To guide you through your options, we will cover the qualities, effects, and applications of the mat board of choice for most veteran framers: the eight-ply mat board.
What is an eight-ply mat board?
Great American Art suggests eight ply for professional artists because it is rigid (at double the normal thickness), acid-free, lignin-free, alkaline-pH buffered, and resistant to bleeding and fading.
What are the benefits of an eight-ply mat board?The eight-ply mat board is all about drama. Its 45-degree bevels, approximately three-sixteenths of an inch wide, accent the extra-thick core, making this mat board ideal for pieces that benefit from bold and enigmatic displays.
From a functional perspective, eight ply is constructed for conservation of your work, relieving you of concerns about fading, bleeding, and other types of material degradation. It also provides a solid base for custom framing in larger works of art.
When should you use an eight-ply mat board?
Because of its optimal archival protection, Great American Art recommends eight ply for rare, antique, and historical works of art and paper documentation. It is also the option of choice for watercolor paintings in art galleries and museums.
|Visual comparison of a four-ply mat (top)|
to an eight-ply mat (bottom)
Also, keep in mind that with a thicker mat board, you’ll need to calculate your measurements correctly. The thickness of the mat board needs to be added to the thickness of your artwork, acrylic glazing, and mounting board, then measured against your frame’s channel.