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FAQ

Mat Boards

MAT OVERLAPS

Image and window sizes are not the same thing!

In most framing the window will be slightly smaller than the image that is being mounted, which means the mat will be covering the edges of the image. This is called the mat overlap and it's needed to hold the image down when it's mounted. The recommended width of this overlap will vary depending upon the size of the image.

Suggested mat overlaps.

Image size Suggested overlaps
Up to 100 x 152mm 3mm all round (Window 6mm smaller)
127x178 to 203x305mm 4mm all round (Window 8mm smaller)
Over 203 x 305mm 6-8mm all round (Window 12-16mm smaller)

Image and Window sizes

Image and window sizes are not the same thing! In most framing the matboard window will be slightly smaller than the image that is being mounted, which means the mat will be covering the edges of the image. This is called the mat overlap and it is needed to hold the image down when it is mounted. The recommended width of this overlap will vary depending upon the size of the image - the larger the image, usually the wider the overlap needs to be. (See suggested overlaps below) 

Standard Image sizing. A lot of images, particularly photographs, are printed in Standard Photographic sizes which cover a wide range from 89 x 127mm (3.5 x 5 inches) right up to A3. To check yours simply measure the width and height of the image. If it matches any of the sizes listed in the Standard Image size dropdown select that size and it will be cut with the correct amount of overlap to suit your image.               

Custom sizes. If your image does not match any of these Standard sizes, even if it is by a relatively small amount, we can easily cut a window to suit. At this stage and until our new site is finished it is probably best for you to just Contact Us and we will organise a size for you, remembering that there is no additional charge for any Custom size windows.

What if my image has a white border around it?  Again it is very easy for us to cut you a mat to suit. However at this stage and until our new site is finished it is probably best for you to Contact Us and we will organise a size for you, remembering that there is no additional charge for any Custom size windows.  

Suggested mat overlaps.

Image size Suggested overlaps
Up to 100 x 152mm 3mm all round (Window 6mm smaller)
127x178 to 203x305mm 4mm all round (Window 8mm smaller) 
Over 203 x 305mm 6-8mm all round (Window 12-16mm smaller)


If you have any questions please Contact Us

 

Mat Sizes - The Outside Dimension.
When we talk about a mat or mat board size we are referring to the outside dimension of the mat. If your mat is not a Standard size we will need to know the dimensions of your frame. To determine this there are 2 usual methods - the glass/backing board size or the rebate size.

Glass/Backing size. Generally the mat will always be the same size as the glass/backing board that comes with the frame. Carefully measure the exact size (of either) and these dimensions will become your mat size.

Rebate size. The rebate is the cut-out in the back of the frame that the glass, mat and backing board fits into. Carefully measure the exact outside dimensions of this rebate and then deduct 2mm from each of these dimensions. This size will then become your mat size.

Custom Mat sizes. We can cut any size mat board up to around 1520mm x 1010mm (152cm x 101cm). Sizes above 1015mm x 815mm (101.5cm x 81.5cm) may have a restricted colour range. However at this stage and until our new site is finished it is probably best for you to Contact Us and we will organise a size for you.

If you have any questions please Contact Us

READY TO FRAME.

These are a great way for photographers, artists and craft people to market their products. Your artwork is hinged (taped) behind a specially cut Standard Photographic size mat board, mounted onto a foam core backing and inserted into a re-sealable poly bag, ready for sale &/or framing.

Because a Standard size mat board is used the finished item will fit straight into an off-the-shelf photo frame, greatly reducing the costs associated with framing. The quality of the finished item is very high, they display extremely well and are lightweight, rigid and easy to post or transport safely.

There are 2 options for assembling your Readies.

Do it yourself. You will need your pre-cut mats, matching foam core backing and poly bags which are all available under the "Standard Single Window Mat Boards" tab on our web site, plus a roll of Framer’s Hinging tape and some Double-sided tape from the "Accessories" tab. 

Inhouse assembly, we do it for you. Click on the Standard Single Window Mat Boards tab and select your preferred mat size. In Step 4, Mat Options, select the Inhouse Ready to Frame button and then continue on to select your preferred colour, quantity, matching foam core backing and poly bags. (You will not need the tapes!) Having previously selected the Inhouse Ready to Frame button in Step 4, this will then give you the assembled cost. If you wish to proceed we will be in touch to organise for the images to be sent to us for assembly.


Footnote: "Slip In" presentation/display mats

Primarily used for temporary presentation or display purposes, the "Slip In" is sometimes mistaken as an alternative to the "Ready to frame".

The "slip in" comes as a pre-assembled unit consisting of a window mat taped to a backing board (usually a piece of blank mat board*) with double sided tape run around 3 sides of the mat. The image to be displayed is then "slipped" in through the open end and positioned behind the window.

However, this process means that there is nothing holding the image in place which can then result in the image moving behind the matboard. As such, we do not recommend the Slip In for any type of framing.

Please note that depending upon the GSM of the art paper used, it can also be difficult to slide the image in behind the mat board.

*As a backing material blank matboard is susceptible to moisture absorption and it is not as rigid as the industry standard Foam core used in a Ready to Frame.

If you have any questions please Contact Us

How to assemble your "Ready to Frame".
1. Lay your image face down on the bench
2. Apply the Hinging Tape to the top edge of your image as shown in fig. 1, half on the image and half off. Length of tape? Around 1/3 to 1/2 of the width of the image.
3. It is recommended not to tape all four edges of the image - the image will expand/contract along with changes in temperature and/or humidity and if taped on the four sides this can lead to a "rippling" of the image.
4. Turn the image over so it is facing up.
5. Hold your mat board just above the image and centre it so that the overlap is a similar width all round, and then lower the mat lightly down onto the image. 
6. When you're happy with the mat position, hold it in place with one hand and with the palm of your other hand rub the mat firmly above where the tape would be to adhere it.
7. Picking it up by the top edge of the mat, carefully turn the whole thing over so the mat/image is again facing down and rub the tape firmly. It's a good idea to run your thumb nail along the tape, at the edge of the image, to ensure it is well stuck down along the join.
8. Your image is now effectively "Hinged" behind your mat board and ready to be inserted into your frame, or
9. If they are being sold as a "Ready to Frame" kit, apply some double sided tape in the mat corners (as shown in fig. 2) and tack the mat to your foam core backing, insert it all into the re-sealable Poly Bag and your "Ready" is complete.
Footnote: We recommend that you do not use a "normal" sticky tape or masking tape for this hinging process as the adhesive will ultimately dry out and fail. If required, both the specialist Hinging and Double-sided tapes are available via the "Accessories" tab.

 

Hinging Guidelines

 

Printable PDF DOWNLOAD

 A double mat consists of a front and rear mat cut to the same (outside) dimension, both with a bevel cut window.

The rear mat (the one against the artwork) is cut to suit your image size while the window in the front mat is cut slightly larger, usually @ 5mm all round, although this can be adjusted to your specs if required. This is called the mat reveal and it creates a narrow strip of the rear mat colour around your image. As well as being a decorative option, a double mat also gives the appearance of greater depth to the artwork.

Double mats can be ordered either assembled (stuck together) or as separate (loose) mats for later assembly by you or your framer. 

If you have any questions please Contact Us 

A V Groove is a decorative cut applied to the front of the mat board - quite literally a V shaped groove (@ 1.4mm wide and .7mm deep) that is cut into the surface paper of the mat running around, and parallel to, the window.

When the groove is cut it exposes the core paper of the mat, usually white in colour, and this shows as a contrast to the colour of the mat itself. Therefore the decorative effect of a V Groove can vary from subtle when cut into a white or light coloured mat, to quite dramatic when cut into a darker mat. 

If you have any questions please Contact Us

The concept of a weighted or wider bottom border probably originated around the time of the old style picture rails that were common in older style homes. These meant that the frames were often mounted quite high, so to compensate for perspective the bottom borders of the mats were cut wider than the sides and top.

Of course these days the frames are usually hung with the centre more around eye height, and so this perspective is now not such an issue.

As with most things, to weight or not to weight comes down to personal preference. There are no rules however you need to think carefully so as to not upset the balance of the image.

If you have any questions please Contact Us

Whitecore Mat Board. A high quality non-conservation mat board, widely used in the vast majority of decorative framing and recommended for most applications other than original and/or valuable artwork or documents. The term Whitecore was adopted to distinguish this new breed of superior quality mat board from the old style papermat. The name relates to the quality of the core paper, or the bevel of the mat when cut, in that it remains white and does not yellow like it's predecessor. Within this Whitecore range there is also a Blackcore mat, the name of which does denote the colour of the core paper. Confusing? Just remember that Whitecore denotes the quality of the mat, not necessarily the colour of the core!

Conservation Mat Board. There are several classifications ranging from Conservation right through to the top tier Museum boards which are made from 100% cotton fibre, simply the best boards available. How long do they last? The basic Conservation boards, the lower quality of the range, are treated to remain inert for 100 plus years - so we're told! 

Of course to achieve any level of conservation the entire framing process must conform to these standards, which involves archival adhesives, foam core, mats, UV glass etc. It is not something that can be achieved simply by using a Conservation mat board.

As a footnote, there is absolutely no visual difference between a Whitecore mat and a Conservation mat.

If you have any questions please Contact Us

If you require a full uncut sheet for your art project we can supply any colour from our range of Standard Whitecore Mat Boards in any quantity required. The sheet size is 1018 x 816mm.

If you have any questions please Contact Us

Overseas Orders.

Overseas orders are welcome and easily organised. However, because the Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10% does not generally apply to overseas orders they cannot be processed via this website.

To organise please email us separately with your requirements and we will come back to you with all details and pricing. Once organised we will send you an invoice via email with full details, including payment via a secure process with Paymate. All orders will be shipped with Australia Post's International service unless otherwise specified and will be charged at cost along with a small packing and handling fee.

If you have any questions please Contact Us

Freight Costs and Delivery

Turnaround for orders is generally 3 to 5 working days although this may vary either way depending upon the time of year, your order size etc.

Each order will incur a $5.50 per carton p&h fee and will be delivered via Australia Post or Couriers Please. All postage charges will be invoiced at cost price, as determined by Australia Post or Couriers Please, and you will recieve the items Tracking details once your order has been shipped.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                       

 

Backing boards

FOAM CORE - INDUSTRY STANDARD BACKING.

Standard Foam Core. Available in a range of thicknesses, the 3 and 5mm are the most popular for general mounting and framing. It is light, rigid, acid neutral and economical to use and can be assembled straight into the frame. Highly recommended as a backing for "Ready to Frame" images. Because most standard off-the-shelf frames have quite shallow rebates (the cutout in the back of the frame that the mat and foam core fits into) the 3mm is generally the preferred and recommended thickness. (Also available in Conservation Foam Core, a high quality Archival Foam Core for use in conservation framing, available in either a 3 or 5mm thickness)

Self Adhesive Foam Core. A similar construction to the standard foam core it has a high tack self adhesive surface on one side which is protected by a release paper. A specialty product, it is primarily used for the mounting/framing of larger non-original artwork. Due to the aggressive nature of the adhesive there is no room for error and consequently it can be quite difficult to use when not practiced. Whilst very good in certain applications it is not recommended for "Ready to Frame" artwork.

Other options. 

Blank Mat Board. This is the same material as used in our window matboards, but without the window! A mat backing is primarily used when the image or item being framed is floated. This means that the image/item is mounted directly onto this uncut matboard which then often has a window mat (with a window larger than the image) placed over it, thereby showing the image and some of this "backing mat" through the window. However we do not recommend blank matboard as a general backing material - it is susceptible to moisture absorption, it is heavier and not as rigid as the industry standard Foam core.

MDF (Medium density fibreboard). A wood-pulp based product, MDF is a highly acidic material. In the old days it was extensively used in all forms of framing but as an industry standard it has been replaced by Foam Core. Now mainly used in low grade bulk framing, we do not sell this product nor recommend its use.

Cardboard. A low grade material, it is usually highly acidic and not very stable. Not recommended for any form of mounting or framing.

If you have any questions please Contact Us