 however am wondering if the floorstand or travel version will better service my needs (or if I will at some point require both!!). Reading the needlework system website it sounds like the travel system does all of the same things as the floorstand. Just wondering if you have had any feedback as to whether it is as sturdy. I do tend to “stitch on the go” quite a bitand so portability would be an advantage.

    Love your new site- so easy to navigate and I am discovering many new things (and appear to be spending additional funds!!!)
    Kind regards,

    1. Hi, Jo – I’ve never used the reply to comment feature, so you’re my test subject! I hope this works! I’m glad you like the new site!

      I haven’t personally used the travel version, but others I’ve corresponded with have, and they seem to like it a lot. I’d like to get a travel version one of these days – I think you’re right, it can be used just as the floor stand, and it does all the same things. It just folds up into a smaller bundle for traveling or storage. I would guess it is as sturdy. Looking at the construction, it looks like the “fold” would not alter this. In fact, I’ve wondered if the ability to fold it gives an added ability to adjust the angle of the stand. If I get a chance to try one out some day, I’ll definitely post something about it!

      Thanks for your comment!


  36. Hi Mary,
    Thank you very much for your response.I have done a little more research and the new Travel version is now telescopic (no longer hinged).
    I plan to ponder over the weekend before making my grand decision on Monday. Still tempted to buy both along with the extension and possibly a scroll frame however I mainly work on slate frames.

    With regards to slate frames Jane Nicholas put me on to a man in South Australia who makes beautifully finished frames. I am so delighted with mine that I now have four (three of which are the same size as I am working on Jane’s illuminated panels and am not game to take them off until they are framed – my pet hate is puckering!!!) They are also quite light and easy to manage.

    I will be sure to get back to you with a review if I do purchase the travel frame.

    1. Ooooh – telescopic sounds great – I had no idea they had changed. I like that better, if it gives control of height. It seems like that would work really well with couches or lower seating! Even when I’m sitting in a regular chair, I find I have to slant my frame a bit to get it at the height I want. Thanks for letting me know!


  37. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for all of your advice. I have finally ordered a travel stand and clamp/ table clamp and scroll frame. I might add that this time last week I was not even looking for a floor stand and then accidentally discovered your fabulous footage on your new sight and felt I needed one immediately. Thought that if I was going to fund the postage to Australia I may as well make it worthwhile!!

    I will let you know how I find them when they arrive – OOh this lets me combine work and play (I am an Occupational Therapist)I wonder if this makes it tax deductible (ha ha)

  38. Finally I found this post. ^_^ it does look mine. mine is definitely the cheap wood version (around 40€) including the shipping. It was shipped in tubes. ^_^

  39. Hi
    I have just stumbled across your site & thank goodness I did I have never heard of this floor atand & am looking to buy one next week.
    I’m in a wheelchair & do my stitching from my waterbed – so will still have to investigate whether it will work for me as I can’t slot any legs under my bed (maybe I will have to cut a hole in the wall at floor level).
    Thanks for the information & a brilliant product review. Postage will be a killer though!

  40. Mary, thank you…I have several pieces, about six of them …but suffer from the wobblys associated not with the “knob” adjustments, but with the rod-in-the-hole …and mine is wobbling all over the place ….very frustrating. Our local shops cannot help me …do you know what to do?

  41. Hello Mary,

    This stand does look good, I have one question, can the clamp be used to hold embroidery hoops?

    I sent you a mail few days back, thought I might remind you, perhaps you missed it. Will you be able to answer that?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi, Smita – I don’t recall getting your e-mail… but you’re right, I may have missed it! I’ll go back through to see if I can find it!

      I’ve used the clamp to hold embroidery hoops before, but it isn’t made for that purpose, so it doesn’t hold them as well as it holds frames (which is what it was made to hold). Hoops that are thicker wood work better, but still not great. They have a component that holds Q-snaps, and it apparently works really well. I wish they’d come up with one for hoops!


  42. Hi Mary
    I emailed you earlier in the week but I guess you are somewhat snowed under– my main purpose of emailing was to query whether the NWS4 also holds the evertite frames? I also spent much of my email complimenting you on your fantastic website and blog, your beautiful embroidery and telling you that there is a group of us here in Western australia who are avid “Mary fans”

    1. Hi, Helen – Sorry about the confusion! I think your original comment was left on this post: https://needlenthread.wpengine.com/2008/07/evertite-stretcher-bar-frames-for.html about the Evertite frames, and you’ll find my reply right below yours. Yes, I use the Evertite frames ALL the time with the NWS4 stand – it’s a perfect match! As long as you have the “frame clamp” for the “head” of the stand, you won’t have any problems. Incidentally, I use the very large Evertite frames on it, too, without any problems. (I think you’ll receive a copy of this reply in your e-mail, but just in case, I’ll copy it and send it via e-mail, too!) Thanks again for your kind comments! ~MC

  43. Bought a Lowery floor stand for a hefty price iin 2000. Haven’t been satisfied with mobilityj, large plate att bottom and limited sdjustibility. I have been coonsidering buyiing this stand. Your review convinced me its the way to go. Tthank you for all your reviews. I always check your site before I buy anytthing. I readd what you are doing and you inspire me. Thank you again now that I have discoovered your site my wwhole approach to my needlepoint haas changed. You are great and thank you again.

  44. Mary,
    Thanks for your response yesterday. I do have one more question for you. It seems as though the Evertite Stretcher Bars are your favorite. Is there anything you do not like about the optional stretcher bars for the Needlework System 4? I know nothing about stretcher bars and I am about to make a decision based on anything I read in your Tips and Techniques. I’m going to make a road trip to a shop that sells the Needlework System. Since I don’t have a stretcher bar I would hate to pass up the opportunity to purchase one that I had in hand. But, if the system 4 does not have a good stretcher bar, I would hate to start out with something that lets your fabric slip or something else. Looking forward to your opinion.
    Becky McNutt

    1. Hi, Becky – I don’t think the NWS4 stand has stretcher bars. They have scroll bars. I’m not a fan of scroll bars, personally. But I think you’ll have to try them out yourself, to see if you like them. They just never really do it for me, when it comes to providing really good tension on all sides. I think stretcher bars do that better. ~MC

  45. Mary,
    I have been trying to figure out everything I would need to do Hand Embroidery, Needle Punch and Ribbon Embroidery using the Needlework System 4. After extensive research and sending you questions, I am thinking that what I really need are the Q-Snaps. I would be working on Weavers Cloth, Cotton Fabrics and clothing. Could you set me straight on this? Could you head me in the right direction?
    Becky McNutt

    1. Yes, I suppose if you’re working on clothing, q snaps might be the way to go. Stretcher bars wouldn’t work so well on clothing. I think you should try to make it to a shop that carries the stand, so that you can test it. You might also give plain q snaps without the stand a try, to see if you like them. – MC

  46. Hi Mary,
    Someone should be offering you commission for Sales over the last few years!! I’m a relatively ‘young’ stitcher and have wanted a floor stand frame for a few years now, but always put off buying one due to the ‘slip’ and inevitable re-tightening needed with most that I could find. I think I’ve found what I’m after though…I just have to work out the best way to get one for $$ given that I’m in Australia.
    Thanks for yours (and everyone else’s) info on this frame.

  47. Your photos & descriptions of the Needlework System 4 stand are wonderful and has helped in my decision to get one. Thanks –

  48. I bought one a few months ago and after using many different stitching stands, nothing even comes close to the NWS4.

    And to think, all the money I invested into all those other stands only to have them break down, when I could have made one investment and still had the best for all those years.

    I spoke to the man who built them and he is fantastic and knows exactly what he is doing and very easy to chat with.

    It may be nothing fancy to look at but like he said “do you want a piece of furniture, or a piece of equipment that works.”

  49. The drawback is that when the stand gets loose you cannot tighten it yourself. The manufacturer insists you return it to him which means you have no stand for weeks. I went months on a large project with my $1200 stand and frame wiggling because I did not want to tear it all apart to send in for adjustments.
    It seems reasonable to same for a tool to tighten the “joints”

  50. I hve not had luck with different kinds of stands s i cant figure out how to turn tihe work over easily to end. Thread. This one looks like it might work.

  51. Hi Mary, you wrote this review in 2008. Is this still the frame you’d recommend people get? Five years later I’m looking for a floor frame that’ll hold my currenct hoops, Q-Snaps, scroll frames. Is no fuss, easy to assemble and use. Would you still recommend the System 4? Or has something else come along since that you’d recommend?

    1. The Needlework System 4 stand is great! I love both the table top version and the floor stand version! But if you want it to hold your scroll frames, hoops, and Q-snaps, you actually have to buy the right components made to hold those things. There isn’t really a component for a hoop – but I use the frame clamp to hold hoops. It works in most circumstances, but not all. They have their own scroll frame set-up, and a component for holding q-snaps. For larger frames like scroll frames, slate frames, and large stretcher bar frames, I like the Necessaire floor stand by Needle Needs (especially when using their Millenium frame). Hope that helps! ~MC

    2. Thanks Mary, that does help 🙂
      Now I need to save up for the floor stand and the Q-Snap componant. Does the clamp shown in your photos come WITH the stand, or does that also have to be purchased seperately?

    3. Well, that’s just the thing – every part of the stand is sold separately. So any “head” that you want on it, no matter which one (frame clamp, q-snap, scroll frame) has to be purchased separate from the actual floor stand. They are pricey! ~MC

  52. I bought the travel stand, q snap holder, extension arm, chart holder and scissors tray last week. After using it, I am so disappointed and so sorry I bought it. The q snap holder has very sharp edges on it that touch my fabric, and are leaving marks. Also, the holders are not fitting securely over my 11″ q-snaps. The chart holder is an absolute joke. It is on an arm that will not stay put. The arm always sags toward the floor, to where I can no longer see the chart. The scissors tray is teeny and sits very far away from the stitcher. I drop things I reach for. I am so very sorry I bought it. 🙁 I’ve asked the company to pay for shipping back since so many pieces are not working as advertized. I’ll report back what happens.

    1. Lois – That’s pretty disappointing. I’ve only used the frame clamp, floor stand and table stand, all three of which work excellently – I’ve been using them almost daily for years. I did have one issue with the frame clamp, but replacing a washer (for about 19 cents) worked a charm. I’ve not tried any of the accessories. I’m not a huge fan of q-snaps myself, so I’ve not tried the q-snap holder, either. Hope the situation is resolved satisfactorily for you! ~MC

    2. So sorry to hear you are not happy with your purchase, but hopefully there will be a resolution.

      I bought just the stand and med scroll bars and after 1 year of constant use it still works just as perfect as it did when I bought it, so I feel it was the best investment I ever made,
      And soon I want to purchase the smaller scroll bars when money permits.

      I have owned almost every wooden stitching stand out there and until this one came along, nothing made my stitching easy, I will never give this one up.

    3. I have many of the same complaints regarding the travel stand and the Q Snap attachment. The stand is very light and stable, but it doesn’t handle Q Snaps well.

      Lois, I suggest you try sandpapering the plastic clamps to round the sharp edges – that took care of the issue with marking (and almost tearing) my fabric.

      My other complaint is the stiffness of the Q Snap adjustment and the turning feature. I’d like to try some sort of lubricant on the stand but worry about staining my fabric.

      So the search for the perfect stand continues…

  53. Mary
    Have read your most comprehensive and thorough review on the Needlework Systems 4 floor stand, as a consequence I purchased the stand and it is every bit as good as you found it. Wished I had found it years ago!!
    As well as Threadneedle Street being very prompt to deliver [10 days from go to whoa, and I live in New Zealand]] but they where very friendly and helpful regarding my queries
    Have also greatly enjoyed your very informative web site, you are extremely productive and very generous with your knowledge .
    I shall be visiting often
    Kind regards Heather

    1. Did you have a particular query in mind?
      Suggest Nancy that you go to Mary’s original review. It is comprehensive and well written . Also look at the Threadneedle Street web site as they too explain clearly how the system works .

  54. My hubby has saved and saved and wants to buy me a “for the rest of my life” floor stand. I’m pretty much torn between the Needlework Necesaire and the Needlework System 4. My biggest concern is tension. I love my tension to be very firm. Is there one stand that is better than another for keeping my fabric taut? I will be mostly stitching on a couch or love seat, if that makes any difference. I would be most grateful for any advice that you might be able to offer me.
    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi, Sharon – the stand is not really the concern when it comes to keeping your fabric taut. Neither stand mentioned above actually includes a frame for mounting the fabric. They’re both just the stand that holds the frame, so you can pretty much use any frame you like for mounting your fabric and then the stand holds the frame.

      With the NwS4, you have to have the right component for holding the frame. If you order their scroll bar attachment, then you can use their scroll bars. If you order a frame clamp attachment, then the clamp holds onto the frame (usually stretcher bars) that your work is on. I prefer the frame clamp, because I like using Evertite stretcher bars – they work very well for keeping the fabric taut – and I am not a fan of scroll bars in general. Another option that you can use with the frame clamp is the slate frame, which is really the very best option when it comes to keeping your work very taut over a long period of time. With the Necessaire, I find it works better with medium to larger frames, and it is made mostly to handle the Millenium frames made by the same company, although you can also use it to hold slate frames and wider stretcher bars. I find it works better with heavier frames, since the frame rests on the arms. Lighter frames move around while working, since there’s nothing clamping them. What I really like about the Necessaire is the fact that turning the work over is very easy, because you’re just flipping your frame, which is free from any kind of clamp. It’s a little more work to flip the frame on the NWS4. Although the clamp head on the latter turns 360 degrees, it is often rather tight on the turn (I have to loosen mine up now and then), so there’s some work involved there to turn it. But I don’t like using lighter and smaller stretcher bars with the Necessaire as much.

      Both stands have their pros and cons. I would say that, if you work on smaller to medium sized projects most often, and you like using stretcher bar frames or slate frames, then the NWs4 is the way to go. If you work on wider but not necessarily deeper projects and you use slate frames or the Millenium frame, then the Necessaire might work better for you.

      Incidentally, I can clamp a medium sized hoop into the NWS4 stand, but I can also use a grip clamp from the hardware store and clamp hoops to the top of the Necessaire. So both can work with a hoop, but there is some rigging involved on both.

      Hope that helps,

  55. Hi, Mary,
    Thank you so much for this review!!!!! I a considering the NS4 and the K’s Creations Stainless Steel Swivel Ball stand. I have a question, about both of these, actually…. You mention that it is stable. But does the frame shake while you are stitching? Do you know anything about the K’s Creations Stainless Steel stand? I love you for your review. Really. I’d lost faith that googling Review Needlwork System 4 would y ield any results at all.

  56. Thank you for your very informative review. I am planning on purchasing one of these stands.

    I use brass tacks purchased from the hardware store, as you suggested in another of your articles. Is it still possible to use the Needlework System 4 stand clamp on these tacks even though they have the slightly rounded tops? Is the clamp able to hold the stretcher bars securely or will I have to go back to using the flat top tacks?

  57. I have a project that is 18 inches wide but 24 long. Will this k system accomadate that length without toping over?
    Is like to purchase one.

  58. Hi Mary, I am looking for a floor stand.. I currently use an easel, but I experience extreme pain in my neck vertebrae . I use slate frames of about 30″ wide and 28″ long. I am looking at the Lowery and this one. Will the clamp hold a frame this large with stability. In order to get beyond the neck pain, I think I need to sit upright with the frame vertical in front of me, so I don’t need to bend my head down. Please help

    1. Hi, LeslieAnn – with a frame that size, the NWS4 will work, but I don’t it will hold the frame vertical enough for you, at least in a position that is high enough for normal sitting. The frame would end up “hanging” too low. You’d also lose the ability to turn the frame easily, because it would run into the vertical support bar up the back. Hope that helps!

  59. Hi Mary:

    Thank-you for this information, it is nice to go into your archives and find any topic that I’m interested in as my needlework adventures continue. I’ve just ordered some evertite frames and am now looking for a stand for it and this review is really positive. Please can you tell me if you ever made a list of where to buy these – specifically in canada if you found a place? I pay an arm and a leg in customs fees and UPS fees when I order from the USA!

  60. Hi Mary –

    I am close to making a decision about purchasing a ns 4 floor stand and frame clamp. Will it hold a 5/8th” Hardwick Manor hoop? I really like how light everyone says it is and that it’s easy to put away at night.



  61. Dear Mary,

    Thank you for all your wonderful advice on so may topics. I would like to buy a floor stand and am considering the Needlework System 4 Regular Floor Stand with Frame Clamp per your recommendation. Have you tried to use it with a hoop? I sometimes use hoops instead of frames and would like to buy one stand for everything.

    Thank you for your assistance.


    1. Hi, Camille – I do use it with a hoop. It’s not made for a hoop, so it’s probably not “ideal,” but it works for me. It works best with a larger hoop, but I’ve even used it with hoops as small as 4″. Hope that helps!

  62. Interesting. I purchased the system 4 and ALL components except the clamp. I find the scroll rods are way too heavy for the light frame and it jiggles constantly the moment I touch it even lightly. The table stand was working OK with the QSnap attachment but after much use it no longer stays secure and rocks continually. I would like to know the magic trick to try and tighten the nuts tucked way inside the tubular ends which might help, however, there is no room for a tool to fit inside to do anything. I live in Canada and it cost me over $600.00 for the pieces that are collecting dust in my basement. It just brings me to tears as that was a lot of saving just to waste my money and I am so frustrated it is about to end up in the dump. In all conscience I cannot sell the thing as I would feel like a complete fraud and would not do that to anyone. I do a lot of stitching and after retirement thought I was going to have the pleasure of good equipment to use in my new found time. So instead complete frustration and it must be my age it makes me so angry I cry when I think of it. I bought Phillipa Turnbull’s Mellerstein firescreen
    kit and was already lusting for her new tree of life but with passing years it is becoming more difficult to hold a frame and stitch at the same time as it becomes painful. Enough
    complaining. I absolutely love this site and all the wonderful input and work Mary puts into this and the tutorials and information are “par excellence”
    Giselle Barrieau❤️Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!!!
    PS Thank you for your patience at my venting. I have felt this way for over a year, and have honestly tried using it more often than you can imagine.

    1. Hi, Giselle – So sorry to hear about your experience with the frame components! Well, you’ve got me stumped, as I don’t have any components aside from the clamp, which is still plugging away for me after all these years. I wonder if you could contact the company and ask them about how to tighten the pieces you’re having trouble with? Since I don’t have those particular pieces, I can’t even check to see what kind of tool it would take. But I would definitely contact the company and tell them what difficulties you’re experiencing with their product and see what they can do for you!

    2. I am sorry to hear that you are having difficulty with your Needlework System4 products. As you can see from most of the posts on this site, your experience isn’t the norm and we want you to be satisfied with your purchase. Please contact us at info@needleworksystem4 or call us at (386) 672-1693 so we can see what we can do to fix this situation for you!

  63. Based on your review I bit the bullet and bought the floor stand. It flips great, it doesn’t come loose all the time. Its a joy to work on. BUT, I tend to work on fairly large canvases in a low rocking chair to its point of balance was off and it only took the slightest nudge to knock over. (Which of course our puppy did and knocked it into an antique table and scracthed the bejejees out of it). I tried putting a sandbag on the back but that didn’t really work. My husband eventually took it to a local machine shop and explained what the problem was. They replaced the back bar (which was sturdy but hollow) with a solid steel bar. Problem solved. Works great now!

  64. Hi Mary
    It’s me again! If one preferred needlepoint to crewel BUT one might find the odd embroidery project alluring, which frame and stand would you buy? The Millenium stand and frames or the Lowry? I was going to buy myself 100% linen sheets for my (ahem) 65th birthday – egad! Since I’m renovating a lot of stuff I thought I would pare down my present to self and get a decent stand since I will also have some downtime as I mend from a total hip replacement. My life is never dull! I hope you are feeling and doing well. Regards

  65. Hi Mary
    I would like to thank you for forwarding my observations (a complaint really I guess)
    on the System 4 Floor Stand to the company. I have called and also messaged them, although the address that was posted is not a valid email address so Iwill have to look for another. I did not expect a follow up and am very grateful for your help. Will keep you updated if they actually contact me.

  66. Hello mam, I am huge fan of your work, and have been following your website since long time now.
    After seeing your work I got inspired to start an embroidery project myself.
    I had traced the design on the fabric and started coloring my pattern with raw silk embroidery threads, and it’s coming across very beautifully.

    But I facing a problem in my project now. My embroidery pattern is 90″×90″ square bedsheet, so I m not able to manage it properly whole embroidering. Please give me some suggestions regarding how I can manage such huge piece of cloth while embroidering, and if you could guide me in regard of different embroidery frames of different budget that I can buy which can help in my current and future embroidery projects which are very big in size.

    1. If you use an embroidery hoop, you can move it around the sheet, to whatever area you are working. Any hoop should do, but you want one that will really hold the fabric well and in place.

  67. I like how you stretched your fabric and fastened it .Did you do a article about how to do this? If so where can I find it?

  68. I have had this frame for many years. I LOVE IT! It is so lightweight and adjustable I can sit in a chair or my couch and adjust it to work easily. I’ve had other frames but this works better than all the others. I highly recommend this frame!

  69. I have to say that I have the stand and the sit on/table one, but bought 2 necks because it suits my positioning ability for my vision better. So easy to put away and folds up so neatly. I was fortunate to be given 1/2 a calf hide. I made the stand a bag. Leather is better than the canvas I had it in.
    Because I also have my Millennium frames I made a wooden add on to use on NWS4 that will take the Millennium frame and not squash the work on the roll.
    I can use the table stand with clamp as well as the usual frame, for larger work.
    As a stand, the Big4 is a winner. Easy to use and sturdy. For me versitile. A little plus I can put my scissors on a magnet on the leg.
    No doubt like you Mary, I have gathered many stands and frames over the years. As well as knocking up a few myself.
    Definately a winner for me.

  70. Mary I forgot to add what for me is with most frames/stands is that you have to bend over the work and if I get carried away and forget time I get a back ache. So I use a timer on all embroidery and when the alarm goes off I get up and do a few exercises and get back to work. With having two necks for the SW4 I can stand and do an hour that way. I definitely go for a walk after my sessions. The dog certainly enjoys that.
    Happy sewing.

  71. Mary,
    Some time ago you talked about hoop stand that rest between your legs rest g under one leg. I can’t find your artical about them, please ss3nd me the link.
    Thank You,
    Jo Bower

  72. Thank you for a wonderful reviews. I want to buy a stand and I am eyeing the System 4 floor stand. I have a question about the clamp. Would it be possible to purchaase the frame/hoop clamp and use it with my existing scroll strecher? I am not much of a sticher, but if I do something, I mostly use the scroll frame and only occassionaly a hoop. I do not want to invest in both the frame and the scroll clamp and if the frame scroll would not secure my existing scroll frame well enough I woud buy the scroll frame clamp. What would you recommend? Thank you, Eva

  73. Hi Mary , thank you for the review on System 4 embroidery stands. I’ve saved up to purchase it , would you tell me where you bought yours ? Thank you. Naomi. : )

  74. Mary, I do some very intricate counted cross stitch designs. But over the years I have developed some arthritis in My hands. I am looking g for a good stand and was wondering if this stand would also work well for that. It looks like it would but before I spend this much money I just wanted your opinion. Thanks

    1. Hi, Ann – Do you set your projects up on stretcher bars or scroll frames? The stand with the clamp attachment works for stretcher bars. If you use a scroll frame, you’d opt for their scroll frame attachment instead, I think. I’ve not used the scroll frame attachment myself, but I love the clamp with my stretcher bars! So yes, it does work for cross stitch projects, but the “head” apparatus of the stand varies depending on what type of frame you use. Hope that helps!

  75. Mary, I recently bought the System 4 with the extended arm and scroll frame. I absolutely love using it! It is easy to adjust; I just need to make sure that the teeth on the “gear” lines up properly. The extended arm gives it extra adjustability which I like since I am short and cannot touch the floor when sitting on my sofa. I put pillows behind my back with my feet flat on the floor. The extended arm gives me the extra reach I need.

    The scroll frame works well. I have the EZ Stitch scroll frames. I just bought plastic knobs that fit those as the ones that came with my System 4 do not have the same thread count on the knobs. The plastic knobs and metal scroll frame keep the tension on my fabric constant; I don’t have to keep readjusting it.

    I really like the System 4’s design. It is sleek, simple, lightweight and looks great besides working well. I am so glad that I read your review and bought the System 4 instead of the EZ Stitch wooden floor frame.



  76. Thanks Mary for all the information. I have forwarded it to a bee I belong to for some great basic tips and links. I will investigate the Needlework System 4 because I do a lot of crazy quilting and silk ribbon embroidery and think it will be very helpful for that as well. How do you find their Lap stand compares to the popular one that so many use? I am thinking that it has other functions the wooden Lap Ap does not? Looking forward to your input.

  77. Thank you for giving a good explanation on how the System 4 works, I’m totally envious. I think it’s time to save up my pennies for this baby. I love the way it turns, the clamp and the ability to adjust the angle.


  78. Hi Mary,
    Your review was very helpful! I finally ordered the Needlework System 4 lap/table stand. It was expensive, but what a great product! I stand and use it on my work table, or put it on a desk and sit. Also, I can use it while on a reclining sofa if I open a folding tray and put the stand on the tray. (It’s a little too heavy to just keep on my lap.) It’s easy to flip the frame over to get to the back of the fabric, without loosening any screws. I’ve used it with a hoop and with the Evertite Stretcher Bars. (I like those too!)
    Thank you for your help and have a great Christmas!
    Andrea Needel

  79. I’ve had my stand for about a year and am thinking about getting the pattern holder and maybe the light. Have you used either? I can’t find a good picture of the pattern holder to see how far away from my eyes the pattern word sit. The picture I’ve seen looks like I’d need opera glasses to see my pattern!

  80. Mary, I just bought a System 4, and I am still figuring out a few things. You are right, it is a (very) hefty investment. Would you be able to do a update to discuss how it’s help up since 2008, and whether or not you still use it? Would you buy it again?

    1. I use it or the table top version practically every day, unless I’m not stitching at all. I had to replace a washer on a couple of the nuts, but other than that, it’s held up great!

  81. Hello. I just received my lap frame and I do love it. My question for anyone is… in using the stretcher bars and the tacks, is there a concern for the clamp in clamping down on the racks as in the photo pictured above? I don’t want to ruin my clamp … any thoughts from those who use the stretcher bar method and tacks. Thanks!

    1. I use the stretcher bars with tacks with the clamp all the time. Sometimes the tacks are on the top of the stretcher bars (more common for needlepoint) and sometimes, the tacks are on the side, since fabric can be stretched around to the side of the frame. Either way works, and I’ve never had any kind of negative consequences for the clamp. Hope that helps.

  82. I need to buy my husband a floor stand so he can work on his larger counted cross stitch pieces. Currently he sits at the kitchen table and uses a hoop. Prior to that on a very large piece he used a q-snap and it was horrid. It tore his fabric and just generally made a horrible mess from the clamp pieces. Fortunately our granddaughter was able to fix the problem by stitching it back together… He would like to use a scroll frame for his work. But he also needs a stand for those larger pieces as I have watched him struggle with the 20 inch x 20 inch q snap frame. He definitely does NOT want to use a q snap again. Where would I find a good scroll frame? I do like the features of this floor stand but it seems the clamp would not hold a scroll frame. What scroll frame is the cadillac of scroll frames? And will it clamp onto this floor stand.

  83. Omg I’m so thankful for these reviews, I know allot of places have really good return policies but i really dislike the time consuming hassle of returning things

    1. Hi, Donna – I have used the clamp with q-snaps, but just a warning – the q-snaps tend to roll while in the clamp. It’s not the best way to hold q-snaps. You can buy a q-snap head for the needlework system 4 stand, though.

  84. Good morning
    Interested in the stand you are reviewing here. When you say that a second frame can be purchased for bigger project – how big a project are suggesting.
    Also, can you attach a light fitting to it anywhere?

    I am in the UK, struggling with a very large project. It is currently on a floor standing frame but it is almost the length of the 3 seater sofa and my husband is squashed on the end 🙂
    Are they available in the UK do you know.
    Many thanks. Kind regards Dawn

    1. Hello, Dawn – I have used two stands that have the frame-clamp head, and placed a long slate frame with one side in each frame clamp. It works, but frankly, it would be more sensible (and probably more economical) to use a trestle stand is such situations. I don’t think the Needlework System 4 is available in the UK, but I’m not sure. It’s made here in the US, and could probably be ordered and shipped, but I think you’d be better off – if you’re looking for this kind of stand – taking a look at the Lowry stand, which is made in the UK and widely available there. If you’re working large projects, seek a trestle stand. Check with the Royal School of Needlework – they will have resources to tell you where you can buy trestles and slate frames.

      As for holding a light, it depends on the light. They don’t have a light attachment, but if you had a clamp light, yes, you could clamp it onto the embroidery frame or even, depending on the clamp and the neck of the light, onto the stand. It would have to be a fairly long goose neck or something similar.

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