The backing material protects and finishes the work, or gives support to a fine, antique or otherwise less stable textile. Sometimes referred to as the underlining or the back cloth, here the backing is always attached to the face cloth, but not necessarily made up with it. Backing material can make all the difference to the work, adding a very professional finish; it must then be appropriate, fit for purpose and correctly fitted.
* The back cloth as above becomes a backing.
* Fragile, sheer and semi sheer fabrics often require a backing to become fit for purpose.
* A delicate or torn antique piece can have it’s life preserved by mounting it onto a plain cotton backing cloth. Each project is different but it needs to be secured with neat, ‘invisible ‘ stitches, either around the perimeter or all through the work if extra support is needed. In this way many ancient fabrics can be enjoyed for a new life in gentler furnishings such as stool covers, screens, wall hangings or cushions.
* In every case the backing cloth must be as closely related to the top cloth as possible to minimise any fall-out when the fabrics react to room and climate changes. Cotton is appropriate for most materials, but if possible match the fibres, and always use silk with silk. As always, hold the fabrics together, test them, and follow your instincts.
See basic techniques : under- linings, back cloth