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Silk scarf

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Ylva

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I just received a last minute call from a customer who is coming in tomorrow morning.
She has a 'valuable' silk scarf she would like framed. No idea of value, but knowing this customer, it might be quite valuable.

She wants the edges shown. There is apparently a seam on the top, so I can stitch a little bit.

DCO seems to be the best method.

I know plexi is the preferred method. What would be the disadvantages of using glass? She usually uses MG on her pieces, I doubt she will want to spend for Optium.
The scarf is, according to her, about 24"x24"

I assume it is better to use a fabric mat, to create more 'grip'.

Any other tips and/or tricks?
So far silk scarfs coming in, people always wanted a mat to cover the edges. The only time that wasn't the case, the customer wanted cheap, didn't care and it was not a valuable piece.

Any advice welcome!
 

Shayla

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From what I've heard, the disadvantage of pressing it to glass is the potential for mildew from moisture damage.

A few years ago, we did this sheer hanky from a World's Fair. It had a Museum Acrylic DCO against it, with a mat over the acrylic. Then, museum glass over the mat. The DCO was great, because it was so sheer that stitches would have shown. (The hanky was about 10 x 10". If she's fine with stitching, you might stitch it to a larger backing, then mat with a wider window, under Museum Glass. Here's the one we did:

framing worlds fair hanky resize dco framing june 2017  IMG_1705 (2).jpg

If she doesn't like the look of this idea, then she can decide whether she cares more about reflections, money or mildew. :)
 

neilframer

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I have 2- 32" x 34" valuable silk scarves that I'm about to frame in the shop.
We did one previously for this customer and she was pleased.

In our case, the scarves will be matted and not showing the edge.
We will stretch the scarves slightly over the center of a reverse bevel fabric mat and then the center will be put back into the mat from the back.

The disadvantage of glass with a DCO is the possible issue with temperature conduction and condensation possible on the inside of the glass and touching the silk scarf.

If she doesn't want to spend for the Optium, what about just using Conservation UV Acrylic?
 
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Lafontsee

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Just spit-balling here, but what about a tulle overlay? If you can find something fine enough in the right color, you might be able to stretch tulle over the top of the scarf with a lightly-padded fabric behind it. You could then space the Museum Glass away from the overlay.

James
 

wpfay

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DCO usually requires a fairly stiff backing with a layer of batting and then fabric over that. I have had issues with DCO with sheer silk because the pressure is greater at the perimeter and the silk tends to creep toward the center and bunch up.
I would consider stretching a piece of fabric for the backing, pinning the scarf in place, and then sewing it down.
I'm going to find out again about DCO and silk because I have a US Air Force pilot's chit (instructions printed on silk for the fliers to give anyone should they be shot down) to frame, and the owner wants to see the edges.
What the other's said, no glass.
 
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Jim Miller

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Yes Ylva, DCO probably would be best in this case. As Lafontsee suggested, a fine-mesh fabric DCO would work, but I suggest using Crepeline (French silk organdy), which has a much finer weave than tulle. A silk overlay usually disappears on a textile item.

If you want to use an acrylic DCO, Conservation Clear Acrylic would be suitable, but your customer might consider the almost-invisible effect of Museum Optium Acrylic to be worth the extra price. Never use glass for a DCO. As others have said, moisture is the problem, and it happens when there's a rapid or radical change of temperature; higher humidity accelerates the condensation. For a full understanding of how that happens, learn about dew point condensation.

For a 24" square scarf, I would probably use a fabric background over two or three layers of polyester batting, with the top layer about 12" square, the middle layer about 18" square, and the bottom layer about 20" to 23" square, on top of a rigid backing . A sheet of 2 mm ACM would be my first choice, but 8 mm or 10 mm Coroplast should be OK, too. When fitting be sure to compress the framing package enough to totally flatten the batting.

I have had issues with DCO with sheer silk because the pressure is greater at the perimeter and the silk tends to creep toward the center and bunch up.
Wally, do you have any pictures showing this problem? If you use a smaller layer of batting on top, that tends to even-out the pressure enough to avoid bunching in the center when you compress the package during fitting.
 
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Ylva

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Sorry to reply so late to all this great information. (I did read most of it before customer came in)

She did not want to go with optium. She did chose a fabric mat, which she fell in love with and is very complimentary to the scarf. She told me the scarf alone is worth about $1500

Tulle won't work well in this case. I do like the 'concentric layering' and will do that.

Although the scarf went to a high end dry cleaner, they didn't treat it right. Looks like they got all the creases and wrinkles out, and then folded it over one of those awful dryclean hangers, which caused a new case of bunching up the silk.

Most of it will be pressed flat with the acrylic. She did choose to go with the conservation clear acrylic.

She is very excited about the choices she made and I explained all the pros and cons of all different methods. She did appreciate the explanations.
 

julietheframer

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From what I've heard, the disadvantage of pressing it to glass is the potential for mildew from moisture damage.

A few years ago, we did this sheer hanky from a World's Fair. It had a Museum Acrylic DCO against it, with a mat over the acrylic. Then, museum glass over the mat. The DCO was great, because it was so sheer that stitches would have shown. (The hanky was about 10 x 10". If she's fine with stitching, you might stitch it to a larger backing, then mat with a wider window, under Museum Glass. Here's the one we did:

View attachment 35935

If she doesn't like the look of this idea, then she can decide whether she cares more about reflections, money or mildew. :)
Sorry, dah. What’s DCO? I can see I have been away from the grumble too long.🤪
 
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neilframer

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Sorry, dah. What’s DCO? I can see I have been away from the grumble too long.🤪
A DCO is a Direct Contact Overlay.
It refers to using the Acrylic pressing on the object or fabric being framed to hold it in place when stitches or other methods can't be used.
Acrylic is preferred rather than glass because glass is much more subject to temperature changes and can get condensation on the inside that touches the fabric where acrylic is much less likely to get condensation.
 
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Ylva

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My customer decided to go with conservation acrylic. She didn't want to spend the money on optium.
I have different batting materials so will experiment a little with that, as well as the layering. She is in no hurry and wants me to take my time to experiment a little.
Fun project for sure!
 

GreyDrakkon

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Although the scarf went to a high end dry cleaner, they didn't treat it right. Looks like they got all the creases and wrinkles out, and then folded it over one of those awful dryclean hangers, which caused a new case of bunching up the silk.
Silk responds really well to a gentle steaming. With garments you can even leave it in a steamy bathroom and the wrinkles will come out.
 
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Nikodeumus

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Ylva, it's been a few months since the last post.
Were you able to work on this project during COVID?

I have a customer bringing in a silk scarf next week. I'm curious what methods you have used.

Did you mat?
Or no mat, but with spacers?

You mentioned that Conservation Acrylic was going to be used.
Was that for a DCO, or just the final glazing, or both?

Any other insights?
 

Shayla

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Hi Nik,

I used the acrylic as a DCO
Put some batting underneath the scarf and used ACM as backboard. No other attachment,

I used a fabric mat, which was th color, as the background.

How big is your silk scarf going to be?
Hi, Yva. How did you cut your ACM?
 

Nikodeumus

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How big is your silk scarf going to be?
The customer didn't mention the size of the scarf when we booked the appointment.
I was busy, so just told her to bring it (and some other textiles) in and we would examine them in detail at that time.
I used the acrylic as a DCO
I have never done DCO. I have ordered Jim's book. I hope it arrives before I have to start work on this project.
I'd really like to improve my abilities with this type of work.
Put some batting underneath the scarf and used ACM as backboard.
I have some batting somewhere. I offer it to everyone who brings in needlework. Only 1 time has anyone opted to use it. :shrug:
The overwhelming majority of needlework I get is home crafts, usually being gifted. So "as cheap as possible" is usually the first words I hear.
I think I should do up two samples, one with and one without batting. But I'm getting off topic.

I don't have a source for ACM. I only order from Larson Juhl.
They have Gatorfoam, would that be a good substitute? I've never worked with it.
I can get 3/16" 32x40, which seems too thin for structural support. They have 1/2" but I can't deal with the 48x96 sheet size.
Plus I have read that Gator foam is difficult to cut without the right equipment.

I don't suppose you have any pictures of the construction process you could share?
 

Jim Miller

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Hello Nik:
I have never done DCO. I have ordered Jim's book. I hope it arrives before I have to start work on this project.
I'd really like to improve my abilities with this type of work.
Your DCO book was mailed December 7th, so it should arrive soon. Books mailed within the USA include tracking, but unfortunately, that is not economically available for parcels mailed to Canada. And of course, all mail is slower this month. Hopefully, most of your questions will be answered when your book arrives.
I have some batting somewhere.
If you have the traditional needle-punched polyester batting, which is readily available from any good fabric store, it should work well. But avoid cotton batting, because it goes flat and, since it is a big juicy serving of cellulose, insects would love to get to it.
I don't have a source for ACM. I only order from Larson Juhl.
They have Gatorfoam, would that be a good substitute? I've never worked with it.
I can get 3/16" 32x40, which seems too thin for structural support. They have 1/2" but I can't deal with the 48x96 sheet size.
Plus I have read that Gator foam is difficult to cut without the right equipment.
ACM, (such as EPanel, Signabond, DiBond brands) probably is available cut-to-size from your local sign-making companies, and in full sheets from their wholesale suppliers. For most DCO projects, 2 mm would be plenty rigid enough, and you can cut it using a straightedge and utility knife, or your straight-line matcutter with a utility blade. Cut partially-through it on both sides, being careful to trace the same line on both sides, then snap it - something like cutting acrylic. ACM is useful for projects other than DCO jobs, too.

Gatorfoam or MightyCore probably would be rigid enough, but chemically nasty. So, if you have to use it, I suggest at least lining it with something like a sheet of Mylar or matboard - not a perfect barrier, but it would help.
 
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Nikodeumus

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As always, thanks for the tips Jim.
Very much looking forward to the books.
This will be me the day I get them....
200.gif
 

Ylva

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Nik, I didn't do a step by step, but if you follow Jim's directions in the book, you'll be fine. Most important is to create enough pressure so the silk stays in place. Which is why you need the batting and rigid backboard.
 

Nikodeumus

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Thanks Ylva.
I just hate trying new techniques with customer projects.

I'm not sure how to practice this, I don't really have large pieces of silk laying around to use as a test.
I can try to find some other sheer fabric I suppose?

My other problem is this....
Having no experience with this technique nor knowing the costs of materials I've never used, I have no idea how to price a build like this.
I can't pre-calculate an estimate when I have no idea what my costs are going to be yet.
I ordered Jim's book so I can learn the processes and materials BEFORE I start offering these techniques as a service.

I'm going to let the client know that this will be an "I'll let you know when it's done, no scheduled finish date" kind of job.
 

Nikodeumus

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Ylva, I just found this thread from last year that is relevant:
 
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Ylva

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I remember that thread very well. However, in my case, the edges needed to be shown. If not, you can mat over it, give it a few stitches on the top and be done with it.

As for trying new techniques, in this case, nothing will be invasive, so as long as your customer is okay with it taking longer, you can try out and see what works.
 

Jim Miller

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I just hate trying new techniques with customer projects.

I'm not sure how to practice this, I don't really have large pieces of silk laying around to use as a test.
I can try to find some other sheer fabric I suppose?
You're wise to avoid experimenting with customers' property.

For practice, you could buy a synthetic "silk like" scarf for cheap on Amazon and probably at Walmart or your local thrift shop, as well. Or, you could experiment with any piece of flimsy fabric, such as a cutting from an old T-shirt or cotton bedsheet. Similar assemblies would work for papers, too, and you could experiment with a purposely wrinkled/creased newspaper page or a map that has been heavily creased at the folds.

For pricing, I suggest using the tried and true time and materials method. You can determine your material cost when you source the materials, then apply your Shop Labor Rate for the time required and add a fair profit. You know, the same as usual.

Ylva's right - DCO mounting is non-adhesive, non-invasive and low-risk, but experimenting with a scarf of your own might ease your mind, and it would also enable you to try several assembly options, and you can end up with a gallery sample to display. It's all good.
 
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Jim Miller

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Hey Nik, love the GIF 😁

Yours was one of two shipments to Canada on December 7th and both of them cleared customs in Toronto on December 24th. Wow - three weeks to get through customs! Anyway, I sent you the tracking information by email, indicating that your books are getting closer and should be delivered soon. Let me know privately if I can be of further help.
 
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Jim Miller

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Nikodeumus

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Hey Nik, love the GIF 😁

Yours was one of two shipments to Canada on December 7th and both of them cleared customs in Toronto on December 24th. Wow - three weeks to get through customs! Anyway, I sent you the tracking information by email, indicating that your books are getting closer and should be delivered soon. Let me know privately if I can be of further help.
Thanks Jim. No worries, it gets here when it does. 👍
 
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