We keep the largest inventory of mats in the Bay Area, from which you can select for faster turnaround of your framing project.
Our mats include fabric-wrapped and specialty hand-painted styles, as well as an array of paper colors.
Overview on matting:
A mat is the border that surrounds your art within the frame, typically cut from either acid-free board or 100% rag museum board. Matting, as a graphic element that can highlight a color in the artwork and will increase the overall size of the framed piece.
There are virtually unlimited matting options, literally thousands of choices in every color, texture and style.
The Mat as protection
The mat prevents the art from coming into contact with glazing, guarding against the possibility that moisture could cause the art to stick to the glass and become ruined.*(see: Frame Space?) As the mat touches the artwork, it is very important to only use conservation grade matting.
Mats are available in in countless styles, colors, varying thickness, and speciality finishes. A single the top mat sets the primary tone for the piece. It is important in selecting this to consider both the effect of the matt of the color and tones in the artwork, and its relationship to the wall color where the artwork will be installed.
For a distinctive accent, we recommend adding a second bottom mat, normally with 3/16 inch showing. The bottom matt color is used to bring out subtle tones in the artwork or to tie with colors in the interior finishes of the site.
If you prefer the look, we can frame your art right to the edge of the frame using Framespace to keep the art from touching the glazing.
We normally suggest that you exclude the border typography, unless it is an integral part of the images, or attractively designed. If the border is included, the mat may be redundant, in which case using frame space is ideal - with the image extending to the inner edge of the frame. This is a classic "poster" look. If you prefer the"fine art" look, we advise matting to the image, which also gives you more options of color and style.
Deep bevel mats and bevel board
For further enhancement, double thickness 8 ply or greater mat materials adds dimension that can be highly dramatic. In the case of thicker artwork or cases of "floats", accentuating the dimensional thickness of the artwork is important. Thickness can range from 8-ply (double normal thickness) to the use of acid free foamcore materials with wrapped edges or thicker bevel board. Extra-thick mats are hand-painted or wrapped with foil, fabric and other materials for special effects.
Mats may also be wrapped by a variety of speciality fabrics - including silk, linen, suede, and even leather. While there are simulated version of fabric mats, the continuous wrap of the fabric around the mat or a bevel provide the ideal look.
GREEN NOTE: The ultimate choice for green frame is 100% cotton rag mating. this is considered Museum standard - and is not made from trees as in the case of paper mats
How to I know when a mat should be replaced?
Take a look at the beveled edge of the matboard. If the matting has an aged, yellow look to it, it is made from early generation mat materials which contain various acidity and contaminates. These are directly denigrating the artwork, and the matting should be replaced as soon as possible.
How to Pick the Right Color Mat or Frame
Mat colors can be used to offer a neutral backdrop to your artwork, or offer accents to colors found within the artwork. For example, using dark mats has the effect of "lightening" and "enlarging" the artwork, making it appear more luminous. While using a light color mat serves to "darken" and "shrink" the image, softening its colors. Choosing a neutral mat (whites, grays, tans) allows the colors in the image to remain true to their natural color.
Generally, you want to complement your art using colors that complement, not compete with the colors in your artwork. Let the image have the darkest dark and the lightest light color. This will cause the image to stand out.
Sometimes, the best color ideas come from reviewing where you will be installing the artwork. Survey your existing décor and get a feel for the wall colors, wood tones, furniture style, lighting, and fabrics. This can help you decide on the perfect color combination for your frame.
What are French lines?
French lines are hand-applied with a special rule pen normally between 1/4" and 3/4" outside the cut bevel of the mat.
What are Powdered panels
Powdered panels are hand-applied to matting in distinctive bands around the image. Normally a panel will be a width of 1/2-1" and in a specified color. This is often done in conjunction with French Lines, and most often used for traditional, vintage or historic images.