While I am getting my thoughts together for blogging I am also in charge of our local guild stash sale. I like to think of it as we are sharing our stash…I’m sure some of the canvases will come back to visit us at another stash sale down the road…wouldn’t it be funny if the original owner re-purchased it 😉 . We have these stash sales to fund outreach programs. A couple years ago we funded an exhibit to bring in new members. These funds will go toward another exhibit or possible paying to have a website built for our guild.
While going through the stash that is accumulating at my house I came across a canvas that has not been treated with loving care; it was stored folded. Please do not fold your needlepoint canvas and especially if it is congress cloth; the folds will not come out. I have unfolded the canvas, but as you can see in the picture the canvas has been stored this way so long that the weave of the canvas is distorted. I have heard people say they iron canvas to get the wrinkles out but this poor canvas has been folded away so long that I am afraid the folds will never disappear. It will be like a badly distorted canvas that has been stitched without a frame and after some years no matter
how well it is finished will revert back to the distortion. And maybe this wouldn’t matter as much if it were a decorative piece you were going to move to another less viable place after the décor of your house change. ( Oh please don’t tell me you would send it to a thrift store…my heart would break after all the time and love you have put into the piece.) But if you stitched a chair seat that was to be a family heirloom, a folded canvas could be a disaster. It might revert to the fold and heaven forbid, the canvas threads might be weakened enough that after repeated use the canvas would break (Another heartbreaking issue.)
The preferred method is to store your canvas is flat in a box so it is protected from dust and dirt until its turn to be stitched. I have a friend who hangs her canvases on skirt/pant hangers with plastic over each; she says it makes it easier to look at them. I even heard a story that one stitcher stores her large canvases between the mattress and box springs of her guest bed (maybe she doesn’t have a lot of visitors.)
Another method to store large canvases is to roll them; canvas before it is painted comes in large rolls. I think I would occasionally unroll and re-roll from the opposite end so one end does not become a tight roll or even crimped.
So my message for today is: Please treat your canvases with TLC. Don’t fold or stuff them in a bag for a later time. Canvases, especially painted canvases are expensive, so please treat them carefully.
And I won’t get started on whether you should stitch your canvas on stretcher bars or not…that’s a whole other blog.
Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.