I'm guessing these are relatively lightweight, right?
Clear film straps would certainly be strong enough and convenient to use, but if the leather is fragile, the straps' sharp-cut edges may be a problem.
Would a few straps of Stabilitex work? That fine mesh fabric is not very strong, but it is quite supple and would probably do no harm to the mocassins. Because it comes in a variety of colors and is almost transparent, it might be less visible than clear film.
Whatever mounting material you choose, it will probably involve wrapping over a portion of the outside of the mocassins, which would impose some amount of pressure. If possible, I suggest making a shallow sink-mount for each shoe, just to relieve the gravitational stress.
Also, perhaps it would be a good idea to stuff the mocassins with a non-invasive, removable material that would prevent them from being crushed by the mounting provisions. How about carving the shapes out of ArtCare foam center board pieces stacked together? If the stuffers are visible, you could cover them with a fabric matching the interior of the shoes.
Did you see the Magazine where they framed a pair of shoes in a shadow box? (they were little girl white dress shoes)
It was about 3 months ago, and I can't remember what magazine it was, maybe someone else can. I tryed to find it, but I just can't.
But basicly what they did was to build up with foamcore around the shoe untill it was snugglie in place then remove the shoe and cover the built up fomecore with fabric. It was just placed loosely on the foamcore and glued in a few areas, then the shoes where places back in position. It's hard to explain without seeing it, but it is a great idea, and would work perfectly in your situation.
Jennifer, I think the article you are referring to was in the January 2006 issue of Picture Framing Magazine. It was titled "Frame Design: Form & Function", subtitled "Hiding Object Supports Under Fabric" and written by Brian Wolf. I had printed off a copy of this article from the PFM's website awhile ago but I can't remember if it was one of their archived articles or just one of the articles that they make available from from their current issue. I just tried to find the URL link to the article, but couldn't find it.
If you are a certain framer in So Cal, and hate convention or are just ignorant and don't think someone might be taking apart your 10 day old frame job with an 80 year old pair of ballet point shoes, you just silicone the h3ll out of them [photos to follow].
If you can get a small gauge beading needle under the stitching of the soles to the uppers, you can then use that thread to draw back through some monofiliment, clear nylon, or best colormatched cotton thread. I keep some tiny curved needles connected to thread used by doctors to stitch me up, just for this purpose. But a beading needle is very fine and extremely flexable.
I asked this question and then lost it in the maze of postings - also very busy. Thanks for the ideas.
The mocassins are very light and they have hardened to the point that they won't collapse. We tried mylar strips but they spoiled the look - too shiney. We did try getting a beading needle through threads and between leather parts but weren't able. We found that a little shelf for each shoe and some ties using thread worked fine.
These are going in an Inline Ovals 6 x 12 oblong shadowbox frame, 3 inches deep along with a framed picture of a little girl wearing them long ago. Also a little plaque with her name, age, and the date. A crowded little frame but the customer is always right.