Knowing the Basics Parts of a Picture Frame

Photograph displays are made easier and better with picture frames. And we at The Victorian Frame Company make things even easier since we give you a wide range of choices in terms of design (modern, simpler or antique picture frames), finish, shape and size.

If you are planning on ordering frames from us, it can be helpful to understand the basic parts of the picture frame. You have a better insight of what you need to protect a treasured photograph and also how to choose the right picture frame for your needs.

Let’s examine the anatomy of a picture frame, shall we?

Frame. This is the main structure of the picture frame, the one that provides support for the overall package. The frame should be wide and strong enough to be able to provide structural support, otherwise, the frame may buckle at the entire weight of the package. The frame is also the most “visible,” providing the decorative border. You can choose the design of the border to complement the colors and mood of the photo being framed. For instance, you can have a silver picture frame to fit a photo of the city lights at night. The frame also has a lip at the inside edge of the frame, which works to hold the rest of the frame elements so that they do not fall off.

Glazing. The glazing is the primary protective layer that keeps the moisture, dirt and grime out of the photo. The clear glazing is usually made of glass or acrylic. These can be treated so that they have UV-screening or anti-glare properties. The Victorian Frame Company also offers convex glass, which was popular in the early 1970’s, for those who want to achieve the complete antique portrait look with their picture frames.

Matting or Spacer. Matting boards are actually optional but not only enhance the overall appearance of the frame but also provide a wide-enough space between the glazing and the photo. These layers of cardboard form a frame within a frame, with its open window allowing a view of the photo beneath. The matting prevents the photo from having any direct contact with the glazing. When the frame is exposed to extreme temperatures, condensation may form on the inside of the glazing. The space created by the matting allows the condensation to dry out without causing any damage to the photo. You can actually have more than one layer of matting, but this will also affect the resulting size of your frame. The matting board should be made of acid-free paper, as it has direct contact with the photo. Now, if you want to display only the photo, you can use a spacer in place of the matting. The spacers are made of clear plastic and are placed underneath the glazing, close to the inner edge of the frame.

Mounting board. The mounting board is where the photo is attached so that it remains upright. Otherwise, there is a tendency for the photo to move around the frame or it could crease or buckle over. Like the matting board, this should also be made of high-quality acid-free material. There are a number of methods of mounting a photo that ensures that you can still easily remove the photo without causing any damage to it. Also, when you mount a photo to the mounting board, allow for the contraction and expansion of the paper due to the level of moisture or humidity in the environment.

Backing paper. This seals the back of the frame and prevents the entry of dust, grime and insects. Some backing boards also hold a stand so that the frame can stand upright when placed on a shelf or tabletop.

17th Dec 2016 Eric Morgan

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