When should I linenback or paperback a poster?
This is another one of those questions that only you can make the decision on. There are reasons that we linenback, paperback or gelback posters and artwork. Linenbacking is usually done because some sort of restoration is necessary. Generally when a poster is linenbacked, the restorer also cleans and deacidifies it. The linenbacking or paperbacking process itself, lends a solid surface for restoration to be done. Fold lines, holes and even major paper loss can be restored. Often, just the cleaning process alone, makes original colors in the poster come to life again. However, some collectors like the “aged” look for their posters and don’t mind a bit of aging or a little fold separation here and there. Once your poster or artwork is in an archival frame, any further decay is virtually stopped. Some customers have their current rolled movie posters linenbacked because they want them to look as perfect as possible in the frame.
Some collectors feel that linenbacking devalues the poster. All is up for debate. Remember, linenbacking is an expensive venture so determine your own reasons for linenbacking first. Also, with the rise in movie poster prices over the last five to seven years and many more collectors coming into the hobby, there has been an incredible rise in the number of linenbackers available. As collectors ourselves, we can’t emphasize enough how important your choice of a linenbacker/restorer is. Even though we are somewhat partial to the framing end of our collecting, being conservation pictureframers, we know as collectors there is no one more important to the life of your movie posters than who you choose to linenback/restore them. Find out the years of experience they have, get referrals, ask questions, and shop around.
Don’t always go with the cheapest in this case. Talk to longstanding movie poster dealers and ask who they use. In many cases, these posters are worth thousands of dollars. We work with a team of restorers and offer service through our company using our wholesale account.
Remember, inform yourself the best you can by asking lots of question and when in doubt, use your own common sense.
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