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2 questions, flag dilema and encapsulation


True Grumbler
May 25, 2005
Seattle, WA
Hi Everyone,
Got 2 questions for you..
I have an American flag that I am framing, along with 2 medals that are a warm silvery bronze in color. The frame is antiqued silver and looks great with the flag and medals, but I am stuck on what color fabric to use behind everything. I want it to be rich and receed back, so a draker color preferably, but I can't use a navy blue because then you wont see the flag! Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Question 2:
I have an original signature card I framed with some othert articles for a client. I recommended encapsulating the card to avoid acid attacking it from some decorative papers he gave me to use in the design, at his request. Now he says the encapsulation is distracting because of the shine of the Mylar. Are there any other products I can use that aren't shiny? Like a non-fuzzing, matte finish product?
Thanks everyone!!
#1) Black!
Or off white / beige may work

#2) Dont think so. What kind of decorative papers?
You can use museum glass to eliminate the reflection problem. You may be able to eliminate it with non-glare if this is not a shadow box.
Anti-reflective glass is designed to soften reflections from an external light source. I haven't had good experience with using it to soften reflections from things like Mylar or glossy photos.

A mylar encapsulation doesn't normally become air-tight, so don't count on it to protect the item if there is some real garbage in the frame package.

(I have nothing positive to suggest. I deal only in negatives.)
Regarding the flag: I like white, because it shows lint less than black does. But black is probably best for your intended visual purpose.

Point of curiosity: How big is the flag, and how will you mount it? Is it old and/or fragile?

Regarding the encapsulated card: I'd bet you used the clear film upside-down. All clear film has curvature. If you apply it with the curvature's convex side against the item, then it lays flat, reducing reflections. Upside-down, it is bubbly-looking and amplifies reflections.

Another non-invasive, reversible method of similar support would be to wrap the card in Stabilitex or Crepeline (search the archives), using a board backer cut to the size of the card. I suggest using an alphacellulose ArtCare board with zeolite molecular trap technology. That, along with the board's calcium carbonate buffer, should do as much to protect the card from chemicals in the frame, as encapsulation would.

To be honest, I don't think there's much you can do to stop migration within the frame, other than to isolate the contaminants.
I don't think you need a dark dark back like black. You can choose a fabric like a natural linen in a medium shade of tan- if you think the flag won't stand out on navy, I don't think it would stand out on black, either.

I choose a medium beige/tan color because I think the Items will stand out nicely on it and it would look good with the silver frame, and also remember when you are framing objects you are often met with lots of dead space to contend with. I would be afraid of this dark background looking too heavy, more like a black hole than receding into the background.
Thanks everyone..
It looks like black is the winner, but I also agree with this last post from "imaluma" that it may look like a large hole on the wall when it's done. There will be a lot of "empty" space in the piece, (the flag is folded into a triangle so the navy and stars show). (The medals will go on either side of the triangle on little pedestals, above the flag.)
As for the conservation of the flag itself, I was planning on using a ph neutral fabric adhesive and a neutral fabric, building a "pedestal/shelf" type thing for the bottom (long edge) of the flag to rest on, backing it with black foam cut smaller than the flag, and then using matching silk thread to hold the corners of the flag in place. The client gave me permission to sew through the hem of the flag, and I think it should be fine. Any ideas?
-In terms of the card, I have museum glass on the piece now, and the Mylar is in the right direction, he just minds the slight glare from the plastic.
The decorative paper that we used in the piece, (the card is floating on an artcare 8 ply backing), came from the client and is some of that marbley oil/water pattern type paper. It is a cardboard/tan color on the back side, so I figured it contains acid. I haven't done any kind of test on it, but just assumed it was bad. So, I figured with outgassing, the card, (un-encapsulated), would be attacked, but he seems to care more about the look than the longevity.
I have never heard of the products, Stabilitex or Crepeline, but will research it further. Are they matte finish? Would I treat it as I have with the Mylar, back it with a 4 ply artcare and wrap the piece with the material?
Any other suggestions would be great..
Thanks you everyone..
You could also consider mounting the flag onto a light, neutral linen, as mentioned above, then use cut-outs in the linen for the medals, actually mounting them on navy blue suede to pick up on the flag's star field and give some dramatic punch to the medal display.