Have you ever noticed how old photographs start to fade and bubble with age?
Before we knew the importance of UV protective glazing framers would use regular old glass to enclose the framing package. Now we understand the importance of UV protective glass and how it helps to save photographs for the years to come.
Photo prints, slides, and negatives used to be made using chemicals/chemical dyes. These dyes are sensitive to the environment like UV light, moisture, and temperature changes. As time moves on these chemicals also degrade and the image fades away, often also forming cracks from dust, oil, dirt and gases which ultimately lead to photo deterioration.
The bubbling on the photograph is often the result of the glass being placed directly on the image itself. A mat border to give the image some breathing room and help keep the image away from the glass. However, sometimes an image is powerful enough on its on that it does not need an extra border. This is were spacers come in.
Spacers, like the name suggests, provide space in the framing package. Even when the materials are acid-free, there is still off gassing that occurs as the package ages. When the art is directly against the glass this does not allow for the gas from the package to settle anywhere. If the image is pressed against the glass this will cause a slight ghosting to appear on the glass. Moisture is also an issue when artwork or photographs are placed directly against the glass. As humidity levels change in the atmosphere, they also do so in the framing package. Over time increased and decreased humidity changes cause the image to adhere to the glass itself making.
Fading and bubbling on your old art and photographs may seem daunting; however, thanks to modern technology we are often able to digitally retouch and reprint those old photographs that we would not be able to replicate in the past. With the use of the new innovations in the framing industry, it would be unlikely to have a newer framed piece without spacers or UV glass and your newly retouched and reprinted photos should be able to last a whole lot longer!
If this happens to your photos do not despair. We even do restoration work on photos in the shop!
Next time your photos start to fade bring them to us or email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org