Friday, January 27, 2012

The Pompadour Stomacher: An Adventure In Fabric Painting?

So, upon closer inspection of a clearer image of the Boucher painting (not this one), i have noticed that the ribbon used is not pinked on the length and ends. In fact it's only pinked on the ribbon ends and has a picot edge.
The ribbon is at the very least 3 inches wide, made of a silk taffeta, and a satin stripe woven through it; 3 of them near both edges.
It looks as though the stripe is a slightly pale shade, almost a champagne or silver (non-metallic) tone.

I can track down tons of this 3" wide pink picot taffeta ribbon if I really dig, but I will likely not have very good luck finding something with the above woven stripe, nor in silk.
Rayon is what you normally find nowadays, in collections of new/old store stock from the late 1920s up to the 1950s, on Etsy or Ebay. It would do more than suffice and have a similar texture and body. Even the super crisp ones right off the roll, soften a little after being handled.
If I have no luck finding the right shade of pink, rayon is dye-able.

Now, for those pesky stripes, I have an idea; fabric paint.
One of those translucent and softly pearlescent kinds by the likes of Lumiere.
Perhaps I could use some frog tape (the version for delicate projects) to mask off my stripes like a stencil, apply my paint, and once it's dry, carefully remove it.
This would (hopefully) reveal nicely spaced and evenly coated stripes along each edge that mimic a shimmering woven satin line.
As for historical accuracy; I have seen many hand painted ribbons from the 18th century and well into the 19th. So there would still be a level of accuracy in that department.

I would most definitely do a test run on a small length of the ribbon first, in hopes that when I peel away the tape, the paint on my ribbon doesn't go with it!
It's one thing to mask off a wall, but another to paint-and-pull on a somewhat slippery fabric surface.
We shall see. I may even try it this weekend on a scrap of some rayon taffeta ribbon in my stash, and I'll post the results. Be it failure or success.

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