For the highest protection for your artwork, you should only use mats that are
preservation or museum grade. There are three basic types of mats used in
The first is a regular or paper mat. These mats, while being cost effective,
contain a product called lignin. Over time lignin breaks down creating an acidic
gas that can leave a burn mark on your artwork. The color will also fade over
time, and the cream colored bevel will begin to darken. Some paper mats have a
bleached white core, but the overall degradation of the mat will be the same.
The second type of mat is an alpha cellulose mat. Cellulose is the chief material
in all plant life. Alpha cellulose is the purest form of this material. These mats
are buffered to maintain a neutral pH. They are considered to be preservation
quality. They will not harm the artwork, nor will they fade over time.
The third type of mat is a rag mat. Made from cotton linters, rag mats are
naturally lignin free. They are made with a colored surface paper, which are
preservation grade, or can be 100% rag mat, which is museum grade.
The Alpha cellulose and Rag type of mat is the only, in-stock mat at Artistic
Framing, this guarantees your art will stand the test of time.