Fans and fansticks

Mounting ladies fans and fansticks.

I have finished the fan and now have to mount it,  the small leaf sticks have holes to enable me to attach it but the two outside main sticks have none. Do I glue the lace to these two main sticks?  If so what sort of glue do I use?  Or do I have to attach it some way?

If you use glue it’s a good idea to use one that is acid-free (pH neutral) and dries clear! I’ve used one called Helmar Professional Acid-free Glue (from the local art / craft shop; Lyncraft and Spotlight also have similar procducts, but read the label first) – it’s specifically made for book-binding; described as ideal for memory albums, precious documents etc … Flexible bond, and claimed not to yellow with age. Have also used it (diluted a bit) for stiffening; it gives body without the cardboard-like stiffness you get with some products (which may be good or bad depending on the effect you want!)

My advice would be to have a look at Christine Springett’s little book called “Designing and Mounting Fans” – bound to be copies in the various Guild libraries around the country. While it gives instructions for the size of fansticks which Springett’s sold, it’ll also give a general idea of how to pleat up a fan to make it
look better on the fan sticks.  In my opinion, having tried both methods, a pleated fan leaf looks much better than one just stuck “flat” on the sticks.

One thing I found didn’t work in our humid climate, was the use of diluted water-soluble wall paper paste to stick the lace to the sticks.  I’ve had three fans come off the sticks after I used that (and to my shame, the last one has now been off, awaiting my attention for over 4 years!).    The last couple I remounted, I used a water-soluble craft glue – and I found that has lasted much better.

Congratulations on finishing your fan, Marion.  The only experience I’ve had mounting a fan onto sticks was a miniature one, onto plastic sticks and that was to go on a wedding cake, so I just glued it on.

Just been catching up on the emails and would like to tell you what I was told about mounting fans.   They should not be glued on as this would make it more difficult if it had to be removed.   They should be sewn on, 2 little holes (or 4 depending on the size of the fan) at the top of each fan stick, and the bottom, and one or 2 places down the stick.   When I have done mine, and I have now made 3, I tried to get the thread that runs from each set of holes to lie between the lace and the fan stick, not always possible, but worth a try.   I run the thread from the first lot of holes down to the bottom.  You may find you have to drill tiny holes to do this mounting, but it is worth it.   ]

For the guard sticks,I found I could make holes in one of them for the lace, and in the other glued a tiny piece of net to the stick and sewed the lace to that, so no glued touches the lace, as it can also discolour the lace. Must tell you, even Pat Milne asked me how I mounted mine, and that was quite something, for me anyway.

I have mounted onto the plastic ones – and burned a couple of holes down
each spoke with a hot needle, and sewed the fan to the sticks.  I think I used wallpaper glue too.  wllpaper glue is soluble, so if you want to take the lace off – it will soak away —-Or so I am told!!!!!!! I also mounted a large fan onto wooden sticks – same procedure I think Sprigett tells you to fold and press in the pleats before mounting the fan – Ann Collier does not pleat her fan leaf at all.

I agree, Ruth; pleating the fan leaf is worth the extra fiddling. Marion, how you mount it depends on your fan sticks.

I have a small fan stuck on with (small amount of) acid-free (pH neutral) craft glue which dries clear and won’t yellow. Found the best approach was to glue a couple of sticks at a time and let them dry before doing the next couple – being a bit of a messy worker, I didn’t want to end up with a horrible sticky mess, and I was able to hold each bit in place until it dried enough to stay put.

I also have a large set of sticks which has tiny holes through the sticks so you can sew the lace on; still working on a design for this!

The sticks have tiny holes along them for attaching the fan too. They were made to measure, I sent a photo copy of the piece of lace after it had been removed from the pillow, It had been sitting around for awhile, so had shrunk down a little from what the pricking size was.

Just finished a Torchon fan – or at least she (friend) has come to the end and is undecided as to how to finish it off.  Can anyone offer suggestions?

I end my fans by working the top, outside, trail around the end (down the side, back to the foot), and taking all the pairs as I go, and throwing them out once they are anchored by a few rows.  The end should finish much like the beginning started.  Usually this is by a trail going across from the footside to the head (outer) side, so do the same in reverse for the ending. The Start end is the one that shows when the fan leaf is mounted.  The ending end should be hidden behind the front Cover stick.