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Framing a Delicate and Detailed Fabric

By Kirstie Bennett, Industry Expert

We love hearing from framers about how they design framing packages for unusual projects. In this post, Kirstie Bennett of The Framer’s Workshop in Berkeley, California talks about how she worked with Optium Museum Acrylic to frame a silk and twill scarf from her customers’ travels.


The Moment


This Hermés Parures de Samourais silk and twill scarf was brought to us by long-time customers for whom we had framed another silk scarf in the past. Designed by artist Aline Honoré, the fabric features a vibrant pattern ornamental details, floral motifs and clan coats of arms worn by Japanese samurai warriors from the 14th to 18th centuries. The customers were so happy with the design for the first framing project, they wanted us to do something similar with this most recent acquisition from their travels.



The Design


We chose a silver fabric for the backing and a silver moulding for the frame. This Larson Juhl Simpatico moulding in dark silver had just enough visual interest to complement but not compete with the scarf and its exquisite design. The scarf lies on a backing covered with Aisa Silver Dupioni Silk. Under the top silk layer, layers of unbleached muslin and polyester batting create the padding.



The scarf we had framed for them previously was a direct contact overlay, a phrase coined by fellow framer, Jim Miller, which describes the method of placing very tightly fitting acrylic glazing over artwork in a padded base. The pressure of the glazing helps keep the artwork in place and minimizes the need for stitches, and it also allows for a simple framing design without the need for materials to create space within the frame. The scarf appears to recessed into the padding. This is a method we use for many fabric projects, and our customers wanted the same treatment for this piece.



Working with Optium Museum Acrylic®


We used Optium Museum Acrylic® for this project because acrylic is essential for a direct contact overlay. Given that our market is affected by tremors and earthquakes, we would have chosen Optium anyway for any project of this size, over 36 inches square, because of its resistance to shattering and abrasions. Optium Museum Acrylic provides the 99% UV protection that is essential to preserve such a beautiful piece, and the anti-reflective clarity to enjoy viewing it.



All of the framing elements allow the exquisite design of the scarf to stand out from the subtlety of the silver color to the direct contact overlay that keeps the framing package visually uncomplicated and focused on the art. Being able to use a glazing product like Optium Museum Acrylic enhances the possibilities for framing and enjoying this beautiful piece of art.

This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.

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