Preparing to Mount Medals in a Bespoke Frame? Read These Tips First

Medals are important objects in life, given that they stand as a representation of our successes and key achievements. You might have won medals by competing in various sports or competitions, or you might even have military medals of your own. Some people might even have military medals that were earned by previous generations of their family.

Those medals act as a beautiful testament to important achievements, so you’ll want to display them proudly while making sure that they’re as safe and protected as possible.

Tips for Framing Medals

Let’s go through some of the most important tips that can help you to safely and attractively frame your medals.

Handle your medals gently

The first tip is to always handle your medals with care. Though metals might seem robust, it’s surprising how much damage a person can do to them – and how quickly it can happen.

Here are some best practice tips to follow when handling your medals:

  • Try to minimize the amount of time that you actually hold your medal
  • Make sure that your environment is free from food and drink
  • Clean and dry your hands before handling your medals
  • Consider wearing clean gloves to avoid putting dirt on your medal – natural oils on your skin can corrode metals

Carefully clean your medal (but don’t polish)

Before you frame your medal, you might be tempted to give it an initial deep clean. You’ve got to be incredibly gentle at this stage, though, and learn the difference between cleaning (removing bits of dust and dirt) and polishing (removing tarnish).

Frequent polishing can really damage the quality of the design and it will often make it difficult to read any inscriptions on the medal. This is why it’s only recommended to polish when it’s really necessary and to use a silver polish that’s less abrasive.

You can choose to clean it, though, using a soft brush and a vacuum cleaner with the smallest nozzle possible and a net curtain over the top. You should be incredibly gentle to avoid damaging your medal.

In terms of ribbons, you should not wash them. Those dyes are likely to bleed and run, so you should gently brush and vacuum them again. Of course, you’ll want to be incredibly gentle and make sure not to damage the medal.

Consider working with a conservator

If you suspect that your medal suffers from plaque or corrosion, you’ll want to consider working with a trusted conservator. These professionals will be able to assess the damage and make a sustainable fix.

It’s important that you take this step before deciding to frame your medal, given that the corrosion could worsen and its effects become more dramatic.

There are a number of professional conservators in the London area. You’ll be sure to find lots of options with a quick Google search, but you should be sure to read as many reviews as possible to get a clearer picture of what they can do for you.

Be aware of light damage

The ribbons on your medals are very susceptible to light damage. Exposure to too much light will fade the colours and make them very brittle, which is why you should preserve them carefully and use the appropriate UV glass.

You should avoid placing your medals in a place that’s replete with light. Opt for a darker place that will help to preserve the quality and condition of your medals.

Avoid extreme temperature or humidity

Extreme temperature and humidity can easily damage your medal and its ribbon. You’ll also find that damp conditions can cause the medal to corrode and that damp can also rot the fabric.

Exposure to high temperatures will also make the fabric brittle. Those temperatures – and the change in them – can also eventually deal damage to the medal itself. This is why you should be careful when it comes to selecting a location for your medals.

You’ll want to avoid placing your bespoke medal frame above radiators, for instance, or in the path of direct sunlight. It’s also important that your chosen location isn’t damp or humid.

Use acid-free materials

It almost goes without saying that you should be sure to use acid-free materials at every stage of the process. This can help you to avoid dealing corrosive damage to your precious medals.

When it comes to choosing a bespoke frame – and all the materials that come with it – you’ll need to make sure that you choose acid-free materials. To make sure that you get only the very best materials, you’ll want to work alongside a trusted bespoke frame provider.

Work with a trusted bespoke frame provider

Your medals will undoubtedly be very important to you, so it’s important that you take every step possible to care properly for them. This means that you’ll want to find a trusted bespoke frame provider to work with.

There are a number of different providers out there, but you’ll need to assess all of them to make sure that they’re the right fit for your needs. If you make the wrong choice, you run the risk of choosing a provider who deals irreparable damage to your medals.

If you want a better idea of what to look out for, be sure to read our piece on the four qualities of a great bespoke framer. We dive deeper into each of the qualities, but for an overview they are:

  • Attentive
  • Talented
  • Passionate
  • Knowledgeable

It’s always worth taking the time to research your provider and make sure that they have everything that you need.

Work with Frame Set and Match

If you’re looking for a bespoke frame provider who ticks all of the boxes above, then you’ll want to work with Frame Set and Match. We have many years of experience and we’ve put together some excellent bespoke frames over the years.

Please feel free to get in touch with us today. It will be our pleasure to help you put together a great bespoke frame to help you display your medals with pride.