RMM - March-22 - Raymond Kerege

then returned to the case correctly to protect the items inside from harm.

exposure to elements like air and direct sunlight.

Now people are turning their attention back to collections or items that have special significance and are showcasing them in their homes. Proper framing is key to preserving memorabilia, mementos or collections that represent a particularly exciting event, milestone, family tradition or even a departed loved one. Items that are commonly preserved and showcased in shadowboxes include christening gowns and athletic apparel — jerseys are especially popular. Paper-based items like photographs, programs, wedding invitations, napkins, diplomas and certificates are also popular and are frequent additions to compilation shadowbox arrangements. The Need for Archival Materials It is common practice for new brides to have their wedding gowns cleaned by a professional dry cleaner, preserved (a process that involves filling the inside of the garment with archival, acid-free paper) and placed in an archival- quality storage box to safeguard the garment for posterity or for use by future generations. This process is necessary because the fabrics used in wedding gowns are primarily made fromnatural materials. Fibers break down over time from

It is also important to remember that the human body secretes oils, so each time you touch a photograph or fabric-based family heirloom such as a christening or wedding gown, you are leaving those oils behind. Over time, this causes yellow staining and accelerates the natural breakdown of the fabric. For this reason, a dry cleaner will warn brides not to unseal the preserved wedding dress, and if it is unsealed for someone else’s use, it should be returned for cleaning and preservation once more to maintain it. The same is true for clothing and other collectibles Debbie places into custom shadowboxes at Providence Gallery & Frames. She advises her clients that if an itemhas been taken out for any reason, it should be brought back so she can ensure the item is properly removed and

How It’s Done When asked how she goes about preparing items for shadowbox installation, she explains that if a piece of clothing is involved, it must first be cleaned by fabric conservationists. (This can usually be done by a quality dry cleaner. If the item is an antique, see a specialist.) The next step, Debbie explains, is to put the item into an archival shadowbox, using all archival acid-free materials. The clothing is draped over an acid-free foam core form; this smooths out the garment, creating a tighter fit and resulting in a better presentation. Acid-free backing is used, and the front of the shadowbox is covered with conservation clear 99 percent UVA protective glass to protect the material from fading.

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