Encapsulation Problem!


WOW Framer
Jul 24, 2001
Buffalo, New York, USA/Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada
So I finally got to use that roll of Mylar (Melinex) that I bought a year ago! I thought it would be the perfect solution for that aforementioned two-sided Chagall.

I encapsulated the painting (ink on maybe 80-100 lb. paper) with no problems - first try! I matted it in linen with a shallow filet on the front, rag mat for the back picture. Mirogard AR/UV on front, regular glass on back. (customer only wanted to be able to see the art on the back upon occasion when they take it off the wall.)

I also sealed the entire package with lineco metal tape (that grey stuff) before I installed it into the frame. SFSG. They picked it up - they were thrilled.

One hour later they returned it. Seems that even with the AR glass, the MYLAR is SO RIPPLED it ruins the view of the artwork!

So now what do I do??? I have to remove it from the mylar and I do not want to use any sort of hinges - the artwork bleeds to all four edges on the front and there is a "goo-line" about an eigth of an inch wide from the masking tape on all four sides from its original framing (from the thirties or forties). Can I trust hinges to stick to this adhesive residue?

What can I do? I told the customer that I might try to use mylar tabs and that they would see small squares of them. Maybe I could use the tabs on the back of the front mat? So they would only show on the back artwork? The art-paper is too thin for a sink mat approach.

Is is normal for mylar to be so ripply? I swear it looked very flat after I encapsulated the piece back at the beginning. Could the AR be somehow enhancing this ripply effect? The verso art doesn't look nearly as ripply and it just has regular glass! (The front art is in full color though, and the back is a simple line drawing in black ink)

What to do? What to do? I can't cash his check until I resolve this!!!

HELP!!!!! (thank you!)

Yes, Mylar is usually fairly flat. I wonder if you had a hot sunny day today?? I cannot imagine one hour in the hot sun in the car rippling the Mylar to the extent that you said.

Does the Mylar appear to be sticking to either glass surface maybe like "static cling"? I am just guessing and trying to eliminate possibilities.

Boy, that's a tough one. Maybe Jim will have some ideas on it.

Is the Mylar really "rippled" or is it just "not flat" causing unwanted reflections? I had that problem when encapsulating a large piece of Chinese art. I found the best (or should I say least worst)glass option was conservation reflection control.
And while we're on mylar, would there be a problem using acrylic over it? I have a couple of 1700's pieces of cross stitch that I am going to encapsulate and then glaze with op3-p99 acrylic (nonglare conservation) due to the size of the pieces and the glare of mylar.

Anybody got a problem with that? (asked in the most benign and sincere manner that I know....)

Framerguy - No, we had a cool, windy sunny day and my customer lives about a block away from my shop - so that couldn't be the problem. And the filet lifts the glass off the mylar at least 1/4 inch - so not a static problem.

CAframer - I used AR (anti-reflection) UV glass - isn't that the same as "conservation reflection control"?

Betty - I dunno - maybe you might be generating a static problem using mylar AND plexi. How large are your pieces?

Hold on! I just got a BRILLIANT idea!!! What if I were to sandwich a piece of old-fashioned NON-GLARE glass OVER the MYLAR encapsulation for the front!!! This way the fog-factor would be negligible, the artwork would remain pristine, I could sink-mat the entire NG/mylar package inside the two mats.

Anyone see anything wrong with that??? (The artwork is SMALL, so the weight would not be significant- the frame with a four inch mat is only 18 x 22).

LOL! Maybe I just solved somebody else's problem!!! ;)
Betty it might look better to use tulle or stabilitex rather than mylar. Also the mylar might not lie perfectly flat on the needlework and you would notice the glare more.

Framar, the AR glass shows everything better, even the slighest ripple.
I've had poor results using etched reflection control to subdue the reflections from things like glossy photos (and, presumably, Mylar.)

The glass is designed to minimize reflections from its own surface, not from the surface of the art.

I can't imagine the reflection control Acrylite would be much different.
Oh, rats. I thought it was too good an idea to be true! (I'm gonna try it anyways - just to see - maybe I can use up one of those chunks of NG that I have sitting around and NEVER use!)

Framing was a whole heck of a lot easier in 1969 when we were ruining artwork left and right! LOL!
Mar, depending on how much margin you have to work with you might be able to use maxi-view acrylic corners and/or mounting strips instead of the mylar.

I have come to dislike two-sided art; it causes me so many problems. I encourage customers to treat the reverse like silk lingerie: cover it up then smile smugly because only you know it's there.

I have had this problem with Mylar/Melinex from time to time (not consistently, however) and it drove me bananas. I've been using Mylar for years, and I recently sat through Jim Miller's class and picked up a very valuable tip.

I never knew that it mattered in which direction the curvature of the Mylar ran. The product has a slight curvature to it due to the fact that it has been rolled. The 2 pieces of Mylar should be curved inward towards each other with the artwork in between.

Like this: )|(
The tape should be very close to the artwork. I had been putting it about 1/2-3/4" away from the artwork rather than the recommended 1/8". I start from the middle of the Mylar/artwork sandwich and smooth outwards to get a nice tightly sealed package. I hope that someday I get very comfortable with this type of mounting job, but for now it is one of those things I do first thing before anyone else arrives so that I can concentrate on what I'm doing.

When it's done right, it looks great. Jim will probably have some additional tips to add. How did you attach the mylar encapsulated art to the mats?

I've tried the non-glare glass trick before. It's one of those things that sounds good in theory, but just doesn't work.
Aha - Thanks Barb - I did it the opposite way (). Just pulled it off the roll and folded it over on itself. And the tape is 1/8th away because this thing can't be moving around! Doncha know I'm gonna spend all day tomorrow messing around with this!

Kit - I meant mylar mounting strips when I said "tabs." I just couldn't think what they were called. Might try the corners too.

Oddly enough, it is not the two-sidedness of this that is the problem - this time! But I like the lingerie analogy. Gonna hafta remember that one!
Framar asked ... "CAframer - I used AR (anti-reflection) UV glass - isn't that the same as "conservation reflection control"?"

No, cons refl control is UV protection version of non-glare ... etched on one side only. My customer had originally requested cons clear, but reflection from Mylar was a problem. The refl. control glass helped.

Cons refl control has a lower light transmission value than AR/Museum (90 versus 96).
Arrgh! Too many kinds of glass!!! I don't think my supplier has the conservation reflection control - they have a hard time keeping up same as moi. Thanks for the info, CA (may I call you CA?)
The work Framar described is already degraded,
because of the tape residue on its back side and
that allows for an unusual possibility; the use
of an alternative adhesive on the residue, only.
Gummed linen tape has modified starch, dextrin,
on it and the most expensive types of linen tape
have the best quality dextrin. For unusual bonding
surfaces, such as the back of RC photos, one can
take the dextrin from good quality tape and brush
it onto Japanese tissue to form a non-traditional
hinge. In the case of the Chagall, strips of Japanese tissue could be cut so that they are longer than the edges of the work and they can
be attached to the tape residue, and ONLY to the
tape residue, with the dextrin. The strips can be pasted together, where they meet and the joints should not show. The result will be a margin of Japanese tissue that can be shown around the the front edges of the work and which will cover the residue on the back, while it supports the work, thoroughly.

I wish that I could work with Hugh for a couple years and absorb some of that knowledge.

Here is a Mylar glare trick I have used several times with good luck. Use the etched TruVue Reflection Control glass and turn the etched side to the inside facing the mylar. It helps stop the mirror effect of the mylar and glass on the inside. You then get only the normal light glare on the outside of the glass but not the mirror effect.

I have one I finished yesterday that I did this way. We tried several different glazings until this combo looked right to the customer.
Thanks for the ideas, everyone! I don't know if I am "up" to Hugh's concept but maybe if the Mylar/glass realignment doesn't work I'll call Buff State and beg and plead and THEY (the conservation people) can do what Hugh described.

I'm printing this thread and taking it with me to work - wish me luck!
This is an interesting situation that helps to sum up what we can and can't do as pitcher framers.

It's sort of like this:
( ) see both sides of the art
( ) see the edges of both sides of the art
( ) reversible c/p mounting
( ) see absolutely no glare from either glazing or mylar

Pick three.

I have a sample here that is a mylar encapsulated dinar framed in the two-sided manner. Even on an image that small (3" x 6",) the mylar has a ripple. It's the Nature of the Beast, I say.

Is A/R mylar next? Stay tuned.

edie the i'mthinkini'dcashthatcheckanyway goddess
Having a sample on hand to show the customer (Edie, I think I love you) will prevent a bunch of problems further down the line.

I always show and tell the customer, when I'm suggesting a clear film solution to their particular problem:

1. There will be some reflection from the film.
2. The use of clear film is still the best solution I'm aware of for this situation.

Nobody has ever come back and complained about reflections. If they did, I'd slap 'em.
So, do you mean that there will be a tissue border around all four sides?
And also, does the fact that the print has adhesive goo on it make the wheat starch paste not an option?

edie the fg
Framar, did I miss a mention of the Chagall's size? Big art has special issues, especially in two-sided viewing.

A few comments to add...

1. Barb's right about the clear film having curvature, and it makes a world of difference in the final look.

2. I'm wondering what made it wrinkle. If the clear film mount is hinged from its top edge between the mats, then it can expand & contract normally. Was it attached all the way around the mat opening?

3. If the art is too big for a clear film mount, I guess you could use two sheets of clear acrylic instead. Just be sure to have outer glazings that provide a generous, insulating air gap, to avoid quick changes of temperature & humidity, which could stress the art & create condensation.

4. Corner pockets probably are not a good idea here. They require the art to stand on its bottom corners, which could cause problems, especially if the paper's edges are weakened.

5. I would use Museum Glass or Tru-Vue's Optium Museum Acrylic (same attributes as Museum Glass) on front. I would avoid old-fashioned, etched non-glare glass.

6. If you folded the clear film, did you simply rest the bottom edge of the art on the inside of the fold? That would be bad, because it makes the art stand on its bottom edge, encouraging it to wrinkle. That would, of course, make the clear film wrinkle, too. A proper clear film mount creates a "pinching action" all around the art paper's perimeter, which gives it overall support, not from the bottom edge.

7. I like Hugh Phibbs' idea. That would support the edges all around.
Jim - the art was only about 10 x 14 and I re-encapsulated it with the curvature in the correct direction, taping all edges about 1/8th away from the art. I still got way too much glare from the mylar (although it was not nearly as rippled as my first attempt).

I dispensed with the mylar entirely and used mylar strips about 1/4 inch wide every 4 inches around the perimeter. These strips show about 1/8th on the back opening of the verso artwork.

The result was a glare-free painting and a pleased customer.

Anybody wanna buy a roll of slightly used Melinex? Just kidding - I'm sure I started on the absolute worst project I could have picked! The next will be smooth sailing (especially now that I have this thread to reference!

Originally posted by Framar:
...I still got way too much glare from the mylar...
It's interesting to note that, while framers often complain about the gloss of clear film mounts, customers rarely do -- especially if you have gallery models to show them during the design process.

Another consideration is that in some cases -- such as book/magazine/newspaper mounts, the clear film mount may be the best available, in terms of appearance, support, and reversibility.
Jim - I look forward to the mylar technique for the next old magazine or such that is presented to me. I did't think the glare was that bad on the Chagall the first time they took it home but they said they hung it in every room of their house and under every kind of lighting situation and they just couldn't see the painting!

I guess if I had a real Chagall I would probably want to be able to see it too! Mind you, I have been "selling" regular glass for over 30 years (and shunning non-glare because of its dulling qualities) and I am REAL good at telling folks to raise or lower the frame, tighten or loosen the wire, etc. if the glass glared too much. Same with CC glass.

AR glass is a real boon (except for that purplish tint it displays) and I love it! And I will conquer Mylar too! Next time I have some spare time (about mid 2005) I have a project to practice on - my Grandfather's "autograph book" with spidery copperplate lettering, "calling cards" and Victorian florals, cupids and hearts (my Grandpa was sentimental) - all on very friable yellow-brown thin paper pages. By the time I encapsulate all of those pages, I should have a good handle on the process.

Thanks for the idea of a framed sample - I just made up a sample of what the encapsulation package! You rule, Jim!!!
Hugh, Is there a problem with spraying Matt De-Glosser for photos on the outside of the Mylar package?? And then glaze with Museum for the AR.

Just thinking outside the frame shop here.
Baer - that sounds like a great idea, but I bet it wouldn't work - probably flake off eventually or some such hideous consequence!
Yes, the Japanese tissue should go all around the
margins of the paper, making an unbroken surface
that will look good. It is unlikely that starch
past will stick to tape residue, but before resorting to the dextrin, it is wise to try to
see whether paste will stick. In that case, it
could be used in preference to the dextrin. Using
the matte spray on the outside of the polyester
film seems unlikely to cause any harm, since it
is designed for direct use on photos and it would
be on the outside of the film. It should be allowed to air dry for a few days before it is
enclosed in the frame. At this point, no one is
considering putting anti-reflective coatings on
polyester film, so your idea may be the best out
there to solve the reflection issue. If the film
is flat its reflections should be lost in the
reflections of the primary glazing and should not
be a problem.

Originally posted by Baer Charlton:
Hugh, Is there a problem with spraying Matt De-Glosser for photos on the outside of the Mylar package?? And then glaze with Museum for the AR.
Sprayed clear film has an appearance similar to sprayed glass. Also forget about abrading the surface with OOOO steel wool, or etching it with chemicals, or covering it with fine mesh fabrics.

The closest thing to a "non-glare" clear film is called "matte-finish", which is available on polyester & acetate sheets from some art & drafting suppliers. The problem is that it makes the film very cloudy, but it's still better than the terrible, inconsistent result of spraying with acrylic or polyurethane.

I've tried everything I could think of to reduce the gloss of clear film, but nothing looks as good as the high clarity of the film itself. Generally, anything that is done to modify the surface reduces the clarity of the film & defeats that purpose of using it.

Like everything else in framing, clear film has limitations. There are no perfect methods or materials; all have advantages & disadvantages.

Baer, I hope you don't mind me addressing your query to Mr. Phibbs.