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Re: Paper for backing fabric

    Good morning. A couple of years ago I took a workshop
with Betsy Eldridge Palmer during which she described and
demonstrated a number of studio practices. One of these was
not to back fabric, but to paste it directly. Brush wheat
paste onto both sides and stretch it out to dry on a table
or countertop. If the fabric is wetted first this tends to
act as a barrier to the paste penetrating the fabric. Or
paste dry, let the paste penetrate the fabric. Once dry, the
fabric can be burnished on the outer surface and peeled off
the countertop. The fabric has a visible paste surface on
the back and is used as any other book cloth. According to
my notes, the fabric can also be dyed with Dr. Martin's or
watercolor prior to this treatment.
    I've used this method for many fabrics,including silks
and rayons for which it works beautifully. However,
occasionally it doesn't work. Sometimes the dyes run or the
fabric acquires a rough texture that I can't burnish out, so
I'd suggest trial swatches for each fabric.

Hannah Dunleavy

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