Securing the edges

Continuous rolling the border up and down has resulted in frayed edges that  need securing to protect it from loss of threads.

Securing loose threads.

The border is a narrow strip of canvas that hangs above the stage. It usually shows parts of a sky, trees or a room’s ceiling. Borders are used to give the illusion of space and depth and as well as to hide the stage lights. The border is mounted on a beam at the top of the canvas with nails, whilst the rest of the canvas hangs loose. It gives a light and wavy effect. Due to this construction there are a number of uncommon problems, not encountered in a canvas painting mounted on a stretcher. The textile displays anisotropic properties, which means that it reacts differently in the various directions of the canvas during for example climate changes. The canvas moves and distorts differently along the stiff beam in comparison to the bottom section of the border.  In addition, it is exposed to mechanical damages from rolling up and down.

These circumstances have resulted in destabilising the paint layer and frayed canvas edges. Therefore the first step was to consolidate the whole surface of the border, and the second to secure the edges. Securing of the edges consists mostly of weaving the loose threads into the canvas structure with tweezers and a small crochet hook. To fix the threads in this position 4% Methocel in water was used. Small threads that could not be weaved into the structure were attached with PVA with a neutral pH. When dry it was reactivated with a heating spatula and fixed onto the canvas. In this manner the canvas is stopped from unravelling and will be less prone to further damages.

By Paula Śwituszak and Anika Ursula Bilinski
Published Aug. 16, 2016 8:57 PM - Last modified Aug. 16, 2016 8:57 PM