What is Conservation Framing?

The custom picture framer has two main responsibilities to their clients.

1) CONSERVATION: The primary responsibility is to insure that the works of art are not damaged in the framing process and the framing process is reversible.

2) PRESENTATION: The other important consideration is to present the artwork in a visually interesting and appropriate manner designed for the client’s tastes.

The picture framing industry has its own lingo like any other trade. You may hear some terms like conservation, archival, acid-free, hinging and mounting. I put together a few of these terms with short definitions to help you communicate with your picture framer next time you are in with your artwork or item to be framed.
Conservation: refers to the protection and preservation of the artwork with the use of acid-free and archival barriers.

Archival: means that the materials will not disintegrate under their own power or contaminate the object it is in contact with.

Acid-free: refers to the matting and backing material as acid-free or neutral ph. An acidic mat board or backing can cause mat burn.

Dry mounting: adhering the paper or artwork to a board (foam board, cardboard, etc.) using heat, pressure, and usually a tissue laminate.

Wet mounting: adhering the paper or artwork to a backing board using wet glue and pressure.

Spray mounting: adhering the paper or artwork to a backing board using a spray adhesive and pressure.

Hinging: adhering the artwork to the mat or backing board using an appropriate acid-free hinging tape. There are many different hinging materials and techniques to be used depending on the particular job.

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