very old/delicate silk 'print'


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Mar 25, 2004
Tampa, FL
I search the threads but found none about my problem...I have a very old(guessing from the condition/coloration) piece of very thin silk(?)(35X16) to be framed w/mats. the piece has a backing piece of paper(rice???) attached at one end by what looks like gold foil/tape. the backer paper has a few small tears(1-2") and the silk has one tear(2"). the silk will pull apart(with permission and only on a place that will be covered by mat) I pulled a small piece off to test strength---NOT very strong!!! My art restorer thinks the piece may be pushing 80-100 years. I though I might be able the lay a thin line of hinging across the entire top & down the side not already taped and then hinge to that strip......does that sound doable??? the only problem I can foresee is that both sheets tend to be slightly curly & uneven....can I steam the edges and weight them w/o damage to allow the taping?
Anyone have any better ideas on how to attach these 2 things to a backer or am I spitting into the wind on this one?

Bill Ward
I suggest you have a textile conservator line it with a new substrate, and then you can frame it safely.

Deteriorated silk may be so fragile that it can not support its own weight. If that's the case with this piece, there's no way we ordinary framers could mount it without risking further damage.
Thanks for your thoughts.
I'd been leaning that way myself. Now all I need is 1 T.C. in this area...they seems to be few & FAR between!!