Frequently Asked Questions

What percent of UV rays are blocked by regular glass or acrylic?

Regular glass typically filters out about 45% of UV energy and regular acrylic typically filters about 65%. These glass and acrylic products are not suitable for preservation purposes. For preservation purposes, ISO 18916 standard recommends using glass or acrylic that blocks at least 97% UV energy.

Tru Vue manufactures specialty line of glass and acrylic products for preservation purposes. All of our Conservation Grade glass and acrylic products provide 99% UV protection, which exceeds the preservation standards.

Why is UV protection important?

Without at least 97% UV protection framed pieces will age and fade more rapidly. Indoor and outdoor UV light rays contribute to severe color loss, paper embrittlement and deterioration of framed pieces. These effects are both cumulative and irreversible. The materials that make up the piece, the paper or fabric on which the image is displayed, may become brittle. Photos may appear yellow or stained with ghostly silver deposits rising to the surface. Once damage from light has occurred, it can never be reversed. That’s why it is important to understand what you can do to minimize this type of damage before it happens.

Are there forces other than UV light that can contribute to damage to my framed pieces?

Yes. While it is very important to reduce UV light exposure, this alone will not eliminate fading and other deterioration. All light, not just UV light can be damaging. Heat, pollution, moisture, the materials that make up the piece as well as poor quality framing materials are all contributing factors.

How can I protect my framed pieces?

Having your pieces framed by a professional custom picture framer who uses conservation framing techniques and materials will help minimize the risk of damage caused by these factors. Care should be given when displaying your framed piece to avoid unnecessary exposure to light. Direct light exposure for any duration should be avoided. Hanging or displaying the piece in a controlled lighting environment with low humidity is recommended. Since some light is required for you to enjoy and see your framed pieces, it is all the more important to reduce any damage from UV light, by using glazing with at least 97% UV protection.

For additional tips, Tru Vue recommends reading "A Consumer Guide to Materials for Preservation Framing and the Display of Photographic Images", created by the Image Permanence Institute. To download this guide go to www.imagepermanenceinstitute.org.

When should UV protection glass or acrylic be used?

Conservation framing materials and techniques should always be used on sentimental, valuable, limited edition and one-of-a-kind artwork. Also use UV protection glass or acrylic on all works of art you want to protect, especially posters and open edition prints. Posters or open edition prints are more susceptible to UV light damage since the inks, papers and other materials used to create them are more likely to deteriorate than those used in higher end reproductions.

Can fluorescent light harm artwork?

Yes. While fluorescent lighting can have a higher output in the UV compared to incandescent lighting, the more important factor is the overall brightness of light. To minimize light damage, avoid placing artwork near sunlit windows or bright sources of light.

The windows in my home have a UV coating. Should I still use glass or acrylic with UV protection?

Yes. Unfortunately, the sun is not the only source of harmful UV light rays. All light sources, whether natural or artificial, have some of their components in the ultraviolet range.

When should I use acrylic?

Tru Vue recommends using acrylic for hanging and shipping heavy, oversized artwork, children's rooms, earthquake zones, high traffic areas or anywhere extra care is required.

What type of glass or acrylic should I use for pastel or charcoal based art?

Pastel or charcoal based art can become damaged using most glazing products due to the inherent static charge of the substrate. Tru Vue Optium Museum Acrylic, StaticShield Acrylic and Optium Acrylic® provide an anti-static feature to help protect this type of art from damage.

When it comes to custom framing, no other glass product compares to Museum Glass®. Its specialized coating gives it some very desirable features.

  • 99% UV Protection to help protect your art from fading.
  • Amazing Clarity that enables you to see the artwork and not reflections. The glass is almost invisible. Colors are brighter and contrast levels are higher, making it easier to admire the finer details of your piece.

Regular Glass

Museum Glass®

This glass is etched to a create matte finish that reduces unwanted glare.

  • 99% UV Protection to help protect your treasured items from fading.
  • Matte finish to minimize glare.

Regular Glass

Conservation Reflection Control®

The standard glass option that helps protect your art from fading with the highest level of UV protection available.

  • 99% UV Protection to help protect your art from fading.

Regular Glass

Conservation Clear®

Optium Museum Acrylic® is the ultimate acrylic product that offers an almost invisible finish. Plus it performs more like glass than traditional acrylic, with its anti-static and scratch-resistant properties.

  • 99% UV Protection for protecting your cherished items.
  • Amazing clarity that enables you to admire the finer details of your piece and not reflections. It's like the acrylic is nearly invisible.
  • Scratch-resistant to prevent minor scratches that can mar typical acrylic during everyday cleaning.
  • Anti-Static to reduce dust attraction and help prevent damage to loose media artwork such as pastels, charcoals and textiles.
  • Shatter-resistant to give you peace of mind in high traffic areas or a child’s room.
  • Half the weight of glass making it lightweight and perfect for large framing projects.

Regular Acrylic

Optium Museum Acrylic®

This one-of-a-kind acrylic performs more like glass than acrylic with its anti-static and scratch-resistant properties.

  • 99% UV Protection to help protect your artwork from UV damage.
  • Anti-Static to reduce dust attraction and help prevent damage to loose media artwork such as pastels, charcoals and textiles.
  • Scratch-resistant to prevent minor scratches that can mar typical acrylic during everyday cleaning. Shatter-resistant to give you peace of mind in high traffic areas or a child’s room.
  • Half the weight of glass making it lightweight and perfect for large framing projects.

Regular Acrylic

StaticShield™ Acrylic

This Conservation Grade acrylic has a matte like finish that reduces unwanted glare.

  • 99% UV Protection to help protect your art from fading.
  • Matte finish to reduce unwanted glare.
  • Half the weight of glass making it lightweight and perfect for large framing projects.
  • Shatter-resistant to give you peace of mind in high traffic areas or a child’s room.

Regular Acrylic

Conservation Reflection Control® Acrylic

This is the standard Conservation Grade acrylic option, the right choice for framing anything that has personal value to you.

  • 99% UV Protection to protect your art from fading.
  • Half the weight of glass making it lightweight and perfect for large framing projects.
  • Shatter–resistant to give you peace of mind in high traffic areas or a child’s room.

Regular Acrylic

Conservation Clear® Acrylic

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What is the UV Protection Standard?

To protect the items that are valuable to you from UV damage, you need to have at least 97% UV protection. This is not just our professional opinion. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recommends framing with glazing that provides a minimum of 97% UV protection.

What is the ISO?

The ISO is an independent, non-profit organization that sets worldwide standards for everything from healthcare and baby food, to the preservation of scrapbooks and motion pictures. The 97% UV protection is the standard they set to protect you from losing your valuables due to UV damage.

Whatever it is you want to have custom framed, the best way to protect it is to use glazing that has at least 97% UV protection. The only glazing that not only meets, but beats this standard is Tru Vue® Conservation Grade glazing with 99% UV protection.