Do you use nylon thread to hang pictures?

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andrewmoodie

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The cafe space where I'm going to hang some stuff (my first ever exhibition!!) has a single rail and the pics will have to hang a good couple of feet below itl

Someone said you use nylon thread, fishing line basically, instead of wire. Is this true?

I've only ever hung pictures with wire off a nail or a hook at home so I'm a bit in the dark with this fancy mounting.

Any advice and suggestions will be welcome.

Anyone have any idea where I can get fishing line in south London?

Thanks.

Andrew
 

Ian Grant

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I think I'd prefer to hang framed images off a wire, far safer. The fittings used by estate agents are very common, and they allow for easy adjustment. Pop into one and ask where they get them.

Oh and good luck with your exhibition, it's fun

Ian
 

jovo

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Here's a quote from About.com:

"Monofilament line stretches, which can be bad or good. Stretch makes line more forgiving when a big fish makes a strong run, but it also makes it harder to set the hook. The amount of stretch can be controlled by the additives but all monofilament will stretch some."

Which suggests that, unless your framed photographs are really, really light, they're not going to be in the same place they started out being when you hung them. I'd suggest some very light uninsulated metal wire you might find in a store selling hobby supplies.
 

Ian Grant

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John's right about the fishing line.

It is quite common to hang images on a wire particularly in spaces where the wall can't be drilled, and as it's a public space you cant afford to take risks. The cafe owner is liable is liable if one of your images drops, maybe injuring someone.

In the past I have been involved with a large exhibition where we had to hang some of the images on wires, in fact the wires ran ceiling to floor and 20x16 framed prints were hung back to back 3 frames per pair of wires, in this case they were free standing and not against a wall. But the wire system works extremely well.

Ian
 
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panastasia

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Here's a quote from About.com:

"Monofilament line stretches, which can be bad or good. Stretch makes line more forgiving when a big fish makes a strong run, but it also makes it harder to set the hook. The amount of stretch can be controlled by the additives but all monofilament will stretch some."

Which suggests that, unless your framed photographs are really, really light, they're not going to be in the same place they started out being when you hung them. I'd suggest some very light uninsulated metal wire you might find in a store selling hobby supplies.

I second what John is saying. Also, plain old picture frame wire is less apt to slip due to vibrations in buildings and ground, called "natural frequency".

Of course if your hanging from vertical wires this wouldn't mean anything.

Regards,
Paul
 

PaulH

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Don't take the chance. I hung a show with fishing line, I think it was 30 pound test and it was at least doubled. I don't remember. On the largest, a 22x28 frame, the line broke. Demolished the glass and the bottom part of the frame. There were also some abrasions on the print from the broken glass. I promptly rehung the whole show with wire.
 

Dave Miller

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The problem with plastic fishing line is that it is very difficult to knot; which is why fishermen don't try and use crimping ferrels. A fishing shop will also sell plastic covered steel trace wire which is ideal, provided you crimp it.
 

Ian Grant

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So Andrew :smile:

Take heed, it's all good practical advice, and PaulH has had the mishap we are warning of.

The link BobF gave for www.picturehanging.com is the same or very similar to what I've used in the past.

No disrespect to mr miller, our esteemed counsellor, :smile: sorry Dave, get proper framing wire etc because you also need the other fittings and adjusters to level all the frames. Using anything else picture cord, fishing line is a pain to fine tune alignment. Fishing tackle shops just don't sell these extras.

Ian
 
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Ed Sukach

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The problem with plastic fishing line is that it is very difficult to knot; which is why fishermen don't try and use crimping ferrels. A fishing shop will also sell plastic covered steel trace wire which is ideal, provided you crimp it.

??? What the heck is a "crimping ferrel"? Or, for that matter, "plastic covered trace wire"?

I use nylon monofilament tippets and leaders regularly in Fly Fishing. One does have to be careful in choosing knots - but no more than with any other materials. Where the leader is attached to the line itself, there are various devices and configurations to permit changing leaders, and afford a "neat" transition.

The problem here is STRETCHING. Nylon will stretch a LOT, and proportionately to the load (weight) applied to it. You may find a LOT of difficulty in maintaining everything at the height you want it to be. One advantage is that is less conspicuous than metal wire.

DACRON monofilament is available for picture hanging - should be in your local LARGE hardware store. It will NOT stretch (much) and is as inconspicuous as nylon. Its disadvantage is that it is expensive.
 

Dave Miller

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??? What the heck is a "crimping ferrel"? Or, for that matter, "plastic covered trace wire"?

I use nylon monofilament tippets and leaders regularly in Fly Fishing. One does have to be careful in choosing knots - but no more than with any other materials. Where the leader is attached to the line itself, there are various devices and configurations to permit changing leaders, and afford a "neat" transition.

The problem here is STRETCHING. Nylon will stretch a LOT, and proportionately to the load (weight) applied to it. You may find a LOT of difficulty in maintaining everything at the height you want it to be. One advantage is that is less conspicuous than metal wire.

DACRON monofilament is available for picture hanging - should be in your local LARGE hardware store. It will NOT stretch (much) and is as inconspicuous as nylon. Its disadvantage is that it is expensive.

Thanks Ed, but since the thread poster lives in England I used English (non-fishing) terminology.:smile:
 

Jon Shiu

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Hi, I have hung pictures using 2 lines per picture, which works, but hard to position the picture precisely. Also, you need to attach the lines near to the top of the picture, rather than down farther, because otherwise the picture will hang at an angle to the wall.

Jon
 

liza

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alternative that works god

:D I found that a spiral, feather or what ever it´s called, with hooks in both ends is a brilliant way to hang. Stores use them for salepricesigns etc.
The one I use can be bought for 400 or 1000 grams and I double them in the picture is very heavy. This way I get a stright line on the entire wall in minutes instead of hours and I´m not depending on any help. First day I let them hang just about right and let the weight and spiral set and just before opening next day I adjust the millimeters thats nessesary. Never ever I go back to nylon or something like that.
Eva
 

George

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A nylon line doesn't give any warning before its rupture. Perhaps not relevant in your case but nylon like materials can be sensitive to the UV light. You never know the deterioration caused by any reason with these lines. For all these reasons they are not a safe and durable solution for picture hanging. A wire (a cable wire) is much safer.
 

Roger Hicks

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Another vote for wire. I've only had a few individual exhibitions (quite honestly I've not tried that hard since my first some 30 years ago), but I've had pictures hung in mixed exhibitions, and wire is DEFINITELY the way to go.
 

Ed Sukach

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I sort of "semi-jumped" to a conclusion: There are two places where the suspension material may be used: Eye(let)(?)-to-eyelet at the back of the frame, and from the ceiling to wall junction in the gallery, down to the work.

Many "cafeteria" owners avoid ANY "nails into the wall", as eventually, even when filling residual holes with spackle, the wall material will have to be replaced. Such is the case in the Town owned public gallery I curate (note 1). Sheet rock was installed over ca. 1790 interior studs - nothing like 16" on center; or even, or parallel; and we will have a miserable time trying to find anyone who will tackle that particular project again.
Our hanging system consists of perforated metal rods, hanging from a Header at the top of the walls. "S" hooks, etc., connect the work to the rods.

For the eyelet-to-eyelet use in the back of the frame, metal wire, now usually stainless steel, is the way to go ... it is far more resistant to "cutting" and localized wear. It will give as much "warning of failure" as anything else. One incident occurred with stainless wire; it was thin wire at the back of a very heavy Stained Glass Window on display. It broke and there was considerable damage to the piece.

For hanging from a header at the top of the wall, the stretch of nylon is a major problem. It is "bouncy" and there will be a lot of trial and error to get the works to hang at the desired height. Been there, done that - and don't want to do that again. Metal wire will not stretch, but it is noticeable, relatively expensive, and generally difficult to handle. Dacron monofilament has very little stretch, is somewhat expensive, but is probably the most elegant solution.

A couple of comments:

Nylon, as far as I know, is not especially sensitive to UV radiation. It is hydrophyllic (loves water). When it dries it becomes less stretchy - more brittle - and that can lead to failure. I have never encountered ANY sort of problem in tying nylon monofilament together, other than handling the tiny diameters of fine tippets. I googled "ferule crimping" and haven't found one word about anything pertinent to the stuff we might use in picture hanging. Plastic Hose fixtures (see "gardening") are often "crimped" to the hose itself - but I doubt that garden hose has anything to do with this.
"Deep Sea" fishermen often use stainless steel tippets (the forward part of the leader) due to the fact that their quarry, Marlin and the like, have TEETH and tend to bite through nylon.

Note 1. "Curator" - from the Latin - translation: "The guy with the key".
 

George

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A cable wire usually gives clear warning signs before its rupture, namely one or more ruptured fibers that start to "unscrew" from the main cable. That's how cables are visually checked for fatigue strain. Of course, a single straw metal wire (a nylon line too) cannot give this early warning before its rupture.
That nylon and other polymers suffer breakage of bonds in the UV light under stress is a well known fact in their science.
 

George

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[QUOTE
...
Note 1. "Curator" - from the Latin - translation: "The guy with the key".[/QUOTE]

Forget the key - Curator - from Latin "curare" - "to take care of." Curator -"the one that takes care of" - regardless of the key...
 

Ed Sukach

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That nylon and other polymers suffer breakage of bonds in the UV light under stress is a well known fact in their science.

I never said that there was immunity to UV radiation - only that nylon was not ESPECIALLY sensitive to UV. Think of the situation as well ... how much UV will be encountered in the average gallery or "cafeteria" situation - ordinary window glass is a fairly effective attenuator of UV - and the "eyelet-to eyelet" use on the BACK of the work will be further shielded from UV - and ALL light.

Hmmm ... "curare". Isn't that the poison used by native South Americans on their arrows? Could I use this stuff on pompous self-styled critics? - Or REALLY troublesome over-inflated-ego type "artists" trying to play "king of the hill"...?

I wouldn't - but still - it is a though...
 

George

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I never said that there was immunity to UV radiation - only that nylon was not ESPECIALLY sensitive to UV. Think of the situation as well ...
...Hmmm ... "curare". Isn't that the poison used by native South Americans on their arrows? Could I use this stuff on pompous self-styled critics? - Or REALLY troublesome over-inflated-ego type "artists" trying to play "king of the hill"...?

I wouldn't - but still - it is a though...
Ed,
thanks for the proposal but I don't need to think of "the situation" now- I did so in the first place and mentioned therefore the degree of relevance of "the situation". Remember that?
When it comes to your knowledge of "curare" use it whenever you like, people will be stunt.
 

jeroldharter

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About 5 years after the fact, but I was browsing some threads:

I understand the problems with monofilament fishing line with stretch and breakage. However, if you used 50 lb fluorocarbon, I doubt you would have any problems. The knots would require a learning curve.

Why not use Fireline or braided fishing line. The stretch is minimal and it is tough as nails. If you can drive a huge treble hook into a muskie's mouth, I think you could hang a picture with it.
 

papagene

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I would suggest braided picture wire... stronger and much easier and quicker to work with. I have never trusted fishing line and have avoided it at all costs.

gene
 
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