Hanging a tapestry/quilt in an exceptionally sturdy manner
February 3, 2021 12:14 AM   Subscribe

Short version: ugh, cats messing with my interior decoration ideas. Literal cardboard wall, tapestry to hang on it, and the silly felines won't stop pulling it down. Longer version inside.

I have a pretty jacquard tablecloth that I want to hang on an interior wall which is cardboard honeycomb structure - think the interior of an Ikea Lack shelf, covered in sheetrock, so even less sturdy than typical American drywall-and-studs. I'm not sure if the installation will be permanent, so I'd like not to damage the wall too much. The tablecloth is 220x140 cm (so that's 86x55 in imperial money), heavy but not stiff at all.

My first attempt was with Tesa interior mounting tape. It needed quite a bit of it to adhere to a wall without folding, but it held up nicely, and I was able to move bits of tape without leaving a mark on the wall paint.

Enter the vermin: two currently nine-month-old, 5kg+ felines whose favourite game is to pull down textiles. It took them a concerted effort and a week or so, but the end result was pulling everything down - the tape's left, but it doesn't have enough glueing power to reattach the tablecloth. I'm afraid it might take years to teach the boys not to jump on textiles, and they're still growing rapidly, so I wouldn't be surprised if they top out at 8+kg each.

I can google various ways to hang fabric, but tutorials on how to hang fabric and 10-15 kg of cat are suspiciously missing. Any ideas, hive mind?
posted by I claim sanctuary to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Also cat tax
posted by I claim sanctuary at 12:22 AM on February 3, 2021

There are plenty of fixings made for sheetrock/drywall. What's underneath isn't so important. Fischer Duopower and Rawlplug Uno are two that I've had success with. There are also metal toggle fixings that work with sheetrock/drywall. Provided you follow the instructions carefully (especially around making the right size hole) they ought to work in your situation.

Removing the fixings later isn't a major issue. You just fill the hole with a little blob of filler, sand it flush, and patch up the paint.

For a non-damaging fixing, I'd suggest one of the 3M Command Strips products. They're the gold standard for that sort of thing.

Of course, if you manage to attach the tablecloth to the wall in a way the cats can't pull down, they will probably rip it to pieces anyway...
posted by pipeski at 3:49 AM on February 3, 2021

I warn of the dangers of finding a way it will not fall down as we had a curtian that was shredded by a kitten with to much energy and alone time if you value the cloth at all.
posted by AlexiaSky at 4:43 AM on February 3, 2021 [7 favorites]

I agree, if they cannot detach it from the wall they will rip it to shreds. That is what my cats did to curtains they were unable to pull down. The tomcat actually used to climb up and sit on top of the curtain rod.
posted by 15L06 at 7:18 AM on February 3, 2021

Response by poster: Not to threadsit, but thus far as long as something won't budge (like tablecloths on actual tables, once I weighed them down with books) the cats leave it alone. I also live in hope of actual brains materialising in those little heads...

And maybe it's the cat-chasing tiredness, but could you specify how to use command hooks or drywall anchors to hold up 3sqm of heavy cloth in a way that doesn't result in said cloth draping along them? I've held it up in two places with my fingers and it sags in the middle, plus the bottom edge ends up folding into the middle as well.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 7:59 AM on February 3, 2021

Best answer: Would you be open to attaching a hanging sleeve to the back of the tablecloth? Basically you would sew or pin another piece of fabric to the back of the tablecloth. Then you can stick a dowel or curtain rod or whatever through the sleeve and hang that from hooks or command strips.

A quilt hanging frame would also work, although at the size you're talking about I think it would probably make more sense to diy one with a couple of pieces of 1x2 lumber (or your local equivalent) and some screws or binder clips.

The sleeve is mostly invisible but requires fabric/sewing; the frame is more visible and requires more wood.
posted by mskyle at 8:19 AM on February 3, 2021

Attach the fabric to a rod of some kind - even just a thick wooden dowel - that will fit into the hooks. A sleeve like mskyle suggests would be best but you might get away with just pinning or sewing the fabric in a loop around the rod.
posted by soelo at 8:54 AM on February 3, 2021

Best answer: If the bottom is a issue, another sleeve and rod can help, and the weight might be enough to keep it in place without anchoring it to the wall.
posted by soelo at 8:55 AM on February 3, 2021

Can you hang it from the ceiling instead? I would consider looping the top over a dowel or light curtain rod, stitching the dowel in place, screwing hooks into the ceiling as close to the wall as you can, and then either putting the dowel through the hooks or using a loop of yarn or sturdy string to hang the down from the hooks if you need it lower.
posted by EmilyFlew at 8:56 AM on February 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Does the textile have a fringe? Am guessing that if you can hide the fringe by taping it up behind or better sewing it to a bottom rod so it's a more solid seeming bottom it might be less tempting and triggering to your adorable vermin.
posted by leslies at 10:22 AM on February 3, 2021

You can buy devices called tapestry hangers that are pieces of wood that clamp (or magnet) to the top and bottom. They have customizable sized ones on Etsy. Then you could hand it off of command hooks without sagging. It might not solve the cat problem but it would look nice and probably make hanging either.

Your cats are adorable!
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 10:54 AM on February 3, 2021

There are Command strips as well as hooks. These are kind of like strips of Velcro and have different weight ratings; the large ones are rated up to 7.2kg.
posted by Athanassiel at 10:52 AM on February 4, 2021

Response by poster: Final solution: I got two gardening rods of the metal pipe-covered-in-plastic kind. I opted for little loops of scrap fabric rather than a full sleeve, initially because it was easier to whipstitch them to the tapestry by hand in an invisible way. This turned out to be a very good solution because I was able to slip the upper rod, between the loops, into the hooks themselves - the whole setup is completely invisible.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 10:35 AM on March 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

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