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Author Topic: Fears About Recovering an Antique Parasol  (Read 1257 times)
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Samantha Bullat
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« on: May 03, 2011, 07:46:55 PM »

I have a gorgeous 1850s parasol that I bought from our dear Glenna Jo at Greenfield Village last year. I got to enjoy it for the weekend, but the silk has finally split. I'm looking to recover and wouldn't mind doing it myself. However, the parasol has wooden spokes, not metal, and I'm concerned about whether or not they'd break while working with it. Has anyone every recovered a wood spoke parasol before? If I should leave this to the pros, any suggestions for who I should ask? Thank you!
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Lori21
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2011, 08:06:18 PM »

Marta Vincent can tell you, she does them
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Jessamyn
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2011, 04:02:41 AM »

I have a "wooden" one that I've been playing with (pretty sure it's some kind of cane, not wood) and I can't see how the process of recovering it could put any particular strain on the spokes. Now, if you screw up and make your pieces too narrow, you could definitely hurt it once you got the new cover in place by forcing it open. But any parasol that can cope with being opened and shut while "clothed" should have no trouble with the level of handling involved in recovering.
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Marta Vincent
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2011, 06:10:33 AM »

Samantha, I do them all the time; and, yes, sometimes the ribs break.  Cry  I can send you an article I wrote about dating, and measuring and recovering your parasol if you PM me with your email address. 

Please, though, I beg you... pick a silk as close to the original as possible, make sure it is NOT duppioni. Shocked Because it has wooden ribs, if it has trim, it will be fringe, not ruffles.  Ruffles are from the '60's and wooden ribs were out by the late 50's.  If it's tiny, it's '50's, if quite long with a long finial, it's earlier. 

And if you get an American Marquis (all black tilting, etc.) Please, please, please recover it in black.  That's what color they were until well after our period!!!!!!!!

I'm Sorry, but this is my soap box!  When I see a reenactor who has spent a great deal of time and attention on making sure her dress and undies are PERFECT, and then she goes a bit haywire with her accessories, it makes me wonder if she really got the message!  It's kind of like someone who goes to a function in a tux and then wears a cowboy hat and has a bandana around his neck!  Or a woman dressed to the nines, sporting her diamonds wearing white gym shoes!
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MrsPeebles
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2011, 07:18:50 AM »

Thank you for mentioning the marquis should be black. I have one, and the silk is shot, it is black. I didn't know that they were all marketed that way, and considered doing mine in a navy blue. Without your previous post, I might have made myself a costly mistake. Thank you Mrs. Vincent for your advice. Wink Were these trimmed with any other colors of fringe? 
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Judith Peebles

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Jessamyn
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2011, 08:27:51 AM »

If you do a search you'll find that we've talked pretty extensively about what materials are appropriate for recovering parasols (and plenty of extremely useful Marta soapboxing action!). Those black American marquis parasols were black, black, black - black handle, black fabric, black trim, and the trim seems usually to have been self-ruffles, occasionally a bit of Chantilly - not too sure about fringe. Marta will let us know, I'm sure.

But I've seen black marquis parasols with a clever pintucking detail to add interest, and lots of different applications of flounces, so they don't have to be boring...just black!
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Samantha Bullat
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2011, 10:20:15 AM »

Thank you so much for the advice! I guess I'll give it a shot... and PM you for the article, Marta!

I definitely have no intention of covering it with anything BUT silk, and DEFINITELY NOT dupioni! *shudder* I hate the stuff!

My parasol has gorgeous silk fringe on it that is in perfect condition, and I'm hoping to carefully remove it and then add it to my new cover. I just have to find the perfect green and black shot silk to match the original silk colors.

Here's a picture of me with the parasol when it was still in perfect condition:

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Marta Vincent
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2011, 11:28:19 AM »

Thank you for mentioning the marquis should be black. I have one, and the silk is shot, it is black. I didn't know that they were all marketed that way, and considered doing mine in a navy blue. Without your previous post, I might have made myself a costly mistake. Thank you Mrs. Vincent for your advice. Wink Were these trimmed with any other colors of fringe? 

Mrs. Peebles, The black marquis' I have seen (dozens!!!!!!) have ruffles, but never fringe.  The ones with very plain handles all have solid black covers and, if lined, black linings.  1-3 ruffles arranged in different patterns are appropriate.  Those with fancier handles (read that - the later in the '60's, the fancier the carving on the handles), sometimes have white or black and white linings.

I have seen rare examples of the later ones with other color linings.  I have seen ONE covered in a wide strip of solid black between two black & white striped silk strips top to bottom, and a black lining.   

Ruffles, when used are gathered, but not real full. They measure 1 1/2 times the circumference of the parasol in length or slightly less, and not more than 1 1/2"wide.  Sometimes the width of the ruffles is graduated so the bottom one is wider than the top one.  I have seen a couple where the ruffles were of fine black lace, not silk.

Post war and into the 70's you will see the mechanisms still in use with brown varnished handles, and I've got one with an amber colored translucent handle & finial.  Those can have colored silks for covers and linings.
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Marta Vincent
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2011, 11:29:18 AM »

Samantha, yours dates to the mid-late '50's.  Have fun covering it!  Cheesy
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MrsPeebles
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2011, 08:18:10 AM »

Thank you all for the tips on the black marquis. I must admit, I don't care much for the black, but if that is the most common, than I shall copy it. I wasn't sure on the fringe, one of my other parasol's has nice fringe, and I thought it would be nice to copy the style. Instead of fringe, how about a border of scalloped silk? I have a hand crank scallop cutter that I could cut the silk and then gather/pleat it onto the edges. Would that work?
As for a lining, I would much rather line it in white, but haven't seen one that I can remember. I think it's mostly myself, I do not care for the black interior.

My other two parasols, royal blue, and lime green, will be replaced into the same colors.....whenever I get around to them. They continue being in the "planning" stages, plus I wish to reuse the trims already on them, gorgeous silk fringe.
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