Matting is an integral part of presenting works with or without a frame. It helps create a border that protects the work from glazing and complements the work giving it an overall new look. To accomplish this we use hundreds of mat styles, colors, and textures which are custom selected to enhance your work. We carry two brands Crescent and Bainbridge that are of the highest quality and ranges from basic acid-free mats to rag mats. Museum Quality mats are treated or buffered to eliminate acids that cause gradual deterioration or color fade. This allows for your work to be protected while remaining presentation ready.
A mat is most commonly used for additional decoration to enhance the look of a framed piece. Although matting usually contains one opening per layer, it may contain none if the picture is “float-mounted” or “top-mounted” (where the piece is on top of the mat) or have multiple openings that allow from multiple pieces to be displayed in one frame. Mats are typically quite thin so they can stack to create double, triple or quadruple matting or even allow for a fillet in between the mats. This helps draw the eye of the viewer in towards the piece or serve as the finishing touch to the artwork. Mats can easily be found or altered to include further decorative features such as cloth, linen or silk and can be decoratively covered or coated. While most mats are generally rectangular in shape with a rectangular opening there are fairly common oval mats that have an oval-aperture opening that is designed to go with oval frames, there are also various other examples of unusual mat shapes to customize.
Mats tend to take well to minor surface additions, including ink and paint (for signatures or decorative modifications); cloth-covered mats can also have objects such as pins, flags or cloth patches pinned or sewn to them, this technique is frequently used in shadowboxing to avoid having to glue items to the backing. It is also possible to affix a small metal plate to the surface of a mat. Such plates are typically made of brass, and can also be affixed to the picture frame itself if the frame is made of wood. In most cases they are frequently used for diplomas or portraits to display a name, title or position along with other necessary information. Bottom weighted or off-sets are used frequently in matting. This technique allows for bottom margins to be made larger than the side and top margins. When looking at an image, the eyes tend to center higher up than the physical center of the image. By creating a larger bottom margin and off-setting the mat, you draw the eye to physical center of the image. Top Center is a subset of bottom weighting where the top and side margins are equal, which creates a visually pleasing effect. This is particularly true in mats where the borders are not equal.
Matting is one of the most important functions because it protects the work from any condensation. Any condensation that might develop inside of the glass can be transferred to the piece if it is not separated. This may result in mold, mildew, or water damage which will in turn ruin your work. Photos and artworks are particularly easy to damage and in some cases they may even separate from its original paper and stick to the glass if it becomes wet. For this reason it should be framed in such a way that the glass does not directly contact the photo. In addition other art mediums, such as pastels or chalk works, can smudge easily against the glass distorting or changing the work but with a mat it prevents it from doing so.
There are several categories of mat board and they are all separated by the level of protection it offers to the artwork or work being framed. The categories for mats are as follows:
Fabric and Texture
The most extensive selection of fabric, metallic and textured surfaces available, feature an archival core and patented Artcare protection technology.
100% virgin cotton-fiber rag matboard in a full assortment of classic colors and sizes, feature patented Artcare protection technology.
Alphamat Artcare Speciality
Distinctive archival specialty surfaces add a unique, creative touch to preservation framing and feature patented Artcare protection technology.
Featuring 100% archival quality and Artcare protection technology with solid color throughout for the look and protection of traditional museum boards. Rustic Essentials have a gently distressed surface aesthetic.
Alphamat Artcare Color
The most extensive selection of museum-quality preservation boards available, featuring the latest colors on an archival core and patented Artcare protection.
Combines exceptional quality with a wide selection of colors, for non-conservation framing applications.