Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by GreyDrakkon, May 22, 2015.
I do the same, but mainly so I don't confuse myself.
That is a huge factor in the knowing something with a white core is conservation in my operation. I occasionally order the white core for specific artists who really want to use it but some represent it as conservation since it is "Acid Free". Those are the same ones who attach artwork using the "Acid Free" ATG.
If I ever frame an item using the white core product by special request rather than conservation matting I do not put my label on it. I rarely do the full frame job when the decorative white core mat is used and explain my label is my warranty so no label on non-conservation white core matting. Local artists are the only people who try to save the couple dollars of difference since I package price custom framing and have no package that includes decorative white core matting There is a small difference in pricing from decorative to conservation framing so I'm not going to get into shaving less than $10 to do partial conservation or add $10 to make it appear as if it is conservation framing.
Interesting. I was actually unaware there were white core, non conservation mats.
We use strictly Bainbridge except for backup of Artique (I like the idea of zeolite technology in there) but I would not be able to explain the difference between AF and Conservation.
What is the distinction between white core acid free "decorative" mats and conservation?
Decorative white core are recycled and bleached pulp where conservation is 100% Virgin Alpha Cellulose.
Every manufacturer offers a decorative white core mat.
As an "outside" I really don't understand this logic.
Are you saying that if someone brings in something "decorative" (i.e. no value, doesn't plan to keep more than a couple/few years), even if the best design is a white mat with a white core, you will sell them a white mat with a yellow core? Or is that your method of upselling to a more expensive product?
Not much difference in the price of white core vs. conservation mat due to my discounts. It would be like if someone asked you to use a wood species that is similar to a nice hardwood with almost no difference in price. No sense in going out and buying a special lot of something you don't want to save a couple cents per foot and then you will have left overs that are just taking up space.
Jeff is right, and there are other differences, too. I suggest you get the PPFA Comparative Standards for Matboard, which outlines the specifications for all four classes of matboard. Peterboro will give you a free copy.
I assume the bleaching does not somehow removed the acidity, correct? I mean, it's just as acidic as the "yellow" non-AF?
Every mat board from our primary suppliers is "Acid Free" as we have discussed with so many items that make those claims. The bleaching process does change some chemistry and who knows how much of what could be left behind in the process. You can most likely buy recycled motor oil that looks great but I wouldn't put it in my Mercedes.
"White Core" mats are not like the traditional "acid free" pulp-core mats. Both are in PPFA Class III, but the "White Core" mats are made with recycled alpha cellulose, which will stay white and will not discolor over time. Class III mats are suitable for decorative framing, but not for any level of preservation framing. Since the "White Core" mats look better longer, they may be considered an upgrade from "acid free" mats in decorative framing.
Virgin alpha cellulose, from which the lignin has been extracted, qualifies for PPFA Class II "Conservation" standards. However, the reason "White Core" mats are unsuitable for preservation framing is that their alpha cellulose fibers always contain residual chemistry from their first uses, some of which may be unknown, but some of the contaminants are predictable. For example, alpha cellulose fibers recycled from manufacturing scraps of envelope and stationery papers contain optical brightening agents (OBAs), which an be reactive with things typically framed.
Ah, there we go. I didn't understand until reading this part. It is indeed alpha cellulose, but essentially contaminated seconds.
If I tested them with a pH pen, I suppose they would react like standard alpha mats and not be detectable?
On fresh mat boards all three levels may test the same. Time is what causes the different reaction so many people who use the pen are being fooled by results of this minute rather than how things may be a year from now.
this debate goes on. I always felt there was a Good, Better, Best way of looking at which product might be best suited. Jeff indicated choosing a higher grade of motor oil for his Mercedes, but the consumer driving the '96 Corolla might not. The client bringing in a poster of Jennifer Lopez might not need or want zeolite protection
While Jeff might be in a more advantageous situation due to his superior buying where the difference in cost might be insignificant, most framers do not. Don't know what the retail difference between an Acid Free mat and a Rag/Alpha might be today for a 30x40, but i'll bet it isn't insignificant to the consumer on a $5 poster
Bottom line: you are the professional and should provide the options best suited for the art, the consumer and your shop's identity
just an opinion
Bob, you're absolutely right about the good-better-best thing.
Quality of the framing materials is usually a non-issue for a $5 poster. On the other hand, valuables deserve to be framed by someone who knows the differences.
Every framer makes the material choices for every job, and knowledge is power. Framers need to understand the differences in order to avoid making bad choices either way.
This was the question that some of us posed in a different thread, but got no answer. The representative from Crescent seemed to have implied that the only reason OBAs are not conservation is that they tend to fade. This makes it sound as if they are not harmful to the artwork but do not hold well aesthetically. The above statement sounds as if you are implying that they can be harmful to the artwork. Is this the case? I don't want to put words in your mouth or misinterpret what you are saying.
hi Jim- I think it was either you or Sears that I learned Good, Better, Best LOL
Truth is if our concerns were truly Archival, we wouldn't frame anything of value. Pretty much everything in framing is invasive. I can't tell you many times we directed clients t o Kinko to get great copy, frame that, store original as safely as able. Truth is I have collectibles in my sports collection that will fade as surely as my tummy getting bigger
As you say the professional does the least amount of harm and knows the difference
As a picture framer and not a scientist, my information about chemistry is hear-say and not authoritative. But yes, my understanding is that the known and unknown chemical elements of recycled alpha cellulose could be harmful to artwork. Chris Koeppen is a professional scientist in the business of making matboards. He certainly knows what he's talking about, and maybe he will respond further to clarify how the chemistry of recycled alpha cellulose disqualifies that type of paperboard fiber for preservation framing applications.
Getting back to Bob Carter's good-better-best concept, we know that matboard quality is judged by its fiber. 100% cotton is "best"; PPFA Class I. Virgin Alpha cellulose is "better"; PPFA Class II, and a zeolite additive enhances longevity in this class. Recycled alpha cellulose is "good"; PPFA Class III.
A chemistry lesson would be welcome, but the body of knowledge readily available to us is already adequate to select matboard suitable for every retail framing project.
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