Picture Framing Matting Ideas

When mats were first invented, they had two core functions. One was to provide an area for visual relief so the art could be viewed without the distraction of the nearby surroundings. Secondly, the depth of the mat also serves as a spacer to keep the glass from touching the face of the art.

In the past few decades, mats have taken on a more decorative role. Since mats are now available in many colours, patterns and textures, they are used to match colours in the art and to coordinate with the room decor.

Mat borders are also an important consideration. It is best to avoid having mat borders the same width as the frame surrounding them. Generally, it will look best if the mat is somewhat wider than the frame. Too narrow a border can bring down the perceived value of the art and it tends to look crowded in the frame.

Most mats have square or rectangular window openings, but other cuts are possible. The opening can conform to irregular art shapes. An angled corner (octagon) can cover damaged corners on the art, etc.

Bottom Weighted Mat

A bottom-weighted mat is one where the border below the image is wider than the borders above and beside it. This technique is used both for …

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Fabric Mats

Fabric covered mats can add a richness to your frame designs that paper surfaced mats may not provide. Fabrics can be used on art, photos, etc. …

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Mat Multiple Openings A

Matting Multiple Openings

Mats can be cut with more than one window opening. Doing so allows you to place more than one picture in a frame. This works …

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Custom Openings Mats

Although most mat openings are square or rectangular, shapes can be cut to mimic irregular art shapes. Special cuts are not just used for appearance. …

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Mat with Fillet

Fillets are narrow mouldings used as an accent, either inside the lip of a frame or more often in mat openings. Fillets have more depth …

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Single Mat

When mats were first introduced to framing, they were all a single layer. Today it is much more common to use two or three layers. …

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Double Mat

Double mats allow you to add an accent color that can be used to help draw attention to the art by outlining it. However, a …

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Light-Medium-Dark Mats

This shows the same print matted with three different colors. None of the choices are wrong, they are just different. Dark mats tend to allow the …

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Mat with Spacer

Spacers can be added between mat layers for extra depth. The spacers can bring out inherent depth in the art, such as a landscape with …

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Triple Mat

When using three layers, you have even more opportunity to use color, but once again all the layers can be the same or you can …

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