Tear mending and other structural treatments of canvas paintings, before or instead of lining

Authored by: Winfried Heiber , Carolyn Tomkiewicz , Mikkel Scharff , Rustin Levenson

Conservation of Easel Paintings

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367023799
eBook ISBN: 9780429399916
Adobe ISBN:


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Thread-by-thread tear mending method is heralded for its minimum interference with the integrity of the materials of a painting. The ultimate goal of this technique is the maximum recovery of the condition prior to damage, primarily by returning similar stress tolerance, flexibility, and long-term reactivity to the damaged area. These ideals can be achieved by recovering the former weave pattern, thread count, and thread distance. The lasting success of the tear repair depends on returning the original tension to the damaged area. Unusually severe deformations sometimes require more dramatic and extensive manipulation of the fabric structure when the option of a purely local treatment is no longer possible.

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