View Full Version : To hinge or not to hinge

Steven Dial
13-Jan-2004, 12:48
I have recently purchased the equipment necessary to do my own mounting and matting of my black and white prints rather than paying someone else to do it.

I am stuck on the subject of whether or not to hinge my overmats to the board that the photograph is mounted on. I purchased some water activated linen hinging tape from Light Impressions. I had the impression that if the overmat was damaged, I could easily remove the hinge by re-applying water. I tried a test on a some scraps of mat board. The hinge tape came off, but left a real mess on the mount board. In attempting to clean off the mess, I damaged the mount board. This leaves me questioning whether I want to hinge my overmats.

I see that Light Impressions also sells water activated paper tape which it says is not recommended for hinging and also a plastic type tape which it says is removeable without damage, by applying heat.

My questions for the forum are: Do you hinge your overmats? If you do hinge, what type of hinge tape do you use? What is the general expectation regarding hinging of overmats by purchasers, galleries, etc?

Larry Gebhardt
13-Jan-2004, 13:05
I hinge the overmat with the same linen tape you are using. I only had to remove it once, and I just slit the tape and hinged the new overmat on the other side. Not professional, but I can't tell with it hanging on my wall.

Bruce Watson
13-Jan-2004, 13:24
The Library of Congress thinks that linen hinge tape is the way to go:


Of course, YMMV. Hard to argue with the LoC though.

Michael S. Briggs
13-Jan-2004, 14:17
The standard archival linen tape has water soluble adhesive. It can be removed by dampening the non-adhesive side and waiting a short while for the water to soak through to soften the adhesive. You may have to dampen the tape twice. Then carefully peel the tape off. It will leave some adhesive behind, but this doesn't matter -- you are probably about to reapply linen tape in the same place and the tape is normally used in locations where it isn't visible. You shouldn't expect the mount board to look brand new after removing tape from it .

13-Jan-2004, 14:19
I use the same stuff for hinges and photo corners. Sounds like your rag or sponge might be too wet. I don't bother removing the tape. Just slit it like Larry said. then tape over the tape. I can't tell the difference once they are in the frames.

Jorge Gasteazoro
13-Jan-2004, 14:49
Michael has it right, I think you were just to impatient. Soak the non adhesive side and wait for a while, it will come of very easy. BTW I hinge with the same tape and mount my prints with T hinges using the same tape.

Michael E. Gordon
13-Jan-2004, 16:01
Screw that wet mess. Use Lineco's Self Adhesive Linen Tape: http://framingsupplies.com/ToolsTapesGlues/ToolsTapesGlues.htm (scroll down).

Michael www.mgordonphotography.com

Steven Dial
13-Jan-2004, 20:16
Thanks for all of the replies. I guess linen tape is the way to go. I guess I was being too picky about removing the tape.

Hogarth, thanks for the link to the Library of Congress site. As you said, its hard to argue with the Library of Congress.

Thanks also to Michael Briggs - I was mainly concerned about the glue that left behind. I guess it was too much to expect all of the glue to come off and as you said, I'll be putting new tape over it.

And Michael Gordon, thanks for the info on the other linen tape - I'll have to try some.