Our Work Standards and The Four Levels of Framing

The Fine Art Trade Guild specifies four acceptable levels of framing, each of which uses different qualities of materials and framing techniques. These levels are numbered 1 to 4, with 1 being the highest standard and 4 being the minimum standard. The level used will affect the cost, and more importantly, the level of protection and conservation for the artwork, so we’ll help you decide which is the correct one for your piece.

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    Level 1 (Ultimate level)

    This is the highest quality framing available, using premium archival grade materials for lifetime protection. Any ‘high value’ or irreplaceable artwork or artefact should be framed at this level. Processes are intended to be fully reversible for at least 35 years, which means that the framed work can be returned to its former state, i.e. how it was prior to framing, within that timescale, assuming that the artwork is not inherently unstable. Ask us for our advice.

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    Level 2 (High level)

    Our preferred minimum level of workmanship.

    By using conservation quality materials and the best techniques, we can give your work protection from physical and mechanical damage, airborne pollution and acids generated by many framing materials. Level 2 framing requires that all processes affecting the artwork be fully reversible, and should be good for 20 years in normal conditions. This level is suitable for, amongst other things, objects and artworks that are to be preserved for future generations, collectables, original artwork and limited edition prints of moderate to high value.

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     Level 3 (Mid level)

    Level 3 framing can visually enhance the artwork and will give a moderate level of protection from physical and mechanical damage, airborne pollution and acid damage. Processes do not have to be reversible. Level 3 framing is suitable for replaceable artwork of limited commercial and/or moderate sentimental value.

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    Level 4 (Low level)

    Level 4 framing provides a basic frame at minimum cost. There is no requirement to provide any protection to the artwork, and basic materials and/or work methods – which do not have to be reversible – are used at this level.

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