A long journey for these Oriental silk paintings.
Four silks depicting the seasons arrived in my studio in a very delicate state having already been shipped back from New Zealand. I was able to offer advice to the customer concerning their conservation before I could frame them.
One had been disturbed and broken away along the top edge. The others were in good condition but very delicate. Each one was fastened behind the matt along the top edge only, thankfully, with a strip of double sided Sellotape, now beyond easy removal with a solvent.
I personally transported them to a textile conservation company The Landi Company Ltd. http://www.landico.co.uk/ at Burghley House in Lincolnshire.
The treatment they undertook was extensive. They were removed from their frames and turned face down on the work surface. Using a sharp scalpel blade a cut was made in the silk along the lower edge of the sticky tape and then the object was turned face up, sandwiched between two stiff surfaces, so the matt could be lifted away.
A piece of fine silk crepeline was prepared with a film of Beva 371 thermoplastic adhesive and dried under the extract. With the object once more face down this film was placed over the back and attached with the heat from a small spatula iron, to give support to the fragile silk.
Four mounting boards were prepared to fit inside the frames and covered with thin domette held in place with white cotton satin, glued on the back of the board only. Rather than stitching, the paintings were then fixed to the front of the prepared boards using strips of Beva Film. The old matt was then returned for protection until the next stage of the process.
They were returned to me several months later looking wonderful and in a far stronger condition for framing and to last for future years.
They were replaced in their original frames which I restored with gilt cream to return them to their former glory. The silks were then framed with a double mount cut from museum quality mountboard using a gold slip to add depth and enhance the delicate nature of the depicted scenes. Each one was then glazed with Tru Vue art glass giving amazing clarity, colour rendition and UV protection.