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How to look after your prints and all works on paper?

We have often been asked the question of how to look after the artwork in Hong Kong? Here are a few tips you might find useful.

 Sunlight

Sunlight is a common source of ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet radiation is potentially damaging to all works on paper, photographs and anything with colour!  It causes colour to fade.

If your artwork has bright colours do not hang it in direct sunlight, we suggest to pay a bit more and  use Conservation Clear®️ glass from TruVue  which will protect 99% of UV. Also consider rotating works of art periodically.

 

Humidity & Temperature

Humidity - A term you can’t avoid living in Hong Kong. Paper doesn’t like moisture. It likes to live in a cool, relatively dry, clean and stable environment (no rapid changes). According to National Trust, the ideal humidity to store your work is between 40-65% with a temperature of 21-24c. 

Mould thrives on paper that is in a warm, moist setting usually above 65% of humidity, which leads to the paper’s decomposition, sizing loss, and discolouration.

 A dehumidifier is your best friend.

 

Storing & Framing

Unfolded to flatten or rolled storage for oversized papers. Sandwich your artwork with acid-free paper to allow the paper to absorb the moisture and to prevent acids from migrating into the other works on paper. 

Make sure your framer use acid-free materials.  Acid-free paper has a pH rating above seven. Acid can cause discolouration, as a  result of acidic paper over time. When exposed to the elements, the acid in paper, matting and frame backings can change the chemical composition of the artwork, affecting colour and image clarity.

Another form of damage is chemical burning.  When wood pulp, which is essentially sulphur, combines with water in the atmosphere, you get sulphurous acid. All non-acid-free paper lets off a microscopic fuming of sulphurous acid, which causes paper to become dry, brittle and brown.