For centuries, artists and framers believed that picture framing glass is the best “window” into any work of art. Glass is clear, strong, and does a credible job of preserving the art or photography it covers.
But there are choices.
Very good choices.
Unfortunately, many American Frame customers aren’t aware of the great alternatives to glass we offer for custom picture framing.
Specifically acrylic, also known as plexiglass.
(NOTE: according to Merriam-Webster, “plexiglass” is a generic term; “Plexiglas,” however, has been a trademarked term since 1933; oddly, the trademarked term was coined before the generic version.)
Over time, the quality of acrylic/plexiglass has improved considerably.
Acrylic, or plexiglass: Clearly better than glass.
Today, acrylic is significantly better. Here’s why:
Acrylic is lighter than glass. It makes hanging framed artwork easier and less risky. The weight of artwork and the frame and the matboard and the glass and the mounting board and the accessories…it can really add up. Not all walls are created equal, so the possibility of art “dismounting” from the wall due to the weight of the framing package is lessened when acrylic is substituted for glass.
Acrylic is shatterproof. Glass isn’t. So if, perchance, a framing package with glass should fall…yikes. Dangerous, certainly, and not good for the art within the frame, which can be damaged by broken pieces of glass.
Some acrylic is anti-static. And this is why acrylic is often strongly recommended for framing works in pastel or charcoal. Both can dust, flake, and release powder during the framing process and well after. Anti-static means the debris won’t stick to the acrylic. If you need anti-static properties try our Tru Vue Optium Museum Acrylic.
Acrylic has exceptional archival qualities. It can be acid-free, and some types can filter out as much as 99% of harmful UV rays that can damage and discolor artwork over time.
It’s so clear: acrylic beats glass.
Five great acrylic/plexiglass choices
Among American Frame’s extensive offering of picture framing supplies are five different choices of acrylic/plexiglass sheets, at various prices and with varying attributes.