Question Leather - how do I mat and frame a print on thin leather?


True Grumbler
A customer has two 9" x 7.5" prints on thin leather similar to the attached photo, and two similar looking prints of about the same size that are printed on paper. He would like them matted and framed with Museum Glass. I am uncertain as to how to frame leather. How would I attach it to the back board? Is there a type of tape I can use to hinge mount it? What should the customer expect over time? Is it very likely that it will be wavy and develop other problems? I could suggest scanning to make high resolution prints on a matte paper but since he created the artwork I think he wants the originals framed.

Your thoughts and ideas very much appreciated!
~ Ruby

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Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
That's tricky...

How about using formed rods? Depending on the rigidity of the leather, you may need 6 or 8 of them. In any case, you could use very small .029" diameter piano wire and paint each mount to match, using acrylic paint. That might be the least conspicuous, mos supportive way to mount this thing.


Forum Support Team
Team member
If I understand correctly, this is mounted on thin leather, the background that is beige?

Since your customer created this, would he be open to sewing it to a background? Then you can just mat over it.
Would he have a problem with hide glue?

I would float it, preferably with hide glue if agreed by customer.
Frame in shadow box
I don’t think I would overmat it

No matter what, this will not be perfectly flat, that is the charm of the art


Forum Support Team
Team member
If he is okay with punching holes in the corners, how about some fancy tacks? Iron would look great with that. Search clavos
You could even remove the pin and use magnets on the other side if it needs to be reversible


WOW Framer
Hi, Ruby. So, the black image is printed onto the pale backing? Is the thin leather sturdy or flexible? From your first post, it sounds like the customer wants a window mat covering the edges, but Ylva's visible-attachment idea might look great.


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
I have been mounting a lot of centuries old sheepskin documents recently, and after doing a bit of research on proper materials to use for items made of "animal proteins" (leather, silk, vellum, etc), I am fairly confident in saying that you ought to use a solid unbuffered rag matboard to protect the leather. The "solid" is to make sure the top layer of the mat is also unbuffered rag, especially if you are floating it on top. However, this will limit your color options. If you were hoping to use a fabric or wanting other color options, I suggest contacting Creation Baumann about their Oddy tested fabrics (specifically the "permanent" approved ones) which should also be safe for leather (although these fabrics aren't cheap). I was referred to them by an object art conservator. If you sew mount these items, you should use a silk thread (since silk is also an "animal protein" product) or a polyester monofilament string (not nylon though), in either case, try not to use too fine of a string or too much tension as you sew since the thread may cut into the leather otherwise. You could also try magnets (not too strong and use with unbuffered rag paper or the Oddy permanent fabric between the art and magnets). Another option is photo corners or mylar strips depending on the sturdiness of the leather relative to the size of the artwork. Hope this helps!