Preserving A Tattoo As A Memorial? 4 Tips For Choosing A Frame

A new nonprofit organization has emerged with the intent of preserving the body art of the deceased. As long as their deceased loved one has signed up with the organization prior to their passing, a family member can phone the agency immediately after the death and request a kit for removal of their deceased loved one's tattoo. The kit is usually handed off to the funeral director in charge of burial, who promptly uses it to remove the tattoo and send it back to the nonprofit organization. 

About 3 - 6 months later, the preservation process is complete, and the family members of the deceased are sent the finalized work of art. If you're preserving the tattoo of one of your loved ones and you just received the finished product, here are some tips for choosing a frame.

1. Let Your Loved One's Personality Guide Your Material Choice.

Your two main options for picture frame material are wood and metal. Wood usually lends a traditional or natural feel, while metal gives a modern or industrial vibe. Choose the material that you feel bests reflects the personality of your deceased love one. For example, if they were quiet and fond of nature, a wooden frame would work best. If your loved one was a risk-taker or loved technology, on the other hand, a metal frame would be a more suitable option.

2. Forget The Rules Of Color 

If you ask what color your frame and mat should be for your tattoo artwork, you'll hear a lot of advice. Some people suggest your pick a secondary color within the tattoo to border your artwork with, others will suggest you choose a shade that contrasts the main color in the tattoo, thus making the artwork really pop.

The one rule you should heed, though, is to choose a frame and mat in a color that you, yourself, really like. Your loved left you their tattoo artwork so that you could enjoy its appearance, so toss any color advice you've been given to the wind and select the colors that you find most aesthetically appealing. 

3.  Opt For A 100 Percent Cotton Mat Board

Acid-containing mat boards can damage artwork made out of nearly any medium, because the acid can leach through the mat and come in contact with the photo. Wood pulp is an attractive matting medium, but it has a lot of acid in it and therefor has to be treated with an acid neutralization solution so it doesn't harm the photo. Such processes leave room for error, so it's best to stick with a museum grade 100 percent cotton mat board when choosing a mat for your loved one's tattoo artwork; natural cotton contains no acid whatsoever.

4.  Choose Glazing With UV Protection

Just as acid can damage your loved one's preserved tattoo, so can sunlight. Avoid fading of your artwork by hanging it out of direct sunlight and investing in UV-resistant glass when selecting a glazing option for your frame. UV-resistant glass blocks anything behind it from the sun's damaging rays.

Tattoo preservation offers a new way for family members of the departed to enjoy the artwork that their loved ones enjoyed while alive. If you're preserving the tattoo of your loved one, use the above 4 tips to select a meaningful and protective frame to store it in. Contact a local framer, like Washington Framers' Workroom, for more inspiration.