What is Conservation Framing?
Conservation framing is the process of framing artwork, pictures, needlework, collages or any other medium that an individual has reason to save for the future. It could be a valuable Picasso, or a sentimental family photograph.
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. It is important that the object is never altered, as example, glued cut. Putting is simply, it must be in the original condition it was in when taken apart in the future. And, it should never be shipped by common carrier off the premises of the shop.
All materials used during the framing process should meet the standards set forth by the Professional Picture Framers Association.
Museum or Conservation Glass should always be used as it is specially manufactured to protect the object it is covering.
The framing method used is directly related to the object being framed. How the piece is mounted and on what material is crucial in and of itself. Glues and most tapes are not an acceptable means of mounting artwork unless specifically designed for that purpose. Don't believe everything you see on TV! You can permanently damage your memento or photo's by using methods recommended on television by the so called design experts. They may know about design, but most have no knowledge about preservation.
Yes, you can do your own project, but do your homework first.
When selecting a frame shop with the intention of preserving your textiles, artwork or mementos, ask specific questions to be assured that the shop meets the PPFA standards. A few things to consider asking are; if they are certified framers, and if so, by whom?“ Some framers are actually certified by the company they work for and not the framing industry. 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” and where will the work be completed? These issues are crucial. If you have hesitation with the person you are speaking with, 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 (some types). Not all framers are or need to be certified, but conscientious framers who survive by their reputation use only the highest standards whether framing a poster or an original Van Gogh.