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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 17 Feb 2010 (Wednesday) 21:34
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Help with wrinkles in Muslin Backdrop

 
alann
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Feb 17, 2010 21:34 |  #1

I just received 2 muslin backdrops (one white and one black). Wife tried to iron the, for lack of better word, "fold" creases out but did not work. Was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to get these things as wrinkle free as possible. Would running them through a dryer help or could it damage them?


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SilverHCIC
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Feb 17, 2010 21:43 |  #2
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I don't worry about wrinkles in muslin. In fact, I just crumple & shove mine into tight-fitting bags. After enough use, the wrinkles get so small that they don't really matter. Just make sure your BG separation distance is sufficient that the muslin isn't in focus.


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PacAce
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Feb 17, 2010 21:57 |  #3

Trying to get rid of the wrinkles from the muslin is an exercise in futility. So...

Just throw it into the washing machine and then the dryer to get rid of the folds. Then mash it up into as small a ball as possible and stuff it into the bag it came in (if it did, otherwise you can use a pillow case). Try to be as "random' as you can in stuffing the muslin in the bag so that the wrinkles produced are as random as possible. When you're ready to use it, hang it over the background stand a few days beforehand to give the wrinkles a chance to relax a little (but they won't go away).

If you really don't care for the wrinkles, you can try steaming the muslin while it's hanging on the background stand with one of those little hand steamers. I've never tried it myself although I've read of people having done it.


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gonzogolf
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Feb 17, 2010 21:59 |  #4

Like Leo said, hang it and use a steamer if you want the best results.




  
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Denios
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Feb 17, 2010 22:51 |  #5

put a duvet over the ironing board, the muslin over that and iron it like that. The duvet will absorb a lot of heat and push it back up from beneath the muslin, making ironing way more effective. If you still have problems that way put a moist towel over the muslin as well and iron over that to enhance steam output and enhance the effectiveness further.
Costs nothing to try, and I've never had anything I couldn't iron that way...




  
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Shadowblade
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Feb 21, 2010 10:01 |  #6

Get a portable steamer. Like the E-Steam here (external link).

Then you can crumple fabric backdrops as much as you like for easier transport, then give them a quick steam on location prior to shooting.




  
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kenwood33
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Feb 21, 2010 10:05 |  #7

try fabric softener and stretching


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unchman14
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Feb 21, 2010 10:22 |  #8

I had the same problem. Just iron it with steam to get most of the wrinkles out. If you are lighting it well enough, they won't show up anyways.


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lancemoreland
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Feb 21, 2010 11:02 |  #9

I use ball bungees and spring clamps like these to gently stretch the muslin.

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IMAGE: http://www.stanleytools.com/catalog_images/web_detail/83-086_web_detail.jpg


The ball bungees are wrapped around the end stands (uprights) and the spring clamp is clamped to the muslin to lightly pull the muslin tight. Three or four on each side work nicely. Ball Bungees are not very long and I usually use two per clamp. You can get the ball bungees on ebay and the spring clamps can be had by the bag at Walmart for about $8.00. Both items have many other photographic uses and come in handy for other tasks.

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bobbyz
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Feb 21, 2010 12:04 |  #10

gonzogolf wrote in post #9630873 (external link)
Like Leo said, hang it and use a steamer if you want the best results.

You can't wash better quality hand painted ones. One thing I have seen is that heavy duty hand painted ones have less of a wrinkle problem as the material is quite heavy and thick. It will be hard to bunch them into a bag an dthat will make lot more wrinkles. I roll them like carpet. I also saw on photovison DVD, Ed Pierce do that, where he rolls his muslins from David Meheauon a pvc pipe. Of courese it will take more space. In my case, I fold the roll in half. Once installed, you use A clamps to tighten them and then can use had steamer like already mentioned. Taking one crease out is much easier if they were rolled and folded.


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Player9
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Feb 21, 2010 17:01 |  #11

If you mash it up enough, it will have only wrinkles and not larger "folds." That helps, but the best thing is to (1) have it far back enough to be out of focus even when shooting at small apertures and (2) light it evenly. If the background is lit with a small light stand right behind the subject(s) and the fill light on the subject is on-axis type fill that spills evenly on the background, the wrinkles and folds will usually be fairly unnoticeable. When too much light is hitting the background from the side, the wrinkles will be more visible.


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Poco ­ Red
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Feb 21, 2010 19:26 as a reply to  @ Player9's post |  #12

Just pull accross with the c clamps and then take a bottle of water in a spray container and spray the muslin within minutes wrinkles are gone! At least it works for me!


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bobbyz
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Feb 21, 2010 20:05 |  #13

Poco Red wrote in post #9654348 (external link)
Just pull accross with the c clamps and then take a bottle of water in a spray container and spray the muslin within minutes wrinkles are gone! At least it works for me!

This is a good idea. I remember SilverLake photo recommended doing it.


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Eggwhite
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Mar 13, 2010 11:13 |  #14

Can you help me with Muslin Backdrops?

... I'm trying to setup my first home studio. I want to experiment with portraits and still life studio setting and controlled lighting.

I've purchased background stands and 3 muslins BLACK, WHITE, GREEN. These are 10x13 and wow these are bigger than I was expecting.

What is the correct way to hang these for portrait work? Should they have "bunched pleats" (like room dividers at conventions) or should they be drawn tight with slack collected at one end of the bar? Should the extra at the floor be pulled forward or tucked behind?

Is it really true that these should be balled up in a bag for storage?

I searched for help on this but couldn't find a thread that had the basics for using a muslin.

Much thanks to those who share their knowledge.

Ed


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lancemoreland
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Mar 13, 2010 11:23 |  #15

Eggwhite wrote in post #9788575 (external link)
... I'm trying to setup my first home studio. I want to experiment with portraits and still life studio setting and controlled lighting.

I've purchased background stands and 3 muslins BLACK, WHITE, GREEN. These are 10x13 and wow these are bigger than I was expecting.

What is the correct way to hang these for portrait work? Should they have "bunched pleats" (like room dividers at conventions) or should they be drawn tight with slack collected at one end of the bar? Should the extra at the floor be pulled forward or tucked behind?

Is it really true that these should be balled up in a bag for storage?

I searched for help on this but couldn't find a thread that had the basics for using a muslin.

Much thanks to those who share their knowledge.

Ed

Well, I don't think there is any one correct way. Some go with the wrinkles. Some go with draping the muslin. Some stretch it and try to get the wrinkles out. Some use a little of all the techniques depending on the look they are after and whether or not the backgound is in focus. Here is a shot of my setup with the black muslin up stretched and wrinkles out (well not completely out but out where I needed it for this shoot).

IMAGE: http://www.pbase.com/lancemoreland/image/122338461.jpg

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Help with wrinkles in Muslin Backdrop
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