We've got you covered. Acid-Free; Regular: Conservation; Rag; Different colours, thicknesses and styles.
Regular Mat Board is the standard paper board of the industry. It is Non-conservation matboard with average lifespan of at least 15 years. Some Mats have a slight pebble texture on their surface paper. These mats are buffered to be acid-free, and are well suited to inexpensive prints, photos, scrapbooks, and other volume items. Pair them up with manila backings and poly bags or frames to finish off this low-cost, bulk matting solution.
Conservation Mat Board is an alfa cellulose matboard made of pristine virgin fibres. It is acid-free and lignin-free with consistent colour, fade and bleed resistance and meets the Guidelines for Conservation. The matboard core is a bright white. It is best used for original artwork, limited editions, and other valuable artwork.
These boards have a rag or or purified woodpulp core, with acid-free surface and backing papers adhered to the core. The surface papers are available in many colours, designed to be highly fade and bleed resistant. For conservation framing this board is nearly as good as 100% cotton rag board. The boards made from purified woodpulp are sometimes called alpha cellulose boards. These boards made with a cotton core are generally called rag.
Rag Mat Board is made from strong cotton fibres. Cotton is an environmentally friendly and renewable resource that is naturally acid and lignin free and guaranteed safe for all valuable artwork. It meets the Guidelines for Conservation and is time tested. Surface papers are pigmented for fade and bleed resistance. The matboard core is bright white. It is best used for original artwork, limited editions, and other valuable artwork.
Standard or Regular Acid-Free Matboard
This is standard 14-play matboard that has been buffered, which means the centre and the backing paper have been treated with calcium or magnesium carbonate to neutralize pH level, with enough left over to provide an alkaline reserve, to help protect against future acid problems. But, because buffering delays but does not prevent deterioration, this board is not suitable for conservation framing and is intended for use of decorative arts only. These boards have an off-white core that will eventually darken. Perhaps these boards were standard in 1950 but not today. This matboard should only be used for decorative framing.
White Core Matboard
This is a non-conservation board with a white core that will stay white. The whiteness makes these boards very useful for framing decorative arts, but the physical composition makes these good quality boards fall short of the strict standards required for conservation framing.
Black Cores and Colour Cores
Several manufacturers make matboards with coloured cores ranging from subtle to bright to black. Check manufacturer information to determine the quality of these boards. Check for pH, buffering, and lignin content. Some, like Crescent BrightCores, are suitable for conservation framing.
Conservation Board with Molecular Traps
Some rag and conservation boards are being manufactured with additives call "zeolites" which are "cage molecules" designed to attract, trap, and neutralize a range of pollutants beyond those managed by calcium and magnesium carbonate buffers. Lab tests have shown promising results in battling certain environmental hazards but some conservators are concerned about the long-range effects of active ingredients like zeolites within the frame package.
This "top-of-the-line" board is made of 100% cotton fibers. It is often called rag board. Cotton is naturally pH neutral but rag boards are usually buffered for added longevity. Museum boards are made from both short and long fibers. The short fibers cut easily and the long fibers require little processing, cooking, bleaching, beating, and washing so they remain strong. Rag boards are by nature more durable than boards made from other materials. Solid colours (in which the entire board is died one colour) are available in only a limited selection because the colouring agents must be pure, acid-free, fade resistant and able to colour cotton evenly. This is the proper board for highest level conservation framing.
Unbuffered Museum Board
Manufactured the same as other cotton rag boards except the buffering is not added. Since cotton is naturally neutral it is not necessary. Many items require a non-alkaline environments, such as some photographs.
Multi-Opening Mats. No problem! Give us a call (403.258.3500) and we will suggest ways you can achieve your goals inexpensively and with style.