how to choose picture framing matting

At The Frame Room, our core philosophy is to educate and inform our customers during the picture framing decision process and empower them to make the best decision for their personal needs. For many of our customers, they are picking out framing and/or matting for a highly personal, sentimental, and valuable object. To some, they are simply framing a poster, print, sports jersey, or diploma to protect it from the elements and ravages of time. This article will help to outline the differences of the lines of matting we carry and shed light on their recommended uses to ensure the best job for your framing dollar.

To begin, we carry picture frame matting from Crescent and Nielsen Bainbridge. Unlike other shops, we do not carry what are typically called paper mats. These mats are not acid-free. Acid is responsible for the yellowing and bleeding in paper, and will ruin or damage your framed work. For the minimal cost, we prefer to offer acid-free matting for our clients. Corporate, restaurant, or office framing and art program clients may prefer this for their higher volume jobs, and we do offer it for those clients.

First, we will cover the Crescent line of mats. We carry Crescent Select, Accents, Utilblack, Britecores, the new Impact Colors, and Ragmat museum quality along with Moorman Fabric, Linen, and Suede. Below is a breakdown of each featuring suggested uses:

Crescent Select, Accents, Utilblack, Britecores, the new Impact Colors

  • Conservation quality surface papers offer optimum fade and bleed resistance.
  • Produced using only 100% virgin alpha-cellulose fibers for lasting quality.
  • Acid-free and lignin-free for maximum artwork protection.
  • This highly versatile matting is recommended for posters, photography, and is safe for artwork.

Crescent Ragmat

  • For centuries, cotton rag paper, prized for strength, purity and stability, has been the choice of artists, composers, writers and printers. Today it is specified for currency, stock certificates and government documents.
  • Cotton rag matboard was designed specifically for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in the late 1920s. Today, virtually all museums and libraries rely on cotton rag matboard, often referred to as museum board.
  • Crescent's entire line of cotton RagMat, the industry's most trusted brand of cotton rag matboard, is still produced following the time-honored practice of making paper from cotton fiber. It's a Crescent tradition that continues to stand the test of time.
  • Cotton Ragmat is pure!
  • This matboard is recommended for your most prizes valuable, artwork, and museum quality artifacts.

Moorman Fabric, Linen, and Suede

  • Acid-free and lignin-free for maximum artwork protection.
  • Available with a black core
  • This highly versatile matting is recommended for posters, photography, and is safe for artwork.

This concludes our breakdown of the matboard choices available for use on your custom picture framing project.

We hope you have found this article informative. This article is part of a 6 part series intended to introduce you to all the components and levels of framing. The series includes:

  1. Picture Frame Matting. How do I Choose?
  2. Wood or Metal Frames. How to Choose a Frame.
  3. How to Choose the Correct Picture Frame Glazing.
  4. How to Choose Custom Frame Mounting.
  5. What Exactly Does Conservation Framing Mean?
  6. What the Heck is a Shadowbox Frame Anyway?

We look forward to being there to serve all your custom picture framing needs.