Sep 18, 2003
United Kingdom
Hi everyone.
I'm seeking some advice / help.
I had a customer telephone me to ask if I would frame a papyrus she had brought back from her holiday, you know the ones about 14" x 11" egyptian figures problem I said "come on down".
Sure enough 2 days later she turns up but unrolls a 69" x 24" papyrus.
No problem with the frame, but she wants to show the rough edges of the papyrus, any suggestions on the best way to fix this giant item to the undermount.

Thanks in advance to any replies. kalta
I always like the look of sandwiching the papyrus between two pieces of glass then you have no needs for mats or backing. You can get the large glass from a glass company since most framing supplier don't carry glass that large. For hanging just use large D-rings. good luck
Really big D-rings.

Two pieces of single-strength glass will total about 27 pounds. I wouldn't handle single-strength glass that big and I wouldn't want the liability of sending it home with a customer.

I don't have a better idea, since backing and matting materials that size are pretty limited.

If you were going to sandwich that beast, a couple pieces of acrylic would be lighter and less likely to shatter and kill someone. Because of the difference in thermal properties, it would also be less likely to damage the papyrus.

(They may be cheap tourist art, but not if you have to go to Egypt to replace it.)
I did one just like that in a black shadowbox frame with black suede lining, floating the papyrus. It turned out to be strikingly awesome. I sold a cc glass on it with it. Happy me, happy customer.
That's a regular problem with papyrus, the customers usually want the edges to show. The trick is to use water based glue tapes, instead of pressure sensititve tape, to mount the piece.

Pressure sensitive tapes just cling to the loose fibers on the outside of the material, and they pull off after a little time, and the papyrus falls off.

The best way to get a good look on float mounted papyrus is to use a suede mat behind, and lay a sheet of non-glare acrylic directly on top of the papyrus. If there is to be a top mat, put it over the acrylic. Then frame any way you like. This will provide even pressure on the material so that it doesn't come apart.
Perhaps a big fabric base would aid in supporting it if leaning backwards a bit, although dust and particles falling from it may cause problems.

I have done some long vertical ones where I used two sets of hinges (one set at the top and another half way down) and had a fair whack of space between the glazing and the Papyrus. I know that two have lasted 3 years or so without hassle, the others may have had D-Rings that were too small, and fell off the wall on top of the owners...
I'm familiar with the papyrus rolls and have done a number of the little ones. I think I would handle it by hinging with mulberry paper through the backing board. You could use black fom cor, but an 8 ply black rag would be better. I would use hinges every 6-8" and run them through the back of the board. Use spacers in the frame to keep it away from the UV Glass.

The black background provides a stunning contrast to the papyrus and accents the bold colors and heavy black lines in the painting.

I have never done one this large however and that's why I emphasize a number of hinges. Has anyone else had experience with hinging this large of a papyrus?

Dave Makielski

"You can't change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust yours sails."
I had to laugh when I was in Egypt at the "Papyrus Museum". I asked for the 'deckled' edge on the piece I chose. The guy whipped out a dinner fork and proceeded to give my piece that Authentic Papyrus Look...