What you Should Know About Framing Your Artwork

What is Conservation Framing?

Conservation (sometimes referred to as Preservation) framing is the process of framing artwork, pictures, needlework, collages or any other medium that an individual would like to properly preserve for whatever reason. It could be a valuable Picasso, or a sentimental family photograph with value only to the individual in whose possession the photograph resides.

Within the framing industry, it is considered conservation framing only when a healthy environment is created for the object, and that all crucial aspects of the object are taken into consideration during the framing process. Also an important factor is that at some future point in time the object can be completely removed in the original condition it was in at the time of framing. More simply put, the framing goal is to maintain the integrity of the art or object by not changing or altering it in any way.

Mounting boards and matboards specially manufactured for conversation framing are products that meet certain chemical criteria and manufacturing standards. Museum or Conservation Glass is used in conservation framing and is specially manufactured to protect the object by preventing 99% of the ultraviolet light,(which causes damage quickly), from passing through the glass to the piece of art housed inside.

Framing methods used are related directly to the object that is being framed. How and what the piece is mounted on or in is crucial in and of itself. Glues, most all tapes and other materials that potentially cause harm or alter the object are not acceptable in conservation framing and do not meet the standards of the Professional Picture Framers Association. Don't believe everything you see on TV! You can permanently damage your momento or photo's by using methods displayed on television by the so called design experts.

When selecting a frame shop with the intention of preserving your artwork or mementos ask specific questions to be assured that the frame shop you are considering will meet your intentions and requirements. A few things to consider asking are; if they are certified framers, “What Professional Association has certified them?”. Some framers are actually certified by the company they work for and not the PPFA. If you are considering a large chain store you might ask “who will be handling your precious objects that have been handed down from generation to generation”. These issues are crucial to the preservation of your artwork. If you have reservation with whom you are speaking, you may also ask, “how will you mount my one and only great, great grandmothers photograph”? You are probably in the wrong place if the answer includes the words "wet" or "dry" mounting. Not all framers are or need to be certified but conscientious framers who survive by their reputation use only the highest practices whether framing a poster or an original Van Gogh.

Who Should Use Conservation?

Anyone who has invested in Original or Limited Edition Artwork should be interested in Conservation Framing. Someone who has in their possession family artifacts, photos, vintage jewelry, maps, out of print items, old or new sports memorabilia, precious memento's of a child or those passed down from one generation to another. Any collector who is investing in items of days or industries gone by, paintings or textiles that were made by a loved one, baby's bonnets or christening gowns, quilts or quilt pieces, old doll clothes and postcards, any type of needlework, military memorabilia just to give you some ideas. We have framed many other items that are not included in this list.