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LEGO Canvas Repair

SpaceCakeSpaceCake Member Posts: 291
edited April 2012 in Collecting
Ok guys. I can't think of a more knowledgeable bunch to pitch this question to... So here goes!

I've been digging out some of my older sets over the last few months (coming out of a "dark age" as you folks would put it) and I've got a couple of real classics that I'd love to restore to their full glory. Primarily the Renegade Runner (6268) and the Imperial Flagship (6271) which are in damn near mint condition. The only issue is that the sails have been pretty heavily creased thanks to shifting around in storage. I've tried leaving them under really heavy books for a good 10 days or so and it seems to have had very little effect (my guess is that the canvas is too heavy to be flatted out that way). I've also got a few Star Wars capes that could do with sorting out, as there is no way I'm buying a new double sided cape for Lando at £10 a shot! Especially when the one I've got is mint, besides the fact that it's been folded in half (I know, Lego sacrilege, don't shoot me).

I was thinking of placing the canvas between sheets of baking paper and ironing it, although I'm terrified that I might utterly destroy it. Anybody tried this before? Could anyone suggest an safe and effective method?

Thanks!

:)

Comments

  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,837
    Hiya, welcome to the forum.

    I can't pretend to know for sure how to get the creases out since I've yet to face the problem first hand. My first thought would be the one that you have already investigated with the books.

    My second attempt would be to steam them. I wouldn't iron directly just yet, but rather just leave them hanging over a steaming iron or kettle for a few minutes. Obviously, the intensity of the steam/heat can be regulated by raising the canvas away and bringing it closer to the steam's source. Try further away first and then move in closer. I don't think the crease will ever drop all of the way out, but you should be able to shift most of it.

    It could be that there's a valid reason why my suggestion should not be attempted, but I can't think of one. :o)

    Good luck.
  • SpaceCakeSpaceCake Member Posts: 291
    Thanks for the suggestion, it sounds like a good bet! I'm going to go pop a pan of water on the hob and hang a cape over it right now.

    As a matter of curiousity, do we know what Lego canvas is actually made from? Synthetic or natural? It feels like a synthetic fabric in my opinion, which is why I was initially reluctant to apply any kind of heat. I know a lot of synthetics have a tendency to melt if they warm up too much!

    :D
  • Blue1dotBlue1dot Member Posts: 78
    I don't see why that wouldn't work. You are talking about parchment paper, right? Even white heavy typing paper might do, maybe sandwich the canvas between a couple of sheets. Just use a very low setting on the iron.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,272
    I've washed my sails by running them under the faucet, pressing them between two towels to mostly dry them, then ironing them directly on a lower heat setting and letting them air dry the rest of the way after ironing. Hasn't seemed to had any negative effects. I would just recommend ironing on the side that isnt printed or isnt the colored side in the case of the striped ones.
  • SpaceCakeSpaceCake Member Posts: 291
    edited April 2012
    I don't see why that wouldn't work. You are talking about parchment paper, right? Even white heavy typing paper might do, maybe sandwich the canvas between a couple of sheets. Just use a very low setting on the iron.
    Yup, that's the stuff. The future is starting to look bright!
    I've washed my sails by running them under the faucet, pressing them between two towels to mostly dry them, then ironing them directly on a lower heat setting and letting them air dry the rest of the way after ironing. Hasn't seemed to had any negative effects. I would just recommend ironing on the side that isnt printed or isnt the colored side in the case of the striped ones.
    This is great news. I'm guessing you didn't iron the canvas directly? Do you think parchment paper would suffice for protection?

    * Sorry, I should learn to read more carefully. Just noticed you said you did iron them directly! Think I'm going to give it a go. Now I just need to borrow an iron from somebody...
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,272
    ^ lol yeah. I had to dig mine out of a packed box that I never unpacked after moving. I'm not big on ironing. I just take shirts that need ironing to the dry cleaner =)
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,594
    ^ Lol, yeah lots of Lego and no iron. I've been there. I think my hoover packed in about six weeks ago too...somehow I bought Town Hall instead of replacing it!
    Also lol @flump6523 - I had no idea you were so domesticated! :P

    I'd maybe experiment both direct and indirect techniques on some inexpensive standard capes before trying it out on your preciouses...
  • 111ins111ins Member Posts: 265
    I have ironed several sails and capes before using a regular iron on medium heat. The sails were sandwiched between a damp tea towel and I just went over them for maybe 10 seconds, keeping the iron moving. Be sure that they are completely flat when you do this as you do not want to add any creases to the material. You can do it less time if you want, but keep checking on them to see how they are doing.
    I would not use parchment paper, or what I am thinking of as parchment paper, is it not similar to wax paper and you could get the wax getting onto the cloth?

    Good Luck, Brian
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,272
    ^ Pretty sure the kitchen style "wax paper" that is used for baking etc wont transfer off. As long as the metal of the iron is clean there really shouldnt be any downfall to ironing directly on the material.
  • 111ins111ins Member Posts: 265
    I would not try it out on sails from those sets though...
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,038
    Same here; I have ironed both sails and capes and it works just fine. Just use a low setting. I used a cloth hanky between the piece and the iron to make sure there is no possibility of damage. I also like the steming suggestion, I think it is agreat idea!
  • SpaceCakeSpaceCake Member Posts: 291
    A huge thanks to all of you! I'm going to be house-sitting in the middle of nowhere for the next week, as of tomorrow. I believe said house has an iron, so I'll be sure to let you all know how it turns out!

    Thanks again and happy Easter!

    :)
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