Framing & Care: Vintage Poster Framing, Linen Backing & Condition
Framing & Care Info: Vintage Poster Framing, Linen Backing & Condition
An article by Debra Clifford, owner Vintage Poster Works.
NOTE: We do not provide linen backing service ourselves.
Linen backing is an archival poster conservation method. The poster is mounted with wheat paste onto acid free paper, which has been previously adhered to canvas, referred to as "linen" to the trade. This process provides stability to the piece. Lined posters may be rolled, are ready for framing, and are easier to handle overall. It is a reversible method, although once posters are archivally mounted, they are usually left mounted, as it is a wonderful conservation method! Should a lined poster sustain physical damage in the future, poster removal is possible. This cannot be said for most other mounting methods. Vintage Poster Works does not provide this service. We ourselves have our posters linen backed by paper conservation professionals.
As in the case of a large paper poster, linen backing provides a way to store, roll, easily frame and handle these delicate ephemeral historical and antique pieces of art. Damaged posters are more stable when linen backed, and also are ready for restoration, should that be desired.
Poster linen backing is NOT done with the use of chartex, heat mounting and any of the other non archival methods that we see in which posters are glued down with chemical substances such as glue, wax or heat sealing adherents. The linen mounting process adds value to a poster, and please note that ALL of our posters here at Vintage Poster works are linen mounted. It is exciting to see the vintage posters return from the linen backer as beautiful works of art, when they were often fragile before sent for backing. A restorer will clean, deacidify and mount the poster, which then appears amazingly beautiful in nature. It's always a day we relish, to open poster tubes and see the finished product ready to be listed our site. We have had more than 2,500 posters linen backed since the early 1990's and send our posters out for professional backing. This is not a process we do ourselves.
About Condition, Grading and Restoration at Vintage Poster Works:
It is almost impossible to find an antique vintage poster without some kind of tears (many have edge tears with no paper loss), and folds or paper loss occurring over the long years they have been stored, many times in rolls. A professional restorer may (once a poster has been cleaned and linen backed) restore loss of color, slightly trim edges and overall be responsible for bringing the poster back to life again for the market. Poster folds can be virtually indistinguishable once linen backed. As in the case of American military posters, many were machine folded in their day, to be sent to recruiting offices around the country. This does not detract from value in any way, and they are greatly enhanced in appearance when linen backed. You may see the term "machine folded" mentioned in our listings. A restorer will use watercolor pencils and watercolor paints to touch up folds, creases, and imperfections. Any use of plastic paints such as acryilics and or oil paints are considered irreversible in nature and will detract from the value when used to restore color to a vintage poster. We list all restoration done in our grading condition on each individual poster listing. A professionally restored vintage poster has a beautiful freshness and aliveness. Note: All of our antique vintage Posters Are linen backed, a reversible method.
Poster Condition & Grading:
We have done our best to describe the posters on our site as accurately as possible. Our condition standards are those generally used and accepted by poster dealers in the trade, at auction houses and vintage poster shows. We may also add a + plus or - minus, should we feel the need to show a slightly better or slightly worse condition rating. The digital poster images on the Vintage Poster Works web site may vary slightly in color to the original poster, and your monitor resolution. All posters are guaranteed to be 100% original. We do not sell reproductions, and never have.
Poster Condition & Grading
"A" Condition at Vintage Poster Works:
A poster in very fine condition, with no restoration.
colors are fresh. poster is linen backed, and very clean. Gradations are A+ and A-.
"B" Condition at Vintage Poster Works:
A poster in good condition, possibly showing some staining, or minor restoration. Any restoration will be explained fully on our web site. Gradations are B+ and B-.
"C" Condition at Vintage Poster Works:
A poster in fair condition. folds, creases, and restoration will be apparent, as well as paper loss. Note: You will not find a C condition poster on our web site.
Our own ideas on Vintage Poster Framing
Here are some framing tips: Note: We have compiled as much info here as we can based on the many framing questions we receive. Just ignore what may be elementary to you, and use what you may.
This covers a wide range of poster sizes also: Framing is a personal choice, as far as the frame and mat goes. if you want the piece to look bigger, you could matte it with a matte of any width you desire. If you want to keep it small, you could use no matte at all, it really depends on the space you will be placing it in, and the look you desire.
Here are some ideas we have seen in vintage poster framing:
1. No matte or floating the poster (usually very large posters are done in this way, as they are too large for a matte) Some are done exposing a small amount of paper mount on linen as needed trimming the poster's linen's edge down. Further information is supplied later about trimming.
2. Matted with a small amount of white poster linen mount showing, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch, depending on preference, or matted with no linen showing.
3. Matted with, for example, a 3" mat surrounding the poster, choosing a color in the poster, or black, whatever your preference is dependent on frame you have chosen.
4. Matted with, for example a 6" mat surrounding the poster, to make the whole framed piece larger.
5. Double matting can be used, your framer will know this process.
Trimming the Poster for framing:
The linen part of the lined mounted poster can be trimmed, no problem, the less you trim it, the better. It's best not to trim right to edge of poster. (NOTE: no cutting of or near the actual paper poster border, of course!). Do not have the framer glue or adhere the linen to anything, as in heat seal it to a piece of foam core or to any surface. Have the framer heavily hinge the piece on the top to hold it in place. They will know this process.
Using UV plexiglass instead of glass:
UV plexi is a bit more expensive than glass, but saves the poster from fading under sunlight and/or florescent lighting. A poster in or near direct sunlight can seriously become faded. UV plexi is also much lighter in weight than glass, and glass can be very heavy on the large posters. UV also transports easily if wrapped properly. The drawbacks of using UV plexi is that it attracts dust a bit more than glass, and can scratch (cheese cloth and an inexpensive plastic cleaner can be used to avoid this). You can discuss this option with your framer.
As far as frame you choose, and matte, you can work with your actual framer, who will know better than us about options. Most of this aspect is personal preference.
We hope this helps. Let us know if you have any more questions whatsoever. You may want to print this page out and take with you to your framer.95% of our antique vintage Posters Are Linen Backed unless clearly stated in description.
We have done our best to describe our posters as accurately as possible.
Our condition standards are those generally used and accepted by poster dealers in the trade, at auction houses and shows. We will also add a + plus or -minus, should we feel the need to show a slightly better or slightly worse condition rating. The digital poster images on the Vintage Poster Works web site may vary slightly in color to the original poster. All posters are guaranteed to be 100% original. We do not sell reproductions.
"A" Condition: A poster in very fine condition, with no restoration.Colors are fresh. poster is linen backed, and very clean. Gradations are A+ and A-.
"B" Condition: A poster in good condition, possibly showing some staining, or minor restoration. any restoration will be explained fully on our web site. Gradations are B, B+ and B-.
"C" Condition: A poster in fair condition. folds, creases, and restoration will be apparent, as well as paper loss. you will not find a C poster on our web site.
Please know we do not make offers or do appraisals.
We do not sell reproductions of any kind.
We only sell original vintage posters.
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Debra Clifford Vintage Poster Works, since 1995 on web. All Rights Reserved.