Framing Family Heirlooms

Framed family heirloomsDear Donia,
How do I frame old letters and clothing?

Q. Dear Donia,

I have some of my parents love letters from 1945 and a 1930's Dutch dress my great-grandmother made for my Mother. I would like to have them framed so I can enjoy seeing them every day. I live in the Seattle area—is there anyone you would recommend for this service? Thanks, Kathleen

A. Dear Kathleen,

What wonderful materials to have from your parents! It is a nice idea to get them framed but you will want to find someone familiar with conservation framing methods to ensure that the materials won't be damaged either from poor framing materials, poor mounting techniques, or light.

I don't know of anyone personally but you could contact the Seattle Art Museum's conservation lab. They would know of local framers who could do the work properly for you.

If nothing else, you will want to be sure that UV blocking glass or plexiglass is used to provide an initial barrier to light damage and then hand somewhere where there is little direct sunlight or bright electric light. Depending on what ink was used in the love letters, you may want to frame good digital copies so you don't lose the text over time.

Good luck with your project.