Saturday, November 18, 2017


"Residential Curve"  16" x 20" framed, Lori LaBerge  2017

Framing can make a difference in how art is perceived. Unlike paintings, which can be simply placed into a frame, framing textiles can be a bit more complex. I have been framing works open for a few years now and the tides have changed. More people are asking for work protected by glass or acrylic and over 90% of sales the past year have been pieces under acrylic .  

Some of my latest work will be placed in an office environment. Cleaning and wool dust can become an issue. Two hospitals decided against open work due to the dust and allergenic problems. Unfortunately, the work could not be reframed under acrylic in time for their scheduling. Results: lost sales and framing under acrylic for future sales.

There is the perception of textile art being difficult to care for. I have found this to be true depending on how the work is made. A mixed media work I purchased with quite a bit of bulk to it and nooks and crannies between tied rope does require a lot of upkeep as dust gets trapped. The rug hooked works I own require a lot less upkeep. I simply use a lint roller and it cleans them quite nicely. Glass or acrylic can eliminate the problem, though these works should still be removed from the frame and cleaned every 2-3 years.

"Skybridge"  16" x 20" framed,  Lori LaBerge  2017

The works shown here have been stitched to acid-free foam board before being placed in the frame. An acid-free mat board has been used and uv acrylic placed on top. The frames have a 1" rabbet (the depth of the back of frame where work sits) to allow for the depth of textile work and setting it back so as not to touch the acrylic.

When setting the work back from the acrylic, foam board was cut in the shape of the mat board, though narrower, and placed behind the mat board to create depth. 

Acrylic can be static which causes problems with wool. Remove any wool bits or dust from the work before framing (this is time consuming as it sometimes needs to be repeated during the framing process, don't skip this step as wool dust on a mat board looks unprofessional). There is acrylic cleaner that can be used to minimize static (I use Brillianize Plastic Cleaner). Use a microfiber cloth when applying cleaner or dusting the acrylic to prevent scratches.

Note: Always take photos before glass or acrylic is installed if possible. This prevents glare.

 "Downtown"  16" X 20" framed,  Lori LaBerge  2017

Whether one decides to leave a textile open or place under a protective cover is an individual decision. Present work to show it off at its best. If similar works (such as a series) will be exhibited together it is best to frame in a similar way for cohesiveness.

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