Here you will find lots of useful information to help you understand
more broadly about what goes into framing you picture.
The frame is the structure that houses all the individual
component that make up the completed framing job. Frames can be made from
materials such as timber, aluminium, and plastic. Typically quality frames are
made from timber in a vast array of profiles and finished, using compo to
impress decorative designs, and further finished by gilding or painting. The
hanging system is attached to the frame. For more information go to
Strainer or Stretch Frame:
auxiliary support of a canvas painting is usually a wooden frame
onto which the canvas is stretched. This holds the canvas under
tension, thus reducing movement of the fabric and allowing the
artist to paint on a flat support.
There are two common types of
auxiliary support. Strainers are rigid frames with
fixed corners. Stretchers are frames that have
expandable corners, allowing adjustment of tension. Usually keys
(small wooden triangles) are present in slots in the corner joins.
In order to expand the stretcher, these are gently hammered further
into the join, thus pushing the stretcher members further apart and
expanding the dimensions of the auxiliary support. This keying out
places the canvas support under greater tension.
The glazing is designed to protect the framed item from
environmental pollutants. Glass or acrylic sheet can be used and the choice of
either depends on your specific requirements. Acrylic is used where there is a
concern about glass breakage and the possibility of damage to the framed piece
as a consequence. It is marginally lighter than glass however standard acrylic
can be easily scratched. Acrylics have been made that are resistant to
scratching. There are several types of coating or finishes that can be applied
to the glass or acrylic. These include ultra violet (UV) filtering, non glare,
and anti reflection. UV glass is recommended for conservation framing as it
blocks most of the harmful radiation that is responsible for fading of pigments
and the creation of harmful acids in some mat boards. For more information go to
Mat board: The mat
board serves as a design element and a spacer between the glazing and artwork.
Generally it is positioned over the artwork with the window edges just covering
the art. They are made from wood pulp based product (cardboard) or cotton.
Because these products can come into contact with the art the latter is seen as
the better choice for conservation framing. Cotton mat boards do not degrade and
leach harmful by products onto the art. Some mat board manufacturers are
producing wood pulp based mat boards that offer a similar level of protection as
cotton mat boards. See also
space has the function of separating the glazing from the item being framed.
This function is vital because any moisture condensation that develops on the
inside of the glass can be transferred to the piece if they are not separated,
resulting in water damage, mold or mildew. It is important that photographs be
separated from the glass because the photographic surface is particularly
fragile and any moisture can cause the photo to stick to the glass. Art made
using pastel or chalk should also be separated because of these mediums can
easily smudge and transfer to the glass.
Mounting hinges are used to attach art on paper or similar material to either
the backing board or under mount and allow the art to expand or contract
dependant on environmental conditions such as temperature and moisture. Hinging
materials are usually quality pressure sensitive tapes (specifically designed
for the purpose) or archival papers with water-based adhesive gum.
This is typically a thick cardboard or foam board used behind the mounted artwork
to give it a 'back', add rigidity to the structure and provide a base onto which
the artwork can be hinged or mounted. See also
This item is placed between the back of the art and the backing board. It is
generally used in conservation framing and made from conservation grade mat
Dust Cover and Seals:
Dust cover are generally used to close in the back of stretched canvas art. This
prevents environmental pollutants and insects to settle in the space between the
canvas and stretch frame. These pollutants can have a damaging effect on the
artwork if left for long period of time. Generally it is made from foam core
board and has an additional feature of protecting the back of the canvas from
physical damage. Framed items with glazing often are sealed at the back to
prevent the ingress of insects and pollutants.
Hanging System: This refers to a
stapled nylon cord or a wire and two Dee rings
screwed to the back of the frame. It is used as
a mechanism to hang the framed piece on a wall.
'Bump-ons': These are
two or more, small felt or rubber pads
attached to the bottom corners of the back of
the frame. These prevent the frame
from touching the wall and allow air circulation at the back of the