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Microscope Set-up

Before Treatment

Before Treatment

During Treatment

During Treatment

Supporting bridging threads adhered.

Polyester support patch adhered with Beva film

Tear repair after treatment.

Thread by Thread
Canvas Tear Repair

In the fall of 2016, I was able to attend a multi-session workshop with conservator

Carolyn Tomkiewicz detailing the Winfried-Heiber thread by thread tear-mending process. After being introduced to the working method, I repaired tears in a cotton duck canvas.


Fibers were first cleaned of remaining paint flakes and relaxed with slight moisture. Next, modern cotton fibers of a similar thickness were attached to the short remaining weft threads with a mixture of sturgeon glue and wheat starch paste adhesive. The longer warp fibers were re-woven and secured in place using the newly attached fibers. Finally, re-tensioning threads were used to bridge the tear, and a thin polyester fabric was adhered with Beva film adhesive to support the repair.

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