A Composite Surface Made from Joined Pieces of LinenApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
Question asked 2019-04-19 16:42:13 ...
Most recent comment 2019-04-21 00:47:28
I am researching ways to sew together individual pieces of linen (like a patchwork quilt) to be stretched over a rectangular stretcher. Eventually, I would like to do this at a very large scale, but for the moment I am just making studies. I am currently working with Claessens oil primed linen #13, which I have on hand. I wrote to Claessens to inquire about the weight of the thread they use in weaving this particular product, and they said it was nm 40. I have ordered a linen thread that is two-ply and advertised as 40 (though I wonder if there might be a difference because I am purchasing it in the US and we don't use metric?). My thinking is that matching the thread weight/strength as best I can will help keep the seams from slowly destroying the linen squares under tension over time. A friend suggested that using a sewing machine will help keep the seams even, and thus will spread the tension more evenly across the matrix than a hand-stitched textile surface would.
I wonder if anyone on this forum has suggestions for me (aside from the obvious "don't do this," lol!) Do you think linen is a good choice? The person I corresponded with from Claessens suggested that a synthetic fiber might be best. Linen has historical resonance that I appreciate, and it is strong, but I'd be willing to work with polyester if that seems more adapted to my purpose. I work in oil paint and use a simple gamsol/linseed oil medium. Do you think the Claessens pre-primed oil primed linen is a reasonable choice here, or do any of you think I would be better off with a different sort of priming under my paint layer? (Ideally I would like to paint on it and then cut it up and sew it together, not sew it and prime the resulting matrix as one surface). It seemed to me that a commercially made product would be likely to be more consistent than something I primed myself. If there is anyone out there who knows about large-scale textile display (quilts and rugs and the like) are there technologies I should consider for supporting this textile painting-quilt hybrid from the back? Any references you could give me would be much appreciated!
Answers and Comments
Stitched/joined artist's canvas was more common before loom innovations in the early 1700s made it possible to weave fabric wider than the distance a weaver could throw the shuttle by hand.
Strong seams are important in joining sailcloth, so techniques used in that craft might be useful for this project. I believe sailcloth can be joined with zigzag machine stitching over seam tape, or multiple, parallel straight stitches over a felled (folded) seam. Both techniques help distribute tension across a wider band of fabric, reducing puckers and tears,
One other factor to possibly consider: bias-cut fabric (diagonally cut) drapes better than pieces trimmed parallel with warp and weft- that's why better suit jackets have bias-cut panels.
I have forwarded your question to a textile conservator to see if they have
anything to add to this discussion.
the description of the project, it seems that you want to prime and
paint the canvas, then cut it up, sew the pieces together, and display
a wall but with a strainer. I think that your choices of fabric,
primer, and paint are all very personal – each will have advantages and
your goal is long-term structural stability then I recommend that the
seams be worked with relatively small and even stitches. If you aren’t
sewer, you may get better tension with a sewing machine instead of hand
stitches. I recommend a small running stitch or backstitch if you are
hand-sewing. I think a straight stich on a sewing machine will be fine.
You will probably want to create some test
pieces so you can determine what stitches are best, how large to make
the seam allowances, and if you need to finish them in any way. The
dimensionality of the seams will impact your work, and you may want to
experiment to find the system you like best.
don’t think you need a sewing thread that matches the diameter of the
threads in the fabric. A smaller diameter for the sewing thread is fine
and will be less
disruptive to the woven structure. Also, you should be fine with cotton
or linen thread.
If you want to use a mounting system like a quilt, here are some good options:
https://sustainingplaces.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/resident-expert-quilt-mounting.pdf (the Velcro and sleeve mounts are very effective. You can also use strip magnets along the top edge)
display the piece stretched over a strainer, you may want to support
the back with some fill (like a piece of archival board) so that the
textile is fully
regarding Matthew’s comment – fabric cut on the bias does have a great
drape, but it can continue to stretch over time. When bias-cut fabric is
garments it is allowed to hang out for at least 24 hours before hemmed
to make sure that the fabric has stabilized in its stretch. Even so,
bias-cut fabrics need more support over time to prevent unwanted
Good luck and have fun!
Ms. Mina, Thanks for the additional information!
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