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Subject: Mounting large flags

Mounting large flags

From: George Schwartz <conservart>
Date: Thursday, April 5, 2001
Debbie L. Wallsmith <deborah_wallsmith [at] mail__dnr__state__ga__us> writes

>We have recently been given the task of mounting/framing several
>very large flags (as big as 6 x 9 feet).  Our budget cannot be
>stretched to cover the services of an expert and we have access to
>limited technology.  The flags are all Civil War era cotton flags
>and are in relatively good condition.  We would like to find a
>method that does not require special technology or hard to find
>materials.  Any suggestions?

While I hesitate to get too specific for lack of details as to the
actual application and eventual venue of the exhibit, following is
an extremely low tech and relatively low cost approach to the
problem along with some caveats.

Honeycomb panels would be nice, but a very suitable rigid and light
weight alternative may be fabricated to any desired dimension, from
wood strips covered with mulberry paper. A table saw is all you
need, but it can be done even with an ordinary carpenters' hand saw.
Take your inspiration from oriental paper screens and try to follow
the techniques both for the fabrication of the superstructure and
the papering.

If their condition permits, the flags should be stitched to a
suitable fabric, keeping in mind the weight of the artifact and the
stresses involved when hanging and during handling. This supporting
fabric with the flags attached would be stretched over the papered
wooden lattice.

If protective glazing is desired, it must not come into contact with
the flags, therefore a "shadow box" type frame is indicated. If
sufficiently large glazing is not available, two or more panels may
be joined, or a closed "viewing case" constructed with a window
opening smaller than the flag.

I am being purposefully vague on details, as I assume you have
adequate resources in house to undertake the many different aspects
the project. As for the caveats, here are some key words:

  * Materials Used: pH, out-gassing, UV filtering, permanence.

  * Techniques: papering, stitching of flags, stretching of
    supporting fabric, handling of oversized objects, workshop
    space, transporting, door sizes, etc.

Good luck with this interesting project,

George Schwartz
ConservArt - Master Frame Makers and Art Conservators
8177 Glades Road #16
Boca Raton, FL 33434
Fax: 561-482-6787

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:53
                   Distributed: Sunday, April 8, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-53-004
Received on Thursday, 5 April, 2001

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