Encapsulation: Protecting what’s really important

Encapsulation is an excellent method one can use when framing a piece of artwork that is fragile, valuable, or unsuitable for traditional top mounting. It usually involves many layers, mat windows, and rigid backings as well as some type of transparent film to cover the artwork being protected. There is a lot of designing and preparation involved in an encapsulation, if the artwork is to be properly protected and viewed. Objects and artworks that tend to be encapsulated are: magazines, baseball cards, paper cuts, very old paper, dried flowers, coins, and of course valuable fine art. The film which holds the artwork is usually a strong, durable, acid-free clear film known as Mylar. Other films, acrylics, and sheer fabrics also can be used, but Mylar is the best film for most encapsulations because of it durability and transparence. Some encapsulations can be two-sided; to get a better view of the artwork both front and back and to make sure it’s properly sealed. This is sometimes done out of necessity but usually is a desired aesthetic effect. The whole process of encapsulation can take some time and involves quite a bit of labor and high-quality materials. If done properly, the artwork being sealed will stay protected for decades to come and the integrity of the artwork will remain true with little to no deterioration.   

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