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How to frame an Egyptian papyrus

How to frame an Egyptian papyrus

Suzi just arrived back from an incredible trip through Egypt. Among all her clothes, photos and unbelievable memories, she brought back some fragile papyrus paintings. Somehow she managed to keep them safe on the trip home and now she wants them up on her walls. The only question is – how do you frame a papyrus authentically?

“Carefully! And with conservation properties to keep it safe and looking good” says Art Land Senior Design Consultant, Kellie Silva.

Framing a Papyrus with a complementing framePapyrus is actually the historical paper on which images and text are painted onto, and is formed from the pith of the papyrus plant. The artwork painted on them is traditionally full of luscious, deep, and rich colours. Gold detail is often used to depict the stories of Egyptian history.

When framing a papyrus, the qualities of the pieces must be kept in mind in order to create a successful design. We have framed many, many artifacts from Egypt and here are our top 5 tips to frame your papyrus the best possible way.

Tip 1: Choose a frame design that shows off the nature of the papyrus. Often the paper is not entirely smooth, it has rough edges and is very “natural” looking. Often we recommend “floating” the papyrus in the frame to display the rough edges and texture. Do not hide it away under mats, and make it appear as though it is just a photo or a print. It’s something special – so show it off!

Tip 2: Use mat colours that are full of rich deep tones, keeping in sync with the colours within the artwork. Allow them to compliment, while not being distracting. Deep blues and blacks can work really well, creating a contrast between the light tones of the papyrus paper.

Papyrus with orange box build upTip 3: Use layers to build up the frame, creating a box around the piece. This can be done through building up the mat boards in layers around the image, thus sinking the papyrus into the centre of the design. It can also be done through strips of mat board around the inside of the frames, creating a box of colour that draws attention to the texture and thickness of the paper. Papyrus-es look really good when incorporated into this type of 3-D design.

Papyrus with layersTip 4: Try something a little different. Papyrus-es often have gold incorporated into the artworks. Even if gold doesn’t necessarily suit your personal style, having even a small amount of gold in your framing design can create a stunning visual link between the frame and the artwork.

Tip 5: The frame is often the most important part of the design, and quite a bit of time must be taken to make sure it suits the papyrus. A good idea is to find a style of frame that suits the paper and artwork, so that it pulls back toward the authentic nature of the papyrus. It is a uniquely Egyptian piece, therefore finding a frame that draws attention to its origin, will give it the most authentic result.

Need help for you papyrus? Talk to our friendly team today about organising a no-obligation quote for your artwork.