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Question How to Mount and Frame Silk Scarf

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Ruby, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Ruby

    Ruby True Grumbler

    A customer has brought in a silk scarf that is 21x21. It is all the same thickness, except maybe the edge seams. The customer doesn't need the outer edges to show and there is a 1" border color that doesn't all need to show, just part of the border color could be visible. The interior image is what is important to her. She really just wants to see the frame and the scarf - or the image on the scarf. The image is a map of a city. She is giving the framed piece to her teenage grandson and I anticipate she would want framing cost to be relatively modest. I told her I would get back to her because I know silk can be tricky. I have looked through some threads and haven't had an epiphany just yet although I see possibilities. Someone mentioned "rare earth magnets" and I wonder about that. And perhaps Direct Contact Overlay would be an option, and if so I wonder how best to implement that. I welcome your input!

    Thank you, Ruby
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  2. Donald

    Donald Grumbler

    Since the borders don't need to be seen, you could mat over them, thereby hiding the magnets that are holding the scarf in place.
  3. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Something recommended here before is lightly trapping the silk between a surround and it's fallout. I don't know the real name for this, but someone will surely be along to share it with us. The basic idea is to cut a fallout from a piece of backing (i.e. 8 ply matboard?) and lay the silk over that, with enough fabric past the edges to wrap around and have some extra. Then replace the surround back onto the fallout, so the silk is held in place. You'd need to have enough space on the scarf to do this and still have room for a mat window that comes inside that surround edge. This can work with a bit of batting/fabric behind it, as well.
    charming and Jim Miller like this.
  4. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    Isn't this what Cool Tack is good for?
    Not only is it a very low temp but it is reversable. Still not sure if it is the right name bit I remember mounting a scarf and it didn't lay quite right and I just pulled it right off and redid it.
    shayla likes this.
  5. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    As Shayla suggests, the Tight Fit method of textile mounting is often a good choice for thin textiles, such as silk. This is similar to the Newberry method, except that no pins are used.

    Both of these methods (and others) are described with illustrated instructions in the PPFA Guidelines for framing Textiles and Needlework.

    If an adhesive mount is acceptable, Kool Tack Preserve would be appropriate.
    shayla likes this.
  6. Ruby

    Ruby True Grumbler

    Thank you all. I was under the weather with a virus so not able to respond sooner. The Tight Fit or Newberry Method (no pins) does interest me.

    Here is a description from a prior thread and I'm sorry I didn't take note of who to give credit to:

    "Also known as the Newberry Method, although there's some question as to whether or not that's completely accurate. Quick and dirty instructions:
    1. Cut a piece of acid free foam board an inch or two larger than the frame size.
    2. Lay out an opening in its center a bit larger than the mat window opening.
    3. Cut out the opening with a straight, not beveled, cut.
    4. Place the needlework on the fallout, center and smooth it out.
    5. Replace the foam board "mat" onto the fallout, catching the fabric between the two pieces of board.
    6. Pull and tuck the extra fabric from the back to get it taut and smooth.
    7. Remeasure, cut the mats and place on the needlework. Trim excess foam board.
    Depending on the thickness of the fabric, you may need to trim the fallout a little bit, but the fit still needs to be a bit snug.
    More complete instructions, complete with pictures, are available in the PPFA Guidelines to Framing Textiles and Needlework."

    I have a few questions regarding using this method on this piece:
    - Since the exterior border of the scarf is 1", is that adequate room to pull the material to the back for a Tight Fit?
    - I would think it would not be a good idea to use pins because "run lines" or "stretch lines" will likely show where the pins are pulling?
    - What would be a good way to secure the pulled through material on the back?
    - Batting might be a good idea to ensure a taut appearance on the front but I would want it to be a thin batting or material, so as not to require terribly thick matting. Is there something acceptable that I'd be able to get at our local fabric store?
    - Is there a minimum mat border width when using this method?

    Thank you again!
  7. GreyDrakkon

    GreyDrakkon MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Since the depth of the foam board is 1/4" or so (or thinner depending on what board you're using) then that leaves about 3/4" of an inch on the back of the setup. I'd practice with a scrap of silk (of similar thickness to the scarf if you can find some) and see how it pulls with that first.
  8. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Plenty. All you really need is to get the hem to the back of the mounting board. If you're using 8-ply cotton (PPFA Class I) matboard, your mount-opening (straight cut, not beveled) could be as little as 1/2" smaller than the scarf; that is, 1/4" of the silk would be pulled through the mount.

    Correct. I suggest using the Tight Fit (no pins) method.

    When the mounting board's fallout is replaced after positioning the scarf, its friction at the edges should be adequate to hold the edges of the scarf securely. You can probably pull the edges of the silk from the back as needed to make its position perfect in the mount. Also, it's a good idea to "soften" the edges of the mount-opening and the fallout by light sanding, to prevent snagging or cutting the silk.

    Typical 1/2" thick, needle-punched polyester batting would be my choice. Buy it from almost any fabric store. I suggest using a spacer of foam board between the top and bottom mats to add depth and prevent the glass from touching the scarf.

    No; trust your visual opinion.

    One more thought: Be sure to use 99% UV filtering glass or acrylic, because silk deteriorates quickly when exposed to visible light and ultraviolet radiation. Eliminating nearly all of the worst radiation (UV) is the best we can do but remember to caution your customer about limiting exposure to any kind of light, because that is also harmful.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
    shayla likes this.
  9. Ruby

    Ruby True Grumbler

    Thank you SO much everyone! And Jim Miller, your advice is invaluable.

    We are moving ahead with the Tight Fit (no pins) method. There will be a mat, with spacer boards in back of the mat, batting in back of the silk scarf, museum glass and a deep frame to accommodate it all. The remaining question in my mind has to do with the materials around the silk. My recollection is that since silk is an animal product (or protein?), unbuffered materials should be used around it. In looking through archives I see numerous warnings about the danger of light on silk, and we are heeding that warning, but I see nothing about using buffered/unbuffered boards. I assume Artcare wouldn't be a problem? It looks to me that there are virtually no color options in unbuffered matboard beyond white, cream and black? Assuming unbuffered should be near the silk scarf perhaps I could use the unbuffered cream as a lower mat and it would be okay to use a buffered mat on top? Perhaps it wouldn't meet Smithsonian standards but it would be pretty darn good?

    I appreciate your thoughts :). Thank you!
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