Linen backing for prints

framinzfun

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What sort of fabric do conservators generally use when they back prints? We had a customer come in who got glue from a conservator and wants to glue his prints to linen. I suggested some sort of cotton muslin, but told him I would check with the 'experts' on it. Any ideas?
 

Framerguy

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And why would your customer want to do this???

I can understand backing a print for a good reason but to do it because they happen to have a container of good quality glue??

With that in mind, linen is a stable fabric and doesn't stretch nearly as much as cotton. I wonder if your customer has ever tried to back a print? It isn't that easy a job. If it were we would probably all have some knowledge of it from a workshop or video.

(I guess it all depends on one's level of satisfaction, some people are never quite satisfied with things as they are. If ya can't do something "more" to it then it ain't worth havin'.)
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Framerguy
 

wpfay

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This proceedure is usually reserved for vintage advertising posters. The "glue" you mention is probably either rice starch or wheat starch paste.
The vintage advertising posters were printed on fairly fragile paper since there was no plan for them to last beyond their immediate marketing use. Mounting them to linen helps to stabalize them and using fully reversible paste for the mounting assures that they can receive further treatments as necessary. The poster were printed using lithography which incorporates oil based inks to make the image. A water based starch would not affect the pigments.

Your client needs to know a lot more about the appropriatness of the process for the application.

A company called Poster Conservation (in Boston, I think) does this kind of mounting all day long. They have the appropriate materials, tools and expertise. I would never attempt to do a mount such as this when their services are so readily available. I have talked with the folks there and they will sell supplies to the do-it-yourselfers.

Oh, and if memory serves, the print is not mounted directly to the linen. There is a thin rag paper that is first mounted to the linen, and the print is then mounted to his.

There are other fabric backing options available for non-preservation applications. Chartpack makes a product that is used in backing maps and charts so they can be rolled up and easily stored. It is heat activated and can be applied using a dry mount/ heat vaccuum press.
 

Baer Charlton

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When we did this in the 80s, the "rag paper" Wally is refering to [that we used] was a short fiber rice paper.

It is NOT for strength.. it was for the time when and if the posters ever needed to be removed.

The ricing wants to be larger than the poster about an inch. This guarantees that the poster will not be adhered to the linen directly, and the future restorer can expose the exposed edging to water to test the removal properties.

Rice paste is what we used for smaller projects [under 48"x72"] and wheat for larger projects.

If the thing is valuable.... send it north. [IMHO] but then, Wally and I tend to agree on a few things.... which in itself, very scarey.
 

Baer Charlton

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Rebecca, that's fine for a single sheet movie poster... what I was refering to were old performance posters that came in multiple sheets..
2,4,9,& 12, that were usually pasted on the sides of buildings...

The Amazing Harry Houdini....

William "Wild Bill" Hichock's
Wild West Show

and the like.
 

Baer Charlton

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A "sheet" is about 24"x36".

a "9" sheet is 3sheets across x 3sheets high.

a "12" is 3x4 sheets

Usually a 9 weighs in about 23lbs before you do anything because of the heavy paper.

RE-pops are on thinner/cheaper paper that was never meant to be plastered on the side of a brick building.

These thing would get HUGE. Glad I don't get those customers anymore.
 

framinzfun

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I have no idea why the customer wants to do this. I know that he collects (and sells, I think) Currier and Ives prints... which frightens me, since I know they can be valuable, and I wouldn't want to buy a print linen-backed by a rookie. I will try to convince him to do some research on this on his own. He said he knows a conservator who gave him a spray adhesive to use for the linen backing. That sounds weird to me... does wheat paste come in spray form? Maybe he should get further instruction from his conservator friend?
 

Rebecca

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Suggesting he research the idea is a good one. He might try contacting local museums and public art galleries to get a list of local paper conservators and ask their opinions on his intended procedures. Or, if he thinks they will be biased, a list of reputable, high end dealers, to determine if the value will be affected by fabric backing.

At the end of the day though, if someone has an idee fixe, they're going to find a way to justify doing what they want - even if they ARE wrong!
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;)

Rebecca
 

Baer Charlton

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Hey, now there's kind of a neat idea for Greg Fremsted, rattle can Nori paste....

Currier and Ives, Museum Mounted with 77. Yeah, that'll pass.....


You're right Rebecca... you can tell 'em; you just can't tell 'em much. They're gonna do what they're gonna do.
 
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