The "state of the art" in framing is much improved over that available even five or ten years ago. This is good news both for framers and for our clients, because it means that there is a wide variety of beautiful, high-quality materials available which allows art to be framed creatively, while preserving its condition and beauty for many years.

When framing fine art or other items of intrinsic or sentimental value, a number of factors should be considered:

Matting and mounting should be done using conservation-quality matboards. These may be made from cotton fiber (sometimes called "ragboard"), or from purified woodpulp or "alpha-cellulose". The latter has been treated to remove a substance called lignin which can decompose into acidic by-products which are harmful to artwork. (This is what causes old newspapers and paperback books to turn brown.) These high-quality boards are also treated with an alkaline "buffer" to assure their long-term stability. Furthermore, some Alpha boards incorporate a new technology which actively protects framed art by absorbing atmospheric pollution and off-gassing from certain art materials themselves. These matboards are available in many beautiful colors, textures, fabrics, and other surfaces for virtually limitless creative possibilities. Mounting techniques will vary according to the nature of the artwork, but should be done using acid-free materials. It should also be reversible without causing harm to the art.

This photo illustrates the damage caused by decomposing acidic mats.

Click HERE to view enlarged example.

Glazing should be used to protect paper-borne art from environmental exposure. It is important that the artwork not be framed directly in contact with the glass. Part of the function of matting is to provide the needed separation. If a piece is to be framed without matting, spacer strips can be installed under the lip of the frame, between the glass and the art.

Ultraviolet-filtering glass is available to help protect against fading of artwork. It is specially coated to block 97% of the most harmful part of the UV spectrum. This is akin to wearing sunblock when lying on the beach.

UV-filtering glass is especially recommended for watercolors, color photography, digital media such as inkjet prints, and children's art done with markers, construction paper or other inherently unstable materials. Anything hung in areas with a lot of natural light or fluorescent light will greatly benefit from this valuable protection.

Proper framing is a blend of art and science. Special techniques have been developed for handling the variety of items which may be framed. These may include hinge-mounts, corner-mounts, mylar encapsulation of fragile documents, stitch-mounting of fabrics, etc. When designing the frame package we will consider not only the aesthetics of the design, but also the proper techniques and materials for each individual piece. That is what makes professional custom framing your best choice for preserving and displaying your artwork and other personal treasures. We want you to enjoy them for many years to come.

FrameWorks - Cincinnati, OH - 513-791-1911 (Phone) - 513-791-1990 (FAX)