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Types of Spacer Fabric and How to 3D Spacer Fabric works
When framing pictures under glass it is recommended that the picture you are framing doesn't touch the glazing material. With works on paper, fabrics or other flat substrates it is common to space the artwork by using a colored mat board. The mat board is made from either wood-pulp based boards or cotton based boards. These boards are made and purified to different levels depending on the application. The simplest paper-based boards can contain lining or woody fibers that can cause quite rapid deterioration.
But what happens if you don't want to use a mat board as your spacer material?
In some circumstances the artwork or picture may look better without a border surrounding it. The artwork when framed will still require spacing from the glazing but will have to be spaced with something other than mat board.
What else can you space artwork from the glass with?The material used to make the spacer is important if you require something archival and acid-free. Many of the commercially available spacers are either a solid plastic strip or an extruded rectangular hollow tube. These plastic spacers often have a double-sided adhesive applied to one surface. The adhesive is used to adhere the spacer in position to the surface of the glazing material. You can make a spacer from timber, metal, cardboard and foam boards. Timber spacers can either be visible from the front of the frame adding a decorative edge called a fillet or they can be a simple square edged profile that is just functional.
The plastic spacers are usually available in several thicknesses. For deeper applications where a colored liner is required you can glue mat board to foam board and then cut it into the widths required. The strips are then glued to the frame molding between the glass and the art work. This is a useful technique to employ when you want the spacer and backing material to match as in the case of an artwork floating on a mat backing.
Common pre-fabricated spacers are colored black, white and clear. You could color the spacer to match the frame when you are using a timber variety. You can easily see what spacer is least noticeable by cutting a small piece and holding it temporarily in position between the item and the frame. Generally the white and clear spacers are used on light-colored works and inside pale colored frames and the black spacer is used on darker works.
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