vietnamese silk painting


Grumbler in Training
Jun 1, 2004
laredo tx
what's the best way to mount a very thin, delicate painting on silk to either foamboard or rag mat? i'm afraid japanese mulberry strips will show through the weave of the silk. please help.
This is a job for stretching, rather than mounting.

You can carefully sew it in place with silk thread, all the way around the edges. ("stretch" here is a technical term, and doesn't mean you have to actually put much tension on the fabric.)

There should be some threads here with complete details on different methods of stretching.
Hanna's suggestion would be good if it's new and in good condition, and not terribly valuable.

But if it's old and fragile, or very valuable, then I suggest an overlay of Stabilitex or Crepeline, fine mesh fabrics. Any needle action might damage fine silk, especially if it's old.
Weeder, Welcome to the grumble. If you go to the top of the page and do a search on "mounting needlework" you will find several threads to get the information you need in detail.
Sink mount.
Did 8 of these several months ago and worked so fast and safely. The way I will mount fine silk for now on.
whenever i try to search anything, i get the message "no results found". i have been writing the moderators to try to get help. nothing works. i know there is so much info in there that could help me. does anyone have any suggestions or solutions? thank you to everyone.
thank you hanna and everyone. it doesn't matter what i'm searching for, i can't get any results on search. there were some interesting suggestions on the threads you sent, but i still am not sure what to do with the piece. how does using FABTEX (or whatever the good fabric tape is called) on the margins under the mat sound?
Hi Weeder -

There isn't really a "good" fabric tape from a conservation point of view.

If your painting is in reasonably good condition Hanna's ideal of very light tensioning via stitches or pins is probably the best.

There are a number of methods for this. I like the fabric covered padded backboard with the edges pinned or stitched to the fabric/padding.
I try not to wrap the edges of the art textile around to the back, as over time the edge of the backboard puts a lot of stress on the textile and cracks/breaks develop. If one really needs to wrap the edges of the textile to the reverse of the backboard, the underlying padding can be wrapped around to the back as well, so that the edges of the backboard are softened.

The nice thing about this method is that it is easy to adjust centering, tension etc.

For very fragile pieces Jim's crepeline/Stabiltex overlay technique is good, but the image is obscured a bit. Pressure mounting might also be an option in this case.

Too much information eh?

Have fun!

Hi Weeder - A piece like you described came in a few months ago. the silk was fairly new so I ran several small stitches along the top to anchor it to the back board, before mounting the piece the holes were placed in the board so that I would not be putting additional stress on the silk by pushing the needle through the board. My mom would have called the stitches "tacks" if that helps expain the process. What I found was that by using a cream board behind the silk the piece positively "glowed" it was amazing. The owner was unable to retrive the piece for about 4 weeks - so it was displayed on the pick up wall for some time. The comments from other customers were all raves - Jeanne
The silk piece that I had in my shop was so loose and thin that even pinning it for stitching cause it to come apart. A framer friend told me of a "sink fit" as he called it. A asked him more about it a he said he found it in "Needlework Framing" by Kistler volume 3. It's on page 55 and he had the wrong name, It's called a "The Tight Fit".
We cut a opening in the foam board and placed the silk inside the hole and replaced the drop. (The drawings in the book show it so much better). It worked great. We did 8 pieces in a hour and we didn't have any tearing. It also made it so we could work very close to the edge of the art and still mat it easily. We now use this method now for any thin fabric.
steve, unfortunately i don't have the book. you mean you replace the drop which is cut a tiny bit smaller than the piece? and a thin strip of the edge of the piece is kept in place betwen the drop and the board? could you please elaborate abit? thanks alot.
It's just a single, straight cut through the foam board. If it is used for a thick fabric, some clearance will be needed between the foam-core and it's drop. Think of a cross stitch hoop and how it holds the fabric, the foam board is just like the hoop. After you place the the silk in the hole you cut in the foam board, replace the drop. At this point the fabric will stick out the back of the board. Now you can adjust the fabric and tighten if needed.