Framed! Silk Scarves Turned Wall Art

Sure, silk scarves look amazing draped around your neck or tied to the handle of your favorite handbag – but lately I’ve been obsessing over them in a different medium – statement-making wall art. Just check it out on Pinterest and try not to love it. Impossible, right? To find out more about the art of mounting silk scarves, I turned to Hsiu-Lan from FastFrame in Brookline, who has more than 35 years of experience in the framing and fashion industry combined.

Why scarves? What makes them work as wall art?
Any chic woman owns a cherished collection of scarves, and just as they can beautifully frame a face, they can juice up and personalize a studio, home, and office.

How is framing a silk scarf different than a poster or piece of artwork?
There is a whole technique to framing scarves. Box them in a frame and soon they’ll sag. Glue them to a backing and the glue will seep through and discolor the scarf. Staple it to the backing and some scarves will literally “run.”

Sounds pretty complicated. How do you go about framing a scarf without ruining it?
Mount the scarf on 100% acid-free backing board. Then use seamstress pins to secure the scarf to the backing. Place the pinned scarf in the frame but always use UV protective glass or acrylic glazing to protect the color of the scarf from any fading. Make sure to use glass spacers between the glazing and the scarf so that the glazing does not touch the scarf.

Using this process, would we still be able to wear the scarf one day?
Yes. When I frame a scarf for a client, I assume that 20 years from now she may want to take it out of the frame and wear it again, or 100 years from now, her great-granddaughter may want to wear it!

We love the Hermès scarf in your studio (pictured above). What are the best scarves to frame?
The sky is the limit. Most scarves can be framed but the best are those in silk twill.

Any tips on how to display this chic wall art?
Framed scarves are not like knives, spoons, and forks. There are no rules (thankfully) to displaying them. Just remember the frame should complement and enhance the story that each scarf can tell.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

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August 22, 2012