Artcare is a trademark of the Nielsen-Bainbridge Company. It refers to a patented technology that provides additional preventative conservation protection in mats.
Acid Free Mat
All mat board stocked by Matcutter.com conforms to industry standards. There is a lot of confusion over the terms "acid-free" and "acid neutral". Technically, only mat board made of cotton fiber commonly called "Cotton Rag" is truly acid-free. All other mat board, the majority produced in the United States, is made from trees, a naturally acidic material. This mat board is treated with calcium carbonate so it tests "acid-neutral". Calcium Carbonate retards the aging process not only due to the mat board material but the environment as well. All mat board will deteriorate in time with "cotton" deteriorating the least. Beware of products touted as "100% Acid Free, Archival Mats", they are often standard core "acid neutral mats". If you have a piece of art that is precious in a monetary or emotional sense, use true archival products you can trust or take it to a conservation expert. Conservation framing includes many factors beyond cotton g versus non-cotton The glues used to bind the single-ply sheets together, the type of inks used, top and bottom cover papers, presence of alum and type of picture frame and glass are all conservation issues.
We have divided mat board into two categories: Standard Core and Archival Core. The word "Artcare" can be used in place of Archival; it is a trademark of Nielsen Bainbridge. Standard core are mats that are paper based and normally have calcium carbonate added to help neutralize the natural acidity. Archival mats are made to a much higher standard. I WOULD NOT BUY MATS FROM SOMEONE WHO ADVERTISES ARCHIVAL, ACID FREE MATS. They are generally just plain old standard core, acid neutral, mats. They can be excellent mats but not archival if you are expecting archival quality. The best archival mats are 100% cotton. Cotton is naturally acid free. Some paper based mats, called Alpha Cellulose because it sounds fancier than "paper", are also excellent mats that meet archival standards. They have had additional cleaning to extract the ingredients that cause paper mats to become more acidic. Please note that archival mats are more than simply "acid neutral" or "acid free". Archival mats have been cleaned to remove such ingredients as "lignin" and "metals" that could be harmful to your art. Good archival mats also use pigmented inks to resist fading of the color.
Back Load Picture Frame
This is a conventional frame that first has the glass then the mat and then the backing are placed in the frame through the back of the picture frame and then secured.
Bevel Cut Mat
All windows in MATcutter.com mats have a 45 degree beveled edges. Traditionally, fine mats have been cut by hand with a knife. The window(the part of the mat cut out so you can see the art) has a 45 degree beveled edge that slopes from the top of the mat down to the art. This bevel cut exposes the core of the mat and is more elegant than typical cheap mats that were stamped out with a die. The bevel can be used to accentuate the art. For example, a black core in a white mat produces a black accent around the art.
The core or part of the mat that forms the 45 degree bevel of the window is black. The effect of this is a black line that surrounds the image and increases contrast and drama.
Almost all mats and backs have been buffered--calcium carbonate (the main ingredient in many antacids for your stomach) has been added to the board. This ingredient retards the accumulation of acid. Paper based mat boards have calcium carbonate added in order to retard the natural acidity of paper. Most cotton mat boards also have calcium carbonate added even though they are naturally "acid free". The calcium carbonate combats environmental pollutants that can increase acidity.
Collage Picture Frames and Collate Picture Frame Mats have multiple windows. In the case of Collage Picture Frames, several frames are attached to each other or constructed together into one unit. In the case of Collage Picture Frame Mats, a standard frame is used and the mat has multiple windows for showing multiple pictures.
Document Picture Frame
A Document frame is normally has a window for an 8 1/2x11 or other paper or certificate size. They can be plain for basic documents or more elaborate for documents like diplomas.
Front Load Picture Frame
When using this frame you put back, then mat and then the glazing into the front of the frame. Front load frames do not usually use hardware to assemble the frame. Instead, it is one piece of molded plastic.
A "Green" frame is one that is sustainable; it does not use materials that use up our natural resources, like trees. Although most frame materials are recyclable like wood and aluminum, our 100% Bamboo frames are also sustainable. Bamboo is a plant rather than a tree. It can be replanted and grows rapidly as any \"crop\" does.
All of our mats are either made of cotton or paper. They are, therefore, recyclable. "Cotton Rag" is a industry term to refer to mats that are made from cotton fibre. Not only are they the finest mats, they are truly "Green". They come from a renewable resource, the cotton plant.
The center of the mat board. It is the portion of the mat you see in the bevled edge of the mat window. Other than Cotton Rag mats, mat board is made up of a "core" with a paper cover on the front (the "color" you see on the top of the mat) and a paper cover on the back of the mat board. Cotton Rag mats are one piece. The top, bottom and center are one piece of cotton. No paper cover has been applied to them.
Our mats are all industry standard. The majority are 4 ply. More specifically, standard core mats are .050 to .055 in thickness. In addition 8 ply mats are .090 to .095 thick. "Faux" mats are basic stamped out paper.
The window is the area cut from the mat that will display the art. Generally, it is cut at an angle or "bevel". The window should be smaller than the actual paper used for the print so it does not expose any edges as the mat and paper expand and contract with changes of temperature and humidity.
Poster Picture Frames
Basically a \"Poster Frame\" is simply a frame without a mat. However, they are normally made in larger sizes to fit standard poster sizes.
Photo mat is a term sometimes applied to mats in general. Whether referred to as Photo Mats, Pre-cut mats or Picture Frame Mats; they are the same product. There are, of course, various qualities or mats.
A precut mat is a mat this is in-stock, ready for shipment. FrameLink.us ships precut mats in 1 to 5 days. When you checkout, you will be given an expected date and cost for freight.
Standard Core Mat
We have divided mat board into two categories: Standard Core and Archival Core. Standard core are mats that are paper based and normally have calcium carbonate added to help neutralize the natural acidity. Archival mats are made to a much higher standard. I WOULD NOT BUY MATS FROM SOMEONE WHO ADVERTISES ARCHIVAL, ACID FREE MATS. They are generally just plain old standard core, acid neutral, mats. They can be excellent mats but not archival if you are expecting archival quality. The best archival mats are cotton rag. Cotton is naturally acid free. Some paper based mats, called Alpha Cellulose because it sounds fancier than "paper", are also excellent mats that meet archival standards. They have had additional cleaning to extract the ingredients that cause paper mats to become more acidic. Please note that archival mats are more than simply "acid neutral" or "acid free". Archival mats have been cleaned to remove such ingredients as "lignin" and "metals" that could be harmful to your art. Good archival mats also use pigmented inks to resist fading of the color.
Title Block Mats
Title Block picture frame mats have an additional window, usually below the main window, which can hold a plate or printed material explaining the artwork or the artist.
Although often called "White Core", standard core is historically "creamier" than archival mats that have a very bright core. Our White Core is a very bright white core in a standard mat. The core has been cleaned and bleached to a super clean white color that provides a crispness not available with Cream Core.