Framing Textiles: To Glaze or Not to Glaze?

Traditionally, textiles have not been framed behind glass. But is that the best way to protect your textile artwork? Or a “rule” that can broken? Well, it depends …

There are Several Things to Think about When Deciding to Glaze or Not to Glaze

Close up of antique sampler framed behind glass.Where will your art be displayed?  Will your textiles be hanging in direct sunlight? Or in an area where they will come into contact with dust, dirt, cooking oil, insects, or smoke? If so, opt for glass, or your textile art will soon be faded, decaying, and dirty.

Are you framing antique textiles? Over time, textiles become extremely fragile. Glazing can radically slow the pace of degradation, particularly if stabilization procedures are used before the piece is framed.

How large is your artwork? Glass can make very large pieces difficult to move. Plexiglas® may be an option, though.

Is the art three-dimensional or does it have drape? Glass may not be appropriate for wavy or formed textiles, clothing, or anything that is not flat. However, if the item needs protection from environmental hazards, discuss the possibility of a shadow box with your framer.

Your Most Important Consideration: A Framer with Textile Experience

Framing textiles is a specialty skill. Your framer needs to understand proper blocking, how to stabilize fabrics and fibers, the conservation needs of different types of textiles, and how to allow for adequate airflow between the artwork and glazing.

Village Frame & Gallery has been trusted by textile artists and conservators since 1999. If you have a fabric or fiber piece you want to protect and show off,  bring it to our shop for a free consultation.

Village Frame & Gallery, 7808 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219 ● (503) 245-8001
Open Tuesday - Friday, 10am - 5pm, and Saturday 10am - 4pm, or by appointment.