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FreeShipping

Mat Board Help Center

Mat board must be ordered in increments of 25 sheets or the equivalent of 25 sheets (see chart below).  We must completely fill the specially designed shipping carton to insure that your mat board arrives to you in the best possible condition.  All 25 sheets do not have to be the same.  Some boards are thicker than others and therefore take up more room.  You may choose different colors and types, even foam board, mounting board and illustration board, as long as the space required is equivalent to 25 sheets.  Please note that mat board and foam board cartons are considered oversized by shipping companies (FedEx, UPS, etc.) and will result in higher shipping charges.

Material Space Equivalent
2 ply Mat Board 0.5 Sheet
4 ply Mat Board 1 Sheet
6 ply Mat Board 1.5 Sheets
8 ply Mat Board 2 Sheets
Double Thick (DT) Sheets 2 Sheets
Triple Thick (TT) Sheets 3 Sheets
1/8" Foam Board Sheets 2.5 Sheets
3/16" Foam Board Sheets 3 Sheets

 


Decorative Mat Boards are boards made from wood pulp.  They contain a buffered acid-free pulp core, surface and backing paper.  This is a proven, consistent quality line of mat board with an extensive color range, are meant for non-conservation framing.  These boards have a light cream core, meaning when a bevel is cut into these boards, the bevel will be cream.

International Whitecore Mat Boards are a type of Decorative Mat Board.  These boards have a white core, meaning when a bevel is cut into these boards, the bevel will be white.

Black Core Mat Boards are a type of Decorative Mat Board.  When a bevel is cut into these boards, the bevel will be black.  A dark gray lining paper eliminates black rub off.

Crescent Select Mat Boards meet conservation standards.  They are alpha-cellulose based boards that are both acid and lignin-free.  The surface papers on these boards are pigmented for fade and bleed resistance.

Crescent Select UltiBlack Mat Boards are a type of Crescent Select Board.  These have a black core which means when a bevel is cut into the board, the bevel will be black.

Crescent Select Conservation Solids are a type of Crescent Select Board.  They feature one solid color throughout the board and come in a collection of classic neutral colors.  These boards meet all conservation quality standards set by the Fine Art Trade Guild.

Rag Mat Boards are 100% cotton boards.  They are acid and lignin-free and have a special surface sizing for French Matting and Art Media.  These boards meet museum conservation standards.  Rag Mats are all cotton boards which makes them easier to cut.  There are different types of Rag Mat boards as discussed below.  The majority of Rag Mat boards have a white core.  This means that when a bevel is cut into the board, the bevel will be white.

Rag Mat Antiquarian Boards are a type of Rag Mat board.  These boards have a natural cream core.  This means that when a bevel is cut into the board, the bevel will be cream.

Rag Mat Noir Boards are a type of Rag Mat board.  These boards have a black core.  This means that when a bevel is cut into the board, the bevel will be black.

Rag Mat Museum Solid Boards are a type of Rag Mat board.  These boards have a solid core.  This means that when a bevel is cut into the board, the bevel will be the same color as the surface of the board.

Click here for more information about Crescent Mat Boards.
 


Mat Board FAQs

Q.  What is rag mat board?
A.  "Rag" is a papermaker's term dating back to the 15th century when cotton rags and trimmings were the principal raw materials used for papermaking.  The term continues to be used to describe papers and boards made of 100% cotton fiber pulp.

Q.  What does acid-free actually mean?
A.  Paper having a pH factor of 7 or higher is considered acid-free.  This paper can be made from any cellulose fiber if measures are taken during manufacturing to eliminate (or buffer) active acid from the pulp.

Q.  What is buffering (or alkaline reserve)?
A.  Calcium carbonate added to the pulp to neutralize acid that might in the future be generated from aging of the paper or from atmospheric pollution.

Q.  What is the difference between mounting board and mat board?
A.  The surface paper of mounting board is smooth and acid-free.  It does not look as "pretty" as mat board.  Mat board has a colored surface paper that may be smooth or textured.  The core and backing are acid-free but the surface paper may or may not be.

Q.  How do I know what type of board I should use?
A.  Your board should be determined by your artwork.  Logically, if you are framing an extremely valuable work of art (an original Norman Rockwell, for instance) you would want to use Rag Mats and 100% acid-free mounting boards.  If you are framing a Barney poster for your toddler's room, regular acid-free mat board will probably be sufficient.

Q.  What color mat board should I pick?
A.  Ideally, artwork should be framed for the enhancement of the art itself.  Look at the piece carefully.  Note the colors that are most prominent.  Which color covers the most area and which the least?  Use matching colors of the same proportion in the mat and frame.  Strive to duplicate the "feel" of the art in its framing.  There are no hard and fast rules, but the art and framing should be balanced.

Q.  What is the difference in 2 ply, 4ply, 6 ply and 8 ply?  Which ply do I need?
A.  The term "ply" refers to the thickness of the mat board.  The higher the number, the thicker the board.  The most common thickness used is 4 ply (around 1/16th of an inch).  You can tell the difference in thickness by saying 2 ply is 1/2 the thickness (1/32") of 4 ply.  6 ply (3/32") is 4 + 2, so it would be 1 1/2 times as thick.  8 ply (1/8") would be 4 + 4, or twice as thick.  Which you choose depends on what you are doing.  98% of all mat board sold is 4 ply.  6 and 8 ply mats are often used in museums or galleries for special presentations of artwork or photos.  The 45 degree bevel allows the extra thick core to show and gives a dramatic effect.  Double matted means you will have 8 ply of mat on your artwork if you are using 4 ply board.  In most cases, 4 ply works great and anything more is up to you!  If you choose a thicker or thinner mat board you must adjust the blade on your mat cutter to avoid over or under cuts.  Also, some mat cutters (both manual and computerized) will not cut 8 ply.  If you are interested in a great machine that can handle an 8 ply board, check out the Logan 850 mat cutter!

Q.  What is the worst mistake I can make when framing my art?
A.  Using a cardboard box for backing and all-purpose masking tape are probably the biggest mistakes.  Both have so much acid in them - please, use one of the many inexpensive acid-free choices available.


If you have more questions, please call us at (800)-334-9060!

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