Framers and retailers can buy our framing products through distribution partners all over Europe. Please don't hesitate to contact us to request a current list for your nearest Crescent Europe distributor(s).
The Fine Art Trade Guild is the internationally recognised standards body for the art and framing industry and is based in London, UK.
The FATG first introduced five standards of framing to provide a consistent benchmark for the industry and a point of comparison for customers choosing the best framing solutions for their pictures across the industry.
Working in close consultation with the FATG, all three Crescent Europe levels comply with the Guild's standards. Crescent's products are grouped into one of three easily identifiable groups to offer GOOD (Standard), BETTER (Conservation) and BEST (Museum) levels of framing.
Acid-free does not translate into non-ageing. It's a bit like saying a 'fat free' biscuit is slimming, even though it is packed with sugar to improve the taste! In the same way, framers should always look at what the board is actually made from, as well as the acid-free label, because the material alone can determine how long a framing job lasts. Crescent knows that the only option at the BEST Museum levels of framing is cotton.
The reason cotton matboard is so special is because it doesn't come from trees! Most matboard is manufactured from wood pulp, which is naturally occurring acids and lignin and over time can damage artwork. Our BEST range of Museum matbaord is manufactured from 100 per cent cotton fibre and is effortlessly and naturally lignin-free. Meanwhile, the naturally occurring long fibres in cotton ensure cotton matboards have a much longer shelf-life and decompose more slowly than boards made from wood pulp.
Zeolites, in simple terms, act like 'sponges' within the matboard, to absorb and trap harmful substances that are naturally occurring in wood pulp based board. But once 'the sponges' or Zeolites are full, the evidence of their effectiveness still remains inconclusive. So Crescent Europe, prefers to follow FATG guidelines, and recommend cotton based matboards when only the BEST will do. Added on this, all the boards in the GOOD and BETTER categories are pH neutral.
Just as a house requires good foundations, the backing board is the unseen 'building block' of a framing job. It is the only product to have 100 per cent direct contact with your customer's artwork and so a quality choice will avoid the signs of ageing and acid spotting caused by cheaper and acidic backing boards, grey boards and MDF. A high quality backing board will also avoid the headache of creating a 'dust cloud' in your workshop when you cut it.
Non-glare/ reflo picture framing glass is etched to diffuse reflected light. The etching also gives the glass surface a matte finish.
The coatings on Tru Vue anti-reflective glass disrupt the energy contained in light waves causing them to flow out of the sync. This disrupted wave pattern virtually eliminates all reflection from the glass surface - giving your customer a clear view of their artwork.
Unlike UV blocking glass, which is all about protecting the art, the light transmission and Light Reflection of glass enhances the aesthetics of the art. Glass with a high light transmission value helps the 'good light' reach the artwork, so your customer can see their art more clearly. Glass with a low Light Reflection helps ensure that your customer sees the art rather than their own reflection in the glass!
Over time UV light contributes to severe colour loss and deterioration of your customer's artwork. These effects are both cumulative and irreversible, which is bad news for a sentimentally precious or valuable piece of artwork.
The materials that make up the artwork - the paper or fabric, may become brittle, whilst photos may appear yellow or stained - with ghostly silver deposits rising to the surface. And the really depressing fact is, once damage from light has occurred, it can never be reversed. So that's why it is important to understand what you can do to minimise this type of damage in the first place, by using and recommending a glass with UV coating.
Just as people need to wear sunscreen to protect their skin from harmufl UV rays, enlighted framers know that the best way to prvent your customer's artwork from becoming brittle, discoloured and fading is to use a special glass that has a high UV-blocking value. Crescent Tru Vue glass (in the BETTER and BEST categories) filters out 99 per cent of the harmful UV light rays. We call it sunscreen for your artwork!
UV filtering glass should be used on most custom framing jobs, since damage from UV light rays come from both indoor and outdoor light sources. Conservation framing materials and techniques should always be used on sentimental, valuable, limited edition and original artwork. Perhaps more surprisingly, you should also use Use UV filtering glass in decorative artwork presentations of posters and open edition prints. These items are candidates for UV filtering glass because the inks, papers and other materials used to create them are more likely to deteriorate than those used in higher end reproductions.
A proprietary development in glass technology by Tru Vue has resulted in a product called TruGuard UV Protection, which effectively blocks out 99% of all harmful UV light rays.
Each company manufactures UV filtering glass differently, but Crescent likes to think Tru Vue has come up with the best manufacturing solution. Tru Vue applies a silica-based UV inhibiting coating called TruGuard® UV Protection, to an ExraClear™ substrate glass surface, which can then be cut and handled just like regular glass. Tru Vue's UV coating is 'baked' into the glass, producing a permanently bonded coating.
If your customers want to protect their artwork from the damaging effects of UV light rays - hanging the picture in a dark corner or in a house with UV blocking glass windows is not a solution. Sadly the sun is not the only source of harmful UV light rays. All light sources, whether natural or artificial, have an element of ultraviolet content. So if protection is important, recommend UV coated glass.
The UV coating is always found on the side with the inkjet print. But if you're still not sure you can do the 'beading' or 'scratch test'.
As the UV coating is easy to scratch, the UV coated side of the glass should always face the artwork. This side can be identified by the inkjet printing, which appears along the edge of the lite, but the UV blocking capabilities won't be diminished by the placement of the lite.
Any glass cutter that is used for cutting regular glass may be used on conservation glass. Many experienced Master Framers say that an oil filled glass cutter of German or Japanese manufacture, with a brass body and a wide head, will give the best cut. Always cut conservation glass on the uncoated side.
In keeping with conservation framing techniques, an ammonia-free cleaner should always be used. Spray the cleaner onto a clean wipe or lint-free cloth and then polish both sides of the glass. Don't spray the cleaner directly onto the glass.
Powder-packed glass has a fine powder interleaving material (chips and an acidic crystal) that must be removed prior to use. Cleaning powder-packed glass can be very labour intensive, impacting a framer's productivity. Paper-packed glass is cleaned and packaged with buffered paper interleaving material so that it arrives ready to use. Tru Vue uses paper-packed glass.
Professional picture framers use either 2.0 mm or 2.5 mm glass. The 2.5 mm thickness is the preferred choice as it is more resilient, which reduces chipping and makes it easier to handle. It also will not bow on oversized pieces.
Even posters and open edition prints are candidates for UV filtering glass because the inks, papers and other materials used to create them are more likely to deteriorate than those used in higher end reproductions.
The single most important step you can take to protect your framed artwork from harmful UV light rays is to use conservation glass featuring TruGuard® UV Protection. Also illuminate your art at the lowest light level possible for enjoyment.
Fluorescent light can have a high concentration of UV rays and should not be used to light your work. Instead use incandescent bulbs, which have only 4% of their rays in the damaging UV range.
There has been a lot of debate about tapes in recent years, but using poor quality tapes and adhesives can leave much more than a sticky mess. To ensure a longer lasting framing solution for your customers you need to choose tapes and adhesives that are pH neutral and acid-free, just like all the products in the new Crescent Tapes & Adhesives range.
Water reversible tapes (gummed tapes) should be your first choice for Conservation and Museum level framing and artwork that falls into Crescent's BETTER & BEST categories. That's because they can be easily removed with water. Pressure applied tapes (self-stick tapes) are ideal when you are working with non-valuable artwork or art that is sensitive to water-based adhesives, as they are simply removed using mineral spirits.