Wrinkled Silk


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Mar 26, 2003
Alberta CANADA
The Framing Nook
Please don't pass this one by. John B - I know you have battled this before! Is there a simple way to get rid of wrinkles in silk embroidery - even in the open areas away from the embroidery. Ironing doesn't work - this stuff is like an elephant. We usually pin edges over rag foam board but can't pull tight enough to remove the unsightly wrinkles.

Oh, the elephant-(memory that is).

You can sometimes dampen silk before pressing by using a damp pressing cloth. The steam will remove wrinkles that otherwise seem too stubborn to budge. But be very very careful. Or maybe contact that conservator we are always recommending...
It may be impossible to completely remove all of the wrinkles. For one thing, the embroidery itself may be too tightly sewn, causing a puckering effect.
Last year we framed several large embroidery pieces from China. They had been folded in shipping and were very wrinkled. We were able to get most of them out by ironing with the damp pressing cloth like Ellen said. Once they were framed and on the wall, the remaining lines were barely noticable. Just do the best you can, you are a framer, not a magician or a dry cleaner!
My suggestion. Take it to a GOOD dry cleaner that deals with expensive linnens and silks. If they can't fix your problem properly then it can't be done properly and you shouldn't mess with it. Like Leslie said you are a picture framer. Silk can be very fragile the older it gets. If you stress the threads out now trying to get the wrinkles out you are just going to hurt it down the road.
I agree with the others -- you are a framer. This was driven home to me recently.

Lady had a smoke damaged marble tile in a frame. She asked me to clean it and reframe.

I thought no problem. It was was nearly impossible to clean and I spent more time cleaning than framing.

I won't do that any more. Your time is better spent on your areas of expertise (mine is not in marble cleaning).