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Types of Glass

Glazing is an important protective element for framed artwork; it protects it from airborne pollutants, insects, handling, and UV rays. We have all seen faded documents and photos; UV light damages artwork by breaking down its chemical structures that give it color, contrast, and the structure of the paper, which is why old photographs can be so brittle. It is important to note that while sunlight is worse, indoor lights emit UV rays. The damage done is irreversible, so any irreplaceable piece should have UV protection.

We have several glass choices to fit your conservation needs and budget:

Museum Glass For the most precious artwork or family heirlooms, Museum Glass is the highest quality anti-reflective picture framing glass available in the industry. This advanced technology produces an ultra protective, nearly invisible lite of clear glass. Most of our customers notice a huge difference and choose Museum Glass over Conservation Glass for its anti reflective quality.

  • Reduces reflection by over 85% (to less than 1% of total light)
  • Provides the highest brightness and contrast levels available.
  • Optimal clarity for true color transmission.
  • Protects works of art against 98% of harmful indoor and outdoor UV light rays

Conservation Glass Over time, the ultraviolet rays in everyday light take a toll on artwork. Paper can become faded, discolored, and brittle, causing irreversible damage that ruins the artwork. Conservation clear framing glass acts as a sunscreen for your artwork blocking most of the harmful light rays and helps protect framed pieces, keeping them fresh and attractive for years longer than regular glass.

  • Blocks 99% of the harmful UV light rays
  • Works well with all framing projects.
  • Provides conservation protection without glare protection.

Conservation Reflection Control Glass This glass is etched on only one side to provide the best resolution and clarity with minimum distortion and can be used with up to two mats away from the artwork without significant resolution loss. Provides glare-free enjoyment with UV protection.

Reflection Control Glass (Non-Glare) Regular Glass that has been etched on one side to deflect light so that the glare from the glass is diffused. Non-glare glass has a tendency to diffuse the image as well, making it less clear. The problem is amplified by the distance between the glass and the artwork. In an effort to minimize this effect manufactures are now etching just one side of the glass.

Plexiglas or Acrylic Glazing Plexiglass is much lighter than glass and does not shatter under stress, so we often use it for large pieces or in general when weight will be an issue. However, its softer surface wears and scratches easier and is more prone to static, so it attracts dust. Plexiglass does have nonglare and uv variants, but on the whole they are more expensive than their glass analogues.

  • Lighter than Glass
  • Will not shatter
  • Scratches more easily
  • Must clean using microfiber
  • Available with UV filtering and anti reflective coatings

Picture framing glass options
This framed example shows three different types of glass side by side. The glass on the left is the conservation clear and you can see the glare. The middle show off the clarity of museum glass and the right sample shows the dullness of the conservation nonglare glass.


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