Silk can be displayed in many ways. It can be framed under glass or plexiglass, made into clothing or wall hangings, or wrapped around a shallow box or canvas stretcher bars in a gallery wrap.
Wrapping silk around canvas stretcher bars is a very simple and inexpensive way to display your silk paintings. The object is to put together four canvas stretcher bars (available in art supply stores or on-line) to make a frame. Then you wrap and staple a layer of cotton or muslin over the frame, then you wrap and staple your silk painting over that. Attach a wire on the back, and you’re done.
There are a few supplies you’ll need for this project:
–Your silk painting, ironed
–A piece of cotton or muslin the same size as your silk painting, ironed
–Four lightweight wooden canvas stretcher bars (when put together into a frame, the silk is two inches longer on each side than the frame itself; you’ll need two inches all around to wrap around the bars and staple on the back)
–Staple gun with staples
–Picture hanging wire (cut to be as long as your frame is wide, plus 20 inches)
–Two screw eyes (13/16″ or 15/16″)
–An ice pick, awl or nail to put small holes in the wooden stretcher bars to get the screw eyes started
–Small tack hammer (or a regular hammer will work)
–Sharp scissors for trimming excess fabric
To remove any staples that need re-positioning, you’d need a flat head screwdriver for prying up the staple and a pair of pliers for pulling out the staple.
Here’s the process:
Put together the stretcher bar frame. Make sure it’s square. Place the frame in the middle your cotton.
Wrap the cotton around the frame and staple it to the back of the frame. Start with one staple in the middle of one side, then put a staple in the middle of the opposite side. Then do the other two sides the same way. Pull against opposite staples with a gentle pressure as you work to ensure that there will be no wrinkles in the fabric.
Working from the center staples out to the corners, finish stapling down one side of the cotton. Place the staples about four inches apart. Stop when you get four inches from the corners. Repeat on the opposite side, Gently pulling the cotton taut as you work. Then do the two remaining sides. The cotton should not have any wrinkles in it; it should be smooth and taut over the frame.
Fold and staple the corners as per the video instruction. The sides of the framed cotton should be smooth, since they’re more visible than the top and bottom when hanging on the wall. The folded edges of the corners should be on the top and bottom of the frame. When beginning a corner, place the first staple at the top or bottom of the frame (where the folded corner will be), about an inch from the edge. Make a tight, neat double fold that won’t show from the front of the frame, then staple it down. It’s a little like wrapping a package. Take your time and be patient with yourself!
Use your tack hammer on any staples that aren’t flat against the frame.
Wrap and staple the silk around the frame over the cotton, just the same way you did the cotton.
Measure 1/3 of the way down from the top of the painting and make a pencil mark on the two sides. Avoiding the fabric, use your ice pick or nail to make a small hole in the wood on each side as indicated by your pencil mark. Screw the eye screws all the way into the holes so that the “eye” is just above the wood.
Place your wire through the eye screws and wrap it onto itself a few times. Cut off the excess with your wire cutters.
If you have excess silk on the back of the frame that is showing or hanging down, trim it neatly with your scissors.