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MITRA Forum Question Details

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 ForumQuestion

  • Creating a Stable Fabric SubstrateApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2018-02-19 20:09:44 ... Most recent comment 2018-02-25 14:35:54
    Rigid Supports
    Question

    I am trying to build an archivally sound canvas substrate. How much chance is there of a 16 oz tightly woven canvas fabric slackening over time if tautly and very evenly stretched on a cradled panel with the strong fibre being placed in a vertical direction? Does the fact that it is a rigid support lessen the chances? If the fabric is tacked, and therefore quite adjustable, can this perform as well as a keyed stretcher for adjustments in the instance where it might need any adjustment? Over such a panel, is use of linen necessary to prevent destabilizing the substrate by slackening, or is it overkill?

Answers and Comments
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​Hi there and apologies for the delay....in general stretching (with staples or tacks) fabric supports over a rigid support is always a more "stable" option than not stretching over a rigid support. ​But as to the exact chances of ANY slackening occuring over time? This is impossible to know as there are far too many factors to consider...but we would advise stretching over a rigid support for sure. Fastening with tacks will also be a fine way to ensure that slight modifications can be made in the future if necessary. As to your last sentence I am not entirely sure what you mean? Do you mean linen vs. cotton? If you are stretching over a rigid substrate the possibility of one slackening more than the other is really neglible although linen tends to be a bit stronger.

    Kristin deGhetaldi
    2018-02-21 23:45:36
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment


    Thanks, Kristin.

    Yes, I did mean cotton verses linen. The cotton I am using is the strongest that I can find. It is #16 heavy weight, purchased at an art product supplier. It is of an extremely tight weave, and has an even thread. It is exponentially less expensive than linen, and provides a texture that is nicely compatible with glazing or other oil techniques after I hand-rub five coats of Golden Acrylic Gesso on it. My question really is: does it matter, archivally, if I use linen or this high-grade canvas, or will either transport a painting successfully into the centuries ahead, if all these precautions are taken?

    2018-02-23 13:06:46
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​Linen will generally contain stronger threads due to the length of the component fibers. This benefit is most obvious when the fabric is stretched on a stretcher or strainer. However, linen and cotton are both cellulose, and under the conditions that you mention, they may be equally stable.

    Brian Baade
    2018-02-25 14:35:54
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  • The Department of Art Conservation
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  • University of Delaware
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