The following are examples of the deterioration of art and personal items by not using museum grade materials. The outcome can be irreversible, or at best, expensive for a conservator to restore. Despite what some manufacturers and framing establishments claim, "acid free" is a misnomer.
Foam core should NEVER be used as it will damage your artwork or document.
This piece of artwork has been damaged due to the chemical breakdown of the "acid-free" matting that was used. Archival matting would never cause this because it is 100% cotton and is not chemically treated wood pulp.
This photograph was damaged by ultraviolet radiation because UV filtering glass was not used when framing it. Even when proper UV filtering glass is used we always advise clients to never hang their artwork in direct sunlight.
The stain on this diploma was caused by an "acid free" mat made from chemically treated wood pulp. Unfortunately, this irreversible damage would not have occurred if it had been properly framed with 100% museum grade cotton rag matting.