Paper and Textile Framing

Paper and Textile Framing

Conservation Mounting – An Introduction

Paper and textile framing requires a different approach that is more about protection and preservation rather than display. The process is called Conservation Mounting, and uses very specialised framing materials. The reason for this is that the paper or textile based artwork is more susceptible to deterioration, and being permanently damaged or destroyed by atmospheric conditions. Poor quality framing materials can also accelerate the deterioration process.

Firstly, the artwork must be mounted on a support. Secondly, conservation mounting processes should be carried out. Conservation mounting means that you should be able to remove your artwork from the frame without any damage. There should also be no sign whatever that the artwork had ever been framed. This means there should be no residue from mounting material such as sticky tape left on the artwork. Conservation mounting must be done for valuable artwork, or where the art is expected to increase in value.

Conservation Mounting Materials

We use adhesives and backings for framing that are be acid-free, and leave no residue when removed. Furthermore, we use archival foam board as a firm background for paper and textile, as it stops harmful pollutants from passing through the back of the finished framework. Our mount board is also acid-free.

Furthermore, works of paper and textile require mounting and framing under glass for protection (see Glass Options, below). Using mount board with a window cut out of it between the art and the glass, prevents the glass touching the surface of the artwork. You can also use edge spacers in place of the mount board. Another way of enhancing the presentation of the artwork is to use multiple mount boards in different colours.

Conservation standard materials for paper and textile framing must be 100% acid-free. Frequently, artwork that was framed many years ago, and the mounts, have been become discoloured. This discolouration and damage has occurred because the original mounting mount board, masking and tape were not acid free.


Glass protects the front of the artwork from dust, pollutants and ultraviolet light rays that can damage the artwork. There are many types of glass and these include regular glass, low reflection glass,, conservation glass and museum glass. You can also use Acrylic sheets.

Regular glass is the most common form of glass. It is easily breakable, but scratch resistant and only filters out about half of the UV rays.

Although a low reflection glass can be used in brightly lit areas, it softens the image. It can also gives the artwork a fuzzy appearance.

A conservation glass has a special coating applied to it that reduces UV radiation by 97 percent.

The museum glass gives the best form of conservation glazing. It is very clear and free of glare. It also provides the best protection against UV rays, but is extremely expensive.

You can also use acrylic sheets for glazing. Acrylic is available in regular and low reflection variants and filters out about 60% of UV rays. Acrylic is lighter than glass, is almost shatter proof and can be cut much easier than glass. It scratches easily though and glass cleaners might leave the surface a little opaque.

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