fragile textile

DMF

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Apr 21, 2004
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San Rafael, CA
I have a large (35 x 50) African Textile piece that I am framing. The piece will be floated on a linen covered board in a shadow box type of frame with spacers, thus the piece will need to be sewn. I'm afraid that the weight of the piece will tear where I sew it. Any suggestions on how to handle this problem?
 
First, make stretcher-bars, then stretch the NYLON type of window screen, then over that stretch your fabric/linen. Now you have something that you can EASILY sew to. even in the middle where you have to pick-up some weight.

It is also faster than it sounds. and LIGHT WEIGHT.
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The piece is an African Kuba Skirt from the 1920's. I've been told that it is woven from the Raphia Vinisera Palm. The piece does have a slight 3 dimensionality to it. Unfortunately, the piece does not lay completely flat due to having been folded. I geuss one of the questions I have is weather you think I can steam it to relax the fold marks.
The window screen idea is interesting. It might be a good solution. Thanks for your help.

Danny
 
How about a Stabilitex fine-mesh fabric overlay? It would be almost invisible on most textiles, and might give it better support than stitching.

Stitching through deteriorated fabric might just shatter its threads and cause more damage as your stitches pull out.
 
Like these? http://www.hamillgallery.com/KUBA/KUBAPanels/KubaPanels.html

I think Jim has a good idea there - I'd be worried about the stitching thread pulling through your fabric too.

You could have a bit of a sink mount to accomodate the 3-D ishness of the skirt, and then tape the Stabiltex to the underside of the window mat with a good quality encapsulating tape like 3M #415 or, I believe Jim uses 3M # 810.

You could also use Crepeline (silk rather than polyester) if the natural color is right. It is sheerer than the Stabiltex and so will be less visible. The drawback is that Crepeline will also have a shorter life, being silk.

You can get these products from Talas http://nt.bnt.com/talas/menu.html?category=133 and scroll down.

Rebecca
 
Originally posted by Rebecca:
...and then tape the Stabiltex to the underside of the window mat with a good quality encapsulating tape like 3M #415 or, I believe Jim uses 3M # 810.

You could also use Crepeline (silk rather than polyester) if the natural color is right. It is sheerer than the Stabiltex and so will be less visible...Rebecca
That tape is 3M #889 double-sided, or 3M #888 single-sided.

Rebecca, I believe Crepeline and Stabilitex are of similar sheerness -- at least the pieces I've bought are. Maybe they come in various weights or thread counts? I think they both come in colors, too.
 
Thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise. I will check out Talas and go from there. Thanks again.

Danny
 
Thanks for the tape info Jim!

I've found the Crepeline to be sheerer than Stabiltex, at least after the sizing etc is washed from the Crepeline. But since Crepeline only comes in natural, brown and black, it doesn't work colorwise in many instances. Unless one dyes it.

Rebecca
 
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