MATTING FOR PICTURE FRAMING
Art Impressions carries all major brands of mat board. We have a large range of colors and fabric surfaces to ensure the right look for your artwork. All of our mat boards are conservation boards that meet the highest standards. Art Impressions uses a state-of-the-art computerized mat cutter to create unique and interesting designs for you. We also offer custom fabric-wrapped mats in silk, cotton, linen or any material!
Types of Mats:
100% Rag Mat (Museum Boards) –
These boards called “museum boards” are manufactured from pure cotton that has been rendered to a pulp. They are lignin-free and non-acidic. Rag mats are the highest quality of conservation mat board. Most museums still consider rag mats to be the industry standard.
Alpha Cellulose Boards –
These are made of pure cellulose and are free from harmful lignin. These are sometimes called “conservation boards” and from a PH standpoint they remain stable over time. In that sense they are considered equivalent to 100% rag boards.
Buffered Acid-Free Matboards –
These are matboards that have had most of the lignin or acid removed during manufacturing and a buffering agent added. The facing paper is made from alpha pulp, which is wood pulp which has had the acid removed. Wood pulp mats that are labeled “buffered” by the manufacturer have calcium carbonate added to neutralize the acids. However, over time the buffering agent loses its efficacy, therefore these types of boards should not be considered for artwork that requires the highest level of conservation quality.
Wood Pulp Base Mats (also referred to as “paper mats”) –
Paper mat boards contain lignin, the resinous material in wood which eventually breaks down and creates acids. Over time, these acids will “burn” the artwork, making it discolored and brittle. Humidity will accelerate this reaction, and over time the acid migrates into the artwork. This can be seen most distinctly on older prints which have been in the same frame for a period of time; the artwork turns brown and becomes brittle, with the area along the mat’s sight edge turning the darkest.
Paper mats are often buffered with calcium carbonate, which can also be found in antacid tablets. However, this simply slows the acid process for a short time. Paper mats are the least expensive option on the market. We recommend that paper mats only be used on posters or mass produced prints that are of lesser value and are not printed on acid-free paper.
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