Conservation framing is a specialized approach to picture framing that focuses on preserving and protecting artworks, photographs, and other valuable items. It involves using materials and techniques that minimize damage and deterioration over time, ensuring the longevity of the framed pieces. Conservation framing aims to protect against factors such as light damage, acid migration, physical damage, and environmental conditions.
Here are some key elements of conservation framing:
Acid-Free Materials: Conservation framers use acid-free or pH-neutral materials, including matboards, backing boards, tapes, and adhesives. Acidic materials can cause yellowing, discolouration, and deterioration of the artwork over time. Acid-free materials help prevent these issues.
UV Protection: Conservation framing includes the use of UV-filtering glazing materials, such as UV-blocking glass or acrylic. These glazing options reduce the harmful effects of ultraviolet light, which can cause fading, yellowing, and deterioration of artwork.
Mounting Techniques: Conservation framers employ reversible and non-damaging mounting techniques. They avoid the use of adhesive tapes directly on the artwork and instead use hinging methods that allow for the easy removal of the artwork in the future, if needed.
Spacer and Airflow: To prevent the artwork from coming into direct contact with the glazing material, conservation framers often use spacers or mat lifts. These create a small airspace between the artwork and the glazing, allowing for airflow and preventing damage like sticking or mold growth.
Frame Design and Assembly: Conservation framers consider the design and construction of the frame itself. They ensure that the frame provides proper support and protection for the artwork, avoiding any potential damage from warping, bending, or contact with harmful materials.
Environmental Considerations: Conservation framers take into account the environment where the framed artwork will be displayed or stored. They consider factors such as temperature, humidity, and exposure to light, and recommend suitable framing solutions to minimize potential damage.
Conservation framing is particularly important for preserving valuable or irreplaceable artworks, historical documents, and sentimental items. It helps to maintain the aesthetic appeal of the artwork while ensuring its long-term protection.
When seeking conservation framing services, it's advisable to work with professional framers who have expertise and knowledge in this specialized field. They can guide you on the appropriate framing choices and techniques to preserve your artwork effectively.