An open position is necessary for fans that need to be immobilized or cannot be safely opened and closed without damage. They are often made of painted fabric or paper, feathers, fragile inlayed surfaces, or splitting silk or paper.

Mounts are usually constructed with a stiff board cut to shape and graduated polyester batting layers to support the curve and rise of each fan. It is then covered in cotton or silk knit, and in some cases, Reemay or paper interleaving is used to ward against the fan snagging on the knit surface. A foam block support is secured at the rivet end of the fan to keep the fan from sliding down and closing.

Folding fan, Probably Italian, early 20th century, Feathers, 18 cm (7 1/16 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.518.

A folding fan made of cellulose nitrate and feathers stored in an open position.

A design sketch for the fan pictured above.

Brisé fan, French, 1856, Silk moiré, lithographed and painted in opaque watercolor; marabou feathers and  mother-of-pearl sticks, 50 cm (19 11/16 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.258.

This Jenny Lind style folding fan is mounted in an open position because its paper leaves are painted and trimmed with feathers, making them too fragile for repeated opening, closing, and handling. The feathers along the edge of the fan are allowed to hang beyond the padding, but not beyond the covered board.

A design sketch for the fan pictured above.

Feather brisé fan, 1915–25, Dyed feathers with irregular markings; reformed protein blades, 56 cm (22 1/16 in.), Gift of Mrs. J. D. Cameron Bradley, 50.3166.

The mount for this feather fan is covered in cotton with a layer of rayon fabric added under the feathers to protect them from snagging.

Folding fan, European, late 19th century, Feathers, 28 cm (11 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.515.

Similarly, this fan is kept in an open position to prevent damaging the delicate feathers. The tassels are also loosely wrapped in Tyvek to hold them together.

A design sketch for the fan pictured above.

Fan, probably European, early 19th century, Silk, 18.7 cm (7 3/8 in.), Gift of Mrs. Charles C. Cabot in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Charles J. White, 65.501.

A special storage enclosure is used for this folding fan made of silk, gold foil, sequins, and glass stones due to its fragile condition. The 4-ply rag board box, with one side curved to save space in storage, has an insert tray covered in silk knit.

Fan, probably European, early 19th century, Silk, 18.7 cm (7 3/8 in.), Gift of Mrs. Charles C. Cabot in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Charles J. White, 65.501.

The loose fragment is pinned to the insert under cotton twill tape, and as with other fans stored open, a foam block support at the bottom guard prevents the fan from sliding down and closing.

A design sketch for the fan pictured above.