It's important to know your options when it comes to the glazing of your framed artworks, but sometimes it can seem a little daunting to understand what they offer you and your artwork.
Here's a basic guide to the facts and stats of the glazing options available at ART 17!
Most of the frames here at glazed with standard 2mm glass. For prints or decorator artworks the cost of UV glass is often not comparable to the cost of the artwork.
What is UV Protective Glass?
UV protective glass is simply any glass that provides more UV protection than standard glass. To be defined as Conservation Glass, the glass needs to block at least 97 percent of all UV rays from passing through. Regular glass stops UVB rays but it is not able to stop UVA rays. UV protective glass stops both UVA and UVB rays.
What is Reflection Control Glass?
Reflection control glass is glass with a matte finish that is able to scatter light and diminish unwanted glare. Reflection control glass is not UV protective, though UV protective NR (non-reflective) glass is available. The matte finish of the NR glass will reduce the clarity of your artwork.
When should I use UV or NR glass?
I always recommend UV glass for artworks of high value, or if your artwork is to be hung in direct sunlight. If being hung in direct sunlight you might like to consider NR UV glass to eliminate glare, though you will need to balance this against the loss of clarity. Images with fine details are not recommended to use NR glass.
You may also choose to use UV glass for the extra clarity. UV70 is a HIGH CLARITY glass that provides 70% UV protection. Not quite conservation grade but certainly better protection and clarity than standard glass.
If you are wanting the best protection with good clarity you can choose between Conservation Clear and Museum glass, both of which provide 99% UV protection.
As a light weight substitute for glass, clear acrylic is a great option. Even at 3mm thickness clear acrylic offers amazing clarity and reduced weight. At ART 17 we use acrylic for most pieces with a glass size over 1m. Acrylic is prone to scratching so care must be taken transporting, hanging, and cleaning your acrylic glazed framing.
Price for glazing of any type does of course reflect (glass joke!) the size of the artwork/framing.
A common misconception is that acrylic is cheaper, both in price and quality, than glass. This is the opposite of the truth. Don't confuse the PLASTIC in the cheap Ikea and Kmart frames for acrylic! Picture Framing acrylic is both high quality and around 4x the cost of standard glass.
NR glass is about the same cost as acrylic, whereas UV70, Conservation, and Museum Glass are 7x - 10x the cost of standard glass, approximately.
When it comes to choosing your glazing it's important to take into account what your artwork is and where it is going. With specialty glass you definitely get what you pay for, but standard glass is more than acceptable for most framing situations and is industry standard.
If you have any questions regarding what glass or acrylic you should use be confident that ART 17 is excited to show and explain to you your options! :)