A mat is a border, usually made from mat board, placed around the artwork. It serves several purposes:
A mat serves to space or separate the artwork and frame or glass. If the glass comes into contact with the art, over time there can be damage in the form of mold, or the artwork could adhere to the underside of the glass.
The mat, particularly its color, draws the eye into the picture. By carefully choosing the colors in the mats, we can accentuate the colors in the art.
The mat hides the mechanics of the framed piece. For example, the mat covers the mounting method used such as a hinge or dry mount.
Mats should be preservation or museum grade to provide your artwork with the highest level of protection.
Mats come in a variety of colors and textures, which allow your design consultant to select mats that are just right for your artwork. Standard mats are 32x20 inches, but some colors are available in an oversized 40x60 inches. A mat is usually 4 ply, which is about 2mm. Some mats are also made in a limited color range of 6, 8 and 12 ply thicknesses. Thicker mats can create a dramatic presentation, directing the viewers eye in the art.