It's been a while since any images have been posted, and you've waited long enough. Let's see what I've got to make things a little more interesting around here . . .
I'd like to show you how I make a "window" in the back of a hard mounted textile.
This example is a bit more unusual in that the piece (a 17th C. Safavid figural velvet panel) came with a (definitely NOT original, though rather old) fabric backing that the client wanted preserved. Because of the way the backing was attached, mounting the textile would have been quite problematic. Lumpy, actually. My solution was to remove the backing from the textile, then attach it to the inside of the back of the frame - creating the illusion that one was looking at the back of the textile in its original (backed) state. Removing the backing fabric also allowed me to open up the seams around all four sides, freeing the selvedges and natural top and bottom edges. Very nice to at last be able to see ALL the original aspects of the piece.
Here you can see the original-ish printed backing and the hole I've cut into the fabric. I've turned the edges under and pinned them in place.
Cutting into the muslin lining . . .
Detail of cut pattern in muslin lining
Muslin pinned back to expose woven felt padding layer
Felt padding cut away to expose mounting fabric layer
Beginning to cut into mounting fabric layer
Lifting the mounting fabric to expose the back of the textile
Wrapping the cut edges of the woven felt padding with the mounting fabric flaps, tucking under and pinning in place
Fabric tucked under, pinned in place, and ready to be sewn
The completed "window"
Completed window detail
Here is the mounted piece from the front, in its entirety. Persian Safavid, 17th C.
Here is a detail of one of the fine fellows in the garden (one with clothes on) as well as birds & flowers
Anther detail of the figures in the garden
And another detail, closer in. Interesting to see how the drawing is mirrored back and forth across the piece.
And just one last detail, this one showing a bit of the original selvedge. An amazing piece.
A window is a convenient way to allow access to the back of a textile that's been mounted or lined. As long as the piece itself is structurally sound and the window isn't too large, it's a great solution to the problem of how to have your cake and eat it, too - how to have a piece permanently mounted but still be able to examine the structure from the back.
At some later point we'll get a look at what to do when the textile is so fragile that it really isn't structurally sound enough for a window, but, darn it, there's that great inscription . . .