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Vermont Hardwoods solid wood picture frame molding

Pressure Ripples in Fabric

shayla

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Embroidery on light, synthetic fabric. Size around 14 x 25". Has dense, 1/8" thick batting behind it, wrapped around foam core and pinned. The embroidery isn't wrapped around. Just loose out to the edges, of which they want to show as much as possible. (It's also fragile, and seems like it could tear if sewn to another piece of fabric and then stretched. And, customer only wants it left as is.)

With just the acrylic lying on top of the fabric, it looks fine. Laying the frame on top, it still looks fine. But add any framers points, no matter how lightly, and it ripples. I kept taking it apart, tugging the fabric this way and that, and it looks good. But add points, and it ripples. Is it possible that thicker, fluffier batting would make any difference? Thanks for any feedback. I've only done a handful of DCO's, and this hasn't happened before.

First photo is with acrylic only. Second is a cropped detail of with frame, showing rippling.
 

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Jim Miller

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Hi Shayla:

If the dense, 1/8" thick batting is wrapped and pinned to the foam board around the perimeter, that may be the problem.

As your overlay applies pressure to compress the batting, it may expand as it flattens, and if its edges are fixed, perhaps that would cause bunching on the surface. First suggestion is to trim the batting slightly smaller than the board, lay it on the foam board and do not attach its edges; Let them move.

For the batting, 1/8" thickness seems too thin. I recommend using traditional needlepunched polyester, which usually is considerably thicker. For a fabric of that size, I would probably use two layers of consumer-grade, 1/2" thick batting from a fabric store, trimmed about 1/4" to 1/2" smaller than the mounting board. When tightly fitted, the overlay should compress that to something like 1/4" thickness.

Note that the polyester batting from suppliers of conservation materials typically is more dense, so maybe less thickness would be needed. In any case, compression of the batting should impose consistent pressure all across the surface of the fabric item to keep it flat.
 
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JFeig

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I would add to Jim's comment that the base fabric (I assume silk) is under tension from the mounting process. There is also a differentiation of tension from the embroidery threads that limits the stretch of the base fabric when stretched. Not so simple physics is thus causing the puckering. Remember that fabric is a "NATURAL/ORGANIC" material.
 

snafu

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Is the embroidery single layer for double layer like some I've seen? The attached are a PIA multiple layers with multiple layer border ripples will never come out.
 

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shayla

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Is the embroidery single layer for double layer like some I've seen? The attached are a PIA multiple layers with multiple layer border ripples will never come out.
It's a single layer. I think it's rayon or polyester.
 
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Joe B

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I have seen that happen many times with Asian Embroidery, especially with silk back fabric. It seems as if the tread of the embroidery is so much heavier than the silk/rayon/polyester fabric that it bunches really bad when putting a little pressure on it. On some pieces it didn't matter what I would do, there would be the dimples/ripples around the embroidery, I believe that it is because of the difference in stretching of the back fabric and no stretch with the embroidery. On a few I had to add really deeper batting but there was still some minor dimples/ripples in the fabric, mostly with really thin fabric. If the fabric is heavier it seemed that the dimples were non existent from the start of would go away totally with the batting. Your customer may have to live with light dimples if it is a very light back fabric and heavy embroidery thread.
 

artfolio

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Where is Harry Potter when you need him??
 

shayla

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I have seen that happen many times with Asian Embroidery, especially with silk back fabric. It seems as if the tread of the embroidery is so much heavier than the silk/rayon/polyester fabric that it bunches really bad when putting a little pressure on it. On some pieces it didn't matter what I would do, there would be the dimples/ripples around the embroidery, I believe that it is because of the difference in stretching of the back fabric and no stretch with the embroidery. On a few I had to add really deeper batting but there was still some minor dimples/ripples in the fabric, mostly with really thin fabric. If the fabric is heavier it seemed that the dimples were non existent from the start of would go away totally with the batting. Your customer may have to live with light dimples if it is a very light back fabric and heavy embroidery thread.
When I sent her the pics, she wrote back, "Thanks for spending such a huge amount of time on this! I had tried unsuccessfully to iron out the ripple, so we are not expecting a perfectly flat panel. This is definitely a "warts and all" hanging."

So, that's good. Will try it with fluffier batting and call it good. Thanks to all. :)
 
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