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About clear glass and non-reflective (non-glare) glass for picture frames

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Internationally, for glass for picture frames, there are perhaps a dozen different types of glazing materials available to glaze (meaning to covereflective-and-non-reflective-glassr a surface with a see-through cover) picture frames. Most are made of glass with the rest being plastic, polyethylene boards, Perspex or just clear PVC sheeting. With regard to the glass glazing materials the two major types of picture framing glass are clear float glass and clear float glass is the most common because it is the cheapest. However it has two main disadvantages . Firstly it is reflective and reflects it picture framing suppliers throughput Australia.

The two most common glass types likely to be carried and sold by most picture framers to Customers are clear float glass and non-reflective glass..surroundings, this may be annoying to some. Secondly, it lets through about half of the ambient light's UV rays. This causes fading to the artwork and is the main reason colour photographs go "bluish" after a while.

Non-reflective glass (also known as diffused, non-glare or matte glass) is the next most common glazing material. It is dearer that clear glass, about 4 times the price of clear glass per square metre. Unlike the clear glaze, it is not greatly reflective and does not reflect its surroundings. Unfortunately it proffers no greater preservation protection or conservation capabilities than ordinary clear glass and the problem of fading remains.

Generally speaking, Customers tend to choose and a pay more for non-reflective glass when framing personal, family or sentimental items. However when making picture frames for inexpensive, decorative items such as prints and posters, they often opt for the cheaper, clear glass picture framing. In the U.S. where the picture framing market is about ( by population ) 10 times larger, the supply of picture framing glass products has a greater range and more choice for customers.

For instance some specialist U.S. picture framers stock and sell 'Low-Iron" non-reflective ( or matte, or non-glare, or diffused) While this costs more, its iron-free silica construction means a lower light absorption meaning a clearer image and less than normal-glass reflection. Another specialized product is 'Laminated Glass". This may be often used for valuable, larger picture frames in busy or public areas.

It's generally constructed in 3 layers, Glass + PVB film + glass. its light absorption and transmission is similar to clear, or regular glass. A last , major glass product, also available in Australia, but not stocked by many picture framers because of its cost in "Museum Glass". As the name implies it's often used by museum and conservators for rare and valuable artwork where light absorption and ensuing fading must be minimized.

This glazing materials is often also soled as Conservation Grade UV Protection picture framing glass. It's fairly expensive (about 6 times the price of clear glass) but it is also of excellent quality. It has a nearly undetectable finish and stops about 99% of harmful internal and external ultra-violet light rays. Visit our Picture Framing Glazing page for more information on this topic.

5 thoughts on “About clear glass and non-reflective (non-glare) glass for picture frames

  1. My family or my parents anyway always got the family photos in photo frames with non-relefective glass. They got told by their picture frame that was better for the photos and that would stop fading. But you say that this isn’t so and that our photo frames matte glass doesn’t really stop fading. I checked out Wikipedia and they say pretty much the same thing. My mum says that the picture framer probably told us what she wanted to hear also because everybody she know got their wedding picture frames with that type of glass. And anyway the photos are all faded anyway!!!

  2. The funny thing I noticed about some photos and other artwork inside picture frames for a long time is that these burn or etch their designs into the glass over a period of time. I buy and sell old photo frames, certificate frames, poster frames and other picture frames as a hobby and often recycle picture frames. When I open these frames up to change pictures, I often find that the old print or image has kind of burnt or etched its outline into the glass. Even after cleaning the glass you can still clearly see the old image. Anyone knows the cause of this?

  3. The problem I have is that picture framers too often recommend expensive museum glass for all picture frames, all photo frames and all picture framing. But I have several cheap posters I bought online and their only function is to decorate my place. I don’t really care if the fade in 8, 10 or 15 years’ time. This is because I will have probably moved into another house with a different decor or anyway, fashion changes and I may want to put up other images on my walls. So why pay another extra $80 or $120 extra for museum glass? It doesn’t make sense to me. On the other hand, I do have my Army Officer’s Commission framed with museum glass because that’s valuable to me.

  4. I’ll give you a tip. If your artwork isn’t some fine art or very valuable sentimental work and the framer suggests museum glass or art glass straight away, he’s more than likely trying to upsell. 90% – 95% percent of the time museum glass ins’t needed. It’s a luxury on top of a luxury (picture framing itself). I would walk away if he recommended museum glass for a cheap poster i wanted to frame. It’s just not needed. Diffused glass is more about the glass aesthetic and definitely has its place and can look really good in certain situations. That’s not to say museum glass doesn’t have its place either, it can be required for old documents, fine art etc.

  5. […] mistaken belief that plexiglass is somehow cheaper and more readily available glazing material than clear float glass.  But we have never held that opinion. If anything, we have always found it more expensive, more […]

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