Tag Archives: matting

Framing Works of Art on Paper: Why Use Mats?

1920s Collage

Works on paper are the most common popular form of art. These include: reproductions, limited edition prints, watercolours, pastels, acrylics and photographs. Works on paper require specific framing techniques to protect them from the environment and to ensure their longevity.  This article will focus on the purpose of matting and the different types of mats including: mat designs and mat cuts.

Why Use Mats?

Mats have three main purposes:

  1. To prevent the art from touching the frame’s glass. It is important to have an “air space” between the artwork and the glass, otherwise moisture or condensation may build up and cause mildew or foxing to occur. Photos will often stick to the glass if a mat is not used.
  2. For aesthetic purposes.  Mats come in a wide variety of styles, colours and types.  Well-designed mat combinations highlight the artwork and help focus the eye of the viewer on it.
  3. For conservation purposes.  Acid-free materials are used to protect artwork that is irreplaceable, or has a potential monetary or sentimental value. Continue reading
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