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Proper Use of Linen and Paper Hinging Tape


While drymounting is fine for temporary display pieces, and occasionally is necessary for permanent art objects, the best technique for attaching works on paper to a mat board is by hinging with archival tapes. Lightweight pieces can be attached with archival paper tape; heavier pieces may require the extra strength offered by linen.

The reason for using hinges rather than simple glue mounting is that mats and frames should always be reversible- the art should be easy to remove should re-mounting be necessary. The mounting tape is seldom removed entirely during the process of re-matting; instead, the new hinge is glued to the remnant of the original.

For works partially overlapped by the mat, a T-shaped hinge is best. At the top edge of the art object, two or more tabs of tape are attached to the back, with a 1 1/2-2 inch tab projecting past the top of the art. From the front, the tabs are adhesive-side out. The art is positioned on the mount board, and a strip of tape is glued across the mounting tabs, attaching them to the board.

For works incorporating the edges of the page into the composition, folded hinges are preferred. 2-3 inch lengths of tape can be folded in half, adhesive-side out to form V-shaped hinges. One side of each hinge is glued to a corner of the back of the artwork, and the other sides of the hinges are attached to the mount board. This technique produces a floating mount with all tape hidden on the back, allowing the edges of the art to be displayed.

The same linen or paper tape can be used to create a hinge attaching the mat to the back mount. One single strip along the joint on the inside of the mat should provide more than enough strength.

Properly mounted artwork is well-protected against damage, and can be easily removed from its framing if necessary. Professional-looking techniques enhance the appearance of your best art, and communicate your commitment to your craft.

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