Selecting the proper materials when framing something important is, well... Important. But it's easier than you might imagine. Check out our quick tips to free your mind a bit!
- Mouldings. The first thought and priciest component in most custom frame jobs is usually the frame moulding, so be sure the money you spend is going towards high quality hardwood moulding. It is also the most visible aspect, so watch out for frames made of compressed foam or cheap particle wood and covered with a vinyl surface. Though they are an inexpensive choice, they simply won't last over time. Also, choose a frame moulding that flatters, but doesn’t overwhelm what you are framing. For help doing this, choose a company that has specifically selected its mouldings to work perfectly with specific substrates and subject matter. For example, Professional Framing Company uses a line that is perfectly suited for custom diploma, certificate and document frames.
- All mat board is NOT created equal. Mat board is available in many colors, textures, and materials. They also differ vastly in quality and price. Mats are an important design element in custom framing, but their most important purpose is keeping the glass from touching documents, artwork and keepsakes, which is critical to preservation. Because the mat does touch the contents of your frame, it's essential that paper and wood pulp mats not be used. They contain acid, which can discolor, as well as make the elements within brittle, leading to serious damage. Mat boards covered with fabric should not be used either as they could contain dyes, chemicals, or adhesives that are very unsuitable for direct contact. Insist on 100% cotton rag matting, as it is preservation-grade and will stand the test of time.
- Fillets. A great way to enhance your subject matter is to add a fillet. Fillets are a thin wood frame that line the inside of your mat, creating an outline, as well as depth and dimension to any piece.
- Craftsmanship. One of the most ignored aspects to custom framing is the quality and workmanship. Many craftsmen in this field spend decades perfecting the craft. Mike Dobson of Kennesaw, Georgia has been crafting frames for over 20 years. He has turned the cutting and joining of hardwood moulding into an absolute art form and his work is legendary. Be sure that the framer you choose shares a similar passion... and that they are well versed in the few key points mentioned here, and you will have given your piece the love and respect it deserves.
Read more about the importance of archival framing...
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