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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Muslin: I need to get the wrinkles out - HELP!
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11/03/2006 09:49:30 PM · #1
I start shooting Xmas portraits on Sunday and got a scenic muslin to use. I ran it through the washer with softener to and hung it for a month and the wrinkles won't go away!
I don't have a steamer - so what can I do?
I can rent one...where? What exactly as am I looking for? I'd buy one if you all have any suggestions.

My other muslins are old master types do a wrinkle or two is no biggie. This however is gonna be an issue, and with 100-150 clients to shoot fixing it in PS is not an option!

Samples of what I'm dealing with:
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11/03/2006 09:51:04 PM · #2
1. Muslins are supposed to be wrinkled
2. Be sure your subject can be atleast 5 or 6 feet away from the bg so it can fall nicely OOF and get that dreamy old-masters' look
3. Don't forget a bg light to show separation between the subject & the bg
11/03/2006 09:56:54 PM · #3
You can buy a steamer at any dept store. They start around $20.
11/03/2006 09:57:06 PM · #4
I'm dreamin' of a wrinkly Christmas....

You might try some of that spray on Wrinkle remover.

Also, I found if I hang mine wet with weight attached to the bottom those wrinkles come out quite nicely.
11/03/2006 10:05:42 PM · #5
Originally posted by idnic:

1. Muslins are supposed to be wrinkled


Maybe on some images for that artsy look, that could be true.

However, if a DP had a wrinkled 'muz' in his frame, I think the Key Grip would at the very least get an ear full from the DP, and at the very worst get fired.

The only fabric that I know of that should be put away unfolded, causing wrinkles, is silk. This is because seams in silk can cause tearing, and believe me when I say it is very expensive to have silk tear.

PROF, after you steam your muz back to flat, make sure to properly fold it just like a flag, and store it in a bag, or plastic container.
11/03/2006 10:05:58 PM · #6
You can also probably take it to the nearest laundromat and pay a few dollars for them to press it for you :)
11/03/2006 10:08:38 PM · #7
It's a painted muslin...will wrinkle remover work on that?
I did hang it and it got better, but not good enough. I've had bronchitis for the past 2 weeks and did nothing, so of course now I'm up against the deadline, so I don't know if it would dry in time - i got maybe 24 hours.

As for seperation, the location I have to shoot in would give me much - 4 feet maybe 5. These are shot at F8 an F13 (F13 is overkill I know). There is a seperation light, it may not have been hot enough to show much though.

An idea...I might be able to play with the angle of the BG to 'hide' the shadows that the wrinkles make. At my studio the muslin hangs square to the room and camera and lights, but on location I'll have a BG stand.

Of course the first client coming in is the one I want to kiss up to the most - she spent the most last year, and I shot two of her employee's kids' senior pics and she owns a fancy, popular hair salon...so I get no warmup shots!
11/03/2006 10:09:17 PM · #8
Originally posted by BeeCee:

You can also probably take it to the nearest laundromat and pay a few dollars for them to press it for you :)


Hmmm...10 x 12 foot painted muslin? I can try that, all they can say is NO or $100, right? LOL
11/03/2006 10:10:50 PM · #9
Originally posted by American_Horse:


PROF, after you steam your muz back to flat, make sure to properly fold it just like a flag, and store it in a bag, or plastic container.


I thought one was supposed to randomly stuff it in a bag cause folding it would cause creases?

I suppose this would work?
//www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?pid=00862092000&vertical=Sears&BV_UseBVCookie=Yes

Message edited by author 2006-11-03 22:19:46.
11/03/2006 11:18:05 PM · #10
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

Originally posted by American_Horse:


PROF, after you steam your muz back to flat, make sure to properly fold it just like a flag, and store it in a bag, or plastic container.


I thought one was supposed to randomly stuff it in a bag cause folding it would cause creases?

I suppose this would work?
//www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?pid=00862092000&vertical=Sears&BV_UseBVCookie=Yes


Yep, so would this... cheaper steamer
11/03/2006 11:28:41 PM · #11
I know this is a silly question, but I'll ask it anyway - is plain old ironing out of the question?
11/03/2006 11:29:21 PM · #12
I have spritzed mine wet and let it hang dry with some weight on the bottom. I have used clamps or clothes pins as weights. It wont be perfect, but it will be better.
11/04/2006 12:20:47 AM · #13
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

Originally posted by BeeCee:

You can also probably take it to the nearest laundromat and pay a few dollars for them to press it for you :)


Hmmm...10 x 12 foot painted muslin? I can try that, all they can say is NO or $100, right? LOL


I never did backdrops but we did do banquet cloths, drapes, etc., and charged maybe 10 bucks for the bigger things.

Dampening and rolling around a shower curtain rod, maybe?
11/04/2006 01:00:15 AM · #14
Originally posted by Melethia:

I know this is a silly question, but I'll ask it anyway - is plain old ironing out of the question?


well, it's kind of a PITA to iron a 10 x 20 piece of cloth... LOL
11/04/2006 01:04:35 AM · #15
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

These are shot at F8 an F13 (F13 is overkill I know).


Depending on your focal length and distance to subject ... I wonder if f/8 might be overkill too? I mean, if the background is *still* this much in focus, then maybe you could open up a bit?

11/04/2006 01:08:23 AM · #16
Originally posted by dwterry:

Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

These are shot at F8 an F13 (F13 is overkill I know).


Depending on your focal length and distance to subject ... I wonder if f/8 might be overkill too? I mean, if the background is *still* this much in focus, then maybe you could open up a bit?


Yes, I'd say even f/5.6 could be sufficient at say 28mm or so.
11/04/2006 01:50:59 AM · #17
'well, it's kind of a PITA to iron a 10 x 20 piece of cloth... LOL,'
I can't see how it is any diferent to ironing bed sheets. Confused...
11/04/2006 02:06:29 AM · #18
One idea that comes to mind is hanging it in the bathroom with the shower on hot. The steam from that will help relax the wrinkles. Of course that assuming you've got the lavatory real estate to hang it out....
11/04/2006 02:08:27 AM · #19
Originally posted by SaraR:

'well, it's kind of a PITA to iron a 10 x 20 piece of cloth... LOL,'
I can't see how it is any diferent to ironing bed sheets. Confused...


You iron your bed sheets? OMG!
11/04/2006 02:14:11 AM · #20
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

Originally posted by SaraR:

'well, it's kind of a PITA to iron a 10 x 20 piece of cloth... LOL,'
I can't see how it is any diferent to ironing bed sheets. Confused...


You iron your bed sheets? OMG!


You don't?!?!?

*hides iron, hides sheets* .... ummmm, me neither ...
11/04/2006 02:20:50 AM · #21
What about hanging it with some sort of weight at the bottom, misting it with plain old water and using a regular hair blow dryer? That could work right?
11/04/2006 07:07:29 AM · #22
I make quilts (well, when I'm not living in the deep south of the US of A where it's too darn hot to make quilts) and I iron large pieces of fabric all the time. It's not that hard. And oddly enough, it does remove most wrinkles.
11/04/2006 08:17:16 AM · #23
You folks have some good ideas.
Remember that this musin is painted with househould type latex paint - it's not a sheet in flexibility or texture. What's the setting on an iron for 'painted cloth'? Don't want things burning or sticking or changing colors. might stink a bit too? Besides, I hate ironing LOL

I thought about the bathroom shower idea but go measure out 10x12 feet - it's bigger than most rooms and certainly taller than any space I have so the only way I've found to work with it is to fold it in half - and almost every time I try that I get a crease at the fold...right in the middle of the cloth which of course ends up in the middle of teh scene when you go to shoot it :(

11/04/2006 09:07:11 AM · #24
I would probably do it in two 'sessions' then, hang it from one end weight the bottom with something on the floor. Leaving the rest to lay out on the floor. After the top half dries reverse it.
What do you use to hold it up for the photo session?

I Quilt also and I made a special 'table' to iron my fabrics on. If you planned to do this process a lot, You might try something like that. What I did was buy a board the length I wanted. wrapped it in quilt batting a couple layers thick. I used a heavy smooth fabric to cover that and stapled it to the back. I then bolted that to the top of a regular ironing board frame so I can fold it up when not in use.
It works like a charm! I can take a photo of it, if your interested.
Tlem

Oh, Since its 10' wide, I would bunch the wrinkled part at my feet, and as the section was ironed, roll the smooth side onto a large piece of plumbing pipe. You will need a second hand to help you roll it on straight. This could even be stored on that pipe till next time too.


Message edited by author 2006-11-04 09:11:56.
11/04/2006 09:40:30 AM · #25
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

Originally posted by American_Horse:


PROF, after you steam your muz back to flat, make sure to properly fold it just like a flag, and store it in a bag, or plastic container.


I thought one was supposed to randomly stuff it in a bag cause folding it would cause creases?



Dude,

do what you want.

I've seen this before, and there are basically two options.

Steam the crap out of it. It will take more than just one run. Probly a couple of gallons or more of water.

OR.....

Buy a new bg.

And, NO!!!! You never stuff muslin.

Like I said, you fold it like a flag.

First in half, than in half again, and keep halving until you have a long 3 foot wide piece. From there you fold into thirds the long way.
From there when you can not fold any more, you roll it up and then put away into a bag, or a storage container of some sort. NOT A CARD BOARD BOX.

Keep the steamer on the side. Creases are not a big deal, usually a muslin like yours is put on a frame, but sometimes like you it is used like a curtain.

Putting in a frame takes the creases out, more or less. Especially in the bg, the dof helps, and the framing of the image helps.

but, in your case, a steamer may be a good tool to have.

To me, steaming out an offending crease that is in your image would be easier to take care of rather than a whole bunch of wrinkles.

Good Hunting.
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