Archival Framing Techniques That Will Preserve Artwork and Photographs

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Archival Framing Techniques That Will Preserve Artwork and Photographs

12 May 2022
 Categories: Business, Blog

Investing in an exquisite piece of artwork may influence the type of framing techniques that you select for your purchase. Standard mats, foam cores, and frames may not block UV rays or moisture. Materials that are prone to damage can be maintained by choosing an archival framing process.

Acid Issues

The acid that is naturally found in some framing products may ultimately cause images to fade. Porous frames or inadequate seals around a glass cover and frame pieces may allow insects or dust to infiltrate a framed piece.

Standard materials may hold up for several years, which won't pose much of a threat to framed artwork or photographs that will be on display for a short duration. If a framed item is going to be permanently installed along a wall, however, an archival framing process may be the most suitable way to preserve a piece. 

Archival Framing Materials

Archival framing materials contain alkaline materials that block acid. Mats, frames, glass, and mounting materials are treated with an alkaline substance. Archival framing materials are also referred to as conservation framing materials. Glass covers that are used during a standard framing process are reflective. An archival cover, which is made up of glass or an acrylic material will be anti-reflective. As a result of the anti-reflective property, light beams that come into contact with a cover will bounce off the glass or acrylic surface.

Mats and foam core sheets that are used during a standard framing process will protect the front and back of a piece of artwork or a photograph. These materials may contain a high acid content, which can compromise the colors and texture of an item that is mounted.

A cotton rag or cellulose mat or foam product is pre-treated. This type of product will block acid. A mat that rests between a piece of artwork and the glazing materials will create an air chamber. This chamber will allow air to infiltrate, preventing moisture from accumulating on artwork or a photograph.

Standard framing techniques often rely upon the use of adhesives. The adhesives are used to mount a piece. Unfortunately, adhesives can ruin the corners of a framed item. A non-adhesive product is used during an archival framing process. This product will not damage the corners of a piece of artwork or a photograph. A paper dustcover is one additional material that is used during an archival framing process. The dustcover will form a barrier that will block insects and dust from settling on a framed product.