Moulding Manufacturers and Custom Framers Have Noticed a Slightly Growing Demand for Unfinished Mouldings.

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  • September 10, 2008

Raw mouldings account for a small part of the custom-framing industry, but they are being used by more and more framers offering unique pieces. Companies such as Los Angeles-Based Foster Planing Mill Co. (323-759-9156,, have seen the demand for raw mouldings grow in the past few years.
“Unfinished moulding is a specialized corner of the moulding industry, but my guess is that it makes up roughly three percent of total moulding sales, maybe less,” says Robert Stanley, company spokesman. “Our customer base is growing, and I think there is an opportunity, especially for frameshops that have both artisans and good salespeople and can produce handcrafted frames and sell to the higher end of the market. I think this is the most creative aspect of the industry. Unfinished mouldings allow unlimited potential for creative designs. And isn’t that what art really is all about?”
Foster has about 150 patterns available as ready-to-ship stock patterns. However, the company also makes many custom patterns designed by its customers, which gives their shops something unique, Stanley says.
In addition to giving framers the freedom to create more imaginative designs, Stanley says the beauty of custom-finished frames is in having something handmade and authentic. “If the frame is cut and joined before it is finished, corners can be sanded to fit perfectly. And after finishing, the miters seem to disappear,” Stanley says. “Or, a framer can use one raw pattern and match the frame color to each work of art that he frames with that pattern. Each frame is specifically designed for the artwork. That is why framers use unfinished mouldings. They do not use them as a way to reduce expenses because the money saved in moulding expenses is probably more than offset by the increased labor that unfinished moulding requires.”
“I personally believe that most frameshops do an excellent job, but custom framers can offer something more – a product that is a work of art in itself,” Stanley says. “It’s a handmade piece of furniture that hangs on the wall.”

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