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Conservation Framing

We are trained and adhere to the highest professional standards in conservation framing techniques.

Conservation Framing - what is it and why should you care?

Everything deteriorates over time with exposure to the environment. Conservation framing with archival materials is designed to minimize deterioration and protect artwork.

If artwork is not properly framed with archival materials, it can become stained and damaged in just a few years. Look at some of the framed art you purchased a few years ago and see if the mat edges are turning light brown.

If they are, this is a sign that the materials used are not acid-free. After a while, the acid in the mats and in the backing cardboard will begin to cause yellowing at the edges of the art itself.

Archival, acid-free materials are now available at competitive prices and it makes good sense to protect your investment in art or in sentimental keepsakes by framing them with acid-free materials.

Conservation framing ensures that all the materials used in framing and matting will not harm the artwork, and will, as much as possible, protect the artwork from physical damage.

Because conservation framing materials are made to be as permanent as possible, they feature colors that will not fade and mat cores that are pure and clean attributes that will maintain the aesthetics of your framed pieces for years to come.

Artwork should be spaced far enough from the glazing materials to provide an air space to prevent the condensation of moisture onto the paper . Spacing is achieved by the use of a mat or spacer between the glazing and the artwork.

For pastels, additional spacing must be provided so that chalk dust does not fall on the cut edges of the mats as time passes.

When your artwork is worth preserving, you should definitely consider conservation framing. This can include original artwork, limited editions, photographs, keepsakes, and your child’s first drawings.

That concert poster you purchased for a few dollars can be a treasured memento if it is properly framed. Memorabilia of all kinds can be framed to preserve it for posterity.

Conservation framing is a reasonable investment to preserve your treasures and keepsakes.

Conservation framing is framing using the highest quality material designed to protect paper art.

Special techniques and procedures are used to protect the work, and no process that is not reversible is used to leave the artwork in its original state. General components of conservation framing consist of the frame, the glazing, the mat (if used) or spacer, the backing and the hinging. Mats, backing, hinging and glazing must consist of 100% acid free material of conservation quality approved by the Library of Congress. Hinging should be of acid free materials with a water based activated adhesive. Pressure sensitive adhesives should never be used on paper as these change character over time and may migrate into the paper. To retain the original state of the artwork, it should not be cut, folded or mounted or glued to backing boards.

Conservation framing is generally used for paper artwork and documents, but it should be used anytime a high degree of protection and preservation is desired for a framed piece, such as family photos, historic documents or photographs and important mementos.

Everything deteriorates over time and exposure to the environment. Conservation framing is designed to minimize deterioration and avoid contributory deterioration by the materials that surround the artwork.

Here are some of the problems facing framers:

High temperature and humidity levels
These will accelerate growth of mold inside frames. Mold is often seen as a ghostly image on the glazing material. But note that mold formation cannot be totally eliminated. The frame should be disassembled every 3-5 years to remove mold that has formed.

Artwork should be spaced from the glazing materials to provide an air space to prevent the condensation of moisture onto the paper and allow a small air space for the inside frame atmosphere to adjust for increased levels of moisture in the air. Spacing is achieved by the use of a mat or spacer between the glazing and the artwork. Sudden changes of temperature and humidity should be avoided as heavy condensation may wet and damage the artwork.

Dirt and Dust
Problems can also come from atmospheric pollution or dirt or dust. These can combine with moisture in the air to form harmful acids that will attack the paper. Normal dust and dirt may also be absorbed by the paper over time.

UV rays damage artwork in two ways. Color may be faded by strong florescent lighting or direct sunlight. Paper also tends to absorb high energy photons which causes a chemical reaction in the paper, breaking it down and causing it to turn brittle. The effects of light on materials can be reduced by the use of glazing that filters out harmful ultraviolet rays.

Tru Vue® Conservation and Museum Glass

Tru Vue supplies a complete range of high quality picture framing glass products to the industry. Tru Vue's Premium ClearTM glass was the first nationally distributed glazing product to be washed, polished and paper-packed, setting a standard of "ready-to-frame" glazing materials. In 1989, Tru Vue introduced Conservation Series® glass at a time when the industry was beginning to recognize the need for protecting and preserving the items which were being framed. This high-grade float glass is manufactured using a patented coating process which applies a UV blocking agent to the glass. This resilient coating effectively blocks 98% of the most damaging ultraviolet rays, those in the 300-380 nanometer range. When not blocked, these rays can fade and deteriorate all types of works of art on paper from priceless originals to limited edition prints to photographs. Tru Vue also offers a line of anti-reflective glass: AR® Reflection-Free and Museum Glass® which also has the Conservation Series UV-blocking coating. These optically coated glass products are the state-of-the-art in picture framing technology.

Today, Tru Vue is the leading manufacturer of quality picture framing glazing products. As a strong advocate of conservation and professionalism within the picture framing industry, Tru Vue holds membership in several organizations which strive to promote these goals including the PPFA, the AAM (American Association of Museums), the AFC (Art & Framing Council), the AIC (American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works) and FACTS (The Guild for Fine Art Care and Treatment Standards).

Tru Vue has worked with these associations to improve product features and preserve standards which in turn forward the industry as a whole. Tru Vue also provides seminars and materials which help to educate framers and their customers on the benefits of conservation framing.

At Tru Vue, innovation has been one of the cornerstones of the company's success. This, in conjunction with exceptional customer service, is what made the company an industry leader. Tru Vue will continue to work with framers and designers to develop new ideas, creative options and quality products for the industry it helped to define.

Click here to view Tru Vue's product line. Click here to learn more about Tru Vue's museum glass.