Double glazing 8' x 6 1/2' tapestry (Help...)

Mar 12, 2004
A customer from a local college brought in a large silk tapestry to have framed with double glazing. I suggested double thickness plexi but have never used it. To be honest, I've never attempted something so large.
I'd like to float the tapestry in a thick, deep frame to keep it away from the surface of the plexi and would like to find double thick UV plexi if possible.
Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? They would be greatly appeciated.
What do you mean by double glazing? Are you talking about viewing the piece from the front and back?
Acrylic should be available in 6 ft widths rather easily. The 6 1/2 ft width will probally have to come from the manufacturer as a "Mill Item" special order.

Something that large will have to be supported in the middle as well as the sides (sewing with hand stitching) and further supported with a strainer with cross braces.
Yes, the customer would like the tapestry visible front and back. It is not a rectangular piece so any "support" would have to be unobtrusive. I'm thinking of using monofilament to anchor the edges of the fabric to the sides of the frame. The customer would like at least two inches of depth between pieces of plexi with the tapestry hanging in the middle. I'm afraid this setup could be a nightmare. Am I crazy?
Originally posted by Valley Frame Works:
I'm afraid this setup could be a nightmare. Am I crazy?
Wouldn't it be easier to just say NO?

It seems like every time someone asked for the impossible or the nearly impossible and I tried to accommodate them it ended up costing me more time and effort than could ever be billed for or that they would ever pay for. If you can't say no just tell them it will cost about $7000 or more. If they go for it farm it out to your biggest competitor. Let them lose the sleep and money.

Am I getting bitter in my old age?
I am no exper But It sure sounds like a job for double sheets of Mylar ecapsulation secured on the sides in some way.But i don't really have the experience and /or knowledge. Cotact Jim Miller and see what he suggest.
Yes, the customer would like the tapestry visible front and back. It is not a rectangular piece so any "support" would have to be unobtrusive.
I do not see this project happening successfully. There will not be anything supporting such a large textile in the center. It might look ok as it leaves the door; but, it will be taken over by gravity in a very short time without center support.

BTY, monofiliment "fishing line" is too harsh for using as a sewing thread. It will cut through fabric in time. See many of the other threads about this topic.
If not rectangular, what shape is it? Could you run a clear acrylic rod across the top (from one side of the wood to the other, a couple of inches down from the top) and suspend the item from that, possibly by sewing a pocket or loops along the top edge of the piece? For such a large piece the rod would have to be pretty sturdy, and even might have to use monofilament to help support the rod.
Of course (without having seen the item) this might be totally impractical.
I think I would probably pass on this if you don't have LOTS of spare time.
I've used 1/4" Cyro Acrylite on a piece much smaller than that and it took two men to carry it when it was done. That was a SINGLE piece of Acrylite.

I'd have no problem saying 'no' to this. Rarely will you hear word of mouth like, "XYZ Frameshop wouldn't attempt my project because they couldn't foresee a successful outcome." More often you'll hear, "XYZ said they could do it and it was a disaster!"
I pass also.

You admit that you have never mounted/framed anything this large but you are willing to take this in?? What will you do if your first attempt at mounting something "this large" goes South on you?? Silk is fragile at best and it becomes much more fragile with age. Using monofilament on silk is not a very good idea as you are pitting a very strong type of filament with a very fragile type of filament with the expectation that the fragile one to win out in the event of an unforseen accident or stress over time as the piece hangs on the wall. That isn't going to happen.

I would suggest that, as many have said here in the past, framers are not miracle workers. The customer doesn't always have a fantasy about how something should be displayed that is within the realm of the real world.

As Leslie said above, an acrylic rod is a good way to do this. I have done a couple in the past and had good luck. The items was not silk though. If it was me, I would have the customer do any needed sewing for loops or a pocket on the item. I would provide the frame, acrylic support, and acrylic sheet front and back.

If you take this on, don't forget to add large $$$ for any unseen extras of time or materials. This is not something they can get done at Hobby Lobby.
The prospect of such a large piece equaling large profits is tempting, of course, but …

Our work area has two 6’ x 4’ tables. Even if we pushed them together, we could not created a work space big enough to accommodate the intended size of the frame.

Weight aside (and that, as others have pointed out, is not a minor consideration) Plexiglas® is a whole lot more flexible than is glass. It is possible that 1) it would bow enough to slip out of the frame, 2) spacers would not provide enough room to prevent the acrylic from contacting the fabric, and 3) the static charge generated or retained by the acrylic would attract every particle of dust in a three mile radius of your shop – i.e. the glazing will be nearly impossible to keep clean.

That, plus the problem of actually mounting the fabric as you have suggested, would force me reluctantly to decline the job.
The customer doesn't always have a fantasy about how something should be displayed that is within the realm of the real world.
This sounds like the bottom line on this prospect. They should visit a museum to see how similar pieces are displayed in order to get a realistic idea of what is possible and safe. Then, as others have said, survey your shop's physical capacity to accommodate a project of this size, and the potential for disruption of your workflow and service to your regular, profitable customers. Consider all the potential downsides to working with such large materials (such as the bowing mentioned above) as well as the costs to handle and ship these materials. If you even think you may want to do this job, start with a quote that is well above what you think is basic. Make it worth your while to take all the risks involved. Above all, don't agree to do something that is unlikely to be sucessful or that you feel will not hold up physically or protect the piece over time.
Sorry My suggestion was only for a work that is small enough to fit Mylar sheets. It appears that I have missed what a lot of others have grasped,
the original heading.I really need to pay more attention and think before I type.
Sorry to have made such a useless suggestion,
PS the only experience I have had with a fabric nearly that large was a sheet of African Raffia cloth. It was originally framed by a Interior designer between a mount board and a sheet of GLASS( yes Glass ,much to my dismay)in a metal frame. I was hired by them to install a spliced mat to match the design in the cloth.It was 7 feet tall by 3.5 feet wide.I have had no complaints so maybe you could conceivably construct TWO of the same such spliced mats and sandwich the work between the Spliced mats and the sheets of Acrylic sucessfully hiding any supporting haning ( like some form of stitching/lacing) work under the mats?
Once again sorry for my lack of attention and experience.

[ 08-15-2004, 06:42 AM: Message edited by: BUDDY ]
Re: acrylic rods

Has anyone else used graphite instead?

I was suspending an oriental tapestry in a black (of course) shadowbox and planning to use acrylic when a kite-building friend suggested graphite.

It was great! I was able to reduce the size of the rod to something about the diameter of a pencil (sometimes these analogies are just so obvious)and it absolutely WOULD NOT sag.

I don't know about the pricing since I was able to use a scrap piece left over from a kite.

It's a thought that might be worth considering.