Thai Tapestries Revisited


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jan 7, 2005
I have been reading the archives about these Giant Puffy Elephant things. Got one in today that is 47" X 47". The HUGE elephant in the center is about 2" high. (The archive thread was titled "Mystery Thai Wall Hanging"). I've never done anything like this. Customer wants shadowbox with some sort of legs so it can stand alone instead of being hung on wall. I have some ideas about how to do this, but it is SO heavy. Guess I am asking for any suggestions from those of you have done these beasts before. Maybe Baer could come up with a great idea for the legs ;) ! Also, what to do about the weight & supporting the thing so it doesn't sag. There wasn't a lot of technical information in the archives...only that everyone who has done these things, hates them. Can anyone give me some pointers or ideas? Much appreciated.
You should be able to sew the piece down to the backing. That's what I have done with these things in the past. As far as the legs, maybe you can have your Plexi fabricator create an easel as part of the case. Oops just saw you said shadow box not plexi box. Hmmmmmmmm just buy an artists easel or display easel.
But, it's one inch shy of being 4 ft X 4 ft. Customer wants it to be free standing so that it can be a sort of divider wall in her store. Backing is going to have to be heavy duty. I have a lot of research to do before I even begin. Oh, boy
I've mounted a few of these things in the past. They are pretty heavy. But, I have had good results with sewing down. I do take plenty of stitches in the middle to help prevent sagging though.
One of the easiest things to sew down to is the old screen door trick.

First build stout strainer and stretch the toughest meanist pet-resistant fiber-glass screen door screening over the strainer. Then stretch a suitable backing cloth.

Now stitch the **** elephant down to the screen & fabric. And as Kathy alluded to, take lots of stitches right around the elephant itself.

As for legs: My suggestion is Highlander Legs. The burly hairist beefy legs sticking out of the bottom of a filthy grubby kilt at the Highland Games.... :D That's what you need to do the job, don'tcha know.
How about making a sort of trestle base out of hardwood, with uprights at each end just hugging the sides of the shadow box. You could attach them to the frame with brass screws, or countersink the screws and insert decorative plug caps.
:cool: Rick
Sounds like it might be kind of tippy. I'd tell her to talk to a carpenter about constructing something semi=permanent like a half wall or something like that.

I have found these to need a fair amount of stretching, so I have stitched it to a heavier backer, like a piece of unbleached canvas and then stretched that over the strainer. I have yet to try the screen idea, but next time I will; it sounds nifty.

As long as you charge accordingly, you won't hate it.

edie the ithelpsifyoulovetosew goddess
Baer, screen idea sounds neat. Don't think the Thai lady will like the Scottsman's legs on her frame, tho. ;)

Rick, good idea. I have a carpenter who is very creative & not very expensive. I will share your suggestion.

Emi & Edie, I hate to sew. But only cause I'm not so good at it. Guess it is high time to learn!

Oh, and Ellen, it is.

Money is not really a problem. She acknowledges that it won't be cheap & she asked that I not use Larson Juhl if possible because it is so much more expensive (she's obviously had more than a couple of things framed before). We have a Thai restaurant in our shopping center. The owner there has made some suggestions such as lining the shadowbox with authentic Thai silk. Could boost the profit margin and just might make this elephant look not-so-elephant-like.

Thanks for your suggestions. You Grumblers help keep my gears turning. Any more ideas or suggestions or warnings will be welcomed.