Fabrics for the twenty-first century: As artist canvas and for the structural reinforcement of easel paintings on canvas

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Publication Type:

Journal Article

Authors:

Young, Christina; Jardine, Suzanne;

Source:

Studies in Conservation, Volume 57, Number 4, p.237-253 (2012)

Abstract:

The requirements for, and assessment of, suitable fabrics for artist canvas and for the structural reinforcement of easel paintings on canvas are presented. Crucially, the aesthetic and kinaesthetic, as well as physical properties of the canvas fabrics have been taken into account. To evaluate the fabrics the following properties were measured: stiffness, ultimate tensile strength, moisture response, crimp, drape, and lustre. Fabrics investigated include cotton, linen, polyester, polyamides, and carbonized fibres. Although polyester is yet to match linen or cotton kinaesthetically or aesthetically, overall it exhibits the best combination of properties. However, the results have shown that even when raw fibre material has suitable properties the finished woven fabric may not. This is because of the strong influence of the woven geometry on the final behaviour. It has been found that drape and lustre are very good properties to quantify some aspects of the feel and look of fabrics, in the context of conservation, and to provide a common language to ensure that the specification incorporates these aspects.