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To frame or not to frame...

To frame or not to frame...

  • Total voters


CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
To use Andy's senario in his post on "Conservation Waivers"....

A customer comes into your shop with a vintage Superman movie poster with creases. The poster is in relatively good shape, but the customer insists that it be drymounted to remove the creases.

Will you frame the job (with or without a signed waiver)?



SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Yes I would!

First I would recommend professional linen mounting.

Second I would suggest hinging.

Finally, if they did not want to spend the money on linen mounting, and they insisted on dry mounting because flatness was their main concern, I would then dry mount the poster with Seal Archival mounting tissue onto a 4 or 8-ply rag or Alphamount.

John Ranes II CPF GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

I would not dry mount it! Dry mounting is Dry mounting is Dry mounting......Seal's Archival Mount adhesive is nothing more than Fusion 4000 laid onto a Colormount paper carrier. (This is the way it was explained to me by a Seal tech person at one time.)

Seal calls it Archival simply due to it's a neutral pH adhesive.

I realize that we as framers will often be confronted with "gray" area items, but this vintage poster is of obvious value and I would not set myself up for a fall. I would do everything in my power to convince the client that a non-dry mount method is the route to go, but when push came to shove, I would not dry mount this item, and would turn away the order.


Framing Goddess

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I did not vote, because I would indeed frame it, I just would not dry mount it.
Less has a great solution... send this customer to the linen backing folks!

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Originally posted by AnneL:
Yes, but is having it mounted to linen any more archival than having it dry mounted to rag board? Neither process is reversible.
I've been wondering that very thing, Anne.

I've framed a fair number of "collectible" movie posters (shudder and flashback to evergreen slugs) that have been mounted on linen and have wondered how this is preferable to mounting with good tissue on rag. From a handling standpoint, I suppose it keeps the weight down and the poster can be - and frequently is - rolled. But for a poster that's going to be framed, why is linen superior to dry-mounting?


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Please pardon my ignorance, but when a poster is mounted to linen, does that mean it is then hinged and matted for framing, as opposed to drymounted directly to either foamboard or rag? Why would one decide to mount onto linen? Sorry if this is a naive (sp?) question.



SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I think that the primary purpose of backings are to give extra support/reinforcement to weak paper. Unlike drymount, they allow the paper to keep something of its original, paper-like character. The thinner and less obtrusive the backing, the less the character is changed. That's why Japanese paper backings can be so nice - you can use a pretty thin backing paper the pretty well disappears visually, but adds quite a bit of strength. Backings will also flatten out creases - to some extent. To really flatten and remove creases, the piece has to be humidified and stretch dried. This carries inherent risks!

I did some perusing of movie poster sites, and it seems that the linen backing thing was started in CA by a Russian guy, who has by now built up an empire, and created an "expectation of look". If you see enough of something, it seems the right and proper thing to do. Something along the lines of drymounting creating an expectation of flat paper art.

The party line on the backings is that a layer of Japanese paper and wheat starch paste is put on first, and then the linen backing is pasted on. From the ones I've seen, I suspect another type of adhesive is used for the linen. The industry is pretty secretive. I was astonished at how little they charge for these backings, so its got to be a mass production set-up. That carries inherent risks too. Unless the poster is primo, or you are a primo client, they use felt tip pens for touch ups. :eek:

There is a new trend in the movie poster world to not back the posters. Good!

As far as any backings go, even Japanese paper and wheat starch ones, they can't always be considered reversible -especially with very weak/brittle papers.



SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Don't know how thick your paper is, but we've had success with misting an 8-ply rag board, laying the piece face up on the board (or the damp rag to the back of the piece) and GENTLY warming it in the drymount press--say 120 degrees or so--under a little pressure. Turn the drymount off after about 10 minutesa and letting it sit overnight.

After several days of doing this--little warmth, little humidity, and little pressure, most of the creases disappear.

Wouldn't try this on a truly valuable piece, but.....might be worth a try.


Angry Badger
Portability. The posters are of such a size, and to some degree fragile that the linen makes them more easily handled, and easy to roll and transport.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

I agree with Ron and often ask myself the same questions.

I think dry mounting to rag or Alpha boards is a good, short of linen mounting, but I would worry about possible damage due to the rigidity of the board if bent.

I really like Rebecca’s idea about adding additional backing paper. I wonder if my large roll of single ply and fusion would be a good solution. Let’s face it even if you mount a poster with wheat starch paste, I still wouldn’t want to be the person to try to remove it.

I also think Wally is correct about the best reason for linen mounting, is it’s flexibility (similar to it’s original state) for storage and strength.

I remember chatting with the guys at PosterConservation.com, and they sure seem to know what they are doing. But it is not cheap to do it right! Check out their website above.

Maybe I will try it on my own poster with material I have in inventory. I have a large roll of single ply Alphamat and a large roll of Seal Chartex (a reinforced cotton fabric with adhesive with a pH of 7 on one side) I’ll dry mount the poster with fusion or Archival mount to the single ply and then mount that to the Chartex.