Making Memories Last: Archival Products Used in Custom Framing

Kathryn Gordon

Meaningful items like a delicate christening gown, a rare piece of art or a pair of tickets from a sporting event or Broadway show are all examples of items people like to preserve and display. It is not always possible to walk into a store and locate a frame that will adequately perform this task. This is when custom framing is needed, not just to make the items look their best, but to also guarantee they will be protected as time goes by. Here are a few ways that professional framing companies provide that protection.

Protecting against Acid

All of the materials, including the backing and any adhesive holding your keepsakes in place, must be acid free. If the item is very important, the framer may choose to use archival mounting tapes rather than acid-free glue. For instance, a pair of tickets may be applied to the backing with glue because their importance to future generations may be limited. An antique family portrait is more likely to maintain its value for decades so tape will likely be used instead.

Shielding UV Rays

Once the item is applied to an acid-free mat or foam board, then it is ready to be framed. For some items, traditional glass will be used, but for preservation purposes there are other options that will provide more protection. UV-shielding glass or acrylic is available that can protect your prized possessions from fading due to UV rays. This matters because just keeping items away from the sun is not always enough. Many forms of interior lighting emit these rays as well.

Spacing and Matting

Specialized spacers are added to provide distance between the glass and the framed item to prevent dimensional items from being flattened. Rag board, a 100 percent cotton paper, is used for mats that are placed directly over the edges of an artwork. If another colored mat is used, the rag board will often be placed between the mat and the artwork to prevent any chance of colors from the mat transferring to the art.

A custom framed project involves a lot of materials that are carefully chosen before the frame is added. It is not always necessary to be this cautious with every project. In some instances people are interested in the cheapest option possible, but when the item needing to be framed really matters, careful custom framing is a long-term solution that will ensure your treasures will be around for future generations to enjoy. For more options and details for your custom framing needs, consider speaking with a representative from Trapani Art & Frame.