To Mat or Not to Mat
When it comes to creating a custom frame for an item, the question sometimes arises, “to mat or not to mat?” While the decision is ultimately up to you and your personal preference, using a mat can have a wide range of benefits. Do you prefer that your piece fully bleeds to the frame’s inner edge, or would you like a mat to create a border or window to help emphasize your piece? To help you make the decision, we are sharing our insights on everything you need to know about using matting in custom framing, the benefits of custom frame matting, and more!
Benefits of Custom Frame Matting
We recommend using matting in several custom framing situations. One of the many benefits of using matting in custom framing is the ability for the mat to create a separation between a photograph or other item and the glass of the frame. Picture frames with matting help prevent photos, works on paper, sports jerseys, or other items from sticking to the glass of the frame. Mats can also provide an aesthetically pleasing look by creating a border between the item and the frame moulding.
Mats can be used to highlight a specific colour in your artwork and can also be layered to incorporate desired colours into the framing project. For example, picture frame mats can be layered to incorporate specific school colours, team colours, or corporate logo colours. Laser-cut custom mats can also be created with different cut-out shapes to border individual items when framing multiple items in the same frame. If you want your piece to pop, consider using coloured matting to back or border the item or using a second coloured mat or two-tone bevelled mat to provide an accent.
Choosing Not to Mat & Using Picture Frame Spacers
If you choose not to use a mat when custom framing artwork or photos under glass, we recommend using spacers. Picture frame spacers are tiny pieces of plastic used around the edge of the glass or Perspex that sit between the glazing and the item being framed. Picture frame spacers come in different sizes to provide different levels of air cushion between the artwork and the glass of the frame to prevent damage.
Picture Frame Matting Questions to Ask Yourself
Before you make any final decisions on whether you should use picture frame matting or not, ask yourself these questions to get a better idea of your preferences.
What Is the Size of the Piece Being Framed?
When framing smaller items, a mat can help draw attention to the details in the piece or draw attention to the piece itself. Mats can also be used, along with frame mouldings, to tie together different sized or disparate items on a gallery wall by creating a cohesive look through consistent colours and borders.
What Is the Medium Used for the Piece?
Depending on the type of material the item is made from, a picture frame mat may or may not be necessary. For example, photographs are often enhanced by using a mat to frame the image, and the picture frame mat will also help prevent the image from sticking to the frame’s glass. Original artwork, newspaper clippings, documents, and sports jerseys can all be enhanced and protected by the addition of an acid-free mat.
Where Do You Plan on Hanging Your Framed Piece?
Matting for custom framing comes in a wide variety of colours and textures and can be cut to different sizes and shapes. Mats in different colours and textures make it easier for your final framed piece to fit in aesthetically with the wall, room, or other framed items where you plan to hang your piece. Consider where you plan on hanging your framed item to determine if adding matting will help it complement the space.
Creating Custom Frames with Mats
At Master Framing, we offer a wide range of custom framing services and can help advise on the perfect picture frame matting for your piece. If you need help deciding whether you should mat your item or not, or assistance choosing the perfect mat colour and style to complement your piece, be sure to reach out to our team of expert framers. We are happy to offer our advice on picture frame matting and to recommend options for framing your item.