"Tis and Taint"
I've read and been told that old burlap patterns can be brittle. I've read and been told that we should never fold a pattern to be stored for long periods of time, rolling them up is a better idea. (Gene Shepherd recommends not to use old burlap patterns at all, except to display them unfinished. He says designs you like should be transferred to more durable linen.) Well, this pattern is old and had been folded. Before I started hooking, I thought I had carefully checked the strength of the fibers......pulling on the burlap around the design...... the burlap seemed strong enough to me.
As you can see in the photo, once I got over to the right side of the design, I found weak spots that needed some reinforcement. I attached linen patches on the top of my pattern (I didn't want them to show underneath) and hooked through the two layers of fabric. The horizontal threads were weak....from being old and folded.
If I was smart, I would probably abandon this project, but... guess I'm not smart. I'm not really hung up on it's "standing the test of time" or the "heirloom quality" of the project. This mat is not ideal, but at least I will have something, if treated gently, that will last for a time. It's imperfections will make it unique.
More of the fragile fold will need strengthening. I'm hoping that if the burlap is letting go in one place, it won't let go in others.