Hanging a silk scarf

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Answered
I found a beautiful silk scarf in an opp shop and the pattern is so lovely I thought it would look great as an art work. My plan is to somehow attach the scarf to a canvas. My question is what would be the best way to do this? I think glue would not work because it would just wet the scarf and create creases. Any ideas? Also how can I get the folds out of the scarf? A bit reluctant to use ironing.
Thanks in advance.
  29 answers
  • Eiw4922915 Eiw4922915 on Jun 12, 2016
    Maybe you could wet the scarf then pin it damp to the board , it'll dry tight and smooth ?
  • Ladybuggers Ladybuggers on Jun 12, 2016
    Liquid starch may work. Fabric has been starched to walls for decades old decorating. I don't know the proportions of starch to water, if any; may be full strength?
  • Anne Anne on Jun 12, 2016
    I've done this. Staple the scarf to canvas as tightly as possible. Then apply several coats of gel medium.
  • Ros Ros on Jun 12, 2016
    I would tape it rather than staple.I recently placed a Crate and Barrel tea towel in a plain Ikea white frame and it looks very nice. Gentle ironing through a towel or a sheet.
  • Bron Bron on Jun 12, 2016
    oh no I just ironed the scarf with a cool iron on steam and the colors have somehow run. I have no idea why this has happened. Thankfully I only did a small part of the scarf but it won't look good on the wall now. I am thinking that maybe I could salvage it by turning it into a cushion cover? How would that work with sewing it together? will it pull at the edges? Maybe it will be used as a scarf in the end like it was made for?
    • Bonnie Bonnie on Jun 12, 2016
      @Bron Don't rule out framing yet. I folded a scarf into a triangle, placed it at angle inside a frame, and it looks nice like that.
  • Tiamat Tiamat on Jun 12, 2016
    You can sew it, but you will need to use stabilizer. I would consult a local sewing or quilting shop to hel you select the right one. Sewing silk is hard. I made a quilt using recycled silk saris and it came out great, but I stabilized each piece. Don't use steam if you iron tho.
  • Patty Patty on Jun 12, 2016
    I buy decorative hooks of some kind, then stagger them on the wall. I use this decor idea all over the house and depending on how long the scarf is, you can actually make designs with hanging the hooks differently. Good luck.
  • Theresa Theresa on Jun 12, 2016
    I would have steamed the creases out of the scarf but you can always use a smaller frame and just fold the bad part to the back of the frame.
    • Bron Bron on Jun 12, 2016
      @Thank You Theresa I will try that. It had lovely pictures of different kinds of birds but after ironing it, one of the bird's colors just spread out and the dark edging lines all became distorted somehow.
  • Laura Laura on Jun 12, 2016
    Buy a piece of 1/8 or 1/4 inch foamcore and pin the edgea of the scarf into yhe edges of the fosmcore using straight pins. If you don't know what i mean, any reputable frame shop would know what to do. I used to work at a frame shop and did it al the time. If the creases are not too bad, the gentle stretching and blocking them will make them disappear. Otherwise, i would steam or iron on the silk setting on a good iron first
  • Cza7072375 Cza7072375 on Jun 12, 2016
    I framed a WWII-era silk flag, and I took it to Michael's to have it framed. I had gently pressed it, then brought it in to them flat. They carefully sewed it on to an acid free mat board, then framed it with a spacer so that the glass did not touch the flag. It looks beyond good and is archivally preserved, so that the fabric will not rot. Talk to the pros about how to go about doing this if you want to do it yourself.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Jun 12, 2016
    Go pro. Be wise. It sounds too precious to risk. I have ruined two very beautiful antique silk pieces by being foolish.
  • CrowEyes CrowEyes on Jun 12, 2016
    Advice from an archival-based framer (32+ years in business) : keep in mind that you must use unbuffered boards to mount/display/store the item. This is an animal-based textile and needs to be protected differently than a common framing method. Basic rules: No buffering in the board (this includes foam core, backing board, mat boards) behind glass, out of the sun. If further interested, I can "talk you through" doing it entirely on your own. :)
    • See 1 previous
    • Anna Hart Turner Anna Hart Turner on Jul 11, 2018

      Hi, I am framing a silk scarf for a friend and came across this thread. What do you mean by buffering? Since this scarf in particular has a nice border, I don't want to mat it. I was hoping to float it. Would you recommend sewing it directly to an archival matboard or covering an archival matboard or foamcore with fabric (linen, muslin or maybe a silk organza?) and sewing the scarf to the fabric? I'm concerned that pins would show and not look so nice, and I also don't want to use any adhesives. I would love to get your advice, as you have so much experience and I've been having trouble finding professional advice in this endeavor. Thank you for your time!

  • Cur5181835 Cur5181835 on Jun 12, 2016
    Silk will take high temperatures, so ironing at the lowest steam setting won't harm it. I'm assuming there are no dirty areas - you wouldn't want to iron these and 'set' the stain. Place the scarf on a large area with a towel underneath, so you can square it up. Then PRESS using an up and down motion, moving from one spot to the next. DO NOT 'iron' - push the iron back and forth on the fabric - as this could cause cause the silk to stretch out of shape. If a dry iron won't get out all the wrinkles, use steam. You can mount this on canvas by wrapping the canvas edge with the scarf edges, pinning so it is all square and reasonably tight, and then basting the scarf to the canvas on the back of the frame. You might consider painting the canvas if the white shows through. Be sure to let it dry 24-48 hours before attaching the scarf. If the back of the frame doesn't have adequate edges to baste to, get a piece of grosgrain ribbon and glue it around the frame, letting it overlap 1/4 to 1/2 inch, so you'll have something to stitch to. Let the glue set until it is cured - probably 24 hours - before stitching. I'm sure everyone would love to see a photo of this scarf! ;D
    • Bron Bron on Jun 12, 2016
      @Thank You Curiousquestor yes it is quite a lovely scarf but unfortunately I lost my camera a couple of weeks ago so can't upload a photo.
  • CrowEyes CrowEyes on Jun 12, 2016
    NO high temp ironing...yes, there are different types of silk, but it is unknown the type at this point. Consider the mindset/considerations of this link: http://www.wisegeek.com/how-do-i-iron-silk.htm
  • Sherry Fram Sherry Fram on Jun 12, 2016
    I agree with letting the pros do it for you!
  • Cle7216371 Cle7216371 on Jun 12, 2016
    Try a stretcher frame used for needlework.
  • Kathy Bitzan Kathy Bitzan on Jun 12, 2016
    Depending on the size an embroidery hoop might work.
  • Karen Karen on Jun 12, 2016
    Why not stitch it to the canvass
  • Glo6364318 Glo6364318 on Jun 12, 2016
    Iron silk wet
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 12, 2016
    Having had a frame shop in the past, I would suggest you use a white foam-core board to mount this on. You can use straight pens to hold it in place by just pushing them into the edges of the foam core. Just be sure you do not stretch the fabric out of shape. You can leave the pens in it and then frame it, using a mat to hold it away from the glass.
  • CrowEyes CrowEyes on Jun 12, 2016
    Bron, if you are not seeking to "keep it forever" perhaps consider just gently stretching it over/around the sides and tacking it around the back of a new stretched canvas (use good quality thumbtacks). This method will pretty much eliminate any creases in the piece. Plausible deniability applied here (I never suggested this). 😉
    • See 2 previous
    • Bron Bron on Jun 13, 2016
      @Thenitecrow thank you for your input.
  • Carole Alden Carole Alden on Jun 12, 2016
    I saw a bookcase that someone had taken cloth and put it over cardboard and then slipped in into the back. I would guess they hot glued or pinned it in back.
    • Bron Bron on Jun 13, 2016
      @Carole Alden sounds like an interesting idea. Thank you
  • Cristine Meixner Cristine Meixner on Jun 12, 2016
    The one time I tried to iron silk it melted!
    • See 1 previous
    • Car3787789 Car3787789 on Sep 01, 2016
      To press silk always cover with another cloth such as pillow case and use lower temp on iron
  • Goldrushgal Goldrushgal on Jun 13, 2016
    Have you tried hanging the scarf from a hanger and putting it in the bathroom when you take a shower. I have a clothes steamer that works great, too. I think the foam core is a good way to mount this and frame with mat
  • Pam Jones Williams Pam Jones Williams on Jun 13, 2016
    I have done this for inexpensive but customer art work, frame it, you don't have to damage the scarf at all, just lay it flat and frame. Or you can wrap the canvas and just use tape on the back without damaging the scarf as well.
  • Jeanne Morris Jeanne Morris on Jun 19, 2016
    Since I'm assuming it's a lightweight silk, use a steamer if you have one to remove the creases then just wrap it around either a foam core or cardboard, lightly tape in place and then frame. I've never done this myself but have seen it done in a local coffeehouse and when I inquired that's the method they said they used -- good luck!!
    • Bron Bron on Jun 19, 2016
      thank you for your idea. Because one of the birds in the pattern was ruined when I ironed it, I ended up wrapping the most of the scarf around a canvas hiding cruined part at the back. I really like your advice better because the scarf is quite a dark color and if I wrap it around a sheet of cardboard then attach this to a white canvas slightly larger it would really show off the colors better I think. Anyway I will give it a go :)
  • CrowEyes CrowEyes on Jul 11, 2018

    Hello Anna! Relative to the term “unbuffered,” it refers to the calcium carbonate found in “archival” papers, boards, and such. There are specific, albeit few, boards that have not been buffered for this purpose. The moment you begin mixing any other elements (wood/frame, other fabrics, adhesives, glues), you begin a chemical cocktail. Linen, and muslin are plant-based and hold up best with a calcium carbonate-buffered board. Wool or silk would be a better choice (stretch and lace*the wool or silk to an unbuffered board and with a fine curved needle, gently tack down (with a neutral silk thread) the scarf to the fabriced board. Place another (if large double this) unbuffered board of the same size behind it, as a backer board. I would recommend glass or plexiglass with an inert spacer so it does not touch the glass (condensation issues would cause mildew or rot). I would also recommend a metal frame (inert). If you insist on a wood frame seal the inside rabbet with three coats of lacquer (each coat requires a 36 hour dry time, for a full cure allow a week to dry and gas out).

    *the term lace/lacing refers to a method of attaching a textile to a flat substrate. In this case the fabric would be placed faced down; the mounting board centered; from the narrow sides, starting from the middle, using either wool or silk thread start

    lacing from left to right—turn the board lace from the middle to the end of the board (maintain an even tension). This completes one full side/dimension. Turn the board sides, and starting at the middle of the board, do the same process. Check as you go by turning the board over and adjusting the warp and weft of you base fabric. Whew. ;) If you have any questions...please do not hesitate to ask.🌷

  • CrowEyes CrowEyes on Jul 11, 2018

    Hello Anna! Relative to the term “unbuffered,” it refers to the calcium carbonate found in “archival” papers, boards, and such. There are specific, albeit few, boards that have not been buffered for this purpose. The moment you begin mixing any other elements (wood/frame, other fabrics, adhesives, glues), you begin a chemical cocktail. Linen, and muslin are plant-based and hold up best with a calcium carbonate-buffered board. Wool or silk would be a better choice (stretch and lace*the wool or silk to an unbuffered board and with a fine curved needle, gently tack down (with a neutral silk thread) the scarf to the fabriced board. Place another (if large double this) unbuffered board of the same size behind it, as a backer board. I would recommend glass or plexiglass with an inert spacer so it does not touch the glass (condensation issues would cause mildew or rot). I would also recommend a metal frame (inert). If you insist on a wood frame seal the inside rabbet with three coats of lacquer (each coat requires a 36 hour dry time, for a full cure allow a week to dry and gas out).

    *the term lace/lacing refers to a method of attaching a textile to a flat substrate. In this case the fabric would be placed faced down; the mounting board centered; from the narrow sides, starting from the middle, using either wool or silk thread start

    lacing from left to right—turn the board lace from the middle to the end of the board (maintain an even tension). This completes one full side/dimension. Turn the board sides, and starting at the middle of the board, do the same process. Check as you go by turning the board over and adjusting the warp and weft of you base fabric. Whew. ;) If you have any questions...please do not hesitate to ask.🌷

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