When working with pastels much caution is taken when handling them. Pastels on paper are like a chalk consistency and are easily blurred, rubbed and damaged. There are a few ways that your pastel can be preserved and protected.
First there is the option to use a fixative spray, however many pastelists choose not to use fixative. This is because pastel is a dry medium and they want to keep it dry, as to not blend or darken the colors of the art. Fixatives are also known to disturb the subtle textures of the pastel pigments.
Another option is to put it behind glass and to frame it. When framing pastel pieces you must be very careful as to not disturb the pastel texture, very few tools are used when handling them. Another precaution taken when framing pastels has to do with the natural shedding the piece will do over time while hanging on the wall.
In order for the shedding pieces of pastel to not be seen through the frame we create what is called a mat build up. This is where we strip out the matting between artwork and the mat with another piece of skinnier matting (that you can not see from the front), in doing so we create a gab where the pieces of pastel can fall and not been seen.